Ensuring you get enough vitamins and minerals is always a good idea, and never more so than during pregnancy. But what vitamins and minerals should we be looking for and how will they boost ours and our unborn baby’s health?
With recent research showing that the nutrients received in the womb can have a lasting effect on your baby’s health, affecting everything from IQ to weight, to neural tube defects and even conditions developing later in life such as diabetes, pregnancy supplements are no longer optional they are a necessity.
So what exactly should we be looking for in our pregnancy supplements?
The most essential baby boosters include folic acid, vital in the prevention of neural tube defects like spina bifida and vitamin D, key for healthy bone development. Since it’s very hard to find enough of these in food alone, the NHS recommend you have 400 microgram of folic acid every day when trying to conceive until you are 12 weeks pregnant, and 10 micrograms of vitamin D, when pregnant and breast feeding. While most experts also agree it’s a good idea to take an omega-3 oil supplement which has been shown to contribute to the normal eye and brain development of the foetus.
Other supplements to look out for include; calcium, zinc, B vitamins and iron, all of which are essential for healthy development.
Timing is also key. Ideally, supplements should be taken from at least three months before conception since this is how long it takes for an egg to mature prior to release and fertilisation. And although prenatal suppplements can be taken at any time of day, it’s best to take your supplements with food since some can make you feel nauseous on an empty stomach, while others need fat to be absorb properly. For those ladies suffering from morning sickness, I recommend taking your pregnancy supplement after dinner.
Not sure which brand to go for? Check out my prenatal supplement edit below, compiled of my favourite tried and tested supplements.
Pregnancy Complex £15.00 by Viridian. Providing support during pregnancy and breastfeeding Viridian’s vegetarian, no nasties Pregnancy Complex contains 100% active ingredients including DHA, folic acid, calcium, essential amino acid complex Vitamin C, B6, b1, B2, B12, D2 and K.
Ante-Natal Forte £17.10 by BioCare. BioCare’s improved AnteNatal Forte provides comprehensive nutritional support, including folic acid at 400mcg, Vitamin B6, B12, D, C, Zinc, Iron, Selenium and Magnesium for use before and during pregnancy. The carefully chosen nutrients are presented in their most biologically effective forms to assist maximum absorption.
Food-Grown Pregnancy £32 by Wild Nutrition. Wild Nutritions unique complex of Food-Grown® vitamins and minerals has been formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Providing the required 400ug of folic acid as natural Food-Grown® folate, alongside vitamin D, iron and vitamin B12 to support energy, the immune system and the changing stages of your baby’s development (cell division, DNA synthesis, baby’s bones) it also works to support your health as the pregnant mother.
Pregnacare Max £19.69 by Vitabiotics. Pregnacare Max’s two in one pack provides 400μg folic acid, incorporating the special, readily bioavailable form of folic acid L-Methylfolate, together with other essential vitamins and minerals, including 10μg Vitamin D, 500mg Calcium, along side high purity Norwegian Omega-3 300mg DHA capsules, to insure all nutritional needs are covered.
Prenatal DHA £22.50 Wiley’s Finest. Made from concentrated Wild Alaskan Fish Oil, Wiley’s Finest Prenatal DHA provides a concentrated dose of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids for use before, during, and after pregnancy to support fetal and (breastfeeding) infant brain, eye and nerve development. Each serving contains 120mg EPA, 600mg DHA for a total of 720mg EPA + DHA
Once A Day Pregna Mutli £6.49 by Quest. With 24 nutrients to help prepare for pregnancy and promote the optimal health of the mother during pregnancy and breast-feeding, this once a day high potency formular contains amino acid chelated minerals to maximise absorption while providing a gentle form of ‘iron’ less likely to cause constipation or digestive discomfort.