When I was 2 I ate a whole bottle of Flintstones vitamins. Needless to say, a scary trip to the hospital and a stomach pumping followed. And I’ve hated taking pills ever since.
Having said that, I don’t think we can get every nutrient we need from our diets. Unfortunately, our depleted soils produce foods that aren’t as nutritionally dense as they could be. I also live a busy life, and don’t always get my weekly liver in or homemade salad dressings with raw egg yolks.
So, I take supplements, and I’ll list them out below. Quick note: I take 95% of these when I’m not pregnant, so hopefully everyone can relate to this post :).
Ready? Here’s what I take.
I always take my prenatal as an insurance policy to make sure the baby and I are getting what we need. I use either MegaFood or Garden of Life Vitamin Code. Both are food-based supplements, which I like because they are natural and easier to digest. I like MegaFood because they are high in iodine, have a good zinc/copper ration and are what I took with Griffin. The Vitamin Code prenatal contains additional probiotics and digestive enzymes, which is nice. They’re also smaller and you take less (3 versus 4).
Cod Liver Oil
In my opinion, this supplement is the most important for pregnancy (and nursing). It contains naturally occurring fat soluble vitamins A & D, which are vital for baby’s brain and eye development, bone and teeth structure, and so forth. It’s also high in omega 3′s and the fatty acids EPA and DHA. Again, critically important for baby’s development and mom’s health. I take the fermented variety from Green Pastures. This is the only cod liver oil on the market that is raw and includes the natural vitamins that occurs in the oil itself. Most others on the market, use heat to remove contaminants and naturally occurring vitamins. They then synthetically add them back in. Having said that, some cannot tolerate the fermented product as it can cause allergic reactions like hives, rashes, indigestion, etc. I would then recommend this product or this one. Both contain synthetic vitamins but they are in the right ratio and a fine option if you can’t tolerate the fermented one.
High Vitamin Butter Oil/Vitamin K2
Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled the world studying cultures with the highest longevity rates, found that the healthiest people consumed 10X the amount of fat soluble vitamins A & D. He was a huge fan of cod liver oil as a result and found that “magic” occurred when he combined it with high vitamin butter oil and it’s special qualities. We now know that it contains another fat soluble vitamin, vitamin K2, which helps take calcium out of the wrong places in our bodies (i.e. kidneys, arteries, etc.) and into the right places like bones and teeth. It’s also great for cancer prevention. Because vitamin K2 regulates clotting in the blood, I don’t take daily. Instead, I shoot for a few times a week. I find it really helps with tooth sensitivity and keeps my skin super soft. I rotate between taking the butter oil and the cheaper vitamin K2 supplement, which is derived from fermented soy (natto).
I started taking a vitamin B complex about 6 months before I got pregnant. My midwife suggested this to build up my folate stores. I took this one from Vitamin Code. Since I still had some left, I kept taking here and there throughout the first trimester. I also took 50 mg of Vitamin B6 with each meal to help with first trimester nausea. It worked great! I will stop taking at 16 weeks.
I’ve seen stats that state anywhere from 60-95% of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium. This mineral also helps with morning sickness. Most importantly, it keeps things moving… if you get my drift. When we get pregnant, the hormones can slow things down, including our digestion and bowels. Magnesium is a wonderful remedy for constipation. The rule of thumb for dosage is to take magnesium until your stool get loose. Then dial back. For me, the perfect dosage seems to be about 500 mg a day. I use a combination of Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Citrate and Ancient Minerals Magnesium spray, which you apply topically.
I like taking one while pregnant and I rotate my brands to expose myself to as many different bacterial strains as possible. Right now, I’m using Natren. I like it because it’s high in bifidophilus, which is important for the small bacteria. I’ve also used Klaire Labs, Dr. Ohrika, and Bio-K.
I think everyone can benefit from taking one. I like these digestive enzymes from Vitamin Code. Just one at each meal takes away any indigestion. I’ve also used HCL with Pepsin, which worked well too.
So there you have it… the supplements I’m taking while pregnant.
Are you pregnant? Planning a baby shower?
Take a look at my baby registry checklist, a handy visual guide featuring everything you need and nothing you don’t ;)