Supplements During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Daily Life With an Infant

A varied intake of different nutrients is essential during pregnancy, as the expectant mother's nutrient stores are also used for fetal growth and development. Maternal hormonal function and metabolism also change, and the need for nutrients increases by about 15-50% of normal.

Supplements during pregnancy and daily life with an infant | Ruohonjuuri

The foundation of good nutrition during pregnancy is a healthy and balanced diet. Nutritional supplements can also fix and balance the intake of important nutrients – especially since we as modern humans suffer from nutrient deficiencies more easily: the mere prolonged stress consumes, e.g., B vitamins and magnesium from our body. In addition, it is not always possible to eat 100% perfectly and, for example, the nutritional values of intense production vegetables may not be optimal.  In general, however, the nutritional situation in Finland among expectant mothers is good. 

Multivitamin Fixes Deficiencies

In most cases, the best option for maintaining a nutritional balance is to use a multivitamin supplement designed for pregnancy to support a varied diet – especially if you are unsure or unaware of deficiencies in specific nutrients. The balanced Terranova Prenatal Multivitamin Complex includes, e.g., vitamin B12 that’s very important during pregnancy, folate, iron, calcium and DHA fatty acid, as well as the most important other vitamins and minerals. Many people appreciate the fact that the product is completely pure and free of additives. The vitamins in the product are natural, and vegetables such as kale, pumpkin seed and beetroot provide a diverse spectrum of much-needed plant nutrients to supplement one’s diet. The vegetables used in the product have been carefully selected to ensure that they are safe to use during pregnancy. The product is also well-suited for use during breastfeeding, to secure the full nutritional spectrum of breast milk alongside a varied diet. 

What Other Supplements Are Helpful During Pregnancy?

If we were to mention just a few of the most important single nutrients, they would be folic acid, good fatty acids, iron, vitamin D and calcium. In addition, a high-quality multivitamin provides balanced support for nutrient intake. Vitamin A is also needed during pregnancy, but it is safest to use vegetables that contain beta-carotene, from which the body can produce the necessary vitamin A. Vitamin A supplement is not needed during pregnancy, and foods rich in vitamin A (liver, fish liver) should only be consumed occasionally.

We often get too little folic acid from the food we eat. The best sources for it are uncooked vegetables and berries, and adequate intake should be ensured already when planning pregnancy. Folic acid affects, e.g., cell division, blood cell formation, and fetal nervous system formation. You should choose folic acid in the form of methyl folate – biologically. this is the best absorbed form available for the body. From Solgar's selection you´ll find high-quality Folate (Metafolin), 400 ug.

Essential fatty acids support the development of the fetal nervous system and vision. For example, if the mother eats little or no fish, it is advisable to secure the intake of fatty acids with high-quality fish oil. Solgar’s selection includes ethically produced and reliable Wild Alaskan Full Spectrum Omega Oil made from pure Alaskan wild salmon, which contains the whole natural range of fatty acids in fish: the important omega-3 series DHA and EPA fatty acids, but also omega-5-6-7 and 9 fatty acids. A varied and proportionate intake of fatty acids is important, and it’s also worth ensuring their intake during breastfeeding, when the fat composition of the diet is reflected in breast milk within a few hours.

Also vitamin D recommended intake increases during the waiting period. Fortunately, Finns are beginning to have a fairly good understanding of the need for vitamin D, especially in the dark wintertime, and many people take vitamin D supplements regularly. Vitamin D affects, e.g., resistance, but also skeletal development and cell division. For example, 100% pure and plant-based Terranova vitamin D3, isolated from lichen, is suitable for use during pregnancy.  If you want to reduce your capsule intake, Solgar’s vitamin D3 drops are an excellent choice, since the dosage is easily adjusted with a pipette. Cod liver oil is not recommended as a source of vitamin D during pregnancy as it is rich in vitamin A.

Calcium required for fetal skeletal development and its absorption is enhanced during pregnancy. Vegans in particular should ensure adequate intake of calcium and vitamin B12 through a varied diet and supplements. Calcium and vitamin D work well together in the body.

Also Check Your Iron Level

Iron is used during the waiting period for maternal red blood cell production, placental function, and fetal iron stores. Indeed, hemoglobin normally decreases during pregnancy as iron requirements increase. Sometimes iron stores (ferritin) can also be depleted during pregnancy, if not enough iron is available or it is not absorbed properly. An iron supplement can be used after the first trimester of pregnancy, but its need should always be verified by measurement. Eating an iron supplement unnecessarily can be harmful.

A person suffering from iron deficiency is often prescribed with fairly large daily doses of extra iron. Recent studies, however, show that lower doses are absorbed more efficiently. For example, a daily dose of 20, 50 or 100 mg every other day may enhance absorption. Iron supplements should not be taken with dairy products, coffee or tea.

Iron supplements can cause constipation and abdominal pain, which is why it’s worth choosing iron in stomach-friendly bisglycinate form that is also well-absorbed. Nordic Health Strong Iron Oral Spray supplement has received a lot of great feedback from users for raising iron levels.

Green Vitamins for Children!

The child should ideally get all nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, fatty acids, fiber and plant-based nutrients from a varied diet. In real life, this is often not the case – a hectic lifestyle along with friends and attitudes towards, e.g., school meals can from time to time entice children to skip meals and school lunches in favor of choosing sweets and fast foods as snacks. Allergies and food restrictions can also make preparing meals challenging. The habit adopted in childhood of eating a variety of vegetables, berries and fruits increases the natural desire to enjoy them also in adolescence and adulthood.

The nutritional benefits of vegetables can also be added to the diet with high quality dietary supplements.

Even a small daily supplement of vitamins, minerals and vital plant nutrients can be a great help, for example, in concentrating or supporting resilience. This is especially true if children have a marginal deficiency, such as vitamin D3, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, or iron. Adequate intake of B vitamins and vitamin C is very important for a child's alertness, and for many metabolic processes in the body. Vitamin C is mainly found in fresh fruits and vegetables, but little in snacks and convenience food, for example. Vitamin C supports resistance and prevents fatigue, and is also important for a child’s growth and development.

A varied dietary supplement can support a child’s daily intake of nutrients. Terranova Green Child Living Multivitamin is a completely additive-free and unsweetened multivitamin for children, which also contains, e.g., beets, spinach, broccoli and blackberries. This multivitamin provides your child with a supplement to any plant nutrients that may be missing from their diet! The capsule is small and easy to swallow or can be opened and mixed with juice, smoothie or yoghurt.

Children enjoy themselves in the lush nature. Green (for example, Terranova Sneaky Greens green powder) can be easily added to a child’s diet in the form of smoothies.

Hide the Greens in a Smoothie!

It is important to instill healthy eating habits in children as early as possible. Involving your children in cooking is also a good way to get them used to new foods and tastes. Kids love colors and often can’t resist colorful smoothies. Instead of artificially flavored and colored smoothies, it’s a good idea to favor homemade fruit and berry-containing smoothies. Give preference to fresh fruits, such as strawberries, mangoes, apples and kiwis, as well as a variety of berries. You can also add various green powders to your smoothies and easily increase your intake of micronutrients. 

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Author: Annika Aro, nutrition diploma