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When you see your GP to confirm your pregnancy, they will give you a referral for a blood test to check your levels (namely iron and VitaminD) and scan for infections and a range of other health concerns. You can also expect them to insist you take a prenatal vitamin. However, prenatal vitamins vary greatly in quality so it’s best to read labels and really consider what you need and want before you buy.
If you are planning a pregnancy or trying to conceive (TTC), it’s recommended that you start taking a prenatal supplement now; it’s never too early! If you have just discovered you’re pregnant, start taking one immediately as it’s incredibly beneficial for your changing body and growing baby.
Supplements should never replace a healthy, balanced diet. However, early pregnancy is a crucial time for certain vitamins and minerals because they assist your baby’s critical development which occurs in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Prenatal supplements are designed to fill common nutritional gaps for pregnant people.
The most important nutrients to supplement in pregnancy include:
Methyl Folate / Folic Acid : this is the most important supplement to take in pre-conception and pregnancy as it reduces the risk of neural tube defects (defects of the fetal brain and spine). Some health professionals recommend that all sexually active women increase their intake of folate (400 mcg a day is recommended in pregnancy), considering that almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Folate is also known as vitamin B9 and it’s naturally found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as legumes and avocados. However, you would have to eat significant quantities of vegetables to reach your folate requirements in early pregnancy, hence the practicality and efficiency of a quality prenatal supplement.
The synthetic form of folate is called folic acid which is found in many supplements and is added to fortified foods. However, some research suggests that up to 1 in 3 women can’t absorb it (those with the MTHFR gene). This is why Kin uses methylated folate in its Prenatal as this is a more bioavailable form (which means your body can easily absorb and use it). Iron is also commonly included in prenatal vitamins, alongside vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B12, which is particularly important for vegans or vegetarians.
To purchase Kin’s Prenatal vitamin and receive $12 off, use the code ABSKIN12 at kinfertility.com.au
Vitamin D : essential for immunity, mental health and longevity, vitamin D helps to maintain your muscle and bone strength, assists with the absorption of calcium and helps your baby develop strong bones, too. Over 50 percent of Australian women have some level of Vitamin D deficiency and while exposure to sunlight is beneficial, in pregnancy you may be recommended a supplement by your GP as healthy levels of Vitamin D may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birth weight and the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
Iron : your GP will test your iron levels at your first appointment and your levels will be monitored throughout pregnancy as severe iron deficiency has been associated with reduced tolerance of blood loss at birth. Reports suggest that between 10 to 20 percent of pregnant Australian women experience iron deficiency. Iron supplements commonly lead to stomach upsets and constipation, which isn’t ideal as it places extra strain on your digestive system which is already sluggish because of the hormone progesterone. You also want to be mindful of straining on the toilet as it isn’t beneficial for your pelvic floor health. If you’re experiencing constipation in pregnancy, increase your fluid and fibre intake, exercise every day and place your feet on a footstool when you’re on the toilet so your knees are higher than your hips (this facilitates passive pushing). Kin’s Prenatal contains a patented form of iron that is easily carried unaffected through the intestine and into the target tissues.
DHA : Only 10 percent of Australian women of child-bearing age meet the recommended dietary DHA intake which is prevalent in some foods, namely fatty fish including salmon and sardines. During pregnancy you need at least 200 milligrams daily to support the development of your baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system. Studies also show that the recommended dose of DHA assists in preventing preterm labour, increases birth weight and supports postpartum mood.
Iodine : Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to take iodine supplements as it is an essential nutrient to make thyroid hormone which assists the baby’s brain development. This important mineral is one of the 12 high quality ingredients included in Kin’s Prenatal.
To purchase Kin’s best-selling Prenatal AND enjoy $12 off, use the code ABSKIN12 at the checkout*. *Discount code is applicable for one use only
The Next-Gen Prenatal – 1 Month Subscription – Give your baby the best possible start $28 (normally $40) for your first month when you use the code ABSKIN12 at the checkout.
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