Do You Want a Healthy Baby? Quality Nutritional Supplements are Key, says San Francisco Wellness Coach
They say it takes nine months to make a baby, but according to wellness coach Donna Parker, LAc., it really takes about 21 months!
Parker emphasizes that women who want to become pregnant need to take about a year to put their bodies in the best shape possible before welcoming the stork.
While overall fitness and health are important, Parker stresses that the most important thing a prospective mom can do to ensure her well being and the mental and physical vigor of her unborn child is to lay a foundation of nutritional health.
"My first advice to women who are pregnant, or who are thinking about becoming pregnant, is to start using good nutritional supplements," says Parker. "I've heard some of my colleagues state that supplements aren't necessary if you eat a healthy diet. My response is always that supplements are not a substitute for good nutrition, but the fact is, our food is not as nutritionally dense as it once was. You just can't eat enough food to provide the nutrients needed for optimum health, and you need to be in optimum health to support your growing baby. I mean, who is going to eat four pounds of spinach a day to get all the nutrients they need? Supplements are just that, they supplement a healthy diet. Good nutrition is also essential for those who want to lose pregnancy weight and keep their vitality."
Once women realize the importance of taking nutritional supplements before, during, and after their pregnancy, they are faced with the difficult task of choosing effective products. There are a number of problems that can cause supplements to be ineffective, such as not being absorbed by the body.
Parker recommends that women ask the following questions when they look for good quality supplements:
1. Is it safe to take? Amazingly, what you see is not always what you get. The company making the supplement should test every batch of its products to make sure that the substances being sold have not been contaminated with bacteria, pesticides, and other chemicals.
2. Are you getting a quality product? The only way you can be sure the products you buy are pure, clean, and of effective strength is to shop for those that adhere to Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Process (GMP). FDA guidelines do not guarantee product strength or purity!
3. Can your body absorb this supplement? To be readily absorbed so that its properties are made available on a cellular level, the product must disintegrate properly. Look to see if the product meets the U.S. Pharmacopeia standards for disintegration and dissolution. Be sure your product is "in date" as well, as they begin to lose potency after time.
4. Are you buying from a credible company? Look for a company that does its own manufacturing, as this means they have the ability to control quality. Another good indicator of quality is that the company is independently certified by a third party, such as Consumer Labs or Nutrisearch, Inc.
By now you may be overwhelmed, thinking, "This is too complicated! I'll just take what my doctor recommends." However, the vast majority of doctors do not understand nutrition. They weren't taught it in medical school and most of them have not pursued the subject. They know you should take folic acid to reduce the risk of birth defects, but aren't aware that all folic acid supplements are not created equal. They know that too much Vitamin A can be toxic, but they don't understand that carotenoids are a type of Vitamin A that is only converted to Vitamin A as the body needs it. They are therefore likely to recommend "prenatal vitamins" without educating their patients about quality and effectiveness.