Natural Vitamins & Supplements for Pregnancy & Postpartum

Is it a must to take supplements during pregnancy? Are they necessary?

Adding certain supplements during pregnancy is recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG).  You do not necessarily have to take additional supplements IF you are truly focused on a solid whole foods diet; however it is also extremely challenging to eat in the quantities that would be needed to obtain the correct amount of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. Specifically thinking of that first trimester when many of us suffer from fatigue, nausea and vomiting.  Adding proper supplementation actually dates back centuries and is best done in the form of naturally occurring herbs, minerals and plants. By using proper supplementation you will reduce fatigue and give your body, and baby the best that it can possible have. Supplementation is acceptable & encouraged while growing another life as well as during the postpartum period.

What nutrients play a vital role during pregnancy for mom and baby?

    • Iron: Extra iron is important during pregnancy because your body is pumping more blood volume than normal. Adequate intake can be achieved by eating a well rounded, whole foods diet. Think leafy greens, beans, & grass fed red meats. If you feel lethargic and groggy, it might be time to have your levels checked, your OB may advise you to supplement. Not everyone NEEDS to supplement with Iron; you more than likely get enough in your everyday diet.
    • Folate: This is not to be confused with folic acid. When looking at prenatal vitamins many contain folic acid; which is the synthetic form of folate. Folic acid in synthetic form is not good, can cause cancer, undesirable side effects and not provide what your baby needs. Be sure to look for quality sources that state FOLATE on them and eat a lot of spinach! You want to look for the form labeled: L-METHYLFOLATE.
    • DHA: There are limited studies that state DHA, or Fish Oil is beneficial for the baby or not. However, there are no negative reviews and I always say its better to have more healthy fats in your system than less! Healthy fats are essential for your joint health, your brain, and your baby’s brain. Look for quality, high grade natural fish oil supplements and of course touch base with your OB about best choices.   
    • CALCIUM: Calcium is used to build your bones, teeth and that of your unborn baby. Dairy products, dark leafy greens, broccoli and dark leafy greens are all high in calcium.
    • VITAMIN D:  Vitamin D works with calcium to help babies bones and teeth develop. All women pregnant or not need about 600IUD a day. Getting enough daily sunshine will provide enough Vitamin D for you on a daily basis, those who live in colder climates with less sun would be the most suitable to needing additional supplementation. (look for D3)
    • VITAMIN K: VK regulates calcium by putting by taking it out of our blood and putting it into our bones where it belongs. It is very rare to find in the western diet which is why you should supplement. There are three forms of Vitamin K, look for the one labeled menaquinone-7 (MK-7). This form is clinically proven to have bone building properties and lasts the longest in the bloodstream.  
    • COLLAGEN: Collagen is the most abundant protein that lives inside of our bodies, specifically in our connective tissue, skin and bones. It actually makes up one third of the proteins within our bodies. Collagen increases the strength and elasticity of the tissue in your body. Research has shown that collagen supports our bodies through key amino acids that are in high concentrations–concentrations that are difficult to find in other whole foods. Read Below for the Benefits of College during pregnancy and postpartum.

What are the Benefits of Taking Collagen Curing Pregnancy & Postpartum Period?

  • Supports Healing: As your belly is expanding and growing (and even after you’ve had your baby and your body is healing) the collagen will support the tissue providing strength to support rebuilding your uterus, abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.
  • Supports Sleep: Amino acids such as glycine can improve sleeplessness, and improve overall quality of sleep.
  • Support Thyroid Function: Thyroid health is extremely important during pregnancy and postpartum. Collagen supports thyroid production, and  boosts hormone conversion thanks to the amino acids glycine and proline.
  • Heal Your Gut: The amino acids will rebuild your gut lining, repairing the areas that need to be repaired. Did you know 70% of your immune system is stored IN your gut?!
  • Joint Health: Our joints take a toll during pregnancy due to the extra weight that we gain in order to grow a baby, collagen supports this.
  • Glowing skin & reduction in stretch marks: Collagen is also amazing for its benefits to skin, nails and hair. Supplementation has been shown that collagen has improved skin elasticity, improved appearance of wrinkles and supports oxidative stress that happens with aging; I mean sure why not!

What To Look For In a Prenatal Vitamin?

