Are you confused with the myriad of pregnancy supplements out there, and wondering how to make the best choices that are good for you & baby while at the same time not depleting your budget? Have you wondered, too, which supplements are key and which aren’t actually necessary? And which supplements are going to actually provide you with the nutrients you need? And what are the basic supplements you should focus on? You’re certainly not alone in your musings!
As a midwife and a mom, I’ve had the same questions. I also know that it can be overwhelming to sort through brands, AND remember to take multiple vitamins and pills every day, especially if they have to happen at different times. I also want to make sure the moms and babies I’m caring for are getting the nutrients they need, which means NOT relying on the cheapest brands and options. If you’ve spent any amount of time researching options, you know that there lots of things to consider as you think about vitamins and supplements. Ideally, you want to use a brand that focuses on whole foods, organic sources, and includes bio-available nutrients (such as folate instead of synthetic folic acid). Of course, these vitamins aren’t going to be the cheapest ones available, which means that you will want to choose wisely, and consider using fewer supplements and making sure the ones you ARE taking are high-quality!
For those who have wondered, here is a list of the basic supplements that I routinely recommend to clients. Of course, more need to be added in the presence of specific conditions, but for most moms, these are the basics that I would encourage any mom to take during pregnancy (and while you’re nursing!):
- High Quality Prenatal Vitamin Daily
- Brands to consider: Sprigs Mama Bear, Thorne Prenatal, Seeking Health Prenatal Vitamins
- Calcium/Magnesium (1000mg calcium/500mg magnesium taken once or twice daily)
- High Quality Probiotic Daily
- Brands to consider: Mary Ruth Organics, Entegro Flourish (there are many brands available!)
- Highly recommend FemDolphilus during the last two months of pregnancy to help decrease Group B Strep risk.
- Red Raspberry Leaf Tea during 2nd and 3rd trimesters (my favorite recipe is posted here).
- Gentle Birth Formula during last 6 weeks of pregnancy
For special considerations, these are typically the first recommendations:
- B Vitamin (if dealing with low energy especially: your midwife can do blood tests to determine if it’s caused in part by a B vitamin or folate deficiency).
- Brands to consider: Max BnD, Jarrow B Right
- Iron (if low energy seems to be iron deficiency related)
- Brands to consider: Trace Minerals Iron, HemaPlex
- Magnesium drink at night before bedtime to help promote restful sleep: Natural Calm
- Trace Minerals to help with restless legs, leg cramps, muscle soreness: ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops
Most moms with low-risk pregnancies who are consuming a high-quality diet don’t need more than these to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby! For more information on understanding diet & supplements and their effect on mom and baby’s health (and what ingredients are important to be aware of!), I’d highly encourage you to check out the following sites:
Dr. Aviva Romm on Prenatal Vitamins
Lily Nichols on Folate vs. Folic Acid
Lily Nichols-information on diet and nutrition during pregnancy
And finally, if you’re looking for a place to purchase vitamins and supplements, I encourage all my clients to check out www.vitacost.com, as I typically find the best prices at that site!
I’d love to hear what prenatal vitamins and other supplements have worked for you! Feel free to share in the comments below so we can all learn together. And be sure to share this post with other moms that might benefit from the links and information!