healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom, healthy dad, vitamins, minerals
healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom, healthy dad, vitamins, minerals

healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom, healthy dad, vitamins, minerals

healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom, healthy dad, vitamins, minerals

Preconception & Early Pregnancy Advice

  preconception and early pregnancy advice

The first trimester is 0-13 weeks gestation

A healthy diet and lifestyle during the months leading up to conception and throughout pregnancy is recommended to aid the chances of conception and maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. It has been found that pre-pregnancy preparation has reduced the incidence of congenital malformation, pre-term birth, and intra-uterine growth retardation. Although most of the information given here is applicable to pregnancy it is advisable to consider this information throughout your treatment, as a good diet will ensure that should a pregnancy occur, your body would have a good store of nutrients for a baby to utilise. In addition, it takes over two weeks following treatment to find out if pregnancy has occurred. Throughout these two weeks, the embryo is undergoing many developmental changes; hence it is preferable that you do not expose yourself to any undue risks of infection that could affect that development. These infections include Toxoplasmosis, Listeriosis and Salmonella. An unborn baby is most susceptible to nutritional deficiencies and infections during the first trimester (i.e. the first three months) of pregnancy when the development is greatest. Therefore this information is designed to give guidance on maintaining a safe and healthy lifestyle, that you can follow during treatment and beyond.

During the first three months of pregnancy all the organs of the body are completely formed. It is during this period - and, of course, before - that optimum nutrition is most important. Yet many women experience continual sickness and don’t feel like eating healthily. Misnamed ‘morning’ sickness, this condition has been accepted as normal during the first three months of pregnancy. Probably due to increases in a hormone called HCG, women with poor diets are particularly at risk. During pregnancy the need for vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, iron and zinc all increase; extra supplements of these usually stop even the worst cases of pregnancy sickness.

For the mother, optimum nutrition before and during pregnancy ensures a healthier pregnancy with fewer complications, resulting in a healthier and heavier baby. Your supplement programme should include 200 mcg of folic acid, 20mcg of vitamin B12, 200mg of Vitamin B6, 15mg of zinc, 500mg of calcium, 250mg of magnesium and 30mg of iron.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

The first trimester is 0-13 weeks gestation.

Calcium (500-800 mg) Vitamin D (5 mg)

Needed for building bones and teeth, for blood clotting, for regulating nerve and muscle activity and for absorbing iron. Calcium (500mg)  is required to aid development of babies bones and teeth. It is found mainly in dairy produce. There is research that has found that bone density diminishes in the first three months of pregnancy to enable uptake of calcium by the developing baby. Therefore, it would be advisable to ensure calcium intake is sufficient during treatment, to build up your calcium reserves in preparation for pregnancy. In pregnancy calcium intake is increased 60-70%; therefore as long as you are taking the recommended amount of calcium further increase is not required. Calcium absorption is improved with the presence of vitamin D in the diet. Needed for strong bones and teeth and is essential for calcium absorption into the blood. The main source of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. Some women who for cultural reasons keep themselves covered up and do not expose themselves to sunlight may be lacking in vitamin D. Therefore a supplementation, under the guidance of your GP, may be necessary. 

Magnesium (250mg) Magnesium deficiency includes hypomagnesaemia, hypomagnesuria and hypokalaemia.

Iron (30-60 mg)

Iron is essential for building healthy red blood cells, which are the basic building blocks in the blood. Red blood cells contains an essential protein known as haemoglobin which is necessary for carrying oxygen to the different organs in the body including the uterus or womb.  Many women in the reproductive age group have increased bleeding during menses and inadequate intake of Iron. This leads to iron deficiency in the body more commonly referred to as ‘Iron deficiency anaemia. Starting a pregnancy with anaemia can deprive the baby of oxygen which gets more marked during the second trimester. Unless this deficiency is corrected it may leave the mothers severely anaemic and any blood loss during pregnancy and after delivery may be dangerous to the mother and the baby. Therefore you should take iron supplements besides eating food that is rich in iron. Makes up an important part of hemoglobin, the compound in blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body cells. Iron  (12mg) is required for the formation of red blood cells both for yourself, as the blood volume expands dramatically in pregnancy, and for a developing baby.

Zinc (15mg) Zinc deficiency cause congential malformations, neural tube defects and intrauterine growth retardation.

B Vitamins (An additional 2 mg of niacin a day, and 0.3 and 0.4 mg more of riboflavin and thiamine.)

B vitamins are required for the growth and development of unborn babies. B vitamins include: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, cobalamin and choline. Essential for good digestion, energy production, certain enzymes invloved in amino-acid synthesis and maintenance of blood.  Women who lack vitamin B in their diet are more likely to have a low birth weight baby. Supplementation of the niacin form of vitamin B3 taken during the first trimester has been positively correlated with higher birth weights, longer length, and larger head circumference (all signs of healthier infants). Vitamin B1, B2, B6 (200mg 400mg) ; 20mcg of vitamin B12  and Folic acid is an important B vitamin as it has been conclusively shown that a lack of folic acid in your diet can cause neural tube defects in an unborn baby. Hence the government advises that folic acid supplements should be taken pre-conceptually and you should start 400 micrograms daily prior to commencing treatment. In addition, it would be recommended to have a dietary intake of folic acid also. More about B vitamins

Vitamin A (800 mg)

Vitamin A helps prevent infections and is needed for healthy tissue development. Vitamin A in large quantities can cause congenital defects in children.  However, it is not wise to eradicate vitamin A completely from your diet, as some vitamin A is required for a healthy pregnancy. Do not take more than 10,000iu of vitamin A, and have a hair mineral analysis to check for excesses of copper, lead or cadmium. 

Vitanmin C (50-60 mg)

Needed for healthy collagen, helps wounds to heal, needed for normal blood-clotting and healthy blood vessels, needed for iron absorption, and is needed for strong, healthy bones. Vitanmin C is occasionally recommended for pregnant women. It has been reported that vitamin C may be effective for the treatment of leg cramps during pregnancy. Conservative doses are 500-2,000 mg daily. However, women who take more than 5,000 mg vitamin C daily throughout pregnancy must continue to supplement the infants afterward or the children are at risk of developing rebound scurvy. So, be aware and be safe. The National Academy of Sciences recommends vitamin C supplements of 50 mg per day for women carrying multiple fetuses, and for pregnant substance abusers. Women who are interested in Vitamin C supplementation should speak with their health care provider.

!!!T. J. Clark's Prenatal/Postnatal Multivitamin/Mineral Formula!!!

Vitamin A (retinol) 800 mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine hydrochloride) 200mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavine) 200mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) 200mg
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) 20mcg
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 50-60 mg
Vitamin D 5 mg
Vitamin E (dl-α-tocopherol acetate) 10 mg
Vitamin B5 10.0mg
Biotin 0.2mg
Folic acid 400 mg
Calcium 500 mg
Iron 30 mg
Magnesium 250mg
Manganese 1.0mg
Copper 1.0mg
Phosphorus 125.0mg
Zinc 15 mg

Click here to view US RDA's to create your personal Nutrition Program Before & During Pregnancy

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Disclaimer: This information is intended as a guide only.   This information is offered to you with the understanding that it not be interpreted as medical or professional advice.  All medical information needs to be carefully reviewed with your health care provider.