Other Supplements In Pregnancy
Other than folic acid, iodine and any supplement prescribed for you by your doctor, there is limited evidence to support the use of supplements during pregnancy.
Emerging research has shown that omega-3 supplements during pregnancy might help reduce the risk of premature birth, and that probiotics might help control blood glucose levels in pregnancy. But it’s not clear whether the benefits of taking these supplements outweigh any possible harms. Until there is better evidence available, it’s best to avoid them â particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Because nutritional supplements are classed as ‘complementary medicines’, they are not scrutinised or regulated as much as other medicines.
Why Trust Verywell Family
As a Registered Dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Every product has been researched and vetted by her against clinical research, product reviews, and third-party testing websites. These are products she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her clients but she would take them herself if needed.
Should I Take A Prenatal Supplement Postpartum
Amid sleep deprivation, hormonal shifts, doctors appointments, and feeding schedules, there’s tons to remember during the postpartum period. So do we really still need a prenatal vitamin after having a baby?
Amid sleep deprivation, hormonal shifts, doctors appointments, and feeding schedules, there’s tons to remember, and sadly to forget, during the postpartum period. For most of us, taking a prenatal vitamin is one of them. So do we really still need a prenatal vitamin after having a baby?
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What Type Of Prenatal Vitamins Is Best
Vitamins come in multiple forms: pill, soft-gel capsule and gummies. For some, swallowing and holding down a pill can be difficult especially when youre queasy due to morning sickness. If thats your situation, try a soft-gel capsule or a gummy vitamin. Just remember that gummy vitamins do not contain iron, so you may want an extra iron supplement for that.
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Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
In addition to the vitamins and nutrients discussed above, here are two of the best supplements to take while pregnant.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Doctors will often encourage their pregnant patients to take a fish oil supplement. Heres why.
Why theyre important: Omega-3 fatty acid stores tend to deplete quickly throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids provide DHA, one of its most biologically active acids.
DHA can help ease the risk for an early preterm birth . Additionally, low DHA levels can influence changes in brain function. Consequently, this can lead to genetic variations, decreased learning abilities, and impaired vision.
The benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acid extend to postnatal nutrition, too. Researchers suggest that rapid depletion of fatty acids during pregnancy and breastfeeding can contribute to the baby blues. In turn, taking this healthy omega can have a positive influence on maternal well-being.
Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- cold-water fish
- plant oils
The ACOG recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish per week. However, pay special attention to avoid raw or undercooked fish. Additionally, you should also avoid fish with high mercury levels while pregnant.
That said, talk to your doctor about incorporating a high-quality fish oil supplement into your prenatal plan if you suspect youre getting enough DHA.
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Why Should You Consider Taking Vitamins After Giving Birth
As a mother of a newborn, youll spend a lot of time caring for and bonding with your baby. Sometimes the time it takes to focus on your little ones needs can crowd out other tasks, like making balanced and nutrient-dense meals for yourself each day.
To ensure they fully replenish their nutrient stores and reach their daily nutrients needs, some mothers may choose to supplement their dietary intake of certain critical nutrients in their postpartum months. Next, well explain how these nutrients can support new mothers so you can decide whether supplementation is right for you.
What Do Prenatal Vitamins Do
Prenatal vitamins are designed specifically for the needs of pregnant women. They are full of only the essential vitamins and minerals needed to support the pregnancy and healthy growth of the baby without providing too much or too little of those vitamins and minerals, which can be harmful. They also contain specific vitamins, like the B vitamin folic acid, which help reduce the chances of birth defects.
Prenatal vitamins also support a healthy immune system in the mother whose immune defense is lowered due to the pregnancy. Along with that, they provide energy for the pregnant mother who may feel fatigued during much of the pregnancy.
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Which Vitamins Are Important To Regulating Mood And Disposition
Fatigue and depression can often be a hassle on your productivity and your overall quality of life. Individuals who are having difficulty regulating their moods can use supplements to help. Studies have shown that regular Vitamin B consumption can help improve your overall mood and balance out irregular mood swings. Altering your diet and adding a supplement can help level out emotions and return people to their normal selves.
