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    Bryce Wylde, BSc, DHMHS, Homeopath
  • on Jul 11, 2017 |


Every pregnant woman wants to do whatever she can to ensure the optimal health and vitality of her baby. Natural health products including essential vitamins and minerals can play a vital role to improving the health of your unborn child, but you must always check with your doctor before taking anything, whether promoted as natural, sold over the counter, or obtained otherwise.

Fact: taking a multivitamin three months prior to and three months into a pregnancy has been associated with a reduced rate of many birth defects.

Omega-3 fatty acids are probably the most important supplement you can take while pregnant. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is especially important for fetal and childhood development. During pregnancy, large amounts of DHA and arachidonic acid, commonly found in fish oil, are deposited in the fetal eye and brain and seem to be critical for normal nervous system and visual development. Babies with the highest levels of the omega-3 fatty acids in cord blood had the best hand–eye coordination and when assessed later in life performed better in all areas of development, including personal, social, speech and hearing, performance, and practical reasoning. They also had higher scores for receptive language, average phrase length, and vocabulary. In fact, many authorities believe that a child’s IQ may increase as a consequence of having received prenatal fish oil. Other studies show postnatal supplementation with fish oil increases I.Q. A clinical study on 175 four-year-old preschool children, randomly chosen from eleven different sites in the US, confirmed that regular intake of fish oil—specifically DHA—boosts intelligence in children.1 It confirmed that the intake of 400 mg of docoxahexaenoic acid (DHA) caused a rise in DHA levels in the blood of children by up to 300 percent. The study also analyzed the relationship of this rise to the children’s performance on a Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, which measures listening, comprehension and vocabulary. They found that for every 1 percent increase in blood DHA in the children, percentile rank on their PPV test improved by up to nine points. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements score 13 percent higher in IQ tests and are prone to healthier brain aging.

Folic acid, which is found in high concentrations in green leafy vegetables, fruits, orange juice and tomato juice, is important for the prevention of birth defects and pregnancy loss. A high dietary intake of folate coupled with folic acid supplements orally may aid in the prevention of pregnancy complications such neural tube birth defects.

Choline, which has a similar biochemical effect to folic acid, also appears to protect against neural tube defects when taken prior to and early in pregnancy.

L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid needed by the body. Early studies in pregnant women suggest that arginine supplements may improve growth in fetuses that are smaller than average.

Biotin, or vitamin H, is an essential water-soluble B vitamin that has been found to be commonly deficient during pregnancy. Biotin supplementation during pregnancy in not currently standard practice, and prenatal vitamins generally do not contain biotin, but it may be a good idea.

If you’re pregnant, you may experience less morning sickness and a greater feeling of well-being by supplementing with vitamin B6. You may also experience less nausea and if you take one gram of encapsulated ginger powder each day. And don’t forget to prevent dehydration due to morning sickness by refuelling with fluids.