Please read through these studies carefully to understand why you need these ingredients as part of your daily diet!
Folic acid helps prevent neural tube birth defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord.
Neural tube defects develop in the first 28 days after conception, before many women know they are pregnant. Because about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it’s recommended that any woman who could get pregnant take 500 micrograms of Folic Acid.
Despite several public health campaigns and recommendations for over two decades, the compliance to folic acid supplementation is low in many countries. Results of previous studies have shown that less than 50% of women planning a pregnancy use preconceptional folic acid supplementation.
Source: Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism and its effect on female fertility and pregnancy viability.
Laanpere M, Altmae S, Stavreus-Evers A, Nilsson TK, Yngve A, Salumets A Nutr Rev. 2010 Feb; 68(2):99-113.
Calcium is also important for a pregnant woman. It can help prevent her from losing her own bone
Calcium is also essential during breastfeeding, especially if the mother is not producing enough milk for the baby and when breastfeeding carries on for a long period of time. Women also may lose bone mass during breastfeeding because they’re producing less estrogen, which is the hormone that protects bones.
All adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day, and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
As vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it might be difficult to get enough from foods alone. So everyone over the age of five years, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with some adverse neonatal outcomes as well as an increased risk of late pregnancy complications.
If you are short of iron, you’ll probably get very tired and may suffer from anaemia.
Among healthy human beings, pregnant women and rapidly growing infants are most vulnerable to iron deficiency.
Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, which functions in the delivery of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body, and for the synthesis of iron enzymes, which are required to utilize oxygen for the production of cellular energy.
Iron deficiency does not only occur in pregnant mothers but can also occur in newly born babies as a result of a deficiency in the mother. It is therefore essential for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take an iron supplementation.
Vitamin C, like other vitamins is an organic substance, which is required by the body in small amounts to maintain life and health and acts as a catalyst in the formation of hormones, enzymes, blood cells, neurotransmitters, and genetic material.
Current evidence from developing countries where vitamin C is deficient among pregnant women has shown that vitamin C may reduce the incidence of some complications of pregnancy and therefore encourage their supplementation in pregnancy.
Vitamin C is also acts as a strong antioxidant and assists in the production and functioning of white blood cells in the body. As you most probably aware white blood cells protect the immune system against disease.
Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body. It plays critical roles in immune, muscle and nerve function.
Deficiency in this mineral during pregnancy may increase the risk of chronic hypertension and premature labour.
Some studies suggest that supplementing with magnesium may reduce the risk of complications like fetal growth restriction and preterm birth.
Vitamin A is important for visual health, immune function and fetal growth and development. Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in many parts of the world, particularly Africa and South-East Asia. It can cause visual impairment in the form of night blindness and, in children, may increase the risk of illness and death from childhood infections, including measles and those causing diarrhea.
Although pregnant women are susceptible to vitamin A deficiency throughout gestation, susceptibility is at its highest during the third trimester of pregnancy due to accelerated fetal development and the physiological increase in blood volume during this period.
It is however important to note that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use more than the recommended dosage. In Pregnapil Plus, this is one capsule daily.
THE B VITAMINS
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. This is especially true when you’re pregnant. Foods rich in the B vitamins (known as B complex) play an important role in supporting a healthy pregnancy.
Mary L. Rosser, MD, PhD, attending physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Women’s Health at Montefiore Medical Centre, Bronx, New York, explains that, “they keep your body strong while your baby is growing. They also change food into energy, giving you that needed boost during your pregnancy.” This natural energy lift will help if you’re feeling tired during your first and third trimesters.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays a huge part in your baby’s brain development. It also enables both you and your baby to convert carbohydrates into energy and helps your muscles, nervous system and heart function normally.
- Vitamin B2 – (riboflavin) is water soluble. This means that your body doesn’t store You must replace it through your diet or prenatal vitamins. Riboflavin keeps your eyes healthy and your skin look glowing and refreshed. Studies have shown that it also lowers the risk of getting preeclampsia, which is a complication of pregnancy.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) works hard to improve your digestion and nutrient metabolism and is essential for the baby’s brain development.
- Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) helps create hormones and ease leg cramps and helpful for metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
- Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) plays a part in your growing baby’s brain and nervous system development. It also is vital for producing norepinephrine and serotonin. These are two important neurotransmitters (signal messengers). Pyridoxine can help ease pregnancy symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
- Vitamin B7 or Biotin or H vitamin generates energy from the food you eat. It is, therefore, necessary to form enzymes that break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is essential for embryonic growth during pregnancy and it is helpful to treat skin rash, brittle nails and hair loss.
- B-12 (cobalamin) helps maintain you and your baby’s spine and central nervous system. Along with folate, it also works to produce red blood cells and DNA synthesis and it plays a major role in fetus brain development and neural tube formation
Copper, a trace mineral found in all plant and animal tissues, is essential for forming red blood cells. This is especially important during pregnancy, when your blood supply doubles.
Copper helps form your baby’s heart, blood vessels, and skeletal and nervous systems.
Copper also boosts your body’s ability to mend tissues and break down sugars. And it keeps your hair growing and looking healthy.
Manganese is a mineral that helps form bone and cartilage. It also helps protect cells from damage and activates the enzymes that play a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol.
It is however important as with Vitamin A to note that Manganese should only be used in the prescribed dosages as it may have a toxic effect if used in large amounts.
plays an important role in maintaining the balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body’s cells. Potassium is also important for sending nerve impulses and helping your muscles contract.
Your blood volume expands by up to 50 percent during pregnancy, so you’ll need slightly more electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride, working together) to keep the extra fluid in the right chemical balance.
Selenium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. Selenium is important for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the bodyfrom damage caused by free radicals and from infection.
Studies have also shown that taking Selenium during and after pregnancy reduce the risk of developing postpartum thyroid dysfunction and permanent hypothyroidism.
Inositol has shown to decrease the risk of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is defined as “any degree of glucose intolerance during pregnancy”. Studies have found that gestational diabetes affects up to 7% of pregnancies worldwide.
Gestational diabetes can also raise blood sugar levels in newborns, eventually getting stored as fat and result in “macrosomia”, a newborn that is larger than average, weighing more than 8.8 pounds.
Although any woman can develop gestational diabetes, some women are at greater risk. Risk factors for the development of gestational diabetes include age greater than 25, pre-pregnancy prediabetes (slightly elevated blood sugar), being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, having developed gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, having delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
Now a 2013 study suggests that myo-inositol, which has shown potential to help maintain healthy insulin levels in women with gestational diabetes, may benefit not only women during pregnancy, but also their newborns. Myo-inositol is the form of inositol that is the most prevalent in nature.
In the study referred to above there was a 65% reduced risk of getting gestational diabetes for those women who were taking Inositol as compared to those who were not.
Corrado F, D’Anna R, Di Vieste G, et al. The effect of myoinositol supplementation on insulin resistance in patients with gestational diabetes. Diabet Med 2011;28: 972–975
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, also known as Alpha TE or Alpha Tocopherol. There is a major role of vitamin E in pregnancy. It helps in the protection of cells of the body from harmful radicals (reactive oxygen molecules).
It is important to note that high dosages of Vitamin E are not recommended and may result in adverse effects during pregnancies. Pregnant mothers do however need a small amount of Vitamin E during and after pregnancy. Pregnapil Plus contains a small amount of Vitamin E for these purposes.
Zinc helps maintain a strong immune system, helps to balance hormones and aids in the production of the placenta.
In the fetus it boosts cell growth, boosts DNA production and function and provides structural support to the proteins that make up cells.