We all know how important nutrition is for both fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
What happens when you can’t get enough through your diet though?
That is where a multivitamin or supplement comes in. Unfortunately not all supplements are made equal.
Which nutrients are actually important for fertility and pregnancy? Here are 13 important vitamins & nutrients and their roles:
FOLIC ACID :
Helps prevent anaemia and promotes ovulation.
Vital for your baby’s brain and nervous system development and reduces your baby’s risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida & cleft lip / palate.
Neural-tube defects can happen in the first few weeks of pregnancy before many women even know they’re pregnant. This is why it’s vital to begin taking folic acid before you start trying to fall pregnant.
Ideally taken for at least 3 months before, as well as during your pregnancy.
Helps prevent anaemia by building healthy new red blood cells and also helps boost fertility.
Research shows that women who take iron supplements can decrease their risk of ovulatory infertility by about 40%.
It is vital during pregnancy – important for normal brain development, delivery of oxygen to the baby and to prevent anaemia in the mom.
Did you know that pregnant women need about 3 times more iron than women who are menstruating?
VITAMIN C :
Ensures better absorption of Iron and therefore helps prevent anaemia.
A potent antioxidant, vitamin C is good for both male and female infertility.
Help to regulate hormones and menstrual cycle, most commonly by helping to lengthen the luteal phase therefore helping with an ovulation issue called Luteal Phase Defect.
An alarming 80% of people are thought to be magnesium deficient.
Magnesium regulates hormone levels, specifically progesterone, which is important for a healthy menstrual cycle, proper conception and a healthy pregnancy.
Healthy levels can also alleviate morning sickness, hypertension, level mood swings and help prevent preterm labour.
For women with PCOS it can alleviate anxiety, reduce blood pressure and help with insulin resistance.
VITAMIN D :
Plays a vital role in fertility and foetal development during pregnancy.
Essential for absorbing calcium to maintain strong teeth and bones.
Supports a normal immune system.
There are a few key reasons for poor Vitamin D or sunshine vitamin levels – we wear clothing, use sun protection and often spend most of our day indoors. Did you know that only 10% of what we need comes from our diet?
Read more about Vitamin D and Fertility here.
B VITAMINS :
Optimizing B vitamin levels can increase luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone to improve fertility.