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Why a Healthy Diet Is Not Enough for Fertility and Pregnancy

Why a Healthy Diet Is Not Enough for Fertility and Pregnancy

Many believe that eating a healthy, balanced diet will provide all the nutrients needed during the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum journey. However, the reality is that most people do not receive adequate nutrients from diet alone (for a multitude of reasons) especially when it comes to optimizing fertility health and nourishing a developing baby. Falling short on critical nutrients can potentially impact fertility, increase the risk of complications, and compromise maternal and fetal health. The good news is that these nutrient gaps can be bridged! 


Where We Fall Short: RDAs Are Too Low for Optimal Reproductive Health


The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) were established during World War II to prevent nutrient deficiency diseases like scurvy, rickets, and pellagra. These guidelines were not designed to provide optimal nutrient levels for specific life stages like preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum.


The RDAs represent the minimum intake levels to meet the needs of only 97-98% of healthy individuals. While adequate for preventing overt deficiencies, they fall short of the increased nutrient demands during pregnancy and reproductive years.


A woman's nutritional requirements increase substantially during pregnancy to support fetal growth and her physiological changes. 


Yet, the RDAs for many key nutrients like iron, folate, and omega-3s are significantly lower than recommended intake levels for pregnant women.


Additionally, the RDAs don't account for individual variations in nutrient absorption and utilization based on genetics, health status, and environmental factors. This one-size-fits-all approach fails to recognize the unique needs of women during their reproductive years.


While a healthy diet is important, relying solely on the RDAs can lead to significant nutrient gaps with serious consequences for both mother and baby. That's why many healthcare professionals recommend high-quality prenatal supplements formulated to bridge this gap and meet the increased nutrient demands of preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum.


Where We Fall Short: Soil Quality & The Modern Diet


Our modern world is nutrient depleted. Much of this is due to agricultural incentives, and the rise of processed foods. The nutritional values of some popular vegetables, from asparagus to spinach, have dropped significantly since 1950. A study found important nutrients in some crops are up to 38% lower than there were at the middle of the 20th Century. On average, across the 43 vegetables analyzed, calcium content declined 16%, iron by 15% and phosphorus by 9%. A research review on pesticides and their effects on soil found that pesticides negatively impacted the organisms by as much as 70 percent.



Even with the best intentions, there are several other factors can contribute to nutrient deficiencies during the reproductive years, including:

-Dietary choices and restrictions (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, or food allergies)
-Increased nutrient demands during pregnancy, which can quickly deplete maternal stores
-Nausea and food aversions limiting intake
-Medication interactions and absorption issues that limit nutrient bioavailability


    How Nutrient Deficiencies Impact Us


    Nutrient deficiencies compromise immune systems; hinder child growth, development, and school performance; and limit human capital worldwide. And when it comes to pregnancy and fertility is even more crucial. A recent study found that over 90% of pregnant women are not meeting expectations for key nutrients that support pregnancy AND that most prenatals supplements DO NOT provide key nutrients in the doses needed to support pregnant women (except WeNatal of course).


    Even with a nutritious diet, many men and women of childbearing age are deficient in critical nutrients that play a vital role in fertility and pregnancy health. Some of the most common deficiencies include:


    1. Iron: Inadequate iron levels can impair ovulation, increase the risk of preterm delivery, and contribute to postpartum depression.
    2. Folate: A deficiency in this B vitamin increases the risk of neural tube defects and may negatively impact fertility.
    3. Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and low birth weight.
    4. Omega-3 fatty acids: These essential fats support fetal brain and eye development, and a deficiency may contribute to postpartum depression.


    Consequences of Nutrient Deficiencies on Fertility and Pregnancy


    Failing to meet your body's heightened nutritional demands during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum can have implications including;

    -Impaired ovulation and egg quality, reducing the chances of conception
    -Increased risk of birth defects and developmental delays
    -Preterm birth and low birth weight
    -Postpartum depression and other maternal mental health issues
    -Long-term health implications for the baby


      A 14-year follow-up of a randomized control trial looked at intellectual development of children born of women who supplemented with a prenatal versus women who were only given iron and/or folic acid. The results showed that women who took a multivitamin/mineral prenatal supplement starting within the first trimester had adolescent children with a 2.16 point higher IQ (intelligence quotient) and 4.29-point higher verbal comprehension index compared to the control groups. 


      The Role of Prenatal Supplements: Bridging the Nutrient Gap


      To optimize reproductive health and give your baby the best nutritional foundation, a high-quality prenatal supplement is recommended. Think of it as insurance against deficiencies in your diet while also prioritizing the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in their most bioavailable forms. 


      Given the prevalence of nutrient deficiencies and their potential consequences, prenatal supplements are essential for bridging the nutrient gap. However, not all prenatal vitamins are created equal. Look for targeted formulations that are third-party tested and are specifically designed for the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods, providing optimal dosages and highly bioavailable forms of essential nutrients.


      WeNatal Prenatal: The Superior Choice for Fertility and Pregnancy Health


      At WeNatal, we understand the unique nutritional needs of women and men during their reproductive years. Our premium prenatal supplements are carefully formulated to provide the comprehensive nutrient profile required for optimal fertility, a healthy pregnancy, and postpartum recovery.


      1. 100% Clean Formula: no synthetic dyes, fillers, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.
      2. Right Nutrients, Right Dose. Research Backed, Clinically Tested: formulated with key, hard to find nutrients, including folate and choline, in the most bioavailable form.
      3. Just Three Pills Daily: nutrient density of 6 to 8 pills packed into just 3 a day.
      4. Attention to Men’s Health: unique formula to promote fertility for the other half of the equation.
      5. The only Supplement with a Holistic Approach: supporting mind and body with effective tools like the WeNatal Journal.


        Don't compromise on your fertility and pregnancy health. Trust WeNatal Prenatal to provide the superior nutritional support you and your baby deserve. 


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        Ronit Menashe & Vida Delrahim

        Best friends since meeting at Nike over 15 years ago. Pregnancy loss, just a week apart changed their career trajectories. As they dug into the research they realized that there was a major need in the fertility and pregnancy industry - a good quality prenatal for BOTH women AND men.

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