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Preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding - easy as 1-2-3

Whether you’re contemplating starting a family, or are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, there’s never been a better time to look after yourself. Staying physically fit in conjunction with healthy nutritional support can help to maintain your health, and that of your baby, during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding – easy as 1-2-3!

Preconception, pregnancy & breastfeeding – easy as 1-2-3

  1. Preconception

Preconception care provides the best possible environment for conception to occur and to support a healthy pregnancy. Good health and nutrition play a vital role in the months leading up to conception, and most healthcare professionals recommend that you begin preparing for pregnancy at least 2-3 months before trying to conceive.  
  1. Pregnancy

Nutritional demands are greatly increased during the 40 weeks of pregnancy for the mother, and to support the rapid growth of the developing baby.  
  1. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding delivers all your baby’s nutritional requirements so that they can grow strong and healthy. While breastfeeding, nutritional requirements are greatly increased, even more so than during pregnancy, and postnatal nutritional deficiencies may negatively influence your baby’s growth and development.  

Nutritional support for preconception, pregnancy & breastfeeding

While eating a wide variety of unprocessed foods is a good place to start, taking a specialised preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding multivitamin and mineral formula provides a broad-spectrum of important nutrients to cater for the increased nutritional needs of preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding:
  • Folic/folinic acid & vitamin B12

Folic/folinic acid helps prevent neural tube birth defects, while a vitamin B12 deficiency increases the risk of neural tube defects, even in women taking folic/folinic acid. Folic/folinic acid, which if taken daily for at least one month before conception and during pregnancy, may reduce the risk of having a child with birth defects of the brain and/or spinal cord including neural tube defects (spina bifida) and anencephaly. Folic/folinic acid and vitamin B12 are required for DNA replication, cell division and growth.  
  • Iodine

Even a mild to moderate iodine deficiency, which is quite common in Australia, may compromise foetal brain development, resulting in learning difficulties, and affect the development of motor skills and hearing. Iodine deficiency is the commonest worldwide cause of preventable intellectual impairment. Healthy iodine levels are critical during preconception and pregnancy as the developing baby relies solely on the mother’s iodine levels for healthy brain and nervous system development.  
  • Choline

Healthy nervous system development is particularly sensitive to choline, and low levels of choline are a risk factor for neural tube birth defects. Choline is an essential component of every cell membrane and is necessary for normal DNA replication, healthy brain and eye development, and is especially important during preconception.  
  • Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with impaired fertility and problems during pregnancy. Vitamin D also assists calcium absorption, important for the growth of healthy bones and teeth in the developing baby.  
  • Zinc

Important for DNA replication, cell division, growth and development. Low zinc intake in women increases the risk of birth defects, delivering a low birth-weight baby and deficiency is common in breastfeeding women.    

Mr Vitamins recommends:

  Herbs of Gold Pregnancy Plus 1-2-3multi-nutritional formula with vitaminsminerals and nutrients to assist in maintaining the health of both mother and baby during preconceptionpregnancy and breastfeeding.
References Braun, L. & Cohen, M. (2007) An Evidence Based Guide to Herbs & Natural. Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier. Brown, LS, Nutritional requirements during pregnancy, Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Retrieved on 01/12/13 from http://samples.jbpub.com/9780763777920/77920_CH01_001_024.pdf Caudill RD, 2010, Pre- and Postnatal Health: Evidence of Increased Choline Needs, J Am Diet Assoc,vol.110, pp.1198-1206. Eastman, Prof C, 2005, Iodine Supplementation,The benefits for pregnant and lactating women in Australia and New Zealand, Thyroid News, The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd , vol. 21. Hininger, I, Favier, M, Arnaud, J, Faure, H, Thoulon, JM , Hariveau, E, Favier, A & Roussel, AM, 2004, ‘Effects of a combined micronutrient supplementation on maternal biological status and newborn anthropometrics measurements: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in apparently healthy pregnant women,’ European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,vol. 58, pp. 52–59. Nutrition for Preconception health and health care viewed on 08/02/2016 at http://www.cdc.gov/preconception/careforwomen/nutrition.html Pizzorno JE & Murray MT (2013), Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th Edition, Missouri, Elsevier. Pre-pregnancy planning viewed on 08/02/2016 at http://www.fpnsw.org.au/881938_8.html Ray JG, Wyatt PR, Thompson MD, Vermeulen MJ, Meier C, Wong PY, ……Cole DE, 2007, Vitamin B12 and the risk of neural tube defects in a folic-acid-fortified population, Epidemiology, vol18, pp. 362–366. The Essential Guide To Getting Pregnant viewed on 08/02/2016 at http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant-ebook/p7M7O0q1c71703C/gettingpregnant.pdf Thompson K, Morley R, Grover SR and Zacharin MR, 2004, Postnatal evaluation of vitamin D and bone health in women who were vitamin D-deficient in pregnancy, and in their infants, MJA,vol.181, issue 9, pp. 486-488. Trickey, R. (2011) Women, Hormones & the Menstrual Cycle. National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication. Wilson, RD, Johnson, JA, Wyatt P, Allen V, Gagnon a, Langlois S, ……The Motherrisk Program, 2007, ‘Pre-conceptional vitamin/folic acid supplementation 2007: the use of folic acid in combination with a multivitamin supplement for the prevention of neural tube defects and other congenital anomalies’, J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 29(12) pp. 1003-1026. Retrieved on 06/12/13 from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053387

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