Pregnancy brings about new circumstances and challenges that most people likely don’t encounter until they’re expecting a little one. And all corners of society are on standby to approach expectant parents with guidance, anecdotes, their own fears, medical opinions, etc. Suffice to say, it’s a lot of recommendations and differing opinions to sift through. Meanwhile, there are all of pregnancy’s regular physical and mental rigors: exhaustion, nausea, heartburn, etc. It’s not a mystery as to why expectant mothers (and parents, generally) are all too often left feeling overwhelmed.
Through it all, parents ultimately want what’s best for their children. And this human desire to provide the absolute optimal pregnancy can leave mothers saddled by the near-infinite prenatal regimen options. When it comes to providing what’s best for my baby, however, I’ve found one simple thing that is a sure-fire way to positively influence fetal and child development and optimize outcomes for children: Adding phosphatidylcholine (PC) supplementation.
Phosphatidylcholine is a class of phospholipids that contain choline. Choline is a crucial nutrient for brain and gut health. And when combined with phospholipids, the building blocks of our cells, phosphatidylcholine is a vital nutrient for child development.
Here’s why I decided to add PC supplementation to my prenatal regimen, and you should, too:
In This Article
- Mom to mom: How and why I discovered the impact of phosphatidylcholine
- 3 ways you and baby will benefit from phosphatidylcholine supplementation
- Increase maternal choline levels to support early fetal development
- PC bolsters later stages of fetal and child development
- Optimize pregnancy outcomes
- You’re doing great
Mom to mom: How and why I discovered the impact of phosphatidylcholine
When I started contemplating having children in my thirties, my doctors told me that I would need to take Metformin and Clomid to become pregnant. Knowing the potential challenges I might face in my efforts to conceive prompted me to get serious about my health and the health of my future children. It wasn’t just about getting pregnant, but about carrying a child to term healthfully.
Fortunately, with the help of my doctors and the exposure to nutrition researchers (simply due to the industry I work in), I’ve been remarkably lucky to have direct and informed guidance for my individualized health journey. I recognize that not everyone has the same access to this information, which has made me passionate about sharing my story about adding PC to my prenatal regimen and the litany of benefits that PC provides the mother and the baby.
3 ways you and baby will benefit from phosphatidylcholine supplementation
Ranging from eliminating mommy brain fog to being integral in fetal development, the benefits of phosphatidylcholine are varied. And what’s important to know is that we do not get enough phospholipids from our diets alone!
Here are a few of the main benefits of PC supplementation:
Increase maternal choline levels to support early fetal development
Choline (remember the choline in phosphatidylcholine) plays an important role in fetal brain development. Bodies, unfortunately, can’t synthesize all the choline needed, so choline must be acquired through diet. If choline deficiency occurs, muscle damage and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are possible.
Most mothers aren’t acquiring the necessary levels of choline through their diet alone. However, increased demand for PC occurs when a mother is expecting, and fetal development is underway. Low PC levels put the mother’s liver and placenta function and fetal neural development at risk—increased choline levels through PC supplementation place both the mother and the baby in a healthier position.
PC doesn’t just help develop the baby’s brain. PC is also essential in further stages of fetal development.
PC bolsters later stages of fetal and child development
According to Nutrients, a choline study by MDPI, the body needs phospholipids to support rapid cell division, cell growth, and myelination (neural cell transmission abilities). Brain development occurs early in fetal development. As the baby progresses into the third trimester, other organs develop, such as the lungs.
PC supports healthy fetal lung development, including the baby’s lung surfactants. The surfactants are lipid-protein complexes that stabilize the composition of the lung. Respiratory pathologies can be prevented during this crucial time of development by adequate supplementation of PC.
After fetal development, the delivery of the baby is the primary focus of everyone involved.
Optimize pregnancy outcomes
OBGYNs are invariably focusing on preventing preterm births. Additionally, health professionals look at birth weights as an indicator of an infant’s health. PC can support a healthy birth weight and prevent preterm births.
According to a study conducted by Camille Hoffman, MD, MSc, choline supplementation extended pregnancy terms an average of three weeks. Regarding birth weight, for a mother to hit a healthy baby weight, choline supplementation plus a steady diet of eggs, liver, fish, and beef will put her on the right track.
You’re doing great
It’s true: There’s a ton that expectant mothers can (and are expected to) do when pregnant. Given all the information and advice out there, which can be conflicting, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and perhaps a bit intimidated by it all. I know I was. But at the end of the day, the best pregnant parents can do is eat healthfully, get as much rest as possible, and follow the advice of their healthcare team. However, if you’re searching for other ways to support your child’s development, I highly recommend the simple addition of PC to your prenatal regimen. Now pregnant with my third child, I’ve experienced firsthand the benefits of prenatal nutrition and phosphatidylcholine supplementation.
Jessica Kane Berman is the CMO of BodyBio, the category-defining, science-backed, physician-trusted supplement brand. BodyBio’s mission is to enhance health at the cellular level. BodyBio has served over 2000 physicians since1998. Jess helmed BodyBio’s transition to also be directly available to consumers as of 2018. Jess has a uniquely valuable vantage point as a mother of three on how mothers can best care for their children and how the rest of us can best care for our bodies.