Why your body needs pregnancy supplements

Expecting a new arrival? Entering this new phase of life can be difficult for expectant mothers, with fluctuating hormone levels and the increasing demands of new life taking its physical toll. New research suggests that supplementation plays an essential role in equipping expectant mothers to tackle this new life stage with added zeal, giving the body the things you never knew it needed in an unprecedented situation. Here are a few key pregnancy supplements sure to smooth your journey to motherhood.

1. Essential fatty acids

Fatty acids are, as the name suggests, essential. While certain fatty acids are produced by our bodies from the food we eat, some that are essential for healthy brain and visual development can’t be made in sufficient quantities. So we need to top up our intake. Most of us know about Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which we get from seeds, nuts, and many vegetable oils. A recent study has shown, however, that ALA as the only source of omega 3s is inadequate.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel and also, very importantly, in mother’s milk — has been found to be even more important than ALA. Including DHA in your diet improves your child’s learning ability and it’s also critical for brain function at all ages, so it helps you too. DHA also helps reduce emotional problems in children, and DHA deficiency may be associated with foetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, aggressive hostility, cystic fibrosis, and conditions that cause nerve and brain damage.

Read more about Vital Omega 3, 6 & 9 capsules.

2. Iodine. Friend or foe?

Iodine has received a bad rap in the past, but recent thinking has turned it into a hero. Iodine is in fact vital for our thyroid gland, which produces crucial hormones that regulate our body’s metabolism, heart and digestive function, brain development, among others.

Pregnant women are urged to supplement their diet with iodine as a deficiency during pregnancy can lead to high blood pressure for the mother and, because it plays an important role in the development of the central nervous system, an iodine deficiency can cause mental retardation in the baby.

Read more about Vital Kelp capsules.

3. Folic acid

Folate or folic acid is “the pregnancy superhero” — taking it ensures your baby’s healthy spinal cord and brain development. Doctors urge women to take folic acid supplements (400 μg daily) from the time you’re considering becoming pregnant, as brain and spinal cord development happens in the first four weeks of pregnancy.