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Folate is needed very early in pregnancy and it is recommended that women take folate when planning to become pregnant, since folate needs are high around the time of conception. Adequate folate nutrition before and during pregnancy supports healthy development of the fetal brain and spinal column, and ensures an overall healthy pregnancy outcome.
Intake of omega-3 fatty acids is critically important during pregnancy for the development of the fetal brain and retina. During mid-to-late gestation, DHA plays an important role in the development of cognitive and motor functions. An ample supply of DHA is beneficial to baby’s brain and eye development, however, most women don’t get enough DHA in their diets. Thus it is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women consume additional DHA daily, particularly during the last months of pregnancy and the first few years of life, when a baby’s brain develops rapidly.
Since iron is critical for energy and oxygen delivery to a developing baby, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine iron supplementation during pregnancy, though many forms of iron cause constipation and gastrointestinal discomfort. Research shows that about 20% of pregnant women have low hemoglobin and iron levels. Ferrochel® iron has been shown to help increase and maintain levels of iron, while being gentle on the stomach and colon. This form relieves the stomach from having to bind minerals to amino acids, allowing iron molecules to pass easily through the intestinal wall at a rate of 3.8 times greater than iron salt forms.