Healthy Pregnancy

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By: Carlos M Viana, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

In the best of all worlds the preparation for the birth of your child would start many years in advance in detoxifying your body from toxic heavy metals, and fat-soluble toxins from insecticides, pesticides and the countless petroleum-based chemicals. In our clinic we have more than three thousand hair tests that show the body burden of toxic heavy metals that have crossed the placenta into the growing baby. If you plan to have children some day, here’s important information for a healthier baby. Avoid alcohol and other drugs, including pharmaceuticals except under medical care.

Cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke during pregnancy cause a higher risk of having babies of lower birth weight. This can cause a host of health problems for the baby, such as cerebral palsy or learning disabilities. Women who actively smoke during pregnancy expose their developing baby to passive smoke; the chemicals pass through the placenta and put the baby at risk of lower birth weight.

An infant who was exposed to secondhand smoke as a developing fetus may be at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Post-birth exposure to secondhand smoke from the mother, father or others in the household also increases the risk of SIDS. Secondhand smoke may cause asthma in children. In children who already have asthma, secondhand smoke can make episodes more frequent and more severe. Secondhand smoke is also tied to infections of the lower respiratory tract, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, especially in those younger than 6. It’s also associated with irritation of the upper respiratory tract and a small reduction in lung function. Children living in households with smokers are more likely to develop ear infections.

Nutrition is an important part of a healthy pregnancy and baby. And the best way to insure you are getting the best for mom and baby is to take high quality, natural. food-based supplements. I recommend a pregnancy package that includes a gentle multi-nutrient, Lecithin, and safe, essential fatty acids. Each supplement provides distinct benefits.

Number one in my Pre-natal Pack is a natural multi-nutrient that is specifically formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Since we know that food today does not contain all the necessary life supporting nutrients, supplementation is recommended. A good Pre-natal multi-nutrient needs to contain Folic Acid to prevent birth defects of the baby’s spine. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin belonging to the B-complex group of vitamins. Taken together with the other B vitamins, these help the body break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars to be used for energy. If you were taking birth control pills prior to becoming pregnant, they can cause higher loss of B vitamins. Excess B vitamins are excreted from the body rather than stored for later use. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a quality B complex or multi-nutrient with all B vitamins daily. Always be sure to check with a clinical nutritionist for proper usage of any supplement if you are pregnant or nursing.

So many pregnant women become anemic during their pregnancy that doctors often prescribe iron supplements. Most maternal supplements may contain 30 mg or more of iron per dose, in combination with vitamins or other minerals. While it is true that iron is a basic requirement for the survival and growth of cells of all types, including bacteria, parasites, and cancer, as a certified clinical nutritionist, supplementing with synthetic iron concerns me. A natural food-based source of iron is much more absorbable, will not upset the stomach of new mothers and will not cause constipation. Foods containing natural iron are spinach and other dark leafy greens.

Benefiting both mother and baby, Lecithin is a great addition to the pregnancy package. Lecithin helps a growing baby’s brain get all the nutrients and support. We have verified, babies whose mother’s supplemented with lecithin are born with bigger brains and do better in school. Meanwhile, lecithin taken by breastfeeding mothers helps convert their baby fat into healthy breast milk.

The third supplement in a pregnancy package should include the essential fatty acids. Omega oils/acids are essential for everyone’s health. They include fats Omega 9, Omega 6 and Omega 3. These indispensable fats are necessary to build healthy bodies and provide energy. The secret is to take three in relation to each other. For one part meat or butter, you want to eat two parts vegetable oils and nuts, and include three parts fish in your diet. If you are allergic to fish oils, Flaxseed oil is a vegetarian option. An omega 6 that can convert to an omega 3 as needed. Poor quality fish oils are not recommended as they may contain toxic metals. Be sure to always use a high-quality oil and keep away from light and heat. Ideally, a dietary supplement that provides all three in the specific ratio is ideal.

It is not advisable to have dental work done while pregnant. Even a simple procedure like the annual teeth hygiene cleaning has been shown to release mercury from amalgam (silver) fillings. If there is a tooth problem, make sure you consult a Biocompatible (natural) dentist to avoid toxic materials when possible.

There are several acupuncture points that are contraindicated, called “forbidden points” during pregnancy that every trained acupuncturist knows well. Yet, many problems encountered during pregnancy including “morning sickness”, especially that lasts all day, overly active babies, low back pain, high blood pressure during pregnancy all show positive effects with acupuncture treatments done by a qualified, experienced professional. Other safe, natural solutions are available for an unexpected cold, flu, stress, or mild allergy attack.

Get The Point! A healthy pregnancy has a much better chance of producing healthy children. If we invest as much time in preparing and maintaining our health as we spend getting the house ready for the newborn, we will have healthier children. With a little guidance your pregnancy can be a naturally joyous event.

CARLOS VIANA, Ph. D. is an Oriental Medical Doctor (O.M.D.) having studied in China; a US Board Cert. Clinical Nutritionist (C.C.N.), an Addiction Professional (C.Ad.), Chairperson of the Latin American Committee of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), a Rejuvenating Cell Therapist specializing in Age Management, has a weekly radio program, writes and lectures extensively. For information: VIANA HEALING CENTER, Kibaima 7, St Cruz TEL: 585-1270