I wrote a blog post on “What are the Key Supplements to Take During Pregnancy?” over at Dr. Lipman’s site, but since a few people have asked I thought I would share the exact brands that I have chosen.
1. Prenatal Vitamin
In the first and second trimester I took the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal. It’s a whole food vitamin, not the most premium option, but I had some nausea in the beginning and was afraid to make a switch.
In the third trimester, I switched over to Innate Baby & Me Trimester III and Post. It includes some things that are specifically good for third trimester, like dandelion root to bring down swelling and water retention, and red raspberry leaf for toning the uterus. One thing I really like about it is that you only have to take 2 pills a day! I’ve been happy with this formula and will continue it during nursing.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil is good for baby’s brain development. Plus, since Vitamin D is fat soluble, it’s good to take it along with some fish oil. I’ve been taking the Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA, and will continue to take it after baby arrives as it is helpful for fending off postpartum depression.
If I was on a deserted island and could only bring one supplement, it just might be probiotics! They are so helpful for keeping your digestion running smoothly, which is more important than ever during pregnancy. They are also helpful for immunity, which is key since your immunity is suppressed during pregnancy. I’ve really gotten into the habit of rotating my probiotics — when I run out of one, I switch to a different brand. Right now I’m taking Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Formula and I’m happy with it.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is really important for mom and baby during pregnancy. You should ask your doctor to check your levels, you ideally want them between 50 and 80. My levels tend to run really low, and I was pregnant through the winter months and got no sun, so supplementing was a priority for me. I take Vitamin D3 (5000 iu) by Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman. I don’t take it every single day — more like every other day.
5. Methylated Folate
I’m not going to tackle explaining the MTHFR genetic defect and pregnancy here, since Dr. Ben Lynch has done such a good job of it on his site. You should read and be informed about this issue, especially if you are having trouble conceiving: http://mthfr.net/is-mthfr-affecting-your-pregnancy/2013/05/24/
As far as I know, I don’t have the MTHFR genetic variation. But just for good measure, I am also taking some methylated folate. The brand I use is called Methyl-Guard Plus by Thorne and was recommended to me by Dr. Lipman.
I’ve taken magnesium the “miracle mineral” a bunch as well — to help with constipation, sleep and the terrible leg cramps that I’ve gotten in the third trimester. I take a calcium-magnesium combo, so the trick is that you have to take calcium away from your prenatals, because calcium and iron don’t mix. I use Liquid Cal-Mag by Integrative Therapeutics. It’s vanilla flavored and I used to think it was yummy but now it tastes chalky but is not a big deal. I take one or two tablespoons before bed, as needed.
At the risk of sounding like a total supplement junkie(!), I have also been popping some Glutathione. Glutathione is good for liver detoxification and boosting immunity. I don’t take it every day — I use it “as needed” if I’m feeling under-the-weather or like I’m catching a cold. When I asked Integrative Pharmacist Scott Berliner if glutathione is recommended during pregnancy, he sent me this article which calls it indispensable. Brand is S-Acetyl Glutathione by Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman.
8. Placenta Pills
After baby arrives, my doula friend Abby Block in Brooklyn will also be doing placenta encapsulation for me. She has more info about the benefits of placenta encapsulation on her website, but what sold me was friends who told me they had little hair loss, little bleeding and no trouble with milk supply post-partum. I’ve also heard them described as happy pills 🙂
I hope this is helpful and not overwhelming information! I do believe these supplements have helped me to have a pretty smooth ride with good energy through the pregnancy.