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FEMIBION has developed supplements for the special phases of pregnancy, from before conceiving to the end of breastfeeding.  FEMIBION food supplements provide well chosen nutrients that, used as a complement to a balanced and varied diet, can support the mom and the baby during this special and exciting time.

Popular Questions

Questions & Answers

What can I do to prepare my body for pregnancy?

Research shows that a mother’s physical and mental health, lifestyle, and nutrition all can have a profound impact on the development of her baby.That’s why making sure you’re in good health, following a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced, nutritious diet is the most important thing you can do prior to conception. Here are a few ways to prepare your body:

 

  • Speak to your doctor about planning for a baby
  • If you smoke it’s important to quit. For advice and support, visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree  
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet
  • Keep physically fit
  • Make an appointment to see your dentist
  • Avoid environmental toxins wherever you can
  • If you have concerns about hereditary conditions in your family, speak to your GP about genetic counselling

In addition, starting to take a folic acid/folate supplement - such as Femibion 1*-as complement to a varied diet, is important as you prepare your body for pregnancy by increasing your level of folate. Taking a folic acid supplement before you become pregnant can help you right from the start, to reach the folate level you need.

Note that if you have a special medical condition, for example are taking medication for epilepsy, you should consult your doctor, as it might be necessary to increase the folic acid daily dose.

* Taking a folic acid supplement increases maternal   folate level. A low level of folate in the pregnant mother is one of the risk factors in the development of neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Therefore it is recommended that women should take a 400µg supplement of folic acid daily over a period of at least one month before and up to three months after conception. Low maternal folate status as an important risk factor for neural tube defects has been scientifically proven. Other factors, such as hereditary factors, can also increase the risk of neural tube defect

When are my most fertile days?

There are a number of ways to work out when you’re releasing an egg each month. One in five women actually experience a slight pain around ovulation, so if you’re one of these, take note of the date each month and aim to have sex a couple of days before this.

 

Conception is technically possible around two days before ovulation and up to one day afterwards. Since the exact time of ovulation is not usually known, the 9th to 15th days of a woman’s menstrual cycle (for a normal 28-day cycle) are considered “fertile”. Make sure you regularly have unprotected sex during this time, as it will be more likely that fertilization will occur. If you and your partner are healthy and fertile, there is a 15-25% likelihood you will conceive. To find out more, why not check our infographic  to help you find your most fertile days and use our fertility calendar  to help you keep track?

 

Can I get pregnant immediately after I stop taking the pill?

From a medical perspective, there is no reason why not. Nine out of ten women resume their normal cycle after a delay of about two weeks; however it can take longer for ovulation to resume. Therefore do not forget to start taking a folic acid/folate supplement at least 1 month before you plan to become pregnant.*

 

If you still haven’t had your period within three to four months of coming off the pill, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out an underlying medical problem.

 

* Taking a folic acid supplement increases maternal folate levels. A low level of folate in the pregnant mother is one of the risk factors in the development of neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Therefore it is recommended that women should take a 400µg supplement of folic acid daily over a period of at least one month before and up to three months after conception. Low maternal folate status as an important risk factor for neural tube defects has been scientifically proven. Other factors, such as hereditary factors, can also increase the risk of neural tube defect

Why does nutrition play an important role when planning a pregnancy?

First of all, a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is the basis for conceiving. You should also take particular care during this period to ensure that you get an adequate intake of nutrients in general.

 

Research shows that women of childbearing age do not always achieve the recommended daily intake for some nutrients, like folate or iron. You can find out more on what types of food you should eat in our article “How can I get the right nutrients to prepare for my pregnancy” here.

When should I start taking a folic acid/folate supplement?

Taking particular care to have an adequate intake of folic acid/folate is important even before you get pregnant. Green leafy vegetables, yeast and whole meal products are the main sources of folate, however even though some foods contain folate, it is recommended to start taking a supplement of folic acid/folate* (400µg per day) at least a month prior to conception, as complement to a varied and a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

 

* Taking a folic acid supplement increases maternal folate level. A low level of folate in the pregnant mother is one of the risk factors in the development of neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Therefore it is recommended that women should take a 400µg supplement of folic acid daily over a period of at least one month before and up to three months after conception. Low maternal folate status as an important risk factor for neural tube defects has been scientifically proven. Other factors, such as hereditary factors, can also increase the risk of neural tube defect

Why is the first trimester of pregnancy so sensitive?

