Even though I follow a healthy, highly-nutritional diet, it’s always challenging to consume enough of the necessary nutrients for pregnancy. In my first pregnancy, I didn’t do nearly as much research and wasn’t aware of how important the quality of pregnancy supplements are, including the form the nutrients come in. I merely thought getting a healthy prenatal and DHA supplements from Whole Foods was sufficient. I did more research during my second pregnancy, and even more so now in my third. Below are my favorite, most asorbic, and high-quality supplements that I swear by…
- Thorne Basic Prenatal (containing Folate). It contains none of the additives found in mainstream prenatal supplements (i.e. artificial preservatives, stearates, hidden lactose, gluten, nut-based ingredients, etc.). It contains 1,000 mcg (active 5MTHF) as opposed to 800 mcg (metabolically inactive folic acid) found in many other prenatal vitamins. This prenatal supplement contains 5MTHF, which is the metabolically active form of folic acid. (This is important because three out of five Americans have a genetic inability to convert folic acid into 5MTHF, which I will further discuss in my Methylfolate section below). It contains 45 mg of Iron (well-absorbed and well-tolerated Iron Bisglycinate), whereas many prenatal supplements contain ferrous sulfate Iron, which is poorly absorbed and irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. It also contains higher levels of Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B2 than most other prenatal vitamins. You can find this on Amazon or here: https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/basic-prenatal
- Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil. This is one of the few Prenatal DHA vitamins that is tested to be free of mercury. It is NSF third-party certified for quality and purity, and contains 600 mg DHA, 120 mg EPA Omega-3. I am a huge fan of Wiley’s Prenatal DHA.
- Thorne brand 5-MTHF 1 mg (Methylfolate). Many individuals don’t get sufficient 5-MTHF (L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate), the active form of folic acid, because they have intestinal or liver dysfunction, or as I said above, because they are among the three out of five Americans whose genetic makeup makes it difficult to convert folic acid into active 5-MTHF. (That would be me!) A deficiency of folic acid has been linked to low-birth-weight infants and neural tube defects. 5-MTHF also contributes to the production of serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. NOTE: People who have a MTHFR defect will need to consult with a specialized practitioner. This can be determined by a blood test or simply a DNA sample result from 23andme and requesting the Raw Data.
- Trubifido Probiotic. TruBifido contains 30 billion CFU of Bifidobacteria. Probiotics are critical, especially during pregnancy. During birth, babies culture their beneficial gut bacteria from what they receive from their mother when passing through the birth canal and from nursing in the months afterward. This is my favorite high-quality probiotic.
- Thorne Magnesium CitraMate. Even though I take magnesium all the time, I find it especially helpful in pregnancy. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of complications involving poor fetal growth, preeclampsia, or even fetal death. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels can also help mom’s recovery during pregnancy and may help baby receive more nutrition through the placenta. It is incredibly challenging to get the necessary levels of magnesium from food sources anymore. I’ve been taking Thorne’s Magnesium for the past year as even before pregnancy, it seemed to help my quality of sleep and leg cramps.
Note: Always consult your doctor before switching or implementing any new supplements.