Let’s talk about pregnancy supplements.
I recognize that the amount of days we spend pregnant may be a short window in the scope of our entire life. But, oh how vital are these days. As we give life and grow a precious little inside of our womb, I almost can’t think of a more important time to make sure we are taking all the nutrients we need to support both mama and baby.
So What Pregnancy Supplements Am I Taking and Why?
Food based, organically sourced multivitamin.
Let's start our pregnancy supplements chat out by discussing a good prenatal multi. It should contain at least the following nutrients: vitamin a, vitamin c, b vitamins (especially b9-folate), selenium, zinc and iron. Please, if you remember one thing from this article, please never use a multi that contains folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic version of this vital B vitamin. And it is oftentimes not absorbed or even harmful depending on the genetics of the mama and baby. The function of folate is in the prevention of neural tube defects and serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. (1)
My personal choice is Nutrigold. It’s 3 capsules a day. Yes, it’s literally impossible for the mama to find everything they + baby need in 1 pill. The idea behind 3 a day is that you take 1 pill with each meal to make up for whatever nutrients may have been missing. I personally focus a great deal on nutrient dense foods so it’s easiest for me to take them all at once.
Omega 3 or fish oil.
I’ve looked at at least 20-25 big brands on popular stores shelves and I have been so disappointed in the lack of omega 3’s or lack of quality of fish used. What’s the big deal with omega 3s? These amazing essential fatty acids (of which our body cannot naturally produce) must be consumed within our diet. Sadly, our diets are very high in omega 6s and severely lacking in omega 3. Studies have proven time and time again that considering an additional fish oil is key for your little one's brain, spinal cord, and nervous system development. (2)
For me, I am big on testing my blood levels to understand my omega 3 status. I know I need around 2,000 mg of omega 3's daily while pregnant to maintain optimal levels. Basing my recommendations on studies, I would at least suggest 1000 mg of omega 3s for mamas (this is a combo of both DHA + EPA within the omega 3's). My current brand of omega 3 is Wileys Finest Prenatal DHA for their purity, potency and absorbability. (3) If you would never consume an old piece of fish, then you want to make sure you aren't consuming a low quality fish oil capsule. Trusting the brand you are taking is key to knowing it's free of heavy metals, waste from the ocean and that it's not rancid.Studies have proven time and time again that considering an additional fish oil is key for your little one's brain, spinal cord, and nervous system development. Click To Tweet
Organically bound minerals by Standard Process.
In this last year I have fallen in love with this company's ethics, theories and nutrients. Minerals help our cells communicate more efficiently and stay hydrated so this is a must for me during this season of intense cellular changes. These items are available in-store only at this time.
Vital for the babies brain + spinal cord development. The best food source of this nutrient is eggs. But, I am not able to incorporate eggs daily so I decided to add a daily pill of choline. (3)
Again, I would encourage you to ask your doctor to take your blood levels of your vitamin d. The amount required of vitamin D can vary greatly depending on how someone’s body is able to absorb D from the sun and supplementation. I take 5000 IUS daily and that keeps my levels optimal (between 60-80 ng/ML). I love a lichen sourced vitamin D3+ K2 (k helps absorption). Studies have proven that the risk of low vitamin D levels for the infant include birth weight, impaired skeletal development, respiratory infections and an increased likelihood of allergic diseases in the early years of life. The suggested dose during pregnancy is between 2000-4000 IUs per day. Your exact vitamin D blood levels can be determined through blood work for specific recommendations.
This essential mineral is required to regulate body temperature, nucleic acid, and protein synthesis. In studies it has been shown that it may reduce fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia as well as increase birth weight. The average dose for pregnancy is 400 mg daily.
For me, an additional iron pill is a great addition. This is specific to me or mamas who run on the lower end of iron. A simple blood test will be able to determine your levels. Iron plays an essential role in the transfer of oxygen to tissues. Since mama and baby are now demanding more oxygen, there is a greater risk of iron deficiency during pregnancy. (5) I naturally run a little low in iron so for pregnancy I take an extra two capsules daily. I love either Megafood or Bluebonnet brands for this nutrient.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea.
Final Thoughts on Pregnancy Supplements.
(1) Chitayat, David et al. 'Folic Acid Supplementation for Pregnant Women and those Planning Pregnancy 205 Update." Journal of Clinical Pharmacology56.2 (2016): 170-175. PMC. Web. 11 Oct 2018.