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The Most Important Things You Can Do to Prevent Birth Defects During Your First Trimester

Updated: Jun 12

Most doctors will tell you that you need to consume animal products for protein, iron and calcium. I know that I started drinking milk during my pregnancy solely because of a misinformed doctor. My oldest was born with severe respiratory allergies and to this day, I attribute it to my milk drinking while pregnant and nursing. Has anyone else had the same experience? 

Today, it’s widely known that you can meet all of your pregnancy dietary needs through a well balanced plant-based diet and taking the right prenatal vitamin.

One vitamin you don’t want to skimp on is #𝐅𝐎𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐄 (folic acid in its synthetic form). Adequate amounts of folate intake can help prevent anemia, preeclampsia and birth defects – specifically neurological birth defects. This vitamin is used in the formation of the neural tube during fetal development. Birth defects that folic acid deficiency hav been linked to include:

  • Spina bifida (Open & Closed)

  • Anencephaly 

  • Cleft lip

  • Cleft palate 

  • Craniorachischisis

  • Iniencephaly

  • Encephalocele

The best time for folic acid supplementation is during preconception and the first trimester. My go-to sources for folate:

  • Prenatal vitamins 

  • Asparagus 

  • Spinach 

  • Avocado 

  • Beans 

If you need support with your preconception nutrition, if you’re concerned about weight management or chronic disease, contact our Preconception Doula. 

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