Nutrient Supplementation: Prenatal


Pregnancy is a time of excitement — and many questions about what to expect for you and your baby. Below we have highlighted a few key areas of focus to consider, including a few things to avoid, key vitamins and minerals to increase and general tips and tricks. While this can be used as a helpful guide, we absolutely encourage anyone who is expecting or is already pregnant to visit a primary healthcare provider.

Things to Avoid

Some things that should be avoided during pregnancy are very obvious: alcohol, cannabis, cigarette smoking and caffein, while others, such as runny eggs, can be harder to figure out. Below are a few things that should be avoided while pregnant.

Prenatal Vitamins: Why are They Important and How to Choose the Right One?

Typically a healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need. However during pregnancy a few key nutrients need to be increased and diet alone is unlikely to meet the recommended requirements, that is were prenatal vitamins play an important role. The two most important supplements to consider are: Folic Acid (note that most professional supplements have now moved to using methyltetrahydrafolate as it is more bioavailable than folic acid) and Iron. A good total prenatal supplement could be a good option to consider as the overall nutrient requirements increase due to the growing fetus. Below is the breakdown of a few vital nutrients/vitamins.

In general it is best to start taking prenatal vitamins a prior to conception, as the neural tube, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy, prior to some knowing that they are pregnant. Not sure which one to take? Speak to your primary healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice. A few options to consider can be found here.

Something Fishy

Seafood is a complicated subject when it comes to pregnancy; some argue that it is necessary for fetal brain development while others say it is harmful due to mercury content. We are here to help navigate some of these murky waters.

Leg Cramps?

A common occurrence during pregnancy is leg cramps, and while the cause is not known, there are some things that can help.

The above information is meant to be a guide. We always encourage you to speak with your primary healthcare provider if you are trying to get pregnant, believe you might be or are currently pregnant. In Ontario, you can use the Ontario Prenatal Education as a resource to get you started.

Sources used for the above article and resources for further research:

Ontario Prenatal Education

MAYO Clinic

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