When you are mothers-to-be and you actually are interested in the question: what diet should be taken before pregnancy. You will find numerous important material on this kind of topic, as well as tips, guidance, ideas, and answers to questions regarding pregnant state, suitable nutrition and diet plans.
From the moment you decide to have a child, you must follow some nutritional rules to ensure their health, such as taking folic acid supplements months before you get pregnant.
You know and you have assumed that as soon as the pregnancy test is positive you will have to start taking care of your diet so that your baby is born healthy . However, this care should begin earlier, in the months before you stop using contraception.
So as soon as conception occurs, your body will be in good shape so that that tiny cell that is formed when the egg is fertilized by the sperm can develop perfectly. “Nutrient deficiencies can be associated with congenital malformations . The consideration that must be made is: Is there a lack of nutrients in our society that can cause malformations and are preventable with treatment in pregnant women? it is yes, albeit limited, “explains Dr. Alfredo Perales, Head of the Obstetrics Service at Hospital La Fe in Valencia.
Folic acid: a necessary supplement
Around the 90s, that is, more than two decades ago, it was discovered that women who took folic acid before pregnancy had a lower incidence of neural tube defects. “Where there is more information and there is no discussion is in the deficit of folic acid. Its deficiency is responsible for anencephaly, spina bifida and encephalocele. It has also been linked to other malformations, although not so consistently, such as cardiac, cleft lip, alterations in the limbs, “says Dr. Perales.
Since then, doctors recommend taking folic acid supplements three months before getting pregnant. “The neural tube is formed 18 days after fertilization, that is, on the second day after the first absence, when the woman does not even suspect that she is carrying a child,” said Dr. Iñaki Lete, head of the Hospital’s Gynecology service. Santiago Apóstol de Vitoria, in the presentation of the GestMujer study prepared among others by the Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Health (FPES) to know the behavior and perception of women in regard to care, habits and promotion of health in pregnancy.
Medical advice before you get pregnant
That is why it is essential that the woman, as soon as she decides to be a mother, before abandoning contraceptive methods she goes to the preconception consultation strong>. “It is recommended to take folates one to three months before pregnancy, something that in our country, according to available data, less than 10 percent of women who will become pregnant comply. The Recommended amount of folic acid is 400 micrograms per day in low-risk women.
However, in women with a history of a previous child with neural tube defect (anencephaly, spina bifida and encephalocele) or a relative affection of her, if the future mother has insulin dependent diabetes, epileptic, obese – with a mass index body over 35-, addicted to alcohol or smoker, the recommended dose is 4 mg a day “, says the chief of Obstetrics at Hospital La Fe.
This simple gesture would help prevent congenital malformations.
In our country, according to the European report Eurocat 2012, between 320 and 400 cases of children with neural tube deformations occur annually and two out of three cases of this congenital malformation could be prevented, according to this same report.
These folic acid supplements are necessary, since with food it is impossible to reach the required levels (one would have to eat, for example, one kilo and three quarters of endives a day). “It has been seen that in countries where food is fortified with folates by law, the malformations of neural tube defects have decreased. In our country this does not happen, therefore it is prudent for the future breast to have folate supplementation “says Dr. Perales.
And also iodine matters before pregnancy
But it is not only necessary to take folic acid. Other nutrients are also essential for the correct development of the baby, such as iodine . “Iodine deficiency has been associated with a decrease in intellectual development, hyperactivity and, in extreme cases, cerebral palsy, the latter is not the case in our environment”, says the doctor. “In pregnant women, it is beneficial to take iodine from the beginning of pregnancy and during breastfeeding, it is recommended to supplement with iodine 150 micrograms per day without exceeding 250″, concludes Dr. Perales.
Most are unaware of pre-pregnancy care
According to the GestMujer study prepared among others by the Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Health (FPES), only one in three pregnant women performs a correct nutritional control prior to pregnancy. More than 80% of pregnant women today do not go to the gynecologist to plan their pregnancy , and 67.7% have not taken folic acid before to stay in state.
“The results show that there is a significant lack of knowledge on the part of women about the importance of prenatal care as a strategy to avoid problems in a future pregnancy.
It is scientifically proven that facing pregnancy in adequate health conditions improves perinatal results “, says Dr. Iñaki Lete, head of the Gynecology service at the Santiago Apóstol Hospital in Vitoria.
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