BEST 7 nutritional supplements for pregnant women | Did you know only folic acid and iron?

BEST 7 nutritional supplements for pregnant women | Did you know only folic acid and iron?

BEST 7 pregnant women

01 Multivitamin
02 folic acid
03 Calcium
04 Iron
05 Vitamin D
06  Omega-3
07 Probiotics

The most important cause of disease development... The intrauterine environment

One of the important cause of disease development is the intrauterine environment. The environment during the 9 months that the fertilized egg stays in the mother's womb is important. In particular, early pregnancy (within 12 to 15 weeks), when major organs are formed, is the most important.  Diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are also greatly influenced by the intrauterine environment at this time. 

In fact, there are US cases where the uterine environment was linked to heart disease. 

Newsweek, an American current affairs weekly magazine, has highlighted the importance of the intrauterine environment through a cover story. British researchers surveyed 13,000 newborns born in the early 1900s and found that babies weighing less than 2.5 kg at birth due to malnutrition in their mothers had a 50% higher chance of developing heart disease.  The reason is explained that malnourished fetuses are born with small livers. When the liver is small in size, the ability to break down cholesterol is reduced, resulting in hyperlipidemia, which increases heart disease. 

Diabetes case applied to Korea!

This also applies to our country. Diabetes is a prime example. Experts believe that diabetic patients in their 60s today are the generation conceived during the Korean War and were born with an immature pancreas because they grew up in a bad intrauterine environment such as poor nutrition.  The problem is that as they went through a period of rapid growth, they suddenly experienced a state of overnutrition and became overloaded with hyperglycemia. This is the interpretation that the pancreas fell into exhaustion and diabetes occurred.

The intrauterine environment and genetic defects

Another reason the intrauterine environment is important is because of genetic defects. A gene defect does not mean serious genetic damage or genetic disease that is passed down to offspring like a mutation, but is recognized as one of genetic diversity and is included in the normal range. Although not inherited, it is easy to understand if you think of it as the wrong combination of genes that can affect the health of the day.

You need to pay special attention to your nutrition during pregnancy.

The problem is that even if the father's sperm and the mother's eggs are very good, if the environment in the womb is poor, errors called gene defects can occur during the gene duplication process. Children born with these gene defects have a 10-fold higher risk of developing leukemia or breast cancer in the future. Therefore, when pregnant, it is important to pay special attention to nutritional intake and to consume the necessary nutrients appropriately.


First of all, balancing


For pregnant women, the recommended intake for many nutrients is set higher than for the general population. This means that your baby needs a lot of energy and nutrients to grow and stay pregnant. A lack of minerals such as zinc also adversely affects the maintenance of pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to first balance the nutrients with a multivitamin.  When choosing a multivitamin, pregnant women should check the vitamin A content of the products they are taking. Excessive intake of vitamin A can cause birth defects, so do not exceed 5,000 IU per day.


Nutrients most important to pregnant women

folic acid

It is the most important nutrient for pregnant women. This is because there is a possibility that a baby with anencephaly or spina bifida may be born with a neural tube defect if folic acid is deficient in the first 4 to 5 weeks of pregnancy, especially in the first 4 to 5 weeks after pregnancy.
Folic acid from preparation for pregnancy, folic again
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Korean Nutrition Society recommend that women of childbearing age consume 400 μg of folic acid daily. It is recommended that women preparing for pregnancy take 400 to 1,000 μg of folic acid at least one month before conception.  Women with a history of giving birth to a baby with a neural tube defect, women taking medications for insulin-dependent diabetes or convulsive disease, women who smoke or drink alcohol frequently, take 4-5 mg of folic acid supplements during the first trimester under the supervision of a doctor. After 12 weeks of pregnancy, you should take about 400 to 1,000 μg like normal pregnant women.
Supplement with food or medicine
In the early stages of pregnancy, when morning sickness is severe, it is not easy to take calcium supplements, so it is recommended to supplement with soft tofu, milk, or yogurt in the form of calcium. During pregnancy, it is recommended to choose calcium citrate preparations whenever possible. During pregnancy, you may suffer from digestive disorders or constipation, and calcium carbonate preparations are relatively likely to cause digestive disorders or constipation. If you are a mother who can eat 1 cup of yogurt or milk every day, take about 1 calcium supplement, and if you are a mother who cannot drink dairy products due to lactose intolerance, etc., take 2 calcium tablets in the morning and evening.


iron content,

Why is it especially necessary during pregnancy

You do not need to take iron supplements until the 4th month of pregnancy because the need for iron is low. During this time, if you have morning sickness, taking iron supplements will make vomiting worse. After the second half of pregnancy, iron intake is necessary.  Even if there are no symptoms of anemia during pregnancy, if the iron content in the body of the pregnant woman is not sufficient due to iron deficiency, the probability of premature birth or stillbirth increases, so iron nutrition management is especially important. 
Iron nutrition management, let's do this
A healthy pregnant woman should consume 30 mg of iron per day. If you are pregnant with multiple babies, you need 60 to 100 mg of iron, and if you are anemic, you need 200 mg of iron. Iron is best taken on an empty stomach along with vitamin C. If you are uncomfortable on an empty stomach, take it with orange juice after eating a light snack such as a biscuit for better absorption. You should know that taking iron supplements can make your stools turn black.


Let's check my  vitamin D  levels

Occasionally, surprisingly, rickets is observed in recently born babies. This is related to the level of vitamin D in the blood of pregnant women. Vitamin D is also linked to the immune system, so if possible, have your blood vitamin D levels measured during prenatal testing.  Pregnant women should consume at least 600 IU of vitamin D per day. It is recommended to consume at least 1,500 IU of vitamin D to maintain a sufficient blood level of 30 ng/ml.
For fetal brain development...
The second half of pregnancy is a period of fetal brain growth and development. There is also an interesting paper that says that consuming enough omega-3 during pregnancy increases the IQ of the baby by 4 to 8. Although blue-backed fish are high in omega-3, it is recommended to take omega-3 supplements with sufficient DHA during pregnancy because of the problem of heavy metal contamination. A typical omega-3 contains EPA and DHA in a ratio of 3 to 2, just like fish. During pregnancy, it is recommended to consume plant-based omega-3s high in DHA and free of heavy metals.


A mother's first gift to her baby

The first gift a mother gives her baby is probiotics. If the amount of beneficial bacteria in the vagina of a pregnant woman is low, it is difficult to provide enough good bacteria to the baby during delivery. Therefore, it is recommended to consume probiotic preparations during pregnancy. If your baby was delivered by cesarean section, you can mix probiotics with formula. Probiotics can also help reduce the incidence of vaginitis during pregnancy. This is because the more good bacteria in the feces that come out through the intestines, the more beneficial bacteria survive in the vagina of women. Therefore, it is recommended to take probiotics regularly from before conception to after childbirth.
Esther Lyuh, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University
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