Am I getting the right nutrition in pregnancy?
What prenatal vitamins do I need for a healthy pregnancy?
What other supplements should I be adding to my Pregnancy Nutrition?
Here’s the List of Essential Vitamins for Pregnancy and Supplements that help you have a healthier and more comfortable Pregnancy and Why You Need Them.
- VITAMIN D DURING PREGNANCY IS ESSENTIAL FOR A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM, BABY’S BONE GROWTH, MOM’S BONE HEALTH, AND GLUCOSE METABOLISM. Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin” and you need about 10 minutes a day of sunshine. But if you live in northern climates or you wear sunscreen, you’re not getting an adequate amount of D3. Prenatal vitamins will have about 400 IU and so you may need up to an additional 4000 IU per day. You can have a simple blood test during pregnancy to see if you need more vitamin D in your diet. This is a supplement for pregnancy that is best gotten in pill form. If you don’t get enough vitamin D during your pregnancy, studies show it can lead to insufficient bone growth in your baby. In severe cases, it can lead to rickets, which causes soft and weak bones that can break easily. A deficiency in Vitamin D during pregnancy can also affect your immune system. You can become more susceptible to infections and that vitamin D deficiency can cause your baby’s immune system to be compromised too. So ask your doctor or midwife to test your vitamin D levels to see how much Vitamin D you need to add to your diet during pregnancy.
- IRON IN THE PREGNANCY DIET IS NEEDED TO HELP INCREASE HEMOGLOBIN OR OXYGEN CARRYING RED BLOOD CELLS. During pregnancy you are building 60% more blood than when you are not pregnant. Your body is actually making blood for your growing baby. So as blood volume increases during pregnancy, so does your need for iron rich foods. Your body not only needs to safeguard your pregnancy but also feed and sustain your growing baby. For many pregnant women it can be challenging to eat enough calories and protein, especially iron rich foods. You may be suffering from pregnancy induced nausea, or heartburn. If you want to prevent complication of pregnancy, it is extremely important to get 2200-2400 calories daily and 80-100 grams of protein.
Keeping track of your food intake can be easy and helpful. But if you struggle to get that amount of calories and protein, or if you are vegetarian or vegan, then you definitely need to supplement your pregnancy diet with some form of iron. I learned about these iron supplements from a few local midwives. The best part about Energizing Iron is that it is real food. It is liquid liver in a capsule. So your body can absorb the iron much more effectively than if you are using a synthetic iron supplement. The best part of Energizing Iron is that there are no side effects. Many iron supplements cause constipation or gas. Who wants that? Nobody! Here are the suggestions for iron supplements that increase your hemoglobin but don’t give you any nasty side effects: Floradix (vegetarian), or Energizing Iron by Enzymatic Therapy (my first choice).
- PROBIOTICS DURING PREGNANCY HELP ENSURE YOU HAVE FRIENDLY/HEALTHY BACTERIA IN YOUR GUT. YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS PRIMARILY IN YOUR GUT. Probiotics strengthen your immune system and help with digestion by introducing and aiding friendly bacteria in the gut. It will help strengthen your baby’s immune system too. Even if you feel you are getting adequate nutrition in pregnancy, adding Probiotics may help keep colds and viruses at bay as well as help with digestion. Some studies have shown a decrease in preeclampsia, Group B strep, and gestational diabetes when pregnant women consume probiotics daily. Many of my pregnant students say, “I eat yogurt every day and I have probiotics in my prenatal vitamins.” But, let me tell you, ladies! That is not enough!
Taking the right probiotics can have a dramatic affect on whether your pregnancy continues in a healthy way or not. Having a healthy gut any time in life is critical to a strong and healthy immune system. During pregnancy, it’s not just your immune system you need to care about but also your baby’s immune system. Your gut microbiome communicates with immune cells to prevent or fight infections. So take these probiotics not just for yourself but also for your healthy growing baby.
- PRENATAL VITAMINS CAN FILL IN ANY GAPS YOUR PREGNANCY DIET MIGHT HAVE. Taking your prenatal vitamins as an addition to your nutrition in pregnancy is a must. Even if you think you’re eating a balanced diet, you’re probably missing some important vitamins or minerals. Pregnancy is demanding on your body. Your are growing a baby, blood volume, a placenta, and there is an increased demand on liver function. Even if you feel like your diet is perfect, take your prenatal vitamins. Take this Pregnancy Nutrition Quiz to find out if you know all you need to have a healthy pregnancy. New Chapter Prenatal Vitamins are great because they won’t bother your stomach. So take your prenatal supplement for pregnancy, daily, even if you’re pretty sure your pregnancy diet is adequate.
Good nutrition in pregnancy affects your baby’s development, how your body grows your baby, and can even affect how your labor goes.