What Supplements Do I Need for Pregnancy?
In House Nutritionist, Candace Borg, talks on Supplements in Pregnancy!
No matter on where you are in your fertility journey or how far along you are in your pregnancy, firstly, you need have blood tests to determine your nutritional levels. Go to your local doctor and ask, in addition to the routine tests (such as full blood count, electrolyte balance, thyroid, kidney and liver function), to test for Vitamin D, Zinc, Iron Studies, spot Iodine, Magnesium, Calcium, Active B12, Folate, Fasting Cholesterol and Blood Sugar.
When you receive the results, look at how your results correspond with the “normal” reference range. If your levels lie close to the middle of the range, there should be no need to supplement with this nutrient. If your levels lie outside the reference range or at an extreme end (high or low end) further investigation is advised. Such results may indicate a current or potential health concern which may require additional vitamin supplementation.
However, the usefulness of supplements is also dependent on how deficient you are, what your diet is like, how well your body absorbs particular nutrients and supplements, and how good the supplement is in the first place. These issues should be discussed with your health care professional, who can monitor your nutritional levels during period(s) of supplementation.
Without a medical illness and/or pathology testing proving otherwise, your diet should be able to provide the vitamins and minerals you require. However it is recommended that you take a natal multivitamin all the way through your fertility journey, pregnancy and post pregnancy. It is advised that women also consider taking a good quality essential fatty acid supplement, and depending on their diet, consider a protein supplement (or consuming protein rich smoothies regularly).
For those who have a family history of allergic, or immune conditions such as eczema, hay fever, asthma, (to name a few), you may also consider taking a good multi-strain probiotic during your pregnancy. Most women also require additional iron supplementation during their pregnancy, but this should be determined by a pathology test. For advice on which supplements are better, see my blog titled ‘Oils ain’t oils, or are they?’.
If you are eating a sufficient amount of nutrient rich foods and still find it hard to maintain optimal nutritional levels, it may be due to an absorption issue. This should be investigated by a health care professional.
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