Oh my, the “You’re an awful mother and hate your baby and only care about yourself!”* crew are going to love this secret I’m about to spill.
I didn’t take official prenatal vitamins until well into my second trimester. A few months prior to conception I started taking Vitafusion Multi Vites Gummy Vitamins and I kept taking those same supplements through something like week 16.
Mmmmm, gummy vitamins. So much tastier than those horse pills I’m taking now.
I looked through many days of Fitday nutrition analyses taken over a period of several years, and decided that, on average, I was meeting a vitamin and mineral intake that I felt comfortable with, folic acid of course being the one I was most concerned about. As some of you know I’m a big believer in the concept of “intuitive eating”, the idea that a persons body will tell them what areas they are deficient in, and at the beginning of my pregnancy I was eating spinach salad by the bowlful. And when I say “bowl” I don’t mean cereal bowls, I’m talking huge serving bowl sizes that had me smacking my lips and sometimes wanting more.
I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible that avoiding prenantals through my first trimester might have played a large part in my lack of morning sickness. Ultimately this decision not to switch felt right for me, and I guess we’ll find out in two months whether I’m going to have birth defects to deal with on account of this unorthodox decision!
When I started working with Sarah she recommended several different supplements to me. I bought five different bottles, came home and googled all of the ingredients, and decided to never take one, only take one for a short period of time to see if I thought it was beneficial for me, and have taken the other three regularly for the duration of my pregnancy.
The supplement I chose to avoid is made by Standard Process, called Trace Minerals-B-12. Though I think vitamin B12 is important, I didn’t like the idea of ingesting 32 mg of Manganese (the amount found in the recommended daily dosage) as there is some information out there that suggests excess manganese can negatively affect brain development and memory retention. Again, a look at my Fitday data over time made me feel comfortable that I would get enough manganese and B-12 without the supplement.
The supplement I decided to take on a trial basis is called Symplex F, and contains extracts from bovine ovary, adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands. Standard Process, the company that produces the supplement, claims that the hormones found within help to balance female sexual hormones. Sarah recommended it to help keep mood swings at bay and a smile on my face. I thought it sounded iffy but I decided to try it out anyway, just in case. I didn’t see any change and so I stopped taking it once the bottle ran out.
I am currently taking three different supplements, and will continue taking them for a period of time after baby comes as well.
Tuna Omega-3 Oil made by Standard Process. We believe (both husband and I!) that DHA in particular is so important for building a healthy brain and TH frequently asks me if I’ve been taking my fish oils regularly. I’ve also been working to fit in three servings of fish each week as well. We want a smart baby! If you’re stressed about mercury levels in fish oil supplements I would suggest starting with this NYTimes article on that very subject.
Last but not least are the yellow horse pills, MultiStart Prenatals by Dr. Michael Murphy. Packed with just about every vitamin and mineral I can imagine needing, I think they work fine and after checking to make sure they didn’t contain anything at a level I was uncomfortable with I went ahead and stocked up on them. I’m sure there are hundreds of prenatal vitamins that would work just as well, I didn’t feel like doing any more looking though.
I’m curious, what vitamins did you take through your pregnancy and why?
*Yes, there really are people who like to speak up and criticize my every admission that I’m not perfect, already. I thought it wouldn’t start until baby gets here, but they like to get an early start. Happily, there are many more of you who say nice things and make me feel like I’m doing a good job. I like you guys!