We all know that Vitamin D and Omega 3 are essential to a healthy lifestyle in general. So why are they particularly crucial to take during pregnancy? Research now suggests that under-nutrition can affect a child into their adulthood, so giving them the best possible nutrition early on gives them a great head start.
Vitamin D and Omega 3 during pregnancy
Vitamin D and Omega 3, and nutrients in general, are essential during pregnancy, so your growing baby can grow steadily and take a healthy start. Omega‐3 fatty acids and vitamin D both fall into this important group of nutrients to be aware of. Vitamin D is necessary to develop and maintain healthy bones in both the mother and the baby but is also thought to be important for the developing placenta. Omega‐3 fatty acids are needed during pregnancy for the healthy development and function of the baby’s brain, and also for the central nervous system and the retina.
Is my healthy diet not enough to get the right nutrients in?
Quite often it isn’t. While we remind pregnant women to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and to take a daily prenatal multivitamin, it is sometimes hard to get enough of the essential nutrients even in a healthy diet. One of the nutrients you may show a deficiency of, is omega-3 DHA. This essential fatty acid is found in many species of fish and supports the proper development of a child’s brain, eyes, and nervous system.
DHA is crucial for you while you are pregnant. During the third trimester, when rapid fetal brain development begins, the mother’s DHA stores can drop if she isn’t consuming enough.
Omega-3 has also been found to be important in fertility. New research suggests it is important for egg quality and also implantation of the embryo. Now this isn’t about random overeating of fish ; there can be a high concentration of metals contaminants in fish. So make sure you do your homework when considering where to get your omegas.
How about Vitamin D during my pregnancy?
Another nutrient essential to a healthy pregnancy is vitamin D. Many Australian women do not get enough vitamin D during their pregnancy. Among the factors that contribute to this deficiency is carrying too much weight, spending too much time indoors, and as a consequence a reduced exposure to sunlight.
It’s vital that your intake of vitamin D be adequate to ensure that your baby is born with an excellent supply of this essential nutrient. Vitamin D has been recognised as supporting a range of essential processes: immune function and healthy lung development, and the support of healthy insulin levels.
Vitamin D has also been found to be important in the development of the placenta and research has shown that women who are vitamin D replete have a higher chance of pregnancy than those who are deficient.
Relax. Your body knows what to do.
Being pregnant can be challenging in and of itself, and we often feel the pressure to do everything right. However, guess what? Perfection is not required, and simply understanding the significant role that nutrition plays in childhood is a great target.
Your body has the formidable task of helping a fetus transform from a single cell to a fully formed newborn in just a matter of months. It’s your job to support your developing baby with the very best nutrients available. Moreover, while you’re at it, you’re helping yourself as well.
Before and during your journey, you will find that your qualified health professionals are by your side to clarify and advise.