The first 3 months of my first pregnancy were spent examining the plug holes of various sinks and toilets. I vomited all the time to the point of wondering why I bothered eating, as no sooner was it in me, it was back out again. The only way I didn’t throw up, was not to BE up. Lying flat on my back was the only thing that worked.
I didn’t have any knowledge of supplementing then, other than with iron. And it would not have helped me much at that stage anyway. I lost 10lbs in weight, but managed to eat it all back on (and more), once the sickness ended, as thankfully it did.
However, my daughter was the lightest birth weight of all her subsequent siblings (4), and now they are all fully grown, is the smallest and/or shortest. Whilst not suffering any major health problem due to this lack of nutrition, both she and I could certainly have benefitted from supplementing with some powerful nutrients for the remaining 6 months of body sharing.
I often talk these days of how our bodies tell us what they want, and we just need to learn the language, but much gets lost in translation. Interestingly, back then the only foods I craved to eat were Marmite and plain yoghurt. In 1979 Britain, plain yoghurt was not easily found, so poor hubby spent many an evening after work trying to hunt some down as I lay face down on the sofa. He was a fan of yeast extract (the main ingredient in Marmite). I hated it.
APART FROM those few early months of that particular pregnancy… My body was searching for those B vits obviously! And I have not touched it since.
The Bee’s Knees
If I was pregnant now, with my late nutritional wisdom, my body would be so damn well nourished! For the complete spectrum of B vits, nutritional yeast flakes would be a far better option than that gummy black spread. So here follow my choice of pregnancy supplements, in no particular order.
One of the B Vits, number 9 to be precise, is better known as “folic acid” or “folate”. Standard medical practice advises taking folic acid to prevent spina bifida, and supplementing with this should start before conception. It works best when combined with B12 and Vit C. Generally speaking, any group of vitamins is intended to be taken as a group. This is how nature packaged them. Usually it means assimilation is more effective.
The other very good reason to supplement with folic acid is that it appears to have a beneficial effect on the behaviour of the child as it grows.
“Researchers measured the folate levels in 100 expectant mothers. When the children reached eight to nine years of age, the mothers were asked to report on their children’s behaviour using a special questionnaire.
The results showed that low maternal levels of folate were associated with both higher childhood hyperactivity and peer problems.”
Blue Green Algae
This could be spirulina, chlorella or – the best of all – AFA. These super foods are a powerhouse of nutrition, with so many vitamins, minerals and EFA’s (essential fatty acids) in a complete natural form making them highly absorbable for your body, meaning they reach your cells quickly. These are some of the best pregnancy supplements, as they can be consumed with water, if you don’t feel like eating.
Essential Fatty Acids for Eyes
All my children have less than perfect eyesight, something I have read is attributable to the paternal grandfather, but I am more inclined to think if I had consumed essential fatty acids, this would have overcome any possible genetic weakness. As mentioned above, they are available in algae, but COCONUT OIL is excellent in pregnancy. “It is naturally immune boosting, supportive of baby’s brain development, and contains many of the components of breast milk to support nursing as well.” (Wellness Mama)
When does this mineral not end up on my “lists”? Well, rarely. This can be applied topically, which is one way to defeat those vomiting stomach mechanisms! Taking enough magnesium will protect against pre-eclampsia. (500 mg a day in total, unless advised otherwise.)
If you are prescribed iron, you will probably end up constipated. Better to take it from foods, and make sure you team it up with Vit C as this works synergistically with it.
A natural (IE vaginal) birth will give your baby beneficial gut bacteria as it passes along. Assuming you, the mother, has this to selflessly donate. To make sure you cultivate an environment of good gut flora, take a PROBIOTIC. This is something I had no idea about, and several of my babies developed oral thrush in the first few weeks of birth. It can lead to life long issues for them as well, so it is an important consideration. Worry not if you have to have a C – section, as breast feeding will pass some on too.
Nutrient Rich Baby = Depleted Mum?
Not necessarily, but as my own mother was very fond of telling me, the baby robs the mother of nutrients. (Is this where my guilt complex originated?) So if you don’t take in enough, the baby will get it all. This leaves you, the mum who has all the hard work ahead, feeling depleted and weak or with compromised health. So it’s not all about what is good for the baby, but for you too. Care for yourself first and foremost by eating a healthy diet high in plants and vegetables and healthy fats. And supplement with super foods as much as you possibly can.
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