Most women know that it is recommended to take prenatal vitamins even before they are pregnant, but for many women, this is not enough to obtain optimal health throughout the pregnancy. The modern diet has many nutrient holes causing increase adverse side effects to both mom and baby. The supplements listed below are some of the most common deficiencies in pregnancy, but it is always recommended to meet with a nutritionist or talk with your healthcare provider before starting additional supplementation. (Please see our disclosure for more information)**
Especially in Utah, many women have a Vitamin D deficiency. Lack of Vitamin D can cause many adverse health outcomes such as preeclampsia, low birth weight, preterm birth, neonatal hypocalcemia, poor postnatal growth, bone fragility, and increased incidences of autoimmune disease in both mom and baby. It is recommended that women get at least 600 IU/day if they are pregnant or lactating. If you are already deficient in Vitamin D that number increases to 4000 IU/day!
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DHA Omega 3-
Omega-3s (specifically those containing DHA) are essential for the neurological and early visual development of the baby. However, most women are severely deficient in these nutrients. Those with Omega-3 deficiency are at increased risk of depression and decreased placental function. Babies born with an omega-3 deficiency are more likely to have poor eyesight, and cognitive problems (such as mood disorders and learning disabilities).
Research shows that adding Omega 3 and DHA to the diet of pregnant women has a positive effect on the visual and cognitive development of the baby and that higher consumption of omega-3s additionally reduces the risk of allergies in infants. Studies have also shown that increased intake of DHA has been shown to prevent pre-term labor and delivery, lower the risk of preeclampsia, and may increase birth weight.
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Probiotics- can be found in food such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and tempeh. Probiotics are also available as food supplements. Studies show that probiotics can reduce nausea and vomiting and ease constipation in the first trimester. Probiotic intake also significantly improved symptoms related to the quality of life, such as fatigue, poor appetite, and maintaining normal social activities. Studies also found that taking a probiotic during the third trimester of pregnancy decreased Group B Step (GBS) recto-vaginal colonization and positive diagnosis.
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