prenatal vitamins, nutrition,

Ask the Doc: When Should A Child Begin Supplementation?

Ask the Doc: When Should A Child Begin Supplementation?

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of

When should a child begin taking nutritional supplements? -G. R.

Dear G. R.: I used to recommend that supplementation begin in the womb, but I’ve had to revise that recommendation. A child’s supplementation should begin before conception. Let me explain. It is during the first eight weeks of life that most of a child’s development takes place. Very few women give pregnancy much thought during that critical period of time. It is therefore essential that prospective mothers be taking regular supplements prior to conception. They should continue to take optimum daily allowances  of vitamins and minerals throughout pregnancy, supporting the baby’s needs as well as their own.

One of the tragedies of our society is that most pregnant women are advised to take “Prenatal” vitamins. I have known many women who were on a sound supplemental regimen prior to their pregnancies but who, to keep their obstetrician happy,  had switced to a prenatal vitamin.  Prenatal vitamins are woefully deficient in most nutrients. It is advisable to increase the intake of B vitamins during pregnancy, but optimum levels of other nutrients remain unchanged. The infant will continue to be nourished through the breast milk if the mother is taking supplements. Once weaned, the child should be given his or her own nutritional supplement. –Dr. Peterson

For more details see Prenatal Supplementation

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