I am 9 weeks pregnant. How do I ensure I am getting enough nutrients for my child? Should I be taking 2 prenatal vitamins? My first OB appointment is coming up, and I need to know what questions to ask her.
Hi Jolene. Since your OB/GYN knows your specific medical history and health needs, it is best to get specific recommendations from him/her. However, general guidance for all pregnant women with celiac disease includes the following and should help you in your discussion with your doctor:
- Now more than ever, it is extremely important to maintain a strictly gluten-free diet so you can maximize nutrient absorption for both you and your baby. Pay particular attention to reading ingredient labels and ask questions when eating out of the home.
- The gluten-free diet is often low in calcium, iron, fiber, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D and magnesium. It is important to get these nutrients through whole, unprocessed foods and gluten-free prenatal vitamin supplements. A great resource to learn which foods are good sources of these nutrients is Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, by Shelley Case.
- Nutrients that are particularly important for the healthy development of your baby include iron, calcium, vitamin D, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.
For more information, read Maximizing Nutrition for Pregnancy, part of NFCA's Celiac Disease and Women's Health section (www.beyondceliac.org/womenshealth)
I would also recommend seeing the doctor who is managing your celiac disease in addition to your OB/GYN, so he or she knows you are pregnant and can provide appropriate advice.
Rachel Begun, MS, RD