  • Now that you know what vitamins are essential to add more of during pregnancy, the hard part is finding what products are best and which one will fit YOU best; because the market is saturated! As always I am NOT a medical professional, I’m sharing research I have done and brands that I have trusted after going through rigorous testing. As always check with your personal care provider.
  • You want to look for vitamins that come from whole foods and do not contain synthetic fillers that are lab made vitamins versus the actual vitamins themselves. Your Doctor may prescribe you an over the counter vitamin but I’d be quick to double check the quality of these. It also honestly depends on your dietary needs. You may eat a well rounded whole foods diet; which may lend to focusing on only specific supplementation like collagen, omega 3 and additional folic acid for example. Maybe your nutritional really lacks value and you would feel safer taking a full on dietary supplement that meets more of your needs.
  • Depending on personal preference, you will also want to check where and what the vitamins are being sourced with, and choose vegan sources if this is something that you are looking for. Specifically looking into this for the DHA supplementation and collagen.
  • If you take multiple forms of supplements, vitamins it is important to check the dosage and be sure you are not going over the allotted amount. Of course it is difficult to find ONE vitamin that has everything you are looking for, as the most ethically sourced vitamins are not combined with other vitamins. Be sure to see the list below; where I share the most ethically based ones on the market. Before I get into that I want to review one last question about taking your vitamins after baby is born.

Can you continue to take prenatal vitamins after giving birth?

YES! You should absolutely take your prenatal vitamins after birth ESPECIALLY if you are breastfeeding your baby.

Your nutritional needs are going to increase during the postpartum period because your baby is going to continue to demand more food from you; which your body has to produce. Now the AMAZING part is you don’t have to think extra hard to create this milk for your baby. If you are giving your body the proper nutrients that it needs it will create enough milk that your baby needs, just as your body took 9 months to create your baby for you without much thought. Amazing right?!

Postpartum nursing is a time where you will want to look into supplementing with Vitamin D as breastfeeding takes a lot of calcium from your body. This is specifically important if you live in a climate where sunshine is limited. Again always check with your doctor but I only recommend and share what I have researched and found the most beneficial for my health.

{Links throughout this post may be affiliate links; meaning this blog may earn a small commission, from the reader if anything is purchased, at no extra cost to the reader. Healthy Mom Happy Mom truly appreciates your support and ONLY shares what she personally uses.}

Top Picks & Brands:

Prenatal Multi-Vitamins:

  • NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR WOMEN
  • COMPREHENSIVE NUTRITION: Provides essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients based on scientific recommendations.* 
  • PURE INGREDIENTS: Pure Encapsulations manufactures a line of hypoallergenic, research-based dietary supplements. Products are meticulously formulated using pure ingredients designed to deliver predictable results for the benefit of all patients, even the most sensitive.*
  • FREE FROM: Pure Encapsulations products are free from wheat, gluten, egg, peanuts, magnesium stearate, hydrogenated fat, artificial sweeteners and colors, and other unnecessary excipients. Any product containing ingredients derived from allergens, such as soy, dairy or shellfish is clearly labeled.
  • Pregna Vite provides the maximum recommended daily intake of folic acid and vitamin D; and 100% of the daily intake of iron during pregnancy. 
  • An antioxidant for the maintenance of good health. 
  • Pregna Vite also includes bilberry fruit powder, an antioxidant for the maintenance of good health. The capsules are 100% pure vegetable-sourced.
  • Helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects when taken daily prior to becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy.
  • Prenatal multivitamin: specially formulated women’s multivitamin made from nutritious raw whole foods
  • Mom to be: our prenatal multivitamin for women is designed for both mom and baby during pregnancy and lactation
  • Prenatal with probiotics: this prenatal includes probiotics, ginger, vitamin d and zinc for digestive support
  • Multivitamin with iron: this vitamin supports blood and heart health with iron, vitamin c, e, and b-complex plus folate for healthy neural tube development
  • Raw multivitamin: vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free whole food multivitamin, with no binders or fillers
 

Omega 3/DHA:

