Research shows that a healthy pregnancy begins months prior to conception. It is in this pre-pregnancy time to begin healthy lifestyle choices, especially improving the basics of health, such as diet, sleep, exercise and stress. to help ensure a healthy start for the baby and a safe pregnancy for the mother.
Throughout the pregnancy, it is important to maintain a healthy weight for your height and body type. Gentle exercise and a healthy diet will keep your body functioning at an optimal level. Nutrient-dense foods can help achieve this goal while avoiding excess weight gain, which would decrease the risk of gestational diabetes.
Methylated folate may be the most important supplement needed for women of childbearing age. A minimum of 400 mcg per day is needed before and during pregnancy in order to prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid, the form found in most prenatal vitamins may be useless to some woman that posses a defect in their MTHFR gene. This gene is needed to convert inactive folic acid to the active form, methylfolate. This defective gene can lead to blood clots during pregnancy and miscarriages. Excellent sources of folate include beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus and avocado.
For the best care, be sure to speak to your doctor regarding a prenatal vitamin and healthy lifestyle habits.
References: “Recommendations.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 July 2014. Dr. Ben Lynch, “Is MTHFR Affecting Your Pregnancy?” MTHFRNet. N.p., 24 May 2013. Web. 12 J.
Source: Dr. Siobhan Hanlon, ND, of Inner Source Health. Devoted to helping people through her holistic approach, she continues to make huge strides at Inner Source Health, unifying science with natural complementary methodologies. Inner Source Health has offices in Huntington and New York City. For more information or to schedule a free 10-minute consult, call 631-421-1848 or visit InnerSourceHealth.com. See ad on page 5.