Can you recommend what supplements to take during pregnancy? I am 40 years old and this is my third pregnancy. Thank you for a fantastic magazine – it contains such a wealth of info! Kind regards, Anna.
Dr Arien van der Merwe replies:
A comprehensive antioxidant combination that includes iron and vitamin B complex as well as folic acid – all in one comprehensive formulation. Be sure to look for iron (and other minerals) in an amino acid-chelated form, rather than in mineral salt form. This ensures optimal absorption, and will prevent nausea from stomach irritation and also your stools from becoming black and sticky. You need vitamin A, mixed carotenes, vitamins C, E, B-complex, 50 mg each per day of B1 to B6 including folic acid (800 μg per day), biotin and B12 (100 to 200 μg of each/day), choline (50 mg/day), inositol (50 mg/day), and the minerals zinc, selenium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron (30 mg /day), manganese and molybdenum.
Take an omega-3 fatty acid in the form of cold-water salmon oil (about 500 mg per day) to provide essential DHA and EPA for optimal fetal brain and nervous system development. You could also eat smoked or fresh trout, sardines or salmon. Use plant oils (for omega-6 and omega-9 use olive, flax (also omega-3), grapeseed and canola oils) and lots of nuts and seeds during your pregnancy.
To complete your supplements, I recommend a calcium (600 to 900 mg / day) and magnesium (300 to 450 mg /day) supplement in an amino acid chelation, with vitamin C, vitamin D and boron at night after a meal.
My book Health and Happiness will also provide more information on why you and your baby need each specific nutrient before, during and after birth.
Editor’s Note: For a more comprehensive article encompassing the right nutrients, exercise and training, and what to avoid – during pregnancy, read Dr Adele Pelteret’s article Keys to a Healthy Pregnancy.