Benefits of Vitamin C in Pregnancy

Prenatal vitamins are a safeguard for places where your diet is insufficient.  Vitamin C is a very powerrful piece of health for you in pregnancy and for baby's development and health.  Learn more in this post how to get enough Vitamin C and what it does for you and baby.


Folate in Pregnancy, it's not the same as Folic Acid in Pregnancy

Welcome back to our series on pregnancy nutrition and breaking down how different vitamins and minerals work in the pregnant body.  Mark your calendar for January 25 for my upcoming Masterclass on Pregnancy Nutrition where I'll dive deeper into current research on recommendations (because they are very different than the RDAs you see on labels) and why the sources of our supplements and foods matter.  Registration link coming soon!

Folate & Neural Tube Defects

Folate is so important for your baby’s development, and it is believed folate prevents neural tube defects.

Neural Tube Defects occur when the neural tube does not close properly.  The neural tube is what forms the early brain and spine.  The most common neural tube defects are Spina Bifida and Anencephaly. According to the CDC it is recommended all women of reproductive age get 400 mcg of folic acid every day.*

You’ve likely heard that before.  Here is what is so important for you to know: Folic Acid is simply synthetic version of Folate.  Here is why you may witness confusion on the internet: not everyone recognizes that folic acid and folate can work differently in different bodies. It takes YEARS for evidence-based research to make it's way into public policy (like the CDC's recommendation above).

For example, individuals with the MTHFR gene mutation can be harmed by folic acid.  But almost more notably for expecting women: supplementing folic acid can lead to folate deficiency and increase risk of neural tube defects.  Researchers suggest that up to 60% of people have a reduced ability to use folic acid and therefore REQUIRE the active form.* Not everyone who has this mutation knows they have it, so it’s best to just stick to food-based sources of folate and supplement with bioavalable FOLATE instead of folic acid.  

Folate and Progesterone

Folate supports the development of the placenta, cellular division and production of progesterone. Progesterone is a critical hormonal for pregnancy.  In fact, people call it THE pregnancy hormone.  Progesterone is produced in the body by the corpus luteal cyst on the ovary for about the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.  Progesterone rapidly increases during this type to form the placenta. 

The placenta then takes over production of progesterone and it stabilizes over the course of pregnancy.  When you give birth to the placenta the body drops progesterone which then induces lactation via other hormones. Progesterone is critical to a healthy pregnancy because it:
1. Forms the Placenta
2. Thickens the cervix
3. Creates the mucus plug
4. Regulates temperature of the uterus
5. Stops your periods
6. Reduces uterine contractions
7. Affects GABA receptors in the brain: helping to reduce anxiety, this also induces sleepiness 

So, folate truly is a critical nutrient for a healthy pregnancy and development of a healthy baby.  It’s important to get enough FOLATE in your diet and can be helpful to supplement in a multivitamin or b-complex.

What folate-rich foods will you be enjoying this week? ***

Avocado: 1/2 cup, 59 mcg
Bananas: 1 medium, 24 mcg
Eggs: 1 egg, hard-boilied, 22mcg
Papaya: 1/2 cup, 72 mcg
Romaine Lettuce, 1 cup, 64mcg
Turnip Greens frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup. 32 mcg
Oranges, 1 small fresh, 29 mcg
Crab, Dungness: 3oz, 36 mcg
Orange Juice 1/2 cup 35 mcg
Kidney Beans: 1/2 cup 46 mcg
Brussel Sprouts: 1/2 cup, 78 mcg
Green Peas: 1/2 cup frozen then cooked, 47 mcg
Mustard Greens: 1/2 cup, 52mcg
Broccoli: 1/2 cup, 52 mcg
Wheat Germ: 2 tablespoons, 40 mcg
Asparagus, 4 spears cooked, 89 mcg
Black Eyed Peas: 1/2 cup, 105 mcg
Cooked Spinach, 1/2 cup, 131 mcg
Beef Liver, one serving, 3 ounces, 215 mcg⁣

* Source Facts About Neural Tube Defects, CDC
* *Real Food for Pregnancy, the science and wisdom of optimal prenatal nutrition by Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE when you purchase directly from Lily you also get free recipe-book.  Please DO NOT purchase on Amazon as there are fraudulent copies of per book available for sale on Amazon.  I share this with you as an Amazon Associate and while I recommend many products from Amazon this is one I cannot ethically recommend.
***Source Folate Fact Sheet for Health Professionals from the National Institue of Health Office of Dietary Supplements

Birth is a very special time in your life, but it's one day out of the entire childbearing year.  

You are meant to have a positive experience.  You can navigate all the challenges and concerns during pregnancy, birth and beyond with grace and ease.  

I support you with personalized coaching, pregnancy health, childbirth education, breastfeeding/formula feeding preparation as well as preparing for postpartum and even returning to work!  

Learn more about Sage Motherhood Mentorship and book your free call with me today! 
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