Not All Prenatal Vitamins Are Created Equal

When I started this blog Little W was almost a month old.  I had been past the extreme fatigue and brain haze of the first trimester.  I had plowed through the awakening second trimester and slept soundly through the third.  I had labored and delivered my babe.  All of those moments were in the past and therefor hardly written about.  This time around I hope I can share some new topics on here.  Even though I have been pregnant before that does not mean that I know everything about pregnancy.  Already I know each pregnancy is different!  Times change.  Our country comes out with new statistics, new formulas, new laws.  As part of my motherly responsibility I can not just hang on what I did before- I have to grow and learn.  Maybe there is something better out there that I was ignorant to before.  Why would I settle for mediocrity when it comes to my children?  So, another adventure.

I debated taking a prenatal vitamin through my first pregnancy.  Part of me hangs onto the idea that if we eat good food, we will be healthy and pass on health to our growing child.  I love that simple idea.  But then I know that even eating well balanced meals does not mean that I am getting everything I can use.  Unfortunately most foods we eat today (even meals made from scratch) are made with ingredients that have been genetically modified and pumped with antibiotics, coloring, anti-rotting magic potion….etc.  So when I make a great dish from scratch I want to say Yes, this is the best for me and my family.  But unfortunately I look at the onions, green peppers, milk, and flour I bought.  What about the problem that lies in the basics like that?

So I decided to take a prenatal with Little W.  I went to our local health food store and bought a bottle.  They were one-a-day and claimed to be fully digestible.  At that time I knew of one test to run on your vitamins.  Put your vitamin in some vinegar and let it sit (or maybe swirl it a few times throughout) for about 30 minutes.  If it breaks down, it will break down in your stomach.  If not, then you will not be digesting it properly.  You could have three or four whole pills just going through your intestines at one time if they did not break down.  This vitamin passed that test, and I felt confident enough to take it.  I took it every day for the first few months, then slowed down to one every few days.

This time around I have learned more about synthetic vitamins.  I also learned that if the nutrients in the pill are from food sources you will need to take more than one a day in order to receive the desired amount of nutrients.  I read of a test you can do on your vitamins for this.  Put a pill in the oven and bake it for about 10 minutes.  If it is just vitamins it will turn brown and hard.  If it is chemically made it will turn into a black goo. Yay, that is just what I want to eat… black goo.

I know there are people and organizations out there that are against any use of prenatal vitamins.  Most of the reasoning is due to the amount of synthetic vitamins on the market.  The biggest concern in synthetic vitamin A, which is toxic in high amounts.  I know practitioners that caution pregnant women using basic body lotion if it contains vitamin A, because it is most likely synthetic and will add to the amount your body receives (lotion every day + synthetic vitamin A in prenatal + possible other synthetic versions in processed food =  extreme toxicity).  If your prenatal gets it’s vitamin A from beta carotene you are in the clear.  Better yet, eat some carrots.

Here is the vitamin that I chose this time around. Here is one review I used.  It was between this one and one other brand (which is currently out of stock) and so I went with Prenatal Forte.  If the other brand comes back in stock I might try it out next and then see, as these current pills I am taking are large.  But I am so happy with the results.  As I said in my last post, I was having some serious iron deficiency symptoms at first and once I started taking the vitamins all the dizziness went away.  I have been taking them for about a week now and can already tell that my energy is up from that first week of not taking anything.  If my dizziness had not disappeared I probably would have got some  Floradix to aid in that.  I know women who take it daily and feel so much better (less tired, dizzy, lethargic) because they are slightly anemic- so not just for pregnant women.  Another thing I noticed was digestion.  If you are not digesting properly you will not gain the full benefits of your food and vitamins.  This vitamin contains many ingredients that aid in digestion and I can tell a difference.  I have been taking two with breakfast and two with dinner.

Here is a another website that goes over prenatal vitamins The Truth of Your Prenatal Vitamin

Here is the diet for nursing and pregnant mothers from the Weston A. Price Foundation (a group that recommends not taking a prenatal)

Here is the diet my midwife recommends, the Dr. Tom Brewer Diet

And of course, while it can be easy to get carried away with diet and vitamins and specific items – we have to make sure as humans not to let healthy eating or specific diets become idols in our lives.  Our bodies are extraordinary and were made to sustain us.  We can only do our best, and sometimes that means trading one thing for another (especially with the high cost of good food).  If you are truly doing the best you can, then there should be no need to worry because there are many aspects you can’t control and that is how it is.  Do your best, don’t let it rule your life, and enjoy a system put in place by God, nature.

If you have any other recommendations for prenatals, diets, or supplements feel free to comment!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Not All Prenatal Vitamins Are Created Equal

  1. Kat

    Wow, I had no idea, I’m going to go bake up some vitamins and find out!

  2. Those are some great tips! I wasn’t the best at taking my vitamins…they didn’t make me sick …I would just forget.

  3. Best Prenatal Vitamins : One a Day is a popular brand of vitamins with rights to be so. It has all the great ingredients of leading vitamins for low price of $16.99 for 30-gel tablets bottle.

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