What Supplements are Safe and What are Not for Pregnancy?
Being pregnant is tough on all levels, and throughout the process, there are many times when you want to find relief from all the different health situations that arise, from nausea, to sleep, pain, anxiety, etc. You are very diligent about your health and want to use as many natural remedies as possible, but you’re often faced with the warning – “do not use if pregnant or nursing” – what’s up with this? When it comes to natural health supplements, clinical trials for many
products may be in their early stages and do not include pregnancy. Without sufficient science-based evidence, it is always better to err on the side of caution. So, what is safe and what is not for mothers-to-be and should you consider supplements? Yes, you should consider some supplements. The nutrient needs during pregnancy increase significantly (carbs, proteins, fats) and well as the need for crucial vitamins and minerals that support the growth at every stage of pregnancy. Some women cannot maintain the required nutrient-dense diets required through their regular meals. They may have dietary restrictions (vegan, food intolerances, allergies), severe nausea and vomiting, carrying more than one child, smoking or trying to diet to reduce weight gain, all of which can affect the nutrient intake during pregnancy, which ultimately affects the growth of the fetus. Consider some supplements to help you and your baby through the process but proceed with caution on some herbal products when and if you should take them. Red Raspberry leaves are an excellent herbal supplement to consider; they are used in herbal medicine as a remedy to induce labour. Taken any other time other than when it is time to deliver could result in problems. Whereas, other herbal products, such as ginger, are safe and effective for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Try to reduce or avoid Vitamin A and Vitamin E; they are both fat-soluble vitamins, stored in the liver and an abundance of which can lead to problems with the fetus. Black Cohosh, Dong Quai and other herbals for women’s health need to be avoided to avoid early contractions of the uterus.
What is Safe for Pregnancy?
There are some vitamins and minerals that, regardless of your dietary intake, should be part of your daily regime leading up to pregnancy, during and after pregnancy. A prenatal vitamin is a good starting point, especially brands that are food-based, such as Mega Food Baby and Me products. The Baby and Me product line offers a few different choices of “Food State Pregnancy Multis,” one of which is (Baby & Me™ Daily). Mega Food Baby and Me supplements provide a well-rounded vitamin and mineral blend in combination with herbal blend that
has been researched as being safe for mommies and the growing fetus (ginger root, dandelion root, chamomile and spinach as a source of iron) and a fruit blend of phytonutrients (organic blueberry, organic cranberry and organic orange). They have a non-herbal version "Baby & Me™ Herb Free" and a powdered option great for adding to smoothies, Daily Multi Powder for Baby & Me™. Other supplements that are considered safe and necessary for pregnancy are Folic Acid (folate), important for the prevention of congenital disabilities of the fetal brain and spine. Your multivitamin will have folic acid in it. Pending the dosage, you may want to consider adding a stand-alone supplement to ensure you are getting the required amount of one mg a day. Double the amount of your daily iron is required during pregnancy, which is not easily obtained from your foods, and some supplements can be hard on the stomach or cause constipation. Mega Foods Blood Builder Minis is a favourite product for not only pregnancy but for women that are menstruating, vegan, athletes or anyone at risk for low iron. It is in a “Food State; using beetroot as its primary ingredient source and is very gentle on the stomach and non-constipating. Calcium and Vitamin D are most often found in a prenatal multi but if not, consider the additional supplement that would help to build the bones and teeth of the fetus. Omega 3 fatty acids are also a must supplement during and after pregnancy. Your fetus’s brain is made up of Fatty acids, and during development the growing fetus will rob mom of whatever it needs for growth, often leaving the mom deficient after birth. A deficiency in Essential Fatty Acids in moms has been linked to postpartum depression as well as developmental problems in young children. Due to the concerns for consuming fish or fish-based supplements, use DHA vegan sourced from algae. Supplementing with probiotics is both safe and effective for immune health, and other stomach distresses. If you are not sure, ask your health care provider or reach out to us to help you choose the best path to wellness for your pregnancy.
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