With all the different supplements options available, I’m often asked which, if any, mama’s-to-be should be taking. Here are my top three recommendations for the prenatal period through post partum.
Prenatal vitamin with active folate
A growing baby pulls all the nutrients it needs from it’s mother, and prenatal vitamins provide an array of nutrient support. In the time between conception to when a pregnancy test turns positive, fetal development has already taken place, and prenatal nutrients support healthy, proper development. Instead of folate or folic acid, we’re looking for 5MTHF, or methyltetrahydafolate. This is the active form of folate, which skips over the body processes to convert inactive into the active form. The conversion processes can be problematic as we’re continuing to learn about the many mutations in this gene and how prevalent they are.
This plays many roles including supporting cell growth and health and supporting brain development. We’re looking for 2000 mg of EPA+ DHA, the active components of fish oil. Most supplements advertise an amount such as 1000mg per capsule, but the EPA and DHA account for much less than this and the rest is miscellaneous oils. Check your labels! I always recommend professional brands for fish oil to ensure it is sourced from small fish to avoid high mercury content, and to get a higher concentration per capsule to reach the recommended dose in fewer capsules.
Most of us in the Pacific Northwest are deficient in this vitamin and don’t know it! One of the many processes vitamin D supports is bone growth, which is high for the fetus in the second half of pregnancy. Since the growing baby takes everything it needs from it’s mama, it’s important to build and sustain sufficient levels to support this. The amount in prenatal vitamins is too low to build levels, so I recommend adding it on.
Talk to your Naturopathic Physician to see if these supplements are right for you!