While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach, many women can benefit from supplementation for preconception and pregnancy. Supplements should definitely not take place of a nutrient-rich diet, but they are a good addition!
Due to modern farming practices, a large amount of our soil is depleted from important nutrients, and supplements can help ensure there aren’t any gaps in your nutrient intake. Always remember to check with your Board Certified Nurse-Midwife or health care provider to be sure you are taking the right supplements for you and your body!
So, what supplements should you take?
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal, Standard Process Catalyn, Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal, Designs for Health Prenatal Pro, or Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal – A high quality prenatal is like a ‘safety net’ to fill in any gaps in nutrients you may have in your diet. I always recommend a food-based prenatal because the nutrients come from real food, which is much easier for your body to assimilate than synthetic nutrients. Some women even have genetic conditions, which inhibit the assimilation of synthetic nutrients. These synthetic nutrients can actually build up in your system and cause more harm than good. A good example of a food-based nutrient to look for in your prenatal is folate. Folate is from food whereas folic acid is the synthetic form of this nutrient. Folate is extremely helpful in preventing neural tube defects.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil or Life Flo Magnesium Oil – Some researchers link morning sickness to a deficiency in magnesium and B vitamins, so it’s important to build this up in your system prior to getting pregnant. Magnesium can sometimes be hard to absorb internally, which is why I recommend topical application. Try putting magnesium oil on the bottoms of your feet every night before bed. You can also add a few ounces to a relaxing bath with epsom salts. If you’re already pregnant, don’t fret, magnesium is essential for all sorts of important functions in the body. You can also get magnesium from incorporating the following foods in your diet: spinach, chard, nuts, seeds, kefir/yogurt, beans, avocado, figs, dark chocolate, and bananas.
Latero Flora, Prescript Assist , or Primal Defense – In addition to fermented foods, I recommend taking a good quality probiotic to keep your gut happy. Probiotics help keep your immune system strong and can even reduce your risk of Group B Strep. It’s also an important preparation for delivery to ensure your baby gets a good dose of beneficial bacteria when coming through the birth canal. As your baby passes through your vaginal canal at birth, he picks up all of those little ‘gut bugs’, which can give baby a strong start for brain and immune health.
Cod Liver Oil
Fermented Cod Liver Oil or Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is like a superfood for pregnancy, aiding in baby’s brain development, immune system health, bone structure, and more! Cod liver oils also provides you and baby with a hefty dose of omega-3, vitamin D, and vitamin A. Vitamin A is pretty hard for the body to convert into a usable manner from vegetables, so supplementing with cod liver oil could be a good idea. Also, a fun fact: moms using cod liver oil during breastfeeding showed higher levels of the beneficial EPA and DHA in their breast milk!
B vitamins like B Complex can help prevent and treat nausea in pregnancy. They don’t work for all women, but are worth a shot, right? Vitamins B6 and B12 aid in magnesium absorption and I’ve already doted on the benefits of magnesium for preventing morning sickness. You can also get B vitamins through foods like spinach, parsley, broccoli, beets, turnip and mustard greens, asparagus, romaine lettuce, liver, lentils, and bell peppers.
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