Hey there, young learners! Today, we're going to talk about two superhero vitamins—B9 and B12—and how they help moms and babies stay healthy before, during, and after pregnancy.
Vitamin B9 (Folate): The Cell Builder
Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, is like a superhero that helps make healthy cells and helps babies grow. You can find folate in yummy foods like beans, leafy green veggies, asparagus, and broccoli. It's also hiding in fortified foods like cereal, bread, and pasta. And guess what? You can even take special vitamin pills called supplements to make sure you get enough!
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): The Brain Booster
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin and is found in poultry and dairy products. It plays a crucial role in forming RBCs and DNA, as well as in brain development and nerve maintenance. B12 supports healthy fetal development and assists in maintaining the nervous system. Supplements are also available.
Why Are They So Important?
These superhero vitamins are essential because they help prevent problems like anemia, which makes you feel tired and weak.They also play a big role in making sure babies grow strong and healthy, reducing the chance of babies being born with problems like spina bifida, where the spine doesn't form correctly.
What Happens If We Don't Get Enough?
If we don't get enough vitamin B9, we might feel tired, weak, or even a little sad. Not having enough can also cause problems with our tummies and make it hard to think clearly. On the other hand, not having enough vitamin B12 can make our nerves and brains feel a bit wonky, leading to issues like tingling and anemia. 
Neural Tube Defects (NTDs): What's That?
Imagine that our bodies are like a big puzzle. The neural tube is an important part of that puzzle because it helps make our brains and spinal cords. Sometimes, if the puzzle pieces don't fit together just right, babies can be born with something called a neural tube defect (NTD). This can cause problems like spina bifida, where the spine doesn't form properly, and babies might need special surgeries to help them feel better.
Personal Story: A Supermom's Story
Before I got pregnant in 1999, at the age of 20, I had never under- or overindulged in food. I took multivitamins on a daily basis. When I sought prenatal treatment, there was never any indication that my unborn child had any issues. When I first became pregnant, I was never given the option to undergo genetic testing. Sometimes, babies need extra help, even if their moms did everything right.
I was unaware that neither her dad's nor my family had any members with this condition. What is known is that my daughter's paternal and maternal grandfathers were exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
When I went in for my first scan at twenty weeks along, the heartbreaking news that my daughter would be born with hydrocephalus and spina bifida hit me. Why this had happened to us was a mystery. My baby girl would require surgery immediately after her birth. I would also have to have her delivered via a cesarean section to prevent infection and death for both her and I.
When I became pregnant with my second daughter in 2005, I made sure to eat a healthy diet, take multivitamins, and seek prenatal care right away. Once more, there was no offer of genetic testing. I was classified as high-risk due to my first pregnancy, which meant I had to be constantly watched and have sonograms every few months to track the development of my unborn child.
My infant had developmental delays at birth. Early Intervention administered tests to her. They claimed that she had spina bifida since she was bow-legged, her legs bent back, she could not sit up, and she had not yet attempted to walk. She was also just a year old, but they declined to give her a diagnosis and arrange for therapy. She still has back problems that make it difficult for her to sit up straight, and because she didn't get the treatment she needed, she is almost eighteen years old and is experiencing hip problems.
My sister also gave birth to two young boys who had hydrocephalus and spina bifida. Why just two of my father's six children were born with neural tube disorders (NTDs) and the other children were not is a mystery. I doubt we will ever have a conclusive response, as we do not yet have one.
What is known is that prior to my girls' birth, there was no family history of these NTD diagnoses; but, after my sister became pregnant in 2015 with her first boy, there was a history on our side of the family. When she became pregnant in 2019 once more, she was devastated to learn that her second child would also be born with an NTD.
Every baby was born with a unique level of neural tube defect, and their experiences are vastly dissimilar. We are grateful for the love our children offer us all, as well as for their perseverance and bravery in the brutal world we live in. God has blessed our family with some amazing children.
Tips For Super Moms:
- Eat healthy foods with lots of vitamins.
- Take vitamin supplements if your doctor says it's a good idea.
- Get special care from doctors during pregnancy.
- Don't forget to ask about genetic testing to learn more about your baby's health.
- Surround yourself with a support team—friends and family who can help when needed.
- Take care of your mental health too. Sometimes, talking to someone can make a big difference.
Remember, young learners, these superhero vitamins are here to keep everyone healthy and happy! So, eat your veggies, take your vitamins, and grow up strong and smart!
Higher levels of energy;
Aids in energy and overall happiness;
Provides a sense of comfort and relief;
Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;
Accomplish weight-loss and management; and
Improves mental and cognitive functioning.
There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are a man or woman looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!
Also, feel free to share any of your favorite recipes to make and share it with the Assuaged community on our ➡️ Share A Recipe ⬅️ page!