What are key nutrients for would-be mums?
Q: I’m just wondering if there is anything I should be doing nutrition wise if I’m trying to conceive? Many thanks, Josephine.
Many women don’t find out that they are pregnant until a month or so into their pregnancy, and optimal nutrition is needed from the get go. So taking even better care of yourself in the lead up to a pregnancy can really help to ensure that both you and your baby are as healthy as possible.
It is vital that you understand that ALL vitamins and minerals are needed for optimal fertility and a healthy pregnancy, but there are a few nutrients that are extra important if you are planning a pregnancy.
Email your questions for Dr Libby to email@example.com. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered. feeds into particular biochemical pathways. Vitamin B12 and folate rely on each other, for example, so a health professional experienced in pre-conception care is best to guide you with what is right for you. do not contain iodine so locally grown produce reflects this, and studies have shown evidence of iodine deficiency re-emerging in New Zealand. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which control the basic activity of each cell in the body, including metabolism, growth and development.
Thyroid issues can affect fertility, so optimal iodine intake is important when trying to conceive. During pregnancy, iodine is needed for normal brain development in the foetus, and even subclinical hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency in the mother can lead to irreversible brain damage.
Iodine is found in seafood, seaweed and iodised salt. Not all salt is iodised, so it’s important to check the label. During pregnancy, you need about 1.5 times the amount of iodine an adult normally requires, and the Ministry of Health recommends taking an iodine supplement daily. You only need a small amount of iodine each day to meet your needs. If you have any preexisting thyroid conditions, it’s essential that you consult with your qualified medical professional before supplementing iodine.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. See drlibby.com
A few nutrients are very important if you are planning a pregnancy.