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Shaklee Malaysia Leads Expert Discussion On Pre and Postnatal Nutrition


“Nutrition is key in all stages of life, especially in the reproductive years for women who plan on conceiving. As the saying goes, “a healthy mother makes a healthy baby.” While every mother wants the best for her children, nutrition plays a fundamental role in paving a conducive environment for fertility to take place (pre-conceptional), a healthy pregnancy (prenatal), and a sustainable motherhood journey especially during breastfeeding (postnatal),” said Dr Sonhee Park. 

Dr Sonhee Park, Senior Research Scientist in Research & Development of Shaklee Corporation (USA) emphasised that deficiency in nutrients such as Vitamin B9 (folate) is highly prevalent in pregnancy and breastfeeding women and their infants. Deficiency in Vitamin B9 during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of birth defects and in B12, iodine, and iron with other common complications in infants and mothers. According to the Ministry of Health in Malaysia, expectant mothers are recommended to consume 600 mcg of folic acid, 4.5 mcg of B12, and 200 mcg of iodine per day.[1]


Organised by one of Malaysia’s leading nutrition companies, Shaklee Products (M) Sdn Bhd (“Shaklee Malaysia”), the expert roundtable session themed “All About Fertility & Pregnancy: Truths & Myths” also saw other expert panellists, namely Dr Mathi Arasu Muthusamy, Fertility Specialist & Medical Director of Fertility Associates and Dr Nurzarina Abdul Rahman, Founder and Certified Lactation Counsellor of Gravidities Consultancy, discuss topics surrounding pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a nutrient that will be transferred to the baby during both pregnancy and breastfeeding phases and is essential for brain, eye and nervous system development.

Calcium is another essential nutrient for baby’s bone and tooth formation. Calcium loss from mother’s bone will be increased to meet baby’s calcium needs if her diet is lacking in calcium. Hence, it is important to consume sufficient calcium during pregnancy and throughout the breastfeeding period for her own bone health and for baby’s strong bones and teeth.

A long-term multiple dietary supplement study[2] conducted by the University of California, Berkeley among 1056 participants across three sample groups – long term non-dietary supplement users, single supplement users and multiple Shaklee supplement users has also revealed that users who consumed highly bioavailable dietary supplements were found to have improved health as compared to non-users. Bioavailability is a term used to describe the proportion of a nutrient that is absorbed from the diet and is used for regular body functions.

Nutrients, such as iodine, improves fertility and foetal mental development and is known to prevent miscarriages and premature births. Iron is essential for DNA synthesis as well as haemoglobin production, the protein in red blood cells which helps carry oxygen to body’s cells. Anaemia may occur when the haemoglobin level is low in the blood due to iron deficiency. In Malaysia, it is estimated that 38% of pregnant women suffer from anaemia according to a survey by the World Health Organization[3].

A strong calcium foundation prepares the pregnant and lactating mother to reduce osteoporosis risk in the later stage of her life because the need for calcium increases during this stage to support baby’s growth. Along with calcium, Vitamin D is essential to facilitate calcium absorption, preventing Rickets in babies and children.


“One of the more common myths encountered include the misconception that frequent nursing would lead to poor milk production. In reality, the mother’s supply of breastmilk is dependent on the demand. This means that the more milk the baby drinks, the mother’s body will be able to produce a higher level of breastmilk. Indeed, breastmilk is a mother’s gift to her child and is designed to provide the necessary nutrients for the baby as long as required. It is important for mothers to look into their diet, eating habits to ensure that the vital nutrients are received adequately during the lactation period”, added Dr Nurzarina. The World Health Organization (WHO)’s recommended period for breastfeeding recommended that mothers should commit to a minimum of 6 months “exclusive breastfeeding” in which the baby only consumes breastmilk and is encouraged to continue to breastfeed (non-exclusive) up to two years of age and beyond.[4]

“In Malaysia, we observed that couples prefer to start their families at a later age, more commonly in their 30’s or 40’s. In general, a typical fertile couple aged 25 years will have a 20% chance of successful conception each month. However, as women age, the percentage is expected to fall to 17% at the age of 35 years and down to 10% at the age of 40”, said Dr Mathi Arasu Muthusamy, Fertility Specialist & Medical Director of Fertility Associates.

Successful conception is dependent on various factors. Lifestyle habits during the reproductive years, maintaining a healthy weight, dietary intake and adequate exercise are elements that contributes to preparing a conducive environment for conception.

Interested about Shaklee Malaysia’s wellness education campaign, “Live Well, Be Well”,
Website    : www.shaklee.com.my




[1] http://nutrition.moh.gov.my/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FA-Buku-RNI.pdf
[2] Block, G., Jensen, C. D., Norkus, E. P., Dalvi, T. B., Wong, L. G., McManus, J. F., & Hudes, M. L. (2007). Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. Nutrition Journal, 6(30). doi:10.1186/1475-2891-6-30
[3] McLean E, Cogswell M, Egli I, Wojdyla D, de Benoist B (2009) Worldwide prevalence of anaemia, WHO Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System, 1993-2005.Public Health Nutr 12: 444-454.
[4] http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/


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