Pregnancy is a season that always heightens my awareness of what foods I am eating and what supplements and herbs I am taking.
Most women can relate…suddenly when we realize that everything we put into our bodies is going to be part of the development of our sweet baby, every little bite is analyzed!
Of course, we really should be paying just as much attention to our diet and health even when we’re not pregnant, but isn’t that a typical mom thing to do? Always worrying about our kids but forgetting to take care of ourselves?
While it is very important to carefully watch what our baby is getting, we also need to remember to supply our own body with what it needs as its resources get depleted during pregnancy.
An omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is important for our bodies throughout life, but especially during infant brain development, so it is essential to be getting adequate amounts during pregnancy.
Fish, especially salmon, is an excellent dietary source of DHA. Some nuts and seeds (such as chia and flax) contain ALA, which our bodies are able to convert into DHA, and make a good vegetarian option.
It is extremely difficult to get the recommended amount of DHA daily strictly through diet, however, especially with mercury concerns in fish, so taking a DHA supplement such as BrainStrong is very beneficial.
One of the more well-known prenatal essentials, folic acid ideally should be taken for several months before even getting pregnant.
Folic acid reliably prevents certain birth defects when the mother has plenty in her body’s resources to draw from, especially during the first trimester. If you think you may become pregnant in the near future, it would be a good idea to be taking a prenatal or at least a folic acid supplement, since you won’t necessarily even know that you are pregnant during those the first few weeks.
Taking a prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding is also recommended, not only for your baby’s benefit (through your breastmilk) but also to replenish what has been drawn from your body during pregnancy.
Basically this means taking a prenatal throughout your child-bearing years. I’ve been taking prenatal supplements for over 5 years and I now buy my regular ones in bulk through my midwife!