Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prenatal Vitamins

Yep, I'm knocked up! 12 ½ weeks at the time of this blog post!

12 week baby bump

When I asked my OB/GYN last year what I needed to be doing if we were trying to try for a baby in the future, she told me three things:
  1. Prenatal Vitamins
  2. Fish Oil
  3. Eat plenty of meat/protein

Prenatal Vitamins

If you've ever looked for prenatal vitamins, you'll find there are what seems like a bazillion different kinds. Where to start? It was overwhelming at first. 

I finally did come across some vitamins that fit my requirements though: New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

My reasons for choosing these vitamins:
  • No dyes.
  • No unfermented soy.
  • No synthetic vitamins.
  • Vitamin A is 100% from beta-carotene.
  • Daily dose is split into 3 pills for better absorption and to be easier on the stomach.
  • Contains probiotics for easy digestion.
  • Not "horse-pill" sized, easy to swallow.

I started taking these about a year before we even planning on trying for a baby, so I've been taking them about 1 ½ years now. I've been very happy with them. 

As you can see in the picture below, they are brown pills without any coating. They have a slight smell reminiscent of hay or alfalfa.

Each pill is about the size of a Tylenol caplet.

Fish Oil

I already posted a short blog entry about fish oil a while back. The specific variety of Nordic Naturals fish oil I take is the Prenatal DHA.

  • Recommended by the American Pregnancy Association.
  • 450 mg of DHA
  • Comes from small fish (anchovies and sardines), which don't store mercury like large carnivorous fish do. And they are more sustainable.
  • Goes through molecular distillation to remove any heavy metals.
  • Not "horse-pill" sized, easy to swallow.

Vitamin D

While not on my OB/GYN's initial list, I also take extra Vitamin D. Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. 

Per an article from WebMD, women who took 4000 IU of Vitamin D were:
  • Half as likely to develop gestational diabetes. 
  • Half as likely to develop pregnancy-related high blood pressure / pre-eclampsia.
  • Less likely to give birth prematurely.
  • Less likely for both mother and baby to have insufficient Vitamin D levels.

There has also been some speculation linking Vitamin D deficiency and autism. Though the cause of autism is still unknown, I find this an interesting theory. A few articles on the subject:

Note: Make sure you get Vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is lower quality and not as readily used by the body.

Update 12/31/2012: Yet another reason to take Vitamin D, women who take Vitamin D during pregnancy have a 61% lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS)