A new review has found that increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy reduces the risk of premature births.
Scientific studies show that proper micronutrient supplementation provides numerous health benefits both for the expectant mother and her developing child.
An important reason for this is that pregnancy increases the need for specific nutrients which may not be met through diet alone. A woman’s nutritional requirements change constantly during the different stages of pregnancy and while breastfeeding. In the absence of a sufficient supply of micronutrients, women are at risk of developing deficiencies that can adversely affect both their own health and that of the child they are carrying.
The actual process of giving birth also puts tremendous stress on a woman’s body, and a large amount of blood and nutrients are lost. This inevitably depletes her energy reserves. Ensuring proper nourishment during pregnancy, and also afterwards while nursing, is therefore critical. Micronutrients such as vitamin C, lysine, proline, folic acid, and the B group of vitamins, among others, are essential for a healthy baby and delivery, and for preventing complications during pregnancy.
Another important factor to consider is that the development of the various organs in the fetus starts and continues at different stages of pregnancy. Inadequate nourishment in any phase of pregnancy can therefore affect the baby’s organ systems, birth weight, and even survival. Crucially, the way the organs develop during pregnancy can also determine how their growth continues after the baby’s birth.