All of your baby’s organs are created in the first 12 weeks. After this time, the baby is fully formed but needs to mature. For this reason, the risk of damage to your child is particularly high between 14 and 55 days after conception. Once the fertilized egg cell has implanted itself in your uterus, the baby’s system becomes linked to your body via the placenta. While the placenta is designed to prevent harmful substances from reaching the baby, certain substances such as drugs, nicotine, medication, and alcohol can still cross that barrier, and interrupt normal organ development. Unfortunately this can lead to physical abnormalities and miscarriage. For this reason it’s all the more important to avoid harmful substances during the whole pregnancy and until the end of lactation.

Even the smell of my favorite perfume makes me feel sick! Why is this?

Pregnancy hormones heighten your sense of smell, so you may find your nose is particularly sensitive in the first few weeks. Unpleasant smells can trigger nausea, but even aromas you previously liked, such as your favorite perfume, can suddenly seem disgusting.

 

It’s also likely, however, that heightened smell and taste are the body’s way of helping expectant mothers to steer clear of any substances that could be harmful to the baby. Food that has gone off, for example, will smell repulsive, while the scent of coffee, wine, beer and cigarettes can be unbearable. Yes, it’s annoying, but it’s also pretty clever when you think about it. 

I’m ridiculously tearful at the moment. Is that normal?

Yes! Entirely. Mood swings are a perfectly normal side effect of pregnancy thanks to all those extra hormones whizzing around your body.One minute you can feel ecstatic at the thought of holding your newborn, the next you’re weeping because you can’t find your car keys!

 

The people around you might be a little confused, but explain that you’re feeling a little sensitive right now and they’ll understand. Lack of sleep can also affect mood, so make sure you’re getting at least eight hours a night, with extra naps if possible.

Will the ultrasound show whether my baby is a boy or a girl?

If you would like to know the sex of your baby, this will be possible from an ultrasound in the second trimester. That said, a scan is not always conclusive. It can be tricky to deduce gender if the baby is facing away from the screen or moving around too much.

Can supplemental folic acid be taken for longer than 3 months?

Of course you can take supplemental folic acid for longer than 3 months, as folic acid contributes to different body functions which are relevant for pregnancy beyond the 1st trimester. We know that an adequate level of folate or adequate intake of folic acid in the first trimester of pregnancy plays a role in the baby´s neural tube development.*After week 12, all your baby’s organs will be fully formed, however your nutritional need for folate remains increased throughout your entire pregnancy and whilst you are still breastfeeding. Continuing to take a supplement as a complement to a varied and balanced diet, can be helpful during this period of time. Folate contributes to maternal tissue growth, including placental growth and to normal blood formation and cell division.

* Taking a folic acid supplement increases maternal folate level. A low level of folate in the pregnant mother is one of the risk factors in the development of neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Therefore it is recommended that women should take a 400µg supplement of folic acid daily over a period of at least one month before and up to three months after conception. Low maternal folate status as an important risk factor for neural tube defects has been scientifically proven. Other factors, such as hereditary factors, can also increase the risk of neural tube defect

Why do pregnant women often crave salty foods?

If you find yourself fantasizing about chips and salted popcorn, don’t be surprised. Rather than filling up on salty chips however, there are other ways to get your salty portion: Anchovies, marmite and gherkins all contain good amounts of sodium

My food cravings are so strong, I’m worried I’ll put on too much weight!

You are not the only one with this concern, but you should try to restrain yourself from eating too much.  Unfortunately, far from satisfying your appetite, sugary foods cause your blood sugar levels to rise too quickly, leading to the release of more insulin, and an energy crash soon after.

 

The key is to keep your blood sugar levels as stable as possible by avoiding refined carbohydrates (stodgy, sugary foods), and taking wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta as they contain complex carbohydrates. They are therefore good other options to consider.  