A Regimen To Support Postnatal Recovery And The Bodys Nutritional Needs For Nursing Including Postnatal Supplements Formulated For Energy And Mood Support Plus Nutrients For Your Babys Development*
This post was created in partnership with our friends at New Chapter.
On Oct. 27, 2019, I became a mom. A moment Ill cherish forever. I gave birth to my daughter Adeline Kay, a healthy baby who is now 3 months old. Im happy to share that after a long journey to conceive, I was blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a smooth labor and delivery and am recovering well and feeling good overall.
Today, Im sharing my postnatal plan with you as well as my supplement regimen, including how its impacted my recovery from pregnancy and childbirth and how its supporting breastfeeding. My hope is that this post will be informative for other new moms and moms-to-be.
Prior to Adelines birth, I researched the topic of nutrition and supplements for recovery and breastfeeding and wrote out a plan individualized to my lifestyle and needs. I knew I wanted to give it my all at exclusively breastfeeding my baby and also take the appropriate measures for myself to ensure that I properly recovered from pregnancy and childbirth. So often I think we focus so much on staying and being healthy during pregnancy that we lose sight of the importance of postnatal health and well-being including mental health and physical health. It really is just as important! In addition, a mothers diet and supplementation has an incredible impact on the overall nutrient profile of breast milk. An adequate diet and supplement regimen is essential the babys health and development.
Actions Im currently taking:
How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins After Birth
After baby is born, many doctors and midwives recommend that you have a daily food regime rich in nutrients, in addition to continuing to take a prenatal vitamin during postpartum. This should be followed for as long as youre breastfeeding or have postpartum bleeding.
One side effect of loosing blood for up to 6 or more weeks after giving birth is developing a deficiency in iron. Taking a prenatal supplement with iron for as long as you have post-delivery bleeding, or during the length of time youre breastfeeding will help restore depleted nutrients which help support you and your newborn.
Heres Why You Should Be Taking Your Vitamins Afterhaving A Baby:
One of the most common things that women often lack is iron Im still struggling with it.
Iron helps to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen toall the other parts of your body, including your major organs. Iron depletioncan cause you to feel tired and fatigued and you may experience troubleconcentrating.
It takes approximately 6 months to replenish calcium storesafter pregnancy and because calcium is an essential mineral in bone health itis important for mothers to invest in their bone bank so that their bonesbecome stronger and less vulnerable to osteoporosis later in life.
- Vitamin A
Did you know after giving birth, your bodys demand forvitamin A increase?
At birth, babies have low vitamin A, so your baby isdepending on your breast milk to meet its vitamin A needs.
Babies need vitamin A to develop strong immune systems.Vitamin A also plays a role in vision.
- Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids cannot be made by the body and can onlybe obtained from the diet, or supplementation.
After birth, breastfed babies continue to rely on their mothers milk to supply them with DHA , which is absorbed into the central nervous system up until about 18 months of age. Even if a woman cannot breastfeed, she has transferred Omega 3 fatty acids to her baby throughout the duration of her pregnancy and needs to regain her own stores of Omega 3 fatty acids.
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When Is It Necessary To Take Prenatal Vitamins
If youre planning to conceive, ingesting iodine and folic acid before pregnancy will guarantee that you have the correct balance of these nutrients. Also, if you have health disorders like anemia or youre malnourished, youll need an extra dose of vitamins and minerals.
If youre already pregnant, its especially important for you to take a daily multivitamin. Of course, this should always be done with your doctors permission.
Nordic Naturals Postnatal Omega
These postnatal omega-3 soft gels are beneficial for metabolism, mood, and brain development. Suitable for sensitive stomachs, theyre easy to absorb and taste good. The soft gels are produced ethically and sustainably without the use of artificial colors or preservatives.
Note that this supplement solely contains omega-3 and vitamin D3. Its not a multivitamin, so you may need to take an additional supplement to meet other postpartum nutrient needs.
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Vitamin D In Pregnancy
You need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount between September and March.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight .
