... all I drink is juice.
Well, not quite. That's a line from a Patch the Pirate song that came to mind when I sat down to write this post.
I often am asked what kind of prenatal vitamins and/or other supplements I take, or if I can recommend any certain brands.
Since I am almost always pregnant, lactating, or both, I do take a daily prenatal. I would recommend that anyone who is trying to conceive should do so. I think the recommendation of the medical profession is to start prenatal multivitamins, particularly folic acid, three months before trying to conceive. Some people are of the opinion that taking vitamin supplements is actually unhealthy and even detrimental, and that eating a nutritious diet is all we need. As one who consumes 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies per day (fresh, in juices and smoothies, and in meals), makes everything from scratch from only organic ingredients, and practically never eats out, I must say I am a strong believer in taking vitamin supplements. When I don't, I notice a huge difference in how I feel. So while eating right is very important, I do believe that taking supplements is equally important because our food in general is so nutritionally lacking.
I have tried pretty much all of the major "natural" prenatal vitamins on the market, and my favorite by far is New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal. Not the cheapest, but very effective. They don't make me pee neon-yellow, which is a sign that my body is actually absorbing the vitamins, not just shuttling them through unused. Also, when I am suffering from morning sickness, these are very mild and do not make me sicker, especially when taken right before bed. In addition to the cultured whole-foods vitamins, they contain organic herbs and sprouted seeds, as well as probiotics.
Also, I take a fish oil supplement daily. You can read about the nutritional benefits of getting enough omega fatty acids online. It is great for developing baby brains, both during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Again, I use the same brand as for the prenatal vitamins because of the superior quality - New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal. Are they effective? Well, all of our kids are geniuses, so they must be! ;)
Because I am not a fan of milk, I take a liquid calcium-magnesium supplement on days when I don't feel I got enough calcium from sources such as almonds and leafy greens. Unless your calcium supplement contains enough magnesium, it really is not very beneficial for you. The one I use and like is Blue Bonnet liquid cal-mag.
Another supplement I take rarely, but highly recommend when needed, is Floradix Iron and Herbs by Salus Haus. Unlike synthetic iron supplements, this one is derived exclusively from various plant extracts, so that all the iron in it is absorbed. Other iron supplements often contain very large doses of iron because as little as 10% of it is absorbed, which can lead to constipation, but such is not the case with Floradix. It takes effect almost immediately, and I have never had to take it for more than two weeks to get my iron levels to where they needed to be.
Of course, anytime we are fighting sickness, I take extra vitamin C and D, as well as other stuff, but these are just the everyday basics that I can recommend for ladies in similar situations as mine.