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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Decided To Start Trying To Get Pregnant..
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7 posts in this topic

My husband and I decided this morning (12 AM exactly) to start trying for a baby.

I need to know what vitamins and other stuff to take/do to have a healthy baby.

THAnks!

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I see that you've been gluten-free for several months. If you are not taking a good gluten-free multi-vitamin you should start.

I took pre-natal vitamins for a three year period while I was pregnant-nursing-pregnant-nursing, so I'd call my OB/Gyn and or Celiac Doctor if I were you -- they may suggest starting pre-natal vitamins while you are working on your new miracle!

Good Luck!

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Make sure that you're on a prenatal, first. Also make sure that you're getting at least 1200mg calcium a day (you'll want about 1500mg/day when you *are* pregnant). (Get half that in magnesium as well.) And get your iron tested. Many women find that supplemental iron during pregnancy is a good idea, BUT you can have iron levels too high. It's not common in pregnancy at all, but there are some serious side effects, so it's just safer to be tested first. (Good food sources are important, as is taking vit C with iron (and not taking calcium) to increase absorption. Cooking in a cast iron pan is helpful too. Additionally teas, such as nettle and dandelion root are good sources of iron.) You may also want to supplement vit D, particularly at this time of year, so you're getting 1,000-2,000IU/day (my midwife suggested 2,000IU/day for me).

If you're on any medications - ANYTHING, including over the counter pharmaceuticals and herbs/homeopathic medicines - talk to your doctor about it. About the only thing that they'll say is SAFE during pregnancy is moderated use of tylenol. Some medications they'll want you off of entirely, some only the first trimester, and some you have to weigh the risks with the benefits to the mother. Safe herbs to use include chamomile tea, raspberry leaf tea, mint, nettle, ginger. Avoid cohosh (blue or black), goldenseal, and most other herbs in medicinal strengths.

Reduce any stressors that you can. Not only does stress make it more difficult to get pregnant, it makes it more difficult to remain pregnant (particularly in the early weeks) and can affect growth of the fetus later during pregnancy as well. Depending on your situation, this may be a smaller or larger change. (I took my layoff, opted not to look for another job, and am just teaching yoga - the stress reduction has been vital for me. Of course, not everyone is this way - many people I know have kept their regular 40-hr/wk jobs - but the point is that you have to figure out what works for YOU, not what you think "is normal" or "you should be able to do". I am continually grateful that we were able to do this, with rather a lot of pre-planning and saving, as first trimester meant 12-16hrs of sleep per day for me, and I still need mid-day naps in the second trimester.)

Finally, if you're not regularly exercising now, get started - slowly. Easy, low-impact, gentle exercises. During pregnancy, you need strength and stamina - it's a taxing process. During labor, especially, you need strength and lots of stamina. Walking is excellent, swimming is FABULOUS (though, ouch... maternity swimsuits... just got one yesterday... I miss my old racerbacks for style and price), and - though I'm biased, it's still true - prenatal yoga is also wonderful.

I'm sure those who already have kids will have a lot of other great advice too!

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The only thing I have to add is that a visit with your OBGYN or your midwife for a pre-conception check-up is a very good idea. Some routine bloodwork may be in order including things like checking for your Measles and Chicken Pox immunities, iron levels, and the like. A more complete vitamin-sufficiency work-up might be warranted because of the Celiac disease. A pap smear is a good idea now. Better now than while pregnant.

My midwife, who is also a Naturopathic Doctor, carries a couple of very good quality hypoallergenic prenatal vitamins, which are wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, and soy-free. She also has me on an additional Folic Acid supplement, but don't take extra Folic Acid above and beyond your prenatal vitamin unless you consult with your OB or midwife first. Too much won't directly hurt you or baby, but it can mask symptoms of deficiency in other vitamins so it's important for your OB or midwife to know if you're taking more than the standard amount.

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Actually, recent study suggests that too much folic acid in the later part of pregnancy *can* raise asthma risks for the baby. Folic Acid Late in Pregnancy Tied to Asthma in Kids.

This does NOT mean to avoid folic acid. Don't even consider that until you've gotten past any risk of spina bifida. But it does mean that popping *extra* folic acid might not be a great thing. But those folate rich leafy greens? Those are apparently just fine.

(A note here: you're going to read ALL KINDS of conflicting information about what you should and shouldn't do during pregnancy. Read it. Digest it. Think about it. Talk to your doctor. And trust yourself. It's incredibly frustrating to hear so much conflict, but at the end of the day, your instincts are quite likely to take you in the right direction. So if this recent news on folic acid is concerning, just go with what, at the end of the day, all things considered, you think is best. Your best is the best you can do, and it'll be just fine.)

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I've seen that study, too, but it seems to only apply to late pregnancy, not the critical first 6 weeks or so when the neural tube is formed. Before pregnancy and during the first trimester, too much folic acid should be safer than not enough -- but still only under the advice and knowledge of a treating physician.

Folic acid is water-soluable so excess is excreted in the urine. With the possible exception of late pregnancy, I believe the only known side-effect of excess Folic Acid is the masking of certain Vitamin B deficiencies.

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Get a good gluten-free prenatal vitamin (kirkman labs is good - and it didn't make me nauseated!). Eats good, green, leafy veggies. Get plenty of rest and exercise (and continue while pregnant!). Start doing kegels now ;)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegel-exercises/WO00119. You've gotten LOTS of good advice!! And there's lots you can do while pregnant to help ensure an easier delivery (baby spinning, working on proper baby positioning can help against back labor, c/sections, etc...).

Good luck!

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