Before I started trying to get pregnant, I was on a daily supplement; although I wasn’t religious about it, I was conscious that my diet most likely did not contain enough vitamins and minerals. When I started taking supplements for conception, I was still on my regular multivitamins. Then, one recommendation after another, and I found myself on about three different supplements. I was on these supplements because each one had what the others did not have, so I felt combining all of it would give me a good dose of everything. I forgot that there were some vitamins and minerals that did spread across board, and because they all contained the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), I was taking excess of some vitamins. I soon started reacting to this, and my doctor helped put my troubled heart at rest when he was able to recommend one supplement that pretty much had it all.
It is a normal temptation to want to try anything, and do everything that sounds good, if it gets you closer to getting a BFP…but is there anything like too much of a good thing? Like vitamins and minerals are good, right? Could you possibly get to that point when you are over-indulging on these? There are certain vitamins that when taken in excess can harm us, and our babies, when we do get pregnant. Vitamin A, for example, when taken in excess increases the risk of birth defects in babies. These defects often occur within the first six weeks of pregnancy, which is why it is advisable to take only a healthy dose, because you never know when you might conceive. Excess of vitamin A can also cause liver and bone damage, as well diarrhoea and headaches.
Now, there are water soluble vitamins, and there are fat soluble vitamins; Vitamin A falls in the category fat soluble vitamins; which means it stores up in the body in the fat tissues and the liver. Over a long period of time, an excess of Vitamin A can cause a build up of toxins in the body. This is why folic acid is recommended for conception and pregnancy; because it protects an unborn baby from neural tube defects. Folic acid is also found naturally in foods like beans, oranges and spinach.
In an earlier article, we talked about the importance of Vitamin D, and why we all should dance in the sun. This is because Vitamin D not only aids conception, but also helps the development of the foetus. Research has even shown that taking 1000-1200IU of Vitamin D, while trying for a baby, and through pregnancy, promotes the child’s optimal bone mass later in life. However, if taken in excess, a condition called hypercalcemia can result, which would lead to placental calcification. Vitamin E is also an important Vitamin for TTC and pregnant women but if taken in excess, it can inhibit the proper coagulation of the blood and can also cause bleeding and spotting. Like Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin D are also fat soluble vitamins, which means they can build up to toxic levels in the body.
A lot of women trying to conceive most likely do not joke with their Calcium supplement; and this is because it is important for the health of both mama and baby. Ideally, it can curtail pregnancy-induced hypertension, and also aid the formation of the bones of the unborn baby. We should, however, be careful of the amount of Calcium we take, because in excess, it can cause kidney stones for the mother. Some of us might not even be taking too many supplements, but we just might be getting these vitamins in excess from the good food we eat. Fortified foods and fortified cereals, health drinks, energy bars, and fruits all give healthy dose of vitamins. To be on the safest side, a balanced diet and one comprehensive prenatal supplement with 400 mcg of folic acid and 100 RDA of other vitamins and nutrients is all you need.
Regular over-the-counter multivitamins are fine when you are no longer trying to conceive, but when you are, excessive doses of minerals and vitamins in a regular multivitamin can be harmful to you and the baby. Finding a prenatal vitamin with a adequate folic acid and taking an healthy dose of vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, beans and fish puts you on the right track to getting a BFP and carrying the pregnancy to full term with great health.
God speed to us all!
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