What supplements should you be taking during pregnancy?

First of all, we are blessed to have our healthy baby boy delivered this month by our very knowledgeable team of midwives who worked with us throughout the entire pregnancy. We feel that it is necessary to share the information about some things to take during pregnancy to boost the health of the mother as well as the developing fetus.

There are many factors that can have an impact on the baby’s health and development. It is our duty as parents and as doctors to make sure that we provide the best for the baby from the very beginning.

We believe that it is necessary to detoxify the body prior to conceiving; therefore, the very first step that we recommend at Revive Naturopathic Health Clinic is for every parent to do a cleansing program, which reduces toxic burden to our body and improves hormonal regulation. This paves a clean path for your new baby to come. Cleansing programs are not only dietary changes and supplement support, but it also involves quitting risky habits such as smoking and alcohol intake.

Prior to conceiving, we recommend the mother to begin supplementation of folic acid either individually or formulated in a prenatal multivitamin form. Folic acid should be taken at least three months before pregnancy and continued throughout the entire term. Our suggested dose is a minimum of 400 mcg to 1000 mcg per day. One can also obtain extra folic acid from food sources such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, and oranges.

Folic acid deficiency is linked to neural tube defects as well as low birth weight. An improper neural tube closure during early pregnancy may result in spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and lifelong disability of the newborn due to spinal and brain abnormalities.

As the fetus grows, the mother will need to increase her blood supply to support the extra oxygen, nutrient, and waste removal for the baby. A pregnant woman will have increased her blood volume by about 40 to 50%. Iron supplementation is necessary to provide building blocks to such increased requirement. Nausea and vomiting are often signs of hormonal changes and anemia. It is also very important to take iron in preparation for the blood lost during delivery. The recommended dose for iron is 27mg/day in pregnancy.

Recent study shows clear evidence that iron lowers the risk of low birth weight in pregnant women. As we know it, iron is as important as folic acid during pregnancy. We highly recommend having your iron levels checked during pregnancy and increase your iron storage accordingly.

Finally, we elected to add Vitamin D for ourselves. Vitamin D plays an important role to the immune system and skeletal growth. A deficiency in vitamin D increases the risk of preeclampsia and preterm labor. A comparison study found that women who are vitamin d deficient are four times more likely to have a c-section than women with normal levels. Please refer to the vitamin D article for details on dosage. Generally speaking, 2000IU per day is the minimum starting point for pregnant mother.

Planning to have a baby? Make sure you get a head start in preparation, and remember healthy parents equal healthy baby.