As soon as Matt gave me the go ahead on trying, I started preparing my body for Pregnancy. While most doctors recommend a prenatal for all women of child-bearing age, our bodies require significant amounts of nutrients to grow little brains. I read a lot from Dave and Lana Asprey’s book, The Better Baby Book, and trust their opinions. They offer lots of nutrition advice, and I picked supplements that are catered to my lifestyle. Recommendations are based on what I read from Dave and Lana. These are the options that work for me and my lifestyle, but of course, consult your doctor on any vitamins or supplements you may take. Fortunately my iron levels were always testing high, or I would have included an iron supplement as well.
There are many on the market, so what do you choose? Based off the book listed above, I found this Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamin. I looked for a vitamin that didn’t have artificial Vitamin A, as research shows that can be questionable during pregnancy. Look for Vitamin A listed as a beta-carotene and an ingredients list full of fruits and veggies on the label. I wanted a supplement that included Vitamin B to prevent neural tube defects (preferably B5), Folate (preferably not as folic acid), B12 for formation of DNA and aiding the body in iron absorption, Vitamin E to help use essential fatty acids in the body and for elasticity in skin, Vitamin K to stop heavy bleeding associated with birth, Iron to carry oxygen through blood, and Iodine to promote thyroid function and healthy metabolism. However, a prenatal vitamin only covers the basics of pregnancy, and not enough of the necessary ingredients to grow a “better” baby.
My counselor warned me that too much Vitamin D can be detrimental to any human’s health, but as a very pale redhead, I know my body does not effectively make enough vitamin D on its own. In fact, I notice mood swings if I don’t take my Vitamin D. Dave Asprey calls Vitamin D3 more of a pro-hormone than a vitamin. You can test your Vitamin B Levels with a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test if you are really curious.
Krill or Fish Oil
Fish has a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids, needed to combat out American diet of too much Omega-6. Fish Oil helps us to optimally function and is especially helpful in growing smarter baby brains (especially the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA). I could not stomach too much fish in pregnancy, so felt this was necessary. I alternated between regular fish oil (cheaper) and Krill Oil (more easily utilized by the body but more expensive).
We all know Vitamin C is good for our immune system. Because of the added demands on our body in pregnancy, our immune system is lower. Pregnancy means that we are limited on drug options to take if we do get sick, and getting sick can alter the DNA of our growing baby. So I took Vitamin C to keep my immunity in tip top shape.
If you haven’t heard it before, I will tell you now. In a vaginal birth, the healthy bacteria in your gut automatically pass to your newborn providing it with microbes that shape it’s nutrient processing and affect it’s health for the rest of its life. It is so important that hospitals have even began swabbing the vagina of c-section mothers to transfer the gut bacteria to the baby manually.