Pregnancy / Childbirth

5 important and often overlooked ingredients during pregnancy and breastfeeding

5 important and often overlooked ingredients during pregnancy and breastfeeding


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The authors of virtually all guidebooks for future mothers pay attention that women expecting a child take care of the daily menu, composing meals from high-quality ingredients, paying attention to the fact that the menu was varied. Unfortunately, numerous surveys, tests and studies show that often future mothers forget the importance of the following five components.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) during pregnancy and lactation

It's best tested acid from the Omega-3 group. Its beneficial effect on fetal development and the health of pregnant and lactating women has been repeatedly confirmed in scientific studies. Particularly important is in the last weeks of pregnancy and in the first two years of lifewhen the child's brain develops most intensively. DHA is the main structural brain and eye fat, accounting for up to 97% of omega-3 fats in the brain and up to 93% in the eye.

The right dose of DHA reduces the risk of premature delivery, affects the development of the central nervous system, brain and retina of the eye, and can also prevent the development of diabetes, obesity or allergies. According to Polish recommendations, pregnant women should supplement min. 200 mg DHA per day, if they eat little or do not eat them at all, 400-600 mg, and in the case of pregnancy with an increased risk of premature delivery, even 1000 mg DHA per day.

DHA has a beneficial effect on the development of a child during pregnancy and after delivery. It plays an important role in the process of creating a strong immune system, and at the same time supports the child's development, intelligence and perception - emphasizes prof. dr hab. n. med. Piotr Socha, head of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Eating Disorders at the Institute "Memorial - Children's Health Center".

Dietary sources of DHA are marine algae, fatty marine fish, meat of internal organs of animals, e.g. liver and fish oil. It is extremely important to ensure DHA of high quality, without the risk of contamination with heavy metals such as mercury, dioxins and other toxins harmful to the fetus.

Most good hospitals recommend it DHA supplementation at discharge from hospital after delivery. It is worth knowing that research confirms that the concentration of DHA in the cerebral cortex and retina is much higher in breast-fed children than in the formula.

Folic acid in pregnancy

Another important ingredient is folic acid, or vitamin B9, belonging to the folate group - an indispensable factor for fetal growth and development. Its consumption in the first period of pregnancy reduces the risk of developing neural tube defects by up to 70%. Ideally when a woman takes folic acid also before pregnancy, three months before you start trying to get pregnant.

Folic acid plays a key role in the formation of two important ingredients: serotonin and noradrenaline. Together with vitamin B12, he participates in production of red blood cells. Folic acid deficiency leads to fertility problems, impaired concentration, fatigue and even diarrhea.

However, it turns out that in Poland only 50% of women know about the need for folic acid supplementation. Folic acid is present in foods, including in soybean, baker's yeast, wheat germ, white bean, pea, spinach and parsley. Hailing from a diet is rarely enough to cover the needs of a pregnant woman who should take 0.4 mg of folic acid per day.