Micronutrients in preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding1
Adequate maternal micronutrient status is critical in pregnancy and breastfeeding, as changes in a women’s physiology, and the requirements of a growing fetus and breast milk production increases both energy and nutritional demands.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding is
super important, and should ease the need to supplement most micronutrients. However, medical evidence supports supplementation of a few specific micronutrients. Important supplements include folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and iron (keep reading for more vital information about iron).
Probiotics, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and K, B group vitamins are amongst other micronutrients that may also be beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As it is impossible to tell if you are lacking in any micronutrients (without a horrid blood test), it is wise to take a multi-supplement to cover any gaps in your nutritional status.
How to bridge the micro-nutrient and vitamin gap1-3
Taking Elevit is a great start.2 Healthy eating when you are pregnant is important—a balanced diet (plus a recommended supplement) is essential for good health, as well as for your growing baby. Vitamins and minerals are important – but we tend to think about foods and meals. Aim to eat foods from the five food groups: fresh fruit and vegetables are the best super foods for you and your baby!
It is crucial that if you take a supplement, it is a well-trusted one. Elevit has a heritage in caring for the nutritional needs of women in their pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and breastfeeding stages.
Elevit Pronatal contains 12 vitamins, 3 minerals and 4 trace elements that are formulated to meet the needs of women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. These active substances cannot be produced by the body itself but have to be supplied through food. They are essential to maintain all life processes such as breathing, digestion, energy production, reproduction and growth, etc. while at the same time serving as building blocks for tissue and organs.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding have a higher metabolic rate, as they have to provide not only for their own body but also for that of their child. They therefore need 50 -100% more vitamins and minerals than women who are not pregnant.
This is particularly true for iron. During pregnancy it is very common for women to become anaemic which is usually due to not having enough iron. Anaemia means you have a low level of red blood cells in your body. Your red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the cells in your body, including to the placenta.
Iron is essential for making red blood cells. During pregnancy, your total blood volume increases significantly; therefore, you need more iron to make more red blood cells. Your growing baby and placenta also require extra iron. Many women become pregnant, without adequate stores of iron to meet the increased demands of their body and their baby, particularly later in pregnancy.
Good dietary sources of iron include red meats, fortified breads and cereals, green leafy vegetables, legumes and some nuts. You can help your body absorb more iron from non-meat sources by including Vitamin C rich foods at the same meal e.g. tomato, capsicum, citrus fruits and kiwifruit. In the case of iron, which is essential for blood production, this need triples to an amount that can often no longer be achieved even with a balanced diet.
A good supply of the vitamin folic acid can reduce the risk of severe birth defects (such as spina bifida) in the fetus. The very first weeks of pregnancy are crucial to this. So if possible, Elevit Pronatal should be taken before pregnancy, in order to ensure an adequate supply of vital substances at the start of pregnancy.
The active substances contained in Elevit Pronatal are dosed in such a way that they also ensure a supply to mother and child even when a balanced diet is not always guaranteed (due to work, lack of vegetables in winter, frequent vomiting,
etc.). Elevit Pronatal thus prevents the occurrence of deficiency symptoms that can manifest in the mother as tiredness or feeling “out of sorts”. It also prevents anaemia that is caused by an iron and folic acid deficiency, with the result that an
appropriate treatment is in many cases no longer necessary.
Here is a breakdown of the vital ingredients in Elevit Pronatal4
|Vitamin A||3600 IU|
How to take Elevit Pronatal4
Unless otherwise indicated by your doctor, you should take one tablet at breakfast-time together with your breakfast drink. If you suffer from morning sickness, you can also take the tablet at lunch.
With a view to a planned pregnancy, you should take Elevit Pronatal at least one month before the intended start of the pregnancy. If you do not become pregnant for some time, the dosage can be halved after two to three months, namely to half a tablet daily or one tablet every other day.
Continue to take Elevit Pronatal for a further two to three months after your pregnancy and period of breastfeeding, for that additional nutritional support.
- Di Costa N. Micronutrients and supplementation in preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Australian Pharmacist 2017:44-47.
- Mater Hospital website. Patient information. Pregnancy-information for women and families. Available at: http://brochures.mater.org.au/home/brochures/mater-mothers-private-hospital/information-for-parents-during-pregnancy. Accessed on 19 September, 2019.
- Mater Health website. Dietary guidelines for pregnancy. Available at: https://www.matermothers.org.au/mothers-news/news/december-2013/q-a-nutrition-and-exercise-during-pregnancy. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
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