Supplementing with essential nutrients as part of a nutrition pre pregnancy program is part of ‘preparing the ground before the harvest’. It also means you need to do your best to avoid and eliminate foods that have a negative effect on your health.
Planning your pregnancy in advance and ensuring you supplement with all of the essential nutrients required for optimum health may reduce the occurrence of premature birth and reduce complications at birth – see our reference library at the bottom of this page to read articles on these matters.
A healthy intake of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) by women as part of a nutrition pre pregnancy program may also:
1. Be careful of relying on fish for your Omega 3 EFA. The reason - there is a very real danger of heavy metal contamination from mercury when consuming a very high fish diet. This occurs because the type of fish you need to consume are at the top of the food chain and more likely to contain heavy metals. This can lead to major birth complications - the most severe being autism.
2. With low quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements you also run a danger of consuming not only heavy metals, but also transfatty acids - this can happen if the EFA is exposed to light or air during the packaging process. Overly cheap supplements are just not worth it!
It is recommended that you allow six months as part of your nutrition pre pregnancy plan. A healthy diet is important - ensure you eat from a wide variety of foods, reduce your intake of caffeine, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and follow the basic rules of good nutrition.
Ensure you drink plenty of fresh filtered water; ideally install a water filter so you always have a good supply on hand. At least 8 - 10 glasses a day can help prevent common problems such as dehydration and constipation.
Why Supplementing is Necessary for You and Your Baby
There is a great deal of literature available on nutrition pre pregnancy and suggested RDA’s for vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. The question you need to ask yourself is can I get everything I need from the food I eat and will I get enough for two?
Even the Journal of the American Medical Association now admits that vitamin supplements may prevent chronic disease.
Supplementing with essential fatty acids as part of a nutrition pre pregnancy program during the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy can ease the delivery. This is because these essential fatty acids are required to produce hormones that assist labor.
Preeclampsia is another condition which affects as many as 5-8% of all pregnancies (data from the Preeclampsia Foundation). It is a progressive condition that can occur at about 20 weeks and is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are other symptoms.
According to the foundation, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading global cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 deaths each year.
In a recent study, researchers established a relationship between low levels of the antioxidant mineral selenium and this disorder. Dr Joel Wallach in his book, ‘Rare Earths Forbidden Cures', talks about selenium deficiency in relation to infertility, miscarriage, low birth weight, high infant mortality, cystic fibrosis and sudden infant death syndrome. The vitamin folate has an unquestionable role in the prevention of neural tube defects in new born babies and most women are aware of the need to make sure they have adequate calcium and iron (and now selenium) in their nutrition pre pregnancy – however that still leaves another 57 minerals, 12 amino acids, another 15 vitamins and 3 essential fatty acids required by the body to prevent disease.
With so many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer in some way related to nutritional deficiencies it is even more important to begin a pre pregnancy supplement program.
Which Supplements To Use
Supplementing is very easy and should form part of your pre pregnancy nutrition plan:
Paul Newland is a health writer, sports training consultant and martial arts instructor and manages the Global-Longevity.com website. He is the author of numerous health information books and guides, including the Wellness Report, The Ultimate Antioxidant Report, The Selenium Report, The Bird Flu Report, The Ultimate Nutrient Guide and The Essential Fatty Acid Report and The Ultimate Sports Nutrition Guide - available Free (for a limited time) through Global-Longevity.com