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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Prenatal Vitamins

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Folic Acid - is one of the B Vitamins that is needed to produce red blood cells. It helps synthesize DNA, is conducive to normal brain functions and is a critical part of spinal fluid, thus making it one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Calcium - your developing baby needs this mineral to grow strong bones and teeth, healthy nerves and muscles and to develop normal heart rhythm and blood clotting.

Potassium - is a mineral that helps maintain fluid balance in the body. This mineral helps regulate blood pressure, nerve impulses and muscle contractions.

Vitamin A - is important for cell growth, healthy skin and mucous membranes, and resistance to infections. It promotes red blood cell production in both mother and baby and is essential for postpartum tissue repair.

Copper - a trace mineral found in all plant and animal tissues; it's essential for forming red blood cells - a key process during pregnancy, when your blood supply doubles. Copper also aids tissue growth, glucose metabolism, and growth of healthy hair. It also helps form a baby's heart, skeletal and nervous systems, arteries, and blood vessels.

Pantothenic Acid - is a trace mineral that regulates the body's adrenal activity, antibody production, and the growth and metabolism of protein and fats. If you are deficient in this vitamin during pregnancy your baby's growth may be slowed. This trace mineral is required for many essential functions, including growth, appetite regulation, digestion, wound healing, and the maintenance of collagen and elastin which may explain why some doctors think it may also help prevent stretch marks, one of the banes of pregnancy.

Iron - makes red blood cells, supplies oxygen to cells for energy and growth and builds bones and teeth. In pregnancy this mineral is so crucial because the body must produce extra blood to support the growing baby. During pregnancy you will need double the recommended daily dose of iron to insure your and your baby's health.

Many expectant mothers find taking a prenatal vitamin increases nausea in early pregnancy and sometimes beyond. If this happens, ask your doctor or midwife to change your formula or it may help to change how and when you take your vitamin. If you normally take it with a meal then try after your meal. If swallowing a large pill is difficult, cut it in half or talk to your doctor or midwife about a smaller tablet or capsule that can be opened and sprinkled on food. In any event just like your mother said all those years, don't forget to take your vitamin.

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