It’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s needs, but if you’re in the sun take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you start to turn red or burn.
Vitamin D is also in some foods, including:
- oily fish
- red meat
Vitamin D is added to some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives. The amounts added to these products can vary and might only be small.
Because vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it is difficult to get enough from foods alone.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
You can get vitamin supplements containing vitamin D free of charge if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
Critical Nutrients For Postpartum Mothers
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When To Switch Back To A Regular Multivitamin
Once people hit the six month mark after birth and are no longer lactating, a regular multivitamin, like Essential for Women, should help support nutrient needs. For those who are still breastfeeding, we suggest sticking with a postnatal multivitamin. Pretty simple, right?*
And as always, check with your physician if you have any specific questions about supporting your nutrient needs during this important time. New parentsyou got this.
As a health company that adheres to standardized nutrition researchwhich is often reliant on assigned sex at birthwe face some unique challenges regarding our gender-specific messaging. Our decision to use gendered terms is, unfortunately, a result of these limitations in nutrition research. In cases where complying with the binary distinction is necessary for scientific accuracy purposes, we want to make it very clear that we recognize a persons gender identity might differ from their assigned sex.
My Gp Told Me To Take Folic Acid Or Folate What Is The Difference
The naturally occurring form of the water-soluble vitamin B9 found in food, is called folate. Folate is an essential B vitamin, found in food such as leafy green vegetables, citrus fruit, legumes and brown rice.
There are 3 forms used in supplements:
Folic acid is the name for the synthetic form which is used in dietary supplements, fortified foods and beverages. It has to go through several biochemical steps to be converted into active folate. This can be an issue for people with an MTHFR polymorphism.
Folinic acid, is one step removed from active folate and is found in food as well as dietary supplements.
Active folate, or 5-MTHF is the most bio-available and suitable for people with MTHFR polymorphisms.
Folate reduces the risk of birth defects, specifically in spine and brain development spina bifida and anencephaly by 50% or more. It may also lower the risk of miscarriage, especially in women with high homocysteine levels, an amino acid that contributes to blood clotting.
The World Health Organisation recommends that women begin taking 400mcg of folic acid at least two months prior to conception. The importance of adequate folate levels during the pre-conception period is well established.
We recommend taking a quality preconception vitamin at least 3 months prior to conception as well as following a preconception plan for both partners to ensure the best possible chance of an optimal pregnancy and healthy baby.
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What Supplements Can Help With Postpartum Depression
Women who are suffering from postpartum depression can drastically improve their situation with a proper diet and nutritional supplements. Adding more Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Omega 3 can help individuals overcome this feeling of depression. Adding additional supplements to your diet is a great way to ensure you are getting the nutrition you need in order to recover. Many individuals often feel their spirits lifting when they go outside in the sunshine thats because its a natural provider of Vitamin D.
What Vitamins Are More Essential To A Woman’s Needs
Getting a variety of different vitamins and nutrients are important to a womans health. One of the most common things that woman are often lacking is iron. Iron helps to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all the other parts of your body, including your major organs. Iron depletion can cause people to feel tired and fatigued and they may experience trouble concentrating on tasks presented to them.
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The Right Picks To Take You Through Your Pregnancy Journey
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Nutrient needs are increased during pregnancy to support the growth and development of the fetus while also supporting the health of the mother. But with so many prenatal vitamins out there, how do you make the right choice? It is important to make sure prenatal supplements have been tested by third-party labs and offer maximum transparency to consumers.
A prenatal vitamin is a multivitamin that is designed with pregnancy and breastfeeding in mind. The number of vitamins and minerals in these supplements are safe and appropriate when trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and postpartum while you are breastfeeding. Some specialized prenatal vitamins may also have other pregnancy-related additives, including DHA .
In addition to purity tests and transparency, it is important to consider the amounts of key prenatal nutrientssuch as calcium, vitamin d, iron, folate, and cholinethat the supplement contains in each dose. Women may need to try a few different prenatal supplements before finding one that does not have undesired side effects, such as nausea or constipation.
Here, the best prenatal vitamins for all your needs: