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For a healthy pregnancy, steady supplies of micronutrients are essential both for the mother and the growing baby. And today, we now know that just avoiding low levels of some micronutrients is not enough. Modern research has proven that from the very start, having the right balance of key micronutrients is the best way to ensure the long-term health of mothers and their infants.

Pharm Neil Swart spoke to Daily Sun on this.
Babies eat, too
During a pregnancy, babies are 'fed' by their mothers, receiving all their nourishment through the placenta and umbilical cord. In this way the mother's body will supply her baby with everything it demands, and thus the mother's micronutrient level directly affects her baby's development. When it comes to eating and drinking, what's good for a mother also benefits her child. This natural fact therefore helps mothers to positively influence their baby's growth and development as well as baby's long-term health and well-being.

How you eat affects both of you
While severe micronutrient deficiencies produce clearly identifiable symptoms, milder cases involving low levels of micronutrients are often difficult to pinpoint. For this reason, a woman's micronutrient levels should be brought up to optimal levels before she becomes pregnant. This approach provides mothers with three major benefits: First, potential micronutrient deficiencies can be easily avoided. Secondly, the mother's body is better prepared for the upcoming pregnancy.

And thirdly as well as most importantly, from the very start the baby's growing body has access to a stable supply of micronutrients.

Through the course of a woman's pregnancy, her need for micronutrients increases selectively: As her baby grows, some individual micronutrients are in higher demand than others. And in some cases even twice the normal level of a particular micronutrient can be required. But surprisingly, a mother's overall energy demands increase only slightly.

After the fourth month of pregnancy (or in the second trimester) her body only requires an additional 255 kcal/day, which is roughly equal to a cheese sandwich or two glasses of juice. And in pregnancies involving twins, an additional 150kcal/day is all that's necessary.

Why 'eating for two' may not be for you
Clearly, old-fashion sayings about 'eating twice as much' during a pregnancy is simply out-dated. And among other things, they're wrong: Because the idea of just 'eating for two' ignores the fact that a mother's vital micronutrients need to be replaced. Plus there's certainly no advantage to gaining weight unnecessarily. Although it is possible to cover a woman's micronutrient needs through diet, in everyday life it can be difficult.

Added to all that, it can be difficult for mothers to determine the right dosage for each micronutrient. Low dosages of micronutrients can lead to deficiencies, while overdoses can produce serious side-effects.

The simple, solution that's easy-to-use
Today, Pharmaton Matruelle is helping all mothers and mothers-to-be by offering an effective answer to all these concerns. With the carefully balanced formula of supplements like this, mothers can now get the right dosage of each individual micronutrient they need, while satisfying the increasing demands of her growing baby, too. And it's equally good to know that each ingredient in such supplements has been carefully balanced to give mothers and their babies a wide range of benefits.

Naturally, supplements alone doesn't claim to replace the many nutritional advantages of a well-rounded diet. Ideally, for mothers and mothers-to-be as well as their babies we recommend taking supplements once daily in combination with varied, nutritionally well-balanced meals. For example: Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grains and dairy products, vegetable oils as well as fish and meat. supplements are best taken with some food and something to drink at breakfast, to start off each day right.

Prenatal planning
Even in the early prenatal planning phase, there's plenty that prospective mothers can do to prepare for their future babies. During this time, women have a prime opportunity to get ready both physically and mentally. Experience has shown that women who stay physically fit, feel good about themselves, and replenish their bodies' micronutrient depots during this time can better handle the mental and bodily changes that are a natural part of every pregnancy. And after their baby is born, these mothers recover faster, too. In a sense, this phase gives mothers the chance to create a supportive environment from which their babies benefit before birth as well as in later life.

Creating the best conditions for a bright future
Once women recognize the importance of this early phase, this time is often used to rethink and gradually adapt their lifestyles as well as eating or cooking habits. And that turns out to be a smart move, because it prevents the stress some women experience when their pregnancy test comes back positive and they need to radically change their way of life. In brief, healthy lifestyles can help create the best conditions for a bright future, and supplements like Pharmaton Matruelle can help. But that's just part of the story: Here we would also like to add, that women who have used 'the pill' as birth-control in the past, now need to pay particular attention to their micronutrient supply. Here's why: Many oral contraceptives reduce a woman's natural foliate reserves as well as her body's vitamin B6 depots.

So, to correct that imbalance prior to a pregnancy, women are advised to begin using supplements as soon as they stop taking 'the pill.' Additionally, previous pregnancies may have depleted body stores of micronutrients and these must be replaced well in advance before a subsequent pregnancy starts.

In every pregnancy, getting off to a good start is always the key, because an embryo begins to develop on the very first day of pregnancy. Just 28 days after conception, for instance, the baby's spinal cord and brain have already taken shape. Which means this key developmental stage might even be completed before a woman realizes she is pregnant. This is why its so important that the mother's body has sufficient levels of micronutrients at conception.

This applies especially to folic acid, because together with vitamins of the B-group and Zinc, folic acid is an essential building block for the developing nervous system.