It might take your body quite a long time to replenish your depleted nutrient reserves after you deliver a baby, so prenatal supplements can be of great help. They can be your insurance. Especially with nausea and selective eating, you want to have enough of the vital nutrients reaching your developing baby.
Actually, it’s helpful to start with your prenatal vitamins already when you’re trying to conceive and continue during breastfeeding. It takes a lot to build a human and today’s produce is not as nutrient-dense as it used to be.
One vitamin in particular is often mentioned with pregnancy and it is vitamin B9 aka folic acid. You might have heard of folate as well. Both are different forms of vitamin B9, where folic acid is the synthetic form which the body doesn’t convert into active B9 very well. Un-metabolized folic acid may then build up in the bloodstream and in high levels it may negatively affect health by hiding your vitamin B12 deficiency for example. Folate on the other hand is converted much better. As far as supplements go, methyl folate seems to be healthier. The healthiest dietary sources of vitamin B9 are whole foods, such as leafy green vegetables, asparagus, avocados, Brussels sprouts.
I always knew that I wanted the least synthetic vitamins I could find, and by a sheer coincidence I came across Garden of Life. Their whole philosophy makes sense to me – starting with organic produce, sourcing and traceability, testing, certifications, all the way to sustainability. I’ve also read that many over-the-counter pregnancy vitamins can make you nauseous. I’ve not had bad reaction to any of their products and I have chosen to use them before and during my pregnancy. I’m going to continue afterwards to help me with recovery.
Here are the prenatal supplements from their product line that I’ve been using:
Vitamin Code Prenatal Multivitamin – raw whole food multivitamin. It’s vegetarian, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, without fillers, artificial colours or preservatives. You can take it with or without food. You can also open the capsules and add them to water or juice.
mykind Organics Prenatal Multi Gummies – soy, dairy & gluten free, vegan, organic, non-GMO, no processed sugars and syrups, artificial colors, made with organic whole fruits with pectin from apples and orange peel—no animal gelatin. This is another option for prenatal vitamins, perhaps more suitable for people who don’t like capsules.
Minami Prenatal Omega-3 Fish Oil – made from the purest fish oil, 640mg of omega-3s with 480mg as DHA in one softgel. It contains no saturated fat, has a clean lemon flavor, no fishy aftertaste. It goes through rigorous in-house and third-party testing to ensure undetectable levels of dioxins, pesticides and heavy metals such as mercury. The fish come from sustainably managed waters.
Dr. Formulated Probiotics – non-GMO, vegan, soy, dairy and gluten free, 16 probiotic strains, can be eaten with or without food, capsules can be opened and mixed with water or juice
David Perlmutter, M.D., F.A.C.N.
America’s Brain-Health Expert, Board-Certified Neurologist, #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and Expert in the Human Microbiome
“New research reveals that the mother’s gut bacteria significantly influences the diversity of the bacteria in the birth canal, and as such, influences the newborn’s microbiome as well. Mother’s gut bacteria are actually transported throughout her body.” https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/probiotics-prebiotics-healthy-pregnancy/
Other probiotic supplements that are safe for pregnant women that I have used are from Bio-Kult – non-GMO, in vegetable capsules, gluten free, made in UK, no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, no need to refrigerate
Bio-Kult Advanced multi-strain formula – 14 strains
Bio-Kult Candéa – 7 strains with added garlic and grapefruit extract.
Dlux3000 Vitamin D oral spray
3000IU – 75mcg
Ingredients: Xylitol, water, acacia gum, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), sunflower lecithin, citric acid, preservative: potassium sorbate, peppermint oil.
The source of vitamin D3 in this oral spray is lanolin which has been sourced from the wool of sheep living in Australia.
Most adults are believed to be at least somewhat deficient in vitamin D, especially people in northern regions of the world. Synthetic vitamin D is added to pasteurized cow’s milk, soy milk and rice milk. D3 from animal products is closest to what sunlight naturally produces in humans.
Vitamin D rich foods (cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, other fish, raw milk, eggs,…) also happen to occupy many positions on the pregnancy black list. Trying to get enough through sun exposure doesn’t seem to be the best option during this sensitive time.
Dlux3000 Vitamin D oral spray does not need to be taken with food or water and can be taken at any time of the day. The active ingredients are delivered directly into the bloodstream via the membranes in the mouth.
Pregnancy increases the possibility of anemia. You need at least 27 mg of iron per day for additional red blood cells, the placenta, the growing baby and possible blood loss during birth. Feeling tired is very common in pregnancy, but it might point to iron deficiency. Increasing iron intake may lead to constipation, but there are non-constipating options mentioned below. I’ve another blog post on boosting your iron levels right here.
Floradix liquid iron (daily dose contains 15mg) – no alcohol, preservatives, colourings or artificial flavourings, lactose free, contains organic iron from ferrous gluconate, vitamins B2, B6, B12 and C. There’s also a vegan, gluten and yeast free version of Floradix.
Superior Source Just Women instant iron (daily dose 25mg)
Terra Nova Easy Iron non-constipating (daily dose 20mg)
Vitamin Code Raw Iron, non-constipating, whole food (daily dose 22mg)