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Critical Pregnancy Nutrition

Critical Pregnancy Nutrition

Saturday, October 9th 2004

Studies suggest that boosting levels of LCP's (Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and AA (Arachidonic Acid) during pregnancy can result in significantly better eye and brain function in the baby. Mother & Baby was the first nutritional supplement especially formulated to help provide these essential nutrients to meet the needs of the mother and the unborn baby.

Women who are planning to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding should benefit from taking Mother & Baby on a daily basis. Women who are working until the last weeks of their pregnancy or who have a rushed lifestyle, which might lead to an inadequate diet, need LCP supplementation for all aspects of health. The last three months of pregnancy and the months after birth are the most active periods of LCP accumulation in the baby's brain and the retina of the eye. After birth the baby receives the LCP's provided by Mother & Baby through the mother's breast milk.

LCP's make up around 20% of the brain and it is therefore important that the foetus should have constant access to sufficient quantities to ensure proper development. When LCP's are converted into hormone like messengers they are involved in regulating many of the body's processes including nerve cell function, blood flow and the way the eyes react to light. Availability of LCP's determines the way in which the nerves in the brain work, especially at nerve junctions, hence their important influence on the way in which messages are transmitted and co-ordinated by the brain.

Uterine Tonic - Red Raspberry

Red Raspberry Leaves have a long tradition of use as a strengthening tonic for the reproductive system, especially during pregnancy. Traditionally it was used throughout pregnancy; however, it is now recommended for use before conception and in the last trimester of pregnancy. Red Raspberry is used to strengthen and tone the uterine muscles, so that once labour starts the muscles will be more efficient. Postpartum recovery and production of milk are also improved. Nature's Sunshine Red Raspberry leaves provide a convenient capsule form. Contact your midwife or herbalist for more information about the benefits of Red Raspberry or take as directed during the last six to eight weeks of pregnancy.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Adequate nutrition is absolutely essential for a healthy pregnancy and foetal development. Whilst eating a well balanced diet is paramount, you cannot always be sure you are receiving sufficient nutritional value for you and your growing baby, especially if you suffer from morning sickness or have poor appetite. Taking two to four tablets (depending on your nutritional needs) of Radiance Multi for Pregnancy daily provides you with a well balanced supplement to your dietary requirements during pregnancy. Additional mineral support can be obtained with Radiance Multi for Pregnancy. Adequate vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids before, during and after pregnancy can help prevent morning sickness and fatigue, assist labour, prevent postnatal depression and most importantly, support the healthy development of and growth of your baby.

Feed Your Skin Too

Stretch marks form during pregnancy when layers of skin tear instead of stretching evenly as the baby grows. The thighs, stomach and breast areas are most frequently affected. Keeping the skin supple and elastic with a moisturiser that can penetrate deeply is essential to ensure the skin is able to stretch properly. Jason Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion contains extra rich emollients that naturally soften and soothe all skin types. It effectively protects the skin and helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Trilogy Rosehip Oil is extremely therapeutic and consistently produces fantastic results in terms of minimising existing stretch marks and scarring. Alternatively the Almond Oil is great for the skin too.

Childbirth

To prepare for and help ease childbirth consider this midwife recommended Natures Sunshine product, 5W which has been specially formulated to be taken during the last 5 weeks of pregnancy.

Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2004 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for before, during and after Pregnancy:

5W
Blessed Thistle
Caulophyllum 30c
Eczema Shield Powder
Mother and Baby
Flax Bloom
Fully Active Folate
Maybe Baby
Mineral Power
Maternity Triple Pack
Multi for Pregnancy
Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA
Pregnancy-Tea
Prenatal Nutrients
Superior Iron
Spirulina Capsules
Whey Protein - Unflavoured

Related health information can be found here:

Breast Feeding
Calcium Deficiency
Herbs to avoid during pregnancy
Labour
Lactation
Morning Sickness
Pregnancy
Spirulina - nature's richest whole food source
Stretch Marks
Water Retention

Related articles can be found here:

A new baby, a new body
Calm children at last
Healthy eye & brain development for babies
Minerals: Critical for well-being
Nature or Bad Parenting?
The Efamol story

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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