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The Top Nutrients For A Healthy Pregnancy With PCOS

Written by: Vivienne Wang, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Vivienne Wang

PCOS affects nearly 6 million women in the United States alone and is the most common cause of infertility. But getting pregnant with PCOS is only half the battle. PCOS often contributes to insulin resistance, nutritional deficiencies, and hormone imbalances throughout the pregnancy.

Pregnant woman in white long sleeve shirt

8 nutrients you need during pregnancy

Something that will contribute to a healthy pregnancy if you have PCOS is focusing on getting the proper nutrients for you and your baby. All pregnant women need to be careful about filling their diets with nutrient-dense calories to ensure the health of their baby's health and protect their own health during and after the pregnancy. Here are 8 nutrients to include each day of pregnancy.


1. Folic acid

Folic acid is important in preventing neural tube defects during fetal development. Don’t confuse this with folate, the synthetic form of folic acid. Opt for foods rich in folic acid to benefit from this B vitamin.


Find folic acid in: Leafy greens, Lentils, Avocados.


2. Calcium

Calcium is essential for bone and muscle development and function. It also contributes to reproductive health. Foods high in calcium include: Dairy products, Leafy greens, Seafood, Figs.


3. Iodine

Iodine is essential for thyroid function both in mother and baby. It is also necessary for the brain development of your baby.

Get iodine from: Seaweed, Seafood, Eggs, Dairy.


4. Iron

Iron deficiency often contributes to irregular menstrual cycles in women with PCOS, meaning you may already be low in iron. Your body needs iron to make the blood that provides oxygen to your baby. Don’t supplement with iron unless directed by your doctor.

Instead, focus on food sources, including: Lean meats, Spinach, Legumes, Black beans.


5. Selenium

This powerful antioxidant supports healthy ovarian function. It is also important during pregnancy because too much or too little selenium has been associated with miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and fetal growth restriction.

Enjoy selenium found in: Brazil nuts, Seafood, Organ meats.


6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical for hormonal balance and reproductive health. Sufficient vitamin D means proper calcium absorption, bone growth, and strength for your baby.

Get your Vitamin D from: Safe sun exposure, Dairy, Cod liver oil, Mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light.


7. Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is vital for brain growth and function, as well as nerve function.

It is primarily found in animal products like: Meat, Fish, Dairy.


8. Zinc

Zinc deficiencies can be linked to preterm births and prolonged labor.

Ensure you’re getting enough zinc from: Oysters, Lean meats, Pumpkin seeds.


Nutritional tips for pregnant women With PCOS

If you’ve conceived with PCOS, it’s important that your diet is rich in healthy fats and high in protein and antioxidants. Including a variety of fruits and vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods will give your baby the best start. It’s also crucial that you continue balancing your blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Insulin resistance, PCOS, and gestational diabetes are often closely related. Eating complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean proteins at regular intervals throughout the day can help you balance your blood sugar during pregnancy and beyond.


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Vivienne Wang Brainz Magazine
 

Vivienne Wang, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Vivienne Wang is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) specializing in PCOS, fertility, pregnancy, and eating disorders. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Vivienne works with clients worldwide via Telehealth. She is registered with Dietitian Australia, a Certified Fertility and Prenatal Dietitian through the Early Life Nutrition Alliance, and credentialed by the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders. Her own experience with irregular periods, weight gain, and an eventual PCOS diagnosis as a teen led her to learn to manage her symptoms with lifestyle changes and nutrition. Her experiences are the driving force behind her desire to educate and help women with similar backgrounds. You can learn more about Vivienne’s custom nutritional approach and connect with her directly as your potential Pregnancy Nutritionist & Fertility Dietitian on her website.


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