Children are a blessing from the Lord (Ps. 127:3) and He has supplied us with everything needed for a healthy and full term pregnancy in this present age. Unfortunately, as in virtually every area of health, and in spite of modern “medical advancement”, we live in an era where even the most affluent are devastated by death and disease. This is truest for the most helpless among us: our children. Miscarriages are very common in the United States, occurring in 15-20% of pregnancies . In fact, the US has the highest infant mortality rate in the world among developed nations . With scientific research and resources at our fingertips, we must aspire to a brighter future for our children. That starts as each family makes it a priority to enable the amazing miracle that is their human body to operate as designed, beginning at the cellular level- from the moment of conception onward.
There are many realities in our world today that undermine a healthy pregnancy. Toxic chemicals and artificial ingredients saturate our food supply. Pesticides and heavy metals in our environment are well-established to be seriously harmful substances for full-grown adults, and much more so for growing babies. They are found almost everywhere: from the water we drink to the air we breathe. These biological poisons obstruct our body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Combined with the staggering absence of nutrition in our food supply to begin with, as well as sub-optimal hormone balance, the odds are not favorable for a vulnerable human fetus. Many factors daily hinder the ideal environment for promoting physical quality of life for the next generation. The good news is that there are many things we can do to end the trends and avoid common tragedy. chronic infertility, impaired development, and susceptibility to disease of all forms.
Dr. Arthur Furst, the world’s leading toxicologist, pioneered decades of research to determine the human body’s ability to prevent and counteract the effects of cellular toxicity solely through whole food nutrient intake [3,4]. Proper nutritional education is key because it is so ingrained in the minds of Westerners that pregnancy just “happens” and is not something to mindfully prepare for . While scientific evidence clearly delineates the absolute necessity to maximize whole food building blocks for health at the cellular level, even pre-conception, many suffer under the false assumption that poor diet does not affect health. Today, we must be increasingly proactive to ensure healthy, full-term pregnancies from the outset.
A human body subsisting on processed and genetically-modified food from a drive-up window or lining the inner aisles of grocery stores is not merely nutrient-deficient, but toxin-laden. Convenience cloaked in colorfully-marketed boxes, bags and cans, can only do so much. Our body was omnisciently designed to require a myriad of vitamins, minerals, cofactors, amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids, water, rest, sunshine, and more. These are found in the clean, pesticide-, antibiotic-, additive-, and toxin-free outdoors which God created. If you don’t know where your food is coming from and what the words on the ingredient list mean, I advise you to think twice. Check out this previous article to find out why there are many reasons that even switching to eating mostly fresh, whole foods may leave you in need of several key nutrients. Dr. Cate Shanahan, who is well studied in molecular biology, even goes so far as to say that most Americans are malnourished ! This is where supplements and lifestyle modifications are very helpful; essential in many cases.
Factory-made synthetic supplements are unable to contain the wide variety of cofactors, isomers, and components of all the vitamins and minerals our bodies require. When our body is under stress, and to a greater degree, forming a child, its nutritional requirements are much higher. If there are not ample reserves in the mother’s body when the child is being formed in the womb, the body will always favor the baby and take from the mother’s bones and everywhere else minerals and vitamins are stored; at times even this is not enough. The first ten weeks are the most critical in a woman’s pregnancy and this is often when women are not yet aware that they are pregnant or should be taking a whole food, complete prenatal supplement. There are many of us that are not aware of general nutritional requirements and this lack of knowledge and education in our culture can sadly be a part of causing birth defects, learning difficulties, and many other unfortunate outcomes. I say this not to sound harsh or make anyone feel guilty but just to make the point that knowledge really is powerful and very effective when applied properly. Dr. Shanahan admits that while most doctors recommend prenatals before and during pregnancy, the majority of pregnant mothers tested for nutrient deficiencies lack adequate amounts of B Vitamins and vitamins A and D, along with Omega III fatty acids, choline (essential for prenatal and newborn nutrition) and others, despite taking prenatal vitamins . Therefore, whole food supplementation is essential, especially during pregnancy.
There is Hope
A healthy pregnancy begins long before conception. It is a great undertaking to build a new person from just the genetic instructions a sperm and egg provide in our processed-food society in which nutrients are scarce. For example, folate prevents neural tube defects and premature birth . Omega III fatty acids nourish and build a baby’s brain and eyes and can help prevent allergies . Some studies have even shown that they can prevent postpartum depression  . Extra Iron is needed to make adequate hemoglobin to supply oxygen to the baby. Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin D are required to build the baby’s bone structure in order to not deplete the mother’s bones and lead to osteoporosis . Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon and other red and pink fruits and veggies, which can help prevent pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth retardation [10, 11] . This and 14 other carotenoids can be found in the Carotenoid Complex and in many colorful fruits and veggies to boost the mother’s immune system (which is depressed during pregnancy) and also protect heart health . Protein is also essential during pregnancy and 75 to 100 grams are required daily ! Getting plenty of sleep, water, and moderate exercise is also crucial, according to the “Wellness Mama,” a very knowledgeable and experienced nutrition blogger, and mother of 5 healthy children .This information is meant to inform you, not to overwhelm you, because knowledge is power; education is key to being the best we can be.
These nutrients are all found in food, but can be a challenge to acquire in a clean and unadulterated form. Let’s be honest, it takes significant time, sacrifice and effort to find and properly prepare local, organic, and non-GMO foods for ourselves and our families. This is not always practical in our busy, driven lifestyles without making other sacrifices. It is definitely worth-it and do-able, and this is where Neolife supplements are also indispensable to help fill in the holes left by our current diets. It may require a long, hard look at what you are putting in your body and even keeping track of it in a food journal to realize that all the processed foods, sugar, and who-knows-what-else that we can’t pronounce on the back of a bag, which are not a sustainable way to live. My husband and I had to reassess what we were putting in our bodies and we are very thankful to have been able to find and regularly use Neolife among making other changes before we got pregnant. If you want to hear more about our personal journey in this regard watch *this* video.
While there are increased nutritional needs during pregnancy, many have found convenient and affordable solutions to help fulfill these daily requirements. This includes beyond- organically sourced, easily assimilated protein, whole grains, brain-building omega III’s from chemical-free wild-caught fish, nutrient-dense fresh organic fruits and veggies. Concentrated versions of all of these are found in our trusted Neolife supplements. Soon-to-be moms can have great support for a healthy pregnancy from Neolife supplements, along with the information we provide at Neolife Nutrition about obtaining whole food nutrients in a convenient and affordable way. Be sure to check with your doctor before adding anything to your pregnancy nutrient and supplement regimen. To Note: this is not an exhaustive list of what will aid healthy pregnancy and please consult with your doctor before trying any new health regimens.
- Jim’s article on healthy pregnancy and preconception health http://www.imageawareness.com/eletters/2013/PDF/Preconception7.pdf
- Shanahan, Catherine, and Shanahan, Luke, Deep Nutrition Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, www.DrCate.com, 2009, 89-93.
- Article and Conference Call with Neolife’s Clarissa Perez-Pacheco: http://neolifeblog.com/2015/10/healthy-pregnancy/