Supplements for Pregnancy

I’m not the type of person that loads up on supplements, vitamins and the like, but pregnancy is a whole different ball game.  During pregnancy (and the months preceding and following) are the only times that I take supplements on a daily basis.  On a “normal” day I’m all for magnesium supplementation if I’m having trouble sleeping or have achy muscles from a tough workout.  Or perhaps I haven’t been outside much and I’ll supplement with a bit of liquid Vitamin D.  And when I have a cold, or feel one coming on I’m definitely not shy about loading up on the Vitamin C.  But besides that, I try to get my nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from nutrient-dense food.

But pregnancy isn’t a “normal” time and growing a baby requires more nutrients, a lot of which can be hard to get solely from what you eat in a day.  This post details the supplements that I am taking during this pregnancy (many of which I also took during my first pregnancy).  This post is purely meant to inform and provide anyone curious with links and reasoning to the supplements that I take.  I am by no means telling you this is what all pregnant women need or that these are the only reliable products on the market.  I am not a doctor, functional medicine practitioner, nutritionist or anything of the sort, but I have done a lot of research on what supplements I have chosen to take.

So, without any further explanation, let’s dive into my pregnancy supplementation!

Folate

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Folate is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy, promoting healthy neural tube formation, adequate birth weight and proper development of the face and heart.  I take Solgar Folate 400 mcg every day.  Many multivitamins and prenatals contain folic acid instead of folate.  Folic acid is a chemical not normally found in foods or the human body.  Folic acid can be converted into usable forms of folate, but that conversion is limited in humans.  And, folic acid does not cross the placenta like natural folate. (1) Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and there have been risks associated with excessive intake of folic acid. (2)  With this reasoning, I have decided to consume Folate rather than folic acid.  I like this brand because it is reasonably priced and free of many allergens.

Multivitamin/Prenatal:

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Instead of an actual prenatal vitamin I take Pure Encapsulations Nutrient 950 with Vitamin K (2 capsules a day).  This product has a good balance of nutrients with a good dose of Vitamin D, K1 and K2.  It doesn’t have any iron, unlike many multivitamins, which I find important because I think I get enough iron in my diet.  Later in pregnancy (late 2nd trimester) I may start taking some iron if my levels look a bit low.  But early in pregnancy I think extra iron unnecessary and I’ve heard it can worsen morning sickness.

Probiotic

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The probiotic I take daily is Prescript-Assist.  Many of you probably already know the benefits of taking a probiotic, but if not here are some of them:

  • Maintains Healthy GI-Tract MicroFloral Ecologies
  • Promotes Normal Bowel Function
  • Supports Gut Immune-System
  • Assists in Stabilizing the Gut Mucosal Barrier
  • Supports Normal Absorption and Assimilation of Nutrients in the Gut (3)

Magnesium (glycinate)

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I take Pure Encapsulations Magnesium almost daily.  Although my multivitamin contains magnesium I like to take a little extra thanks to stress, muscle soreness, trouble sleeping and the fact that our food doesn’t contain the amounts it used to.  Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to poor fetal growth, preeclampsia, or even fatal death. Proper magnesium levels also help mom’s tissue growth and recovery during pregnancy and may help baby receive more nutrition through the placenta. (4)  I prefer Magnesium glycinate  because it tends to be easier on the digestive system. (5)

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

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A couple of times a week I take a capsule of Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil.  Cod Liver Oil has an excellent balance of Vitamin D and A and is a good source of EPA and DHA.  Of course, eating wild caught salmon and liver are great for these nutrients too.

Gelatin

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I try to remember to supplement with Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate by putting it in my coffee each morning, but I often forget.  Gelatin is great for connective tissue, hair, nails, joints and even your gut.  I like this brand because it is made from pasture raised cows.  Another good (but more expensive) brand is Vital Proteins.

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That sums up the supplements I take.  I have been consuming Vitamin C since I’ve been sick but it is not something I regularly take since my multivitamin contains it.  I try to eat a diet rich in nutrients – focusing on organic, whole foods and humanely sourced meats.  I try to limit my sugar intake and foods containing vegetable oils, soy and preservatives.

I hope you found this informative.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

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