Do You Really Need Prenatal Vitamins?

prenatal vitamins

The first thing you hear when you mention wanting to get pregnant is, “start taking prenatal vitamins.” But how do you choose the right one? Furthermore, do you really need one?

When pregnant, the only nutrient needs that significantly increase are for iron and folate. You also want to ensure plenty of the omega-3 fat DHA to support proper brain development in the baby. Beyond that, nutrient needs aren’t much different from non-pregnancy.

Do You Need A Prenatal Vitamin?

No, because you can find regular multivitamins that contain iron and folate. There are even some that contain DHA. However, you might need more iron than is found in a regular multi so you can take that separate if you want. Here are some guidelines on what to look for in a supplement, whether acting as a prenatal or for everyday.

best prenatal supplements

What To Look For In A Supplement

Vitamin A

If you have a low functioning thyroid, diabetes, or autoimmune disease, you might need up to 5000 IU of preformed vitamin A. Most supplements contain beta carotene which can be converted to vitamin A. However, that conversion is impaired in people with health issues so I prefer the source be fish liver oil.

Vitamin D

A recent study found that 4000 IU of vitamin D supported a healthy pregnancy and reduced the risk of preterm labor. You most likely won’t find that amount in prenatal vitamins or a regular multivitamin so will need to get an additional source. Getting in the sun daily without sunscreen is also a good idea. Look for D3 or cholecalciferol as D2 or ergocalciferol is more likely to cause toxicity. It is a good idea to also take vitamin K2 if you take vitamin D. This is because K2 helps you utilize the vitamin D and get calcium into bones.

Vitamin C

High doses of vitamin C might be harmful during pregnancy. Therefore it’s best to stay at 500 mg daily or less. Instead, focus on eating vitamin C rich foods like citrus, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Make sure it is natural vitamin E. If it says dl-alpha tocopherol, it’s not natural. Look for d-alpha tocopherol and put it back if there is an l by itself or with the d.

Folate vs Folic Acid

Folate

You want 600-800 mcg of folate and the methyl form (not folic acid) is probably preferable. This amount can be found in a regular multivitamin. But in both prenatal and regular vitamins, it can be difficult to find it in methyl form. So if you can’t find one than don’t worry so much about the form.

Iron

Most prenatals have around 27 mg of iron and most women’s multivitamins that contain iron have 15-18 mg. If you don’t have anemia, you really don’t need 27 mg of iron. Infact, studies haven’t found iron supplements (whether anemia exists or not) to prevent preterm birth, low birth weight, or infections during pregnancy.

Furthermore, excess iron can cause problems. So I think it’s best to stick with a regular multivitamin prior to pregnancy if you do not have anemia. Also, try to avoid ferrous sulfate as the source of iron. 

Iodine

Supplements will usually contain 150 to 225 mcg. I think the higher amount is preferable as iodine is essential for the healthy development of the fetus, but you can also use kelp flakes on food for an iodine boost.

Riboflavin

Getting adequate riboflavin is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, helps you utilize and absorb iron, can reduce the likelihood of pre-eclampsia, helps with blood pressure control, supports methylation – a process that is essential for good health, and it gives you energy. You need at least 2 mg daily and I recommend taking some with each meal. 

fertility diet

Final Thoughts On Prenatal Vitamins

Having said all that, finding a multivitamin, whether regular or prenatal, is quite a challenge. I found three prenatals that can be found in stores;

If you opt for a regular multivitamin, keep in mind the amount of folate you need and add extra folate if the multivitamin does not have the recommended amount. You can also add additional iron if needed and either DHA or cod liver oil depending on the form of vitamin A.

If the form of vitamin A is beta carotene, opt for the cod liver oil. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Women’s formula is a good option here, but it is low in iodine. Therefore, you would need kelp flakes, cod liver oil and possibly an additional iron supplement as it only contains 8 mg of iron. 

For both a regular multivitamin and prenatal, you can also add extra vitamin D with K2. If you need an energy boost, you might try getting some riboflavin with each meal with a low dose B-complex.

A good multi can help fill in the gaps and ensure adequate amounts of important nutrients, but it doesn’t replace a poor diet. So make sure you are eating real food and plenty of leafy greens. For more information click here to read, Get Your Body Ready For A Baby .

Are you still consuming this poison that causes your brain cells to self destruct?

This is one of the worst substances ever created in the laboratory. And it has been systematically added to our food supply for the last few decades.

This artificial sweetener is hiding in many of your foods and it is important to be diligent in reading labels to be sure you are avoiding it.

Aspartame is a neurotoxin – which means it actually chemically toxifies your brain cells to death with poison.

It is used as a sweetener in diet drinks, yogurt, gum, and many pre-packaged foods.

There is overwhelming evidence (over 900 studies) stating that it creates irreversible damage in the body, with over 92 known side effects.

You can imagine that it can be somewhat difficult to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms if you are unknowingly ingesting this sweet poison.

For example, some of the known side effects include epileptic seizures, aggression, heart palpitations, migraines, brain damage, hives, nausea and blindness. Also, multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and brain tumours.

The side effects can either build up gradually over time, or can be an acute reaction.

According to Lendon Smith, M.D. there is an enormous population suffering from side effects associated with aspartame, yet have no idea why drugs, supplements and herbs don’t relieve their symptoms.

Are you being poisoned by Aspartame and don’t even know it?

You are being poisoned if you are using any of these products:
• NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Amino-Sweet
• Children’s Tylenol chewable tablets
• Centrum Jr. and Silver Vitamins
• Metamucil (sugar free)
• Some Flintstones vitamins
• Dimetapp
• Some Gerber hydration solutions
• All diet sodas
• Smucker’s sugar free products
• Kool-Aid
• Crystal-Light
• Jello
• Most brands of gum and mints
• Sugar free candies
• Some sugar free yogurts
• Some breakfast cereals and granola bars
• Most items that are labelled sugar free

There are many more products that aren’t on this list that also contain aspartame. It’s important to read the labels of everything you consume, to be sure you are not inadvertently poisoning yourself or your family.

Also look for anything that contains Asesulfame K or Acesulfame Potassium. They can also mimic aspartame and are sometimes used in conjunction with each other.

So how do you avoid Aspartame?

The easiest way to avoid aspartame is to eat real food. Shop in the perimeter of the grocery store and spend 90% of your time in the produce department. Choose foods that do not require a label. For example, an apple is an apple. It doesn’t need a label to identify the ingredients that are inside of the apple.

If you used to sweeten your coffee with an artificial sweetener, switch to real food!

Honey has amazing health benefits and tastes great. Pure maple syrup also contains a great deal of nutrition. Use these sugars sparingly, as they are very sweet and can add several calories to your beverage. However, those calories come with a lot of nutrition, and no matter what, they are SO much better than aspartame.

This is a very informative short video outlining the dangers of Aspartame and how to avoid it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB6L9S_jc5E

With Sources from:

visit http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/06/aspartame-most-dangerous-substance-added-to-food.aspx