Pregnant women are routinely told to take prenatal vitamins, and breastfeeeding mothers are advised to take a multi-vitamin. I have never done either one of those things. Artificial vitamins, which are included in most prenatal and “multi” mixes usually simply go through your body, unabsorbed. Certain nutrients prevent the absorption of other nutrients, if taken together: this alone defeats the purpose of “one miracle pill.” Considering the fact that most vitamins are synthetic, why would you want this stuff in your body, anyway?
Through my extensive research on the subject of vitamins and supplements, I have determined that the only way to stay healthy is through eating the right foods. What we and our babies need to thrive are real nutrients, not artificially-made vitamins. Pregnancy and breastfeeding take a lot of energy and nutrients from the woman’s body. During these times, some supplementation (even if your nutrition is superb) may be a good idea. Plus, we all heard of the pregnancy ” must haves, ” such as folic acid, calcium and iron. Believe it or not, those things are found in actual foods and food supplements in a perfectly absorbable form, not just in an artificial pill!
I’ve been taking the same supplements through both of my pregnancies. All three of my babies were big, healthy and born on time. Yes, this includes my twins, 7 lbs and 8.4 lbs at birth; safely delivered at home at 39th week of pregnancy. I never had a milk supply issue and now am happily nursing two chunky babies. I nursed my first baby until I got pregnant again and he was 19 months old. Here’s a list of supplements I’ve been taking during both of my pregnancies and breastfeeding:
Spirulina – is a wonderful vegetarian source of protein. It delivers the highest amount of protein of any natural food. Spirulina contains 65%, compared with 15-25% in meat and animal foods. Growing babies need protein… It also has vitamin B-12, iron, essential trace minerals and B-complex vitamins. If I was only allowed to take one supplement, spirulina would be it.
Chlorella– is a source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Chlorella contains more chlorophyll than most plants, along with an impressive array of vitamins and minerals (A, D, E, K1, beta carotene, lutein, B vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc). Is responsible for “flushing out “toxins from the body. Chlorella contains more nucleic acids (RNA/DNA) than any other food. It is a great supplement for digestive health, immune function, inflammation reduction, antioxidant function, estrogen balance, cholesterol metabolism, and circulation. A Japanese study with healthy pregnant women found that taking 6,000 mg of chlorella per day during pregnancy significantly reduced the amount of dioxins in breast milk compared to controls (a 40% reduction). Additionally, the study also showed a higher amount of antibodies in breast milk of women taking chlorella.
Bee Polen – is a highly bioactive source of multi-vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, phytosterols, amino aicids 9yes, proteins, again,) enzymes and more. Soem people are allergic to bee pollen, so start very slowly, taking a few granules at a time.
Probiotics– I like this brand, as it has a large amount of disease-fighting bacteria (before buying probiotics, always check, how much bacteria it actually has. ) Probiotics have been proven to maintain a good intestinal flora and to increase immunity. Knowing how easy it is to catch a cold while pregnant, it’s a good idea to take them.
Flaxseed Oil– make sure the brand you take has unrefined and cold-pressed flaxseed oil. Otherwise, the essential fatty acids in it could get destroyed. Buy Flaxseed oil in a dark bottle only, as light exposure destroys the fatty acids in oil. Flaxseed oil is a natural source of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, an essential fatty acid. Your body has the capacity to convert ALA into two other essential fatty acids your and your growing baby’s body needs: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
If you’d like to take fish oil in addition to or instead of flaxseed, it may be a good idea, as long as the oil is made of small, mercury-free fish. I just can’t digest the fish oil… If you don’t want to take the flaxseed oil in a capsule form, you can buy it as an oil to put on your salad.
Dr. Black’s Green supplement – a wonderful mixture of healthy food extracts. It contains everything from Alfalfa to Red Beet Juice powder, supplying your body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino-acids. I take half the recommended dosage, as my diet is already very good and rich in vegetables.