Gut Health and Nutrition in Preparing for Pregnancy
Have you ever wondered which prenatal supplements are right for you?
Have you contemplated how to optimize your nutrition in preparation for your current or next pregnancy?
We have you covered!
Listen to the podcast below to get all the delicious details!
Now, as you may know, many pregnancies are unplanned. With that in mind, some women are able to use nutrition to prepare for pregnancy, while others are not! So, please do not feel guilty if you did not take these steps previously or even in your current pregnancy. We are just hoping this podcast will provide you with food for thought (pun intended)!
Did you know that the prenatal period provides a great opportunity to optimize your nutrition? We encourage all mamas-to-be to take a prenatal vitamin whenever possible. Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid which is very beneficial for your baby’s development as it prevents certain birth defects that occur very early in pregnancy! These defects can occur before you even know you are pregnant and that is why we recommend taking the prenatal vitamin for at least 3 months prior to conception!
Listen to hear which type of folic acid Noelle suggests you look for in your prenatal vitamin!
Iron is also an important mineral to take note of in pregnancy. Even though iron is commonly found in prenatal vitamins, many women may require an additional iron supplement during the perinatal period. Your body’s capacity to absorb iron is a bit fickle. Certain substances (such as calcium) can prevent the absorption of iron whereas other substances (like vitamin C) can accelerate iron absorption. Unfortunately, many prenatal vitamins contain both calcium and iron which can impede its absorption. Therefore, you may need to eat more iron rich foods or obtain a separate iron supplement to take later in the day. Dr. Alicia and Noelle discuss some tips on how to maximize your iron absorption on the podcast!
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Now, let’s talk about nutrition in pregnancy. Noelle has a few suggestions that could help to optimize your gut health. These include consuming fermented foods (have you tried kafir?), prebiotics and probiotics.
Although supplements are convenient, Noelle encourages moms to try to obtain their nutrients through nutrient dense whole foods, as opposed to vitamins and supplements, as you get more bang for your buck!
You may be wondering why these options are beneficial to you and your baby. Did you know that your baby’s gut health actually comes from YOU! Interestingly, a baby’s gut flora begins to develop while in utero and it has been shown to be impacted by the mode of delivery. Listen to the podcast to figure out why Noelle suggests that babies born via cesarean sections may benefit from a probiotic!
But wait, nutrition and gut health does not stop at delivery! We encourage you to continuously optimize your nutrition to the best of your abilities after your baby is born. A few ideas may include meal prepping prior to the baby's arrival or asking your friends and family to prepare certain meals after the birth!
Perinatal nutrition is a BIG topic and we have just scratched the surface. Please listen to the podcast for more details on optimizing your diet and choosing the right supplement(s) for you. Happy listening!
Olivia Anglin, MSI