Nutritional Supplements & Healthy Diet for Pregnancy

Nutritionist Dr Deanna Minich reached out to me to collaborate and shares some invaluable advice on navigating the Dos and Don’ts of pregnancy with a science-based approach.

Her guest post:

Pregnancy is a very exciting and happy experience in a woman’s life. It is a pivotal point in every woman’s life and can be confusing and overwhelming for mothers-to-be.

You have to take extra care of yourself during pregnancy. It is important to stay healthy physically and mentally to ensure your baby’s growth and development. Your body is undergoing many changes, and you are entering a new phase of life.

Pregnancy brings a mix of different feelings. It is very common to undergo stress, anxiety, or depression while pregnant. It is crucial to take special care of your mental health.

Excessive stress or a feeling of sadness isn’t healthy for you or the baby. Continue to do what you enjoy to keep your mind calm and engaged. Here are some recommendations for you if you are a book lover.

One interesting thing that happens during pregnancy is food cravings. Treat yourself with something delicious and easy to make like these cheddar cheese swirl buns.

Also supplementing your diet with fruits in pregnancy is very beneficial for you. Find out if dry fruits are better for you or fresh fruits.

While you can fulfil your pregnancy food cravings, make sure you don’t eat something that is harmful to you or the baby. If you crave for a smoke, you must consult your doctor regarding it. Click here to find out if it is safe to smoke weed while pregnant.

Good prenatal care includes proper nutrition and healthy habits. A healthy diet and necessary supplements can ensure that you get proper nutrition.

Why take Supplements during Pregnancy?

For many women, balanced meals aren’t enough to fulfil their nutritional needs. They must take nutritional supplements. During pregnancy, the body faces an increased need for macronutrients and micronutrients.

It is easy to fulfil the requirements of macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates.) It’s more likely for a pregnant woman to suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. This is why it is important to take supplemental minerals and vitamins during pregnancy.

What Supplements are Safe During Pregnancy?

 Prenatal Vitamins                   
These vitamins are specially formulated to meet the body’s increased need for micronutrients during pregnancy. Studies suggest that taking prenatal supplements can decrease the risk of preterm birth.

Folic Acid
Folic acid or Vitamin B plays an important role in fetal growth and development. Pregnant women are recommended to take 600 micrograms of folic acid daily. Taking folic acid regularly can reduce the risk of neural defects and congenital abnormalities in the baby.

Iron is an important component of red blood cells. As the maternal blood volume increases, the requirement for iron significantly increases. Iron is also critical to transport oxygen to the fetus, which is critical to developing the brain and other organs.

Magnesium plays an important role in muscle, nerve, and immune functions. It is also involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body. Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can increase the risk of chronic hypertension and preterm labour.

Some studies suggest that supplementing with magnesium may reduce the chances of fetal growth restrictions and premature birth.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for bone health, cell division, and immune functions. All these three functions act as the building blocks of proper fetal development.  Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is associated with cases like preterm birth, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.

Vitamin D intake shouldn’t be less than 600 micrograms for pregnant ladies. It is important for you to get a Vitamin D screening. If you have Vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will recommend a specific dose as to how much you should take every day.

 Ginger root
Ginger root is a popular Chinese herb with lots of health and nutritional benefits. It is highly effective in treating nausea, sickness, and vomiting, which makes it a great herb for pregnant women.

Through several studies, we now know that ginger root is safe to consume during pregnancy. Nonetheless, make sure you are not allergic to it before using it. You can check this by consulting your physician.

Probiotics are living microorganisms that promote good digestion and a healthy gut. The presence of probiotics in your gut also keeps the harmful bacteria away.

For moms-to-be, taking care of gut health is also very important.  Many studies have concluded that it’s safe to take probiotics during pregnancy. Probiotics are free from any harmful effects and give many benefits to the digestive system.

Several studies show that supplementing the body with probiotics can keep one safe from several conditions. Regular use of probiotics can reduce the chances of gestational diabetes, postpartum depression, and infant eczema.

What Supplements to avoid in Pregnancy?

While supplementing with micronutrients and herbs is beneficial, pregnant women must avoid certain supplements. These supplements can have a negative impact on the mother and fetus. Some of these can cause uterine contraction which can be fatal for the baby. While others can increase the risk of diarrhoea for mother and baby both. Following is the supplement which pregnant women should avoid.

Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Goldenseal, Black cohosh, Dong Quai, Yohimbe

Dr. Deanna Minich has more than 20 years of diverse, well-rounded experience in the fields of nutrition and functional medicine, including clinical practice, research, product formulation, writing, and education. Her doctoral (Ph.D.) research focused on essential fatty acid absorption and metabolism, and her Master of Science degree (M.S.) allowed her to explore the health benefits of the colorful, plant-based carotenoids. Dr. Minich’s passion is teaching a whole-self approach to nourishment and bridging the gaps between science, spirituality, and art in medicine.

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