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Becoming pregnant: 4 nutrients you need as a woman

Do you already have the list of baby names ready in your notes? Or do your ovaries nearly burst out of your body at the sight of a newborn little one? Becoming pregnant is an extraordinary process.

It is important to prepare your body for the moment of conception. We would like to tell you more about which nutrients are important for this.

Why getting pregnant sometimes doesn't work out

Did you know that in 2022 the average Dutch woman had 1.49 children? Ten years ago, this number was slightly higher, at 1.72 children per woman. Although it seems like the average number of children per woman is decreasing, the biological urge to reproduce remains undiminished. Hormones can instinctively race through your body, and before you know it, you're having the "I want to get pregnant" conversation. If you and your partner feel quite ready for the next step, you may want to get pregnant soon. 

Yet it often doesn't quite work that way. Sometimes getting pregnant is a bit like Russian roulette. Some people get pregnant on the first try, while others wonder if there is something wrong with their bodies because they can't seem to get pregnant. This makes the subject of getting pregnant sometimes a fraught topic full of emotions. Still, we would like to take you through how you can best support your body and what nutrients or products you might be able to add to your diet or lifestyle. 

Pregnancy vitamins: when exactly do you need them?

Many women start pregnancy vitamins at the time of a positive pregnancy test. Still, it is good to get your body in a state of readiness well before the moment of conception. 

We explain the four most important nutrients before pregnancy:

1. Folic acid

Folic acid and pregnancy are like two hands in one belly. The pregnancy vitamin is abundant in green vegetables. Spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are among the most nutritious sources, but folic acid is also found in eggs, whole grain bread and meat.

Did you know that all kinds of problems can occur during pregnancy that are related to inadequate folate levels? If you as a mom have an inadequate amount of folate in your body, it is a risk for the development of spina bifida in the fetus in your belly. Folate contributes to your baby's growth during pregnancy and to the formation of the placenta.

Obstetricians recommend taking this important vitamin at least during your pregnancy. It takes about four weeks for your body to fully absorb folic acid. Therefore, the advice actually applies from the moment you want to become pregnant. The midwife recommends a minimum daily supplementation of 400 mcg of folic acid.

2. Vitamin D & pregnancy

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, also known as the sunshine vitamin. When we expose our skin to the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, our skin converts the precursor vitamin D into an active form. This active form transports the body to the liver and kidneys. There, another conversion to the final usable vitamin D follows. 

So what is vitamin D all good for? Among other things, vitamin D helps your immune system, plays a role in (the process of) tissue growth and development, and is good for maintaining strong bones. Read more here in our blog about why vitamin D is important.

In the winter in the Netherlands, the sun is not strong enough for sufficient vitamin D production. The color of your skin and the use of sunscreen will also affect this. Then it can be useful to take vitamin D3 as a supplement.

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in many processes in our body. Magnesium is good for your muscles, concentration and fatigue and helps release energy from food. Magnesium also plays a role in stimulus transfer between (nerve) cells. Especially during pregnancy where your body is working tirelessly to create new life.

We find magnesium in various foods. Sources of magnesium are nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy vegetables and legumes.

Omega 3 and getting pregnant: here's what you need to know

Last, but certainly one of the most important nutrients, is omega 3. Omega 3 forms a group of unsaturated, important (essential) fatty acids. We know of three types of omega 3:

  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

The omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are beneficial for heart health, blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Our bodies just cannot produce these fatty acids themselves. So it is important to get them with your diet. And omega 3 is not only important for your body. DHA, ingested by the mother, is an important building block for the brain of the fetus (and breastfed infants). Omega 3 is found mainly in oily fish.

The recommendation according to the Nutrition Center is to eat fish twice a week when pregnant (250-450 milligrams of DHA). The Netherlands shows that this advice is often not followed. If eating fish twice a week fails you, taking a supplement is the way to go.

What omega 3 supplements are there?

With the forest full of omega 3 supplements, you may have lost track a bit. We would like to help you get started with the following overview.

Do you want the very best supplement? Then we recommend our highest-dose fish oil capsules with added vitamin D3. 

Not a hero at swallowing capsules? We also have fish oil in smaller capsules. Does any pill make you gag and you prefer a liquid version? Then we have for you our liquid fish oil with a mild orange flavor.

No. 1: Fish oil (large capsule) Click here to view product

No. 2: Fish oil liquid orange flavor

No. 3: Algae oil (small capsules)

No. 4: Algae oil floorable

 

In conclusion

Becoming pregnant is a special process that sometimes tests your patience. Besides everything you have to do, to take or not to eat or drink, perhaps the most important thing is relaxation. Relax and trust that nature will choose the best path for you. Your body was made for this. 

Now that you know more about these important nutrients, you can better prepare yourself for a possible pregnancy. Whether you choose to add specific foods to your diet or take a supplement, such as our high-dose fish oil capsules with vitamin D3, smaller fish oil capsules, or our mild orange-flavored liquid fish oil, the choice is entirely yours. So, regardless of whether you already have a list of baby names, we hope this information gets you started. Good luck on your journey to parenthood!

Would you like to get advice from a therapist on getting pregnant? Then visit the website of oeractief.nl 

Do you have other questions about our products? We are very happy to answer your questions!