For those of you who are new to this little series I've been doing, we've been talking about how to keep ourselves healthy when we're in the whole cycle of being pregnant, nursing, or both for many years at a time (this June I'll be at 4 years myself!). Because our bodies are working hard to grow new little people (and we spend so much time and energy pouring ourselves into meeting their needs--as we should!), it's easy for our health to slide, but that's definitely not the best scenario!
We have talked about nutrition as well as the benefits of exercise and chiropractic care (links above). This time we're going to talk about supplements. I don't take all of these throughout my entire pregnancy, but they're all excellent and can be helpful in aiding gaps in our nutrition (though they're definitely not a substitute for good nutrition!).
::Food-based prenatal vitamin: Using a multivitamin that is made of food rather than synthetic "vitamins" means your body will use a lot more of the nutrients. I've been using Garden of Life Raw Prenatal this pregnancy, which contains probiotics. If you use a vitamin without probiotics, I highly recommend adding a probiotic to your supplements. This brand is good.
::JuicePlus+:This is an excellent supplement, especially if you have a hard time getting enough fruits and veggies in. It is made of 100% fruit and vegetable juice. Studies show that it greatly boosts immunity and protects DNA from free radicals. And, it's safe to take along with your prenatal vitamin.
::Liquid Calcium/Magnesium: I use this brand as needed. Most prenatal vitamins don't have enough calcium and it's an especially important nutrient during pregnancy and nursing because your body will leach calcium from your bones if you don't consume enough!
::Red Raspberry Leaf: This is basically the miracle herb for pregnant women. It is great for toning the uterine muscles, among other things, and clinical trials actually support a shorter labor and reduced use of forceps during delivery. (Source: Botanical Medicine in the Home) You can buy a red raspberry leaf pregnancy tea or make your own. Red Raspberry Leaf is also available in capsules. I've been using the pregnancy tea blend my midwife gave me which has hibiscus for flavoring and it is delicious!
::Omega 3's: Our standard American diet is very high in Omega 6 fatty acids and sorely lacking in Omega 3's. The ratio of Omega 6's to Omega 3's in our body plays a vitally important role in our overall health. I've read that some studies show a higher IQ in children whose moms takes an Omega 3 supplement during pregnancy. Nordic Naturals makes excellent quality Omega 3 supplements.
While there are other supplements that can be helpful during pregnancy if any particular symptoms show up that need to be addressed, this is a basic list that would be good for most any pregnant or nursing mom.
And, as a note: I am not a licensed health care professional--just a mama who's a nerd about health and nutrition. Please discuss any supplements with your health care provider, especially if you're pregnant!
And, I believe that concludes this mini-series! If any of you have questions I'd be happy to follow up with a Q&A post.
This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.