The Importance of Zinc During Pregnancy

March 28, 2018

Zinc is an essential mineral that’s found in some foods naturally and added to others. Zinc plays a role in everyday bodily functions, and is essential during pregnancy. For expecting moms, it’s important to understand the effects that zinc and healthy prenatal nutrition have on positive pregnancy outcomes.

The Need for Zinc

Immune function, wound healing, cell division and DNA synthesis all involve zinc metabolism.1 Zinc also plays a role in the development of the placenta, which makes it an essential micronutrient in pregnancy. A deficiency of zinc can impact the function and formation of the placenta, which may lead to negative pregnancy outcomes.2

Zinc Deficiency

Because of a higher need for zinc during pregnancy and lactation, expecting and new mothers are at an increased risk of zinc deficiency.1 A recent study2 found that:

  1. Moderate maternal zinc deficiencies impair fetal growth
  2. Maternal zinc deficiencies impact the placental morphology
  3. Transport of iron through the placenta is reduced by zinc deficiency
  4. Zinc deficiency may impact oxidative stress in the placenta
  5. Maternal zinc deficiencies alter maternal blood pressure during pregnancy and
  6. Maternal zinc deficiencies alter immunological in late gestation

Nutritional Support for Mothers & Babies

Our bodies do not have a specialized storage system for zinc.1 Therefore it is important that we intake zinc daily. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, pregnancy and lactating mothers should get 15 mg of zinc daily.3 The following are food sources that can help expecting mothers meeting their recommended daily intake of zinc:1

  • Beef chuck roast
  • Pork chop or pork loin
  • Breakfast cereals fortified with zinc
  • Swiss, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses (make sure cheeses are pasteurized)
  • Almonds and cashews
  • Peas

A balanced diet and healthy nutrition can help ensure that you supply your body and your baby with the vitamins and minerals needed. To help fill nutritional gaps, the Prenate® Vitamin Family offers a line of prenatal vitamins that is designed to carry moms and their babies through preconception to pregnancy and into the weeks and months after delivery. While Prenate® products do not contain zinc, they can help meet other nutritional goals. Talk to your doctor to see if a Prenate® vitamin is right for you.

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WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

WARNING: Ingestion of more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA) per day has been shown to have potential antithrombotic effects, including an increased bleeding time and International Normalized Ratio (INR). Administration of omega-3 fatty acids should be avoided in patients taking anticoagulants and in those known to have an inherited or acquired predisposition to bleeding.

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