  • OFFICIAL OMEGA-3 OF THE AMERICAN PREGNANCY ASSOCIATION:  Prenatal DHA is the ideal supplement before and during pregnancy.
  • SAFE FOR YOU + SAFE FOR BABY: With 480 mg DHA per serving, Prenatal DHA generously fulfills the international expert-recommended daily intake for DHA, providing safe and effective omega-3 nutrition to moms and babies alike.
  • STAY STRONG, STAY BALANCED: We’ve added 400 I.U. vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), the natural form of vitamin D produced by the body, for strong bones and mood support throughout all stages of pregnancy.
  • BEST ABSORPTION FOR BEST RESULTS:  Nordic Naturals formulas are produced in true triglyceride form to ensure optimal absorption and results.
  • THE ALPHA OF OMEGAS: At Nordic Naturals we believe that omega oils are essential to life. By correcting the global omega-3 deficiency.Through science and innovation, we are committed to delivering safe, effective omega oils.
  • Offers Mom support during pregnancy, Supports the proper development of infants and children and Enhances the quality of breast milk
  • 75% Concentrated Omega-3 Fish Oil with 465mg DHA
  • 600mg Total of Omega-3 Nutrition in Just One Softgel Daily
  • Clean, Lemon Flavor and No Fishy Aftertaste

Collagen:

  • COLLAGEN POWDER ENHANCED ABSORPTION: Our Hydrolyzed Collagen is DOUBLE HYDROLYZED and contains proven DigeSEB DIGESTIVE ENZYMES giving our Collagen Peptides IMPROVED ABSORPTION over other collagen supplements. 
  • NON-GMO & GRASS FED COLLAGEN PEPTIDES POWDER: Mix our Collagen Hydrolysate with anything! Coffee, Smoothies, Recipes and more! We believe in sourcing the best collagen in the world, we want better then great collagen. We source premium Non-GMO Grass-Fed Gluten-Free and Pasture Raised Bovine giving you the best and collagen powder supplement on the market.
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – SAFETY ASSURED STANDARD OF QUALITY: Made in the USA in an FDA cGMP, Organic certified registered facility. Our collagen peptides supplier invests in and practices sustainability throughout their entire production. From renewable energy and water conservation to their strict adherence to the Global Animal Partnership ensuring grass-fed, pasture raised cattle. When you buy our collagen protein powder you can rest assured it’s all natural and ethically made.
  • MULTI COLLAGEN FORMULA – Multi collagen protein features five collagen types, including types I, II, III, V and X from four different sources! Enjoy this potent, high-quality blend of hydrolyzed bovine, chicken, fish, and eggshell collagen peptides in an easy-to-mix powder that can be added to a wide variety of healthy foods and beverages
  • CLEAN & PURE SOURCES – Free of antibiotics, growth hormones and chemicals, our keto friendly collagen protein powder is derived from chicken and eggs sourced exclusively from Midwest US farms, grass-fed, pasture-raised cows from South America and shellfish-free fish collagen derived from wild, cold water fish harvested in North America
  • HIGH PROTEIN, LOW CALORIE – One serving of Ancient Nutrition multi collagen protein powder mix provides 9g of protein, 10.2g of collagen and only 35 calories! Add a heaping spoonful to any smoothie, shake, cold drink or hot drink for a daily boost of collagen protein.

Probiotics:

  • DIGESTION SUPPORT: This 20 billion CFU once daily probiotic supplement contains Lactobaccilus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria for digestive health, immune system health and more
  • PRENATAL PROBIOTIC: Clinically studied probiotics dietary supplement that support lactation, pregnancy, and immune system support for mom and baby
  • PREBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT: This prebiotic and probiotic supplement contains 115mg organic Acacia fiber to help good bacteria thrive
  • SHELF STABLE PROBIOTICS: This 50 billion probiotic comes in 30 one daily capsules; no refrigeration required HYPOALLERGENIC PROBIOTIC: Our probiotics supplement is dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and vegetarian

In Conclusion:

Personally, I have only taken one of the three supplements in addition to my diet. I also take a superfood/probiotic/protien smoothie blend everyday as part of a balanced breakfast. I enjoy this combination because of the amount of superfoods (it specifically contains Ashwaganda) that are in it. For me personally I enjoy taking less pills/powders so ones that are combined are extremely beneficial.  I would highly suggest you take a pre/probiotic as it will support your gut health and reduce constipation which can become an issue during pregnancy. I listed a probiotic I highly recommend above for you, as this was rarely discussed in my findings.  

Some women may need additonal Iron, Vitamin D or C than what is already in the actual vitamin. However; this is a case by case basis and should only be discussed with your doctor if you find yourself not feeling your best. I would personally recommened either the Genestra Brand, or Pure Encapsulations for additional vitamins.

Again I am not a doctor or medical professional. I have had multiple pregnancies & invest in my health in a big way. I have researched, read and explored countless supplements and feel these best support a healthy, happy pregnancy, for mother and baby. 

XO

Kaitlin

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