A healthy diet and good nutrition during pregnancy ensures that your baby gets the best start possible. After all, your intake is your baby’s main source of nutrition! Most women take a prenatal vitamin or mineral supplement during their pregnancy to make sure they are getting the right amount of crucial nutrients they need. This is particularly important for women with nausea who are vomiting during the first few months of pregnancy, or those certain dietary constraints, such as vegetarians, vegans, and those who are lactose-intolerant.
In addition to providing for your own health during pregnancy, you also need to take in extra amounts of minerals and vitamins that are required to grow a healthy baby. Here is why these nutrients are so important:
Folic Acid: Folic acid is a vitamin B-complex group and is important for baby’s cell division and blood formation. It has been shown to prevent spina bifida (also known as neural tube defects) and related birth defects that occur during early pregnancy. It is often recommended that women start taking 400 mg of folic acid at least two to three months before conception and 600 mg of folic acid throughout their pregnancy. There can be a considerable loss of vitamins due to oxidation when food has been stored for more than a few days, making it difficult to obtain a large amount of folic acid through food sources alone. Therefore, women should look into taking a folic acid supplement or drinking product like Bundle Organics to complement their nutrition.
Calcium: Calcium is necessary for the developing baby’s bones and teeth, and teeth, and is most needed in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy when bone formation occurs. A daily total of 1,200 mg re probably getting at least 150 to 200 mg of calcium, whereas, 8 oz. of skim milk provides about 300 mg of calcium. Therefore, many women end up having to take a separate calcium supplement or look to get calcium from other sources, such as broccoli and dark, leafy greens.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D works with calcium to help develop the baby’s bones and teeth and is essential for calcium to be absorbed into the body. It also plays a role in mineralizing the baby’s skeletal system. Exposure to sunlight activates vitamin D, but if you are pregnant during the winter months, this exposure is often limited and you may be advised to take a vitamin supplement or to increase your dietary intake. Women who are pregnant need 600 IUs of Vitamin D a day.
Iron: Iron is necessary for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the other cells. Many women are iron deficient, before, during and after they have children. Since blood is lost during childbirth and every month during menstruation, many women have reduced iron stores throughout their childbearing years. During your pregnancy, you need 27 mg of iron, which is double the amount of iron that a non-pregnant woman needs. This extra iron helps your body make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. Some iron rich foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, and dried beans and peas.
Essential Fatty Acids: Prenatal vitamins don’t usually contain essential fatty acids, such as Omega- 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which help develop the baby’s brain, nerve, and eye tissues. Fish is a good source of DHA and EPA, but you have to be careful about not eating too much fish that are high in mercury during your pregnancy.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and well-balanced diet is so important for expecting moms and their growing babies. That is why we created Bundle Organics, a line of prenatal juices made with USDA organic fruits and veggies and fortified with OBGYN-recommended nutrients that complement your daily prenatal vitamins. Our juices include just the right amount of nutrients that pregnant women are already getting from a prenatal vitamin, like folic acid, while also providing those that might be more difficult to obtain, such as calcium, iron, and vitamin D. For moms who are looking for ways to supplement their nutritional intake during pregnancy, we hope you’ll give Bundle Organics a try. All the nutrients we have in our juices are good for pre-conception and breastfeeding too!
\Guest contributor: Kwany Lui is the co-founder of Bundle Organics, a new line of organic prenatal juices that are pasteurized and specially designed to address the unique nutritional needs of expecting and new moms. The juices are made with organic fruits and veggies, plus an extra bump of essential vitamins like iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega 3, and folic acid to support a baby’s healthy development. Bundle Organics is available at www.bundleorganics.com or www.amazon.com.