One of the magical times in a womanï¿½s life is pregnancy. And what a special blessing it is to be able to help create a new lifeï¿½and nurture it to birth and beyond! Pregnancy is an incredibly special and unique experience for a woman but also a time when women have many questions and concerns about what is good for them as well as their developing baby. Ideally, women start their pregnancy eating a healthy diet, at a healthy weight and in reasonably good shape from a fitness perspective. Prenatal care includes regular visits with your obstetrician and/or nurse mid-wife to monitor and guide women to delivering a healthy baby.
Because most peopleï¿½s diets lack in critical nutrients, pregnancy is also an important time to consider incorporation of nutritional supplements. Letï¿½s go over general nutritional advice and how and why to choose the right supplements during pregnancy.
It is always important to eat a balanced diet, choosing foods from all food groups. This includes plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables to supply various vitamins and minerals, antioxidants as well as fiber to support digestive health. Whole grains are a great source of energy, B vitamins, minerals, and fiber - 3 to 5 servings per day are recommended. Try to minimize the ï¿½white flour/white sugarï¿½ foods, especially if you need to limit weight gain. Lean protein sources include poultry, wild caught fish, soy, legumes and eggs. Calcium and vitamin D needs are increased during pregnancy and can be met with 3 to 4 servings of dairy; alternately these needs can be met with fortified dairy alternatives including soy milk or by supplementation. Omega-3 needs, especially DHA to support babyï¿½s eye and brain development, may best be met with top quality supplementation since there is the risk of mercury toxicity from some omega-3-rich fish, which can have definite neurologic effects on the developing fetus.
Monitoring weight gain is also an important aspect of healthy pregnancy with general recommendations of 25-30 lbs. Utilization of enriched protein drinks and protein bars can be a great help in meeting protein while minimizing excessive weight gain.
So, now letï¿½s talk about how to incorporate supplementation to support a healthy pregnancy:
Because you are providing all the nutrients for your developing baby as well as yourself, taking a multivitamin becomes critical. Shaklee has just launched a new version of Vitalizer Women and Vita-Lea Iron with additional nutrients to support healthy pregnancy as well as for all folks who take this version of Vitalizer or Vita-Lea. The two primary changes are 1) an increase in folic acid to 800 mcg to support blood and neurologic development and 2) an increase in iodine from 150 mcg to 200 mcg to support thyroid function. Folate (vitamin B9) is especially essential for early fetal development and to prevent neural tube defectsï¿½. The American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the CDC recommend 800 mcg folic acid, which you will find in most prenatal supplements. It is always prudent to discuss your use of supplements with your physician. The same changes to the Canadian versions of Vita-Lea With Iron and Vitalizer With Iron will be made in 2017 after Health Canada approvals have been received.
The DV for iron during pregnancy increases to 27 mg which can easily met by adding Iron + C which contains a well-tolerated form of iron (ferrous fumarate) and includes vitamin C to enhance absorption. The new Vitalizer Women and Vita-lea Iron continue to deliver 18 mg since this product will also be used by non-pregnant women who donï¿½t need any additional iron.
While there are not official DHA recommendations for pregnancy, experts tend to agree that 150- 200 mg/day is a reasonable foundation along with a healthy diet that includes other sources of omega-3s including avocados and olive oil. The new Shaklee Vitalizer Women includes 180 mg DHA in the Caroto-E-Omega in addition to the new Vita-Lea Iron.
Other supplements to consider include calcium and vitamin D to support bone and teeth development* and healthy protein drinks to deliver the additional 300 calories per day. Now youï¿½re ready for a great pregnancy1
If you would like advice on a better health plan for you, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete your Healthprint personalized health assessment survey.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
ï¿½0.8 mg folic acid in a dietary supplement is more effective in reducing the risk of neural tube defects than a lower amount in foods in common form. FDA does not endorse this claim. Public health authorities recommend that women consume 0.4 mg folic acid daily from fortified foods or dietary supplements or both to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.