 

If you absolutely can’t do without a sweet treat, better to make it for example – a strawberry smoothie (made with milk, banana, avocado and strawberries), for example, a handful of dried fruit, or a bowl of Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey. Eating little and often can also help to keep blood sugar levels stable, which you may find keeps morning sickness at bay, too.

I don’t eat dairy – how can I make sure I get enough calcium?

Dairy products like milk and yoghurt provide a ready supply of calcium (as well as protein and vitamin B12), but they’re not the only source - a number of vegetables contain good amounts of the mineral; kale, fennel and spinach for example. Nuts (e.g. hazelnuts, pistachios) and seeds (such as poppy seed or sesame) are also good sources of calcium, while calcium-enriched mineral water can also help you meet your daily requirement.

Can a vegetarian diet be harmful during pregnancy?

A diet that contains no meat, but does include animal proteins such as eggs, dairy products (and fish if you’re pescatarian) is absolutely fine. It could be helpful to take a vitamin and mineral supplement however, to support dietary intakes of key minerals including iron, iodine, zinc and calcium which you could be short of if on a vegetarian diet. A vegan diet (no animal products at all) is not advisable during pregnancy, as this can make it hard for the body to obtain enough vitamin B12, which only occurs in animal-based foods. Vitamin D, iron and calcium can also be problematic for vegans, as it is harder to reach adequate nutrient intakes.

Why is dental care so important during pregnancy?

Bleeding gums are more common during pregnancy thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow to the gums. Unfortunately, this raises your risk of developing gum disease (gingivitis). As well as affecting your teeth, there’s growing evidence that gum disease is associated with increased risk of miscarriage. All of which means that looking after your teeth and gums is even more crucial during pregnancy.

 

As well as avoiding sugary foods, it’s important to brush your teeth after every meal (at least three times a day and for two minutes at a time). If it’s not possible to brush your teeth straight after a meal, chewing a sugar-free gum can be an alternative.

 

Sugar-free gum contributes to the neutralization of plaque acids. The beneficial effect is obtained after chewing for at least 20 minutes, directly after a meal or after drinking. It is always important to follow a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

 

If you suffer from morning sickness and do vomit, wait half an hour before brushing your teeth, and start by thoroughly rinsing your mouth with just water.  If brushing your teeth is out of the question right now, a mouthwash may be the best option until the nausea subsides.

How dangerous is it to use a mobile phone while pregnant?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones results in increased birth defects or complications during pregnancy. We might know differently in 20 years’ time, but for now mobile phone use doesn’t appear to carry any risks to your unborn child. If you’re concerned, you can minimize your exposure to the radiation by avoiding frequent or excessively long calls or using a hands-free headset. 

I was really stressed at work today. Will this have harmed my baby?

High stress levels aren’t good at any time, but this is especially the case when you’re pregnant. That said, stress is very difficult to measure, so it’s impossible to say when it could affect your baby. It’s also impossible to avoid pressure completely in the next nine months – in fact, trying to will probably just stress you out even more! See today as a sign that you might need to scale back your workload and speak to your boss if necessary. In the meantime, your baby can no doubt deal with one bad day, so try to relax.

Is it OK to exercise now I’m pregnant?

Just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean to say you have to stop exercising. In fact, as long as you’re healthy and there are no medical complications, staying active throughout your pregnancy can be extremely beneficial. Find out more in our article “Can I still do sport now that I’m pregnant” here

 

 

 

Do I have to give up running now I’m pregnant?

If you’re physically fit, you can continue to jog for as long as it suits you. Some women run right up until giving birth. Most women, including fit runners, find their energy levels start to drop by around 20 weeks, so running can feel too exhausting. If this is the case then switching from jogging to power walking or just going on brisk walks makes sense.

 

Whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure you wear a pair of supportive, well-cushioned sneakers – the pregnancy hormone relaxin makes your joints and ligaments more flexible during pregnancy, so you may be more prone to injury.

 

Stick to a comfortable pace and both you and your baby will benefit.

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