Planning to be a parent can be absolutely thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Especially for a first time mother, and specifically when it comes to nutrition, there are tons of questions. Am I getting enough protein? Fat? Energy? Vitamins? Minerals? Water? Antioxidants? What does my baby need? What does my baby not need?

Living in the United States is not a Guarantee

While you may think, “I’ll just eat a balanced diet. I live in a first-world country. Everything will be fine,” consider that a recent UNICEF report revealed that 15 percent of the world’s infants are low birth weight: and only 1 of 5 low birth weight infants survive their first month. With a very high rate of infant mortality, India reports ⅓ of these cases are due to inadequate nutrition. Sadly, the United States falls short of its potential, ranking 55th of 225 countries in 2017 with almost double the infant mortality rate of other developed countries like Finland, Japan, or France. Diet can reduce this disparity. The most important investment you can make in your child’s health before that critical first month is your intake of high quality nutrition from clean food sources. Today, we will dive deep, beyond protein and calories, to investigate the micronutrients that are essential to nourish a healthy pregnancy for both you and your child.

Prenatal Nutrition Starts Now

Timing is KEY! Before you become pregnant is the best time to optimize your nutritional intake. Many mothers-to-be are not aware of being pregnant for the several weeks- by which time a critical window of nutrition has shut. As you may have heard, your baby starts to grow a brain and spinal cord in the first days, even before you may notice a missed period. Moreover, your main organ for feeding and changing your infant in the womb, the placenta, forms in the first few weeks, providing nutrients and hormones throughout pregnancy.  Developing a high quality placenta likely requires vitamin D, folate, iron, and zinc.  It also passes toxins from mother to child- in some cases, umbilical cord blood has been shown to have over 200 toxic chemicals per sample, including BPA and other chemicals known to disrupt development. Because your baby’s developing liver isn’t ready to process toxins, reduce your exposure to damaging chemicals, such as phthalates, parabens, damaging pesticides (choose organic!)- and remember, food is your primary toxic exposure, many of the chemicals we consume, breathe, and touch have neither been evaluated for toxicity nor studied for their effects on a fetus’ developing organs.

Not only is it important to provide extra nourishment for your developing child, but in order to give nutrition you have to receive nutrition. Without meeting your needs, your baby’s needs are not met. Many women experience taste changes, morning sickness, cravings for less healthful foods, and other nutritional roadblocks that may be circumnavigated at stressful times with supplemental protein (IN.POWER) and a drinkable multivitamin designed for maximum absorbability (nutreince).

Put food first- but don’t compromise. Every day counts.  Several micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy have scary outcomes: folate deficiency leading to spina bifida or iodine deficiency leading to congenital hypothyroidism are well understood.  Mothers-to-be can experience anemia, high blood pressure, birthing complications, and even death as a result of inadequate micronutrient intake. A review study of almost 99,000 pregnant mothers who took multivitamins during pregnancy found that the benefits outweighed potential drawbacks. These infants had a reduced risk of being small for gestational age, developing neural tube, heart, vessel, and urinary tract defects, and limb deficiencies.  However, most multivitamins fall short on absorbability, and those that supply excessive amounts of some nutrients can drastically reduce absorption of other nutrients. For instance, high levels of iron and zinc may actually create detrimental outcomes in women who are otherwise sufficient. Not to worry! We designed Nutreince so you don’t have to worry about micronutrient interactions, dissolving a horse pill, or overdosing. It is safe and effective for you before, during, and after pregnancy.

Minerals for Mothers-to-be

Minerals fill many metabolic and material roles, such as activating vitamins, supporting fluid balance, making nerves and muscles twitch, and providing structure in bone. Cravings for minerals can be so intense during pregnancy that they can cause pica (a psychological disorder that causes the eating of non-nutritive substances like hair, soil or stones!). During pregnancy, most mineral requirements increase. It is important to get the right amount of minerals because too much supplementation of one mineral can reduce levels of another.

Vitamins to Support Your Developing Child

While all vitamins play a critical role in development, these deserve an honorable mention for their support of healthy human gestation.

These essential micronutrients will not only improve your metabolic health, but can help establish a food-first-foundation that supports your newborn from the start. We love getting emails from new and expecting mothers who are using nutreince as their prenatal vitamin. We lovingly refer to those babies whose mothers used nutreince during their pregnancy as our “nutreince babies.” We are so proud that our multivitamin can support the needs of these new mothers and give their precious newborns the critical nutrition they need to start their extraordinary new life. We invite you to consider using nutreince as your prenatal vitamin and to discover our simple and delicious Triple Threat smoothies, puddings, cheesecakes and ice creams, made from a combination of ournutreince multivitamin, IN.POWER, the cleanest protein we could produce, and SKINNYFat, filled with brain-nourishing medium chain triglycerides– to support yourself when you don’t have the time, or stomach, for the kitchen.

While it can be daunting to cook healthy meals, sleep well, enjoy exercise, supplement smart, and reduce stress while consuming delicious whole foods rich in essential micronutrients, you will be far better off for it- and so will your baby.