What to Know About Choosing Prenatal Vitamins
When you’re expecting, good nutrition is key. That means turning to prenatal vitamins to make sure both you and your babe-to-be are getting everything you need. So, how do you pick a prenatal vitamin? Dr. Banafsheh Bayati, MD, OB/GYN, FACOG, Medical co-founder of Perelel breaks down exactly what to look for in your prenatal vitamins.
Timing of nutrients matters.
We know a woman’s nutritional needs change throughout pregnancy to support her growing baby, so your prenatal should do the same. We recommend looking for a prenatal with a higher dose of folate earlier in your pregnancy to support neural development, increasing your calcium + magnesium to support your baby's rapid growth in the second trimester, and adding a probiotic in your third to build your and your baby's microbiome.
Less isn’t always more.
We tend to associate “fewer” ingredients with “clean” ingredients, but that’s not always the case. Pre-pregnancy needs are very different than the first trimester and certainly different than postpartum. Every pregnant woman feels and knows this to be true. We optimize each period of this journey with exact ingredients that are supportive to the woman and the developing fetus.
For example, vitamin C is necessary for the optimal absorption of iron. Adding vitamin C to your prenatal vitamin with iron will allow appropriate dosing, thus avoiding side effects. Omega supplementation can also be optimized by adding EPA to the classic DHA found in most prenatals. EPA plays an important role in helping DHA cross the placenta during pregnancy.
More isn’t always more either!
Throwing in everything but the kitchen sink only makes your vitamins impossible to tolerate and harsh on your GI system. That ultimately leads to irregular or lack of use. Instead, your ingredients should be research-backed and targeted so you’re not being overdosed or underdosed. You’re getting exactly what you need when you need it.
Case in point: New research has found that biotin in high doses may interfere with lab testing including thyroid function tests. Supplementation should add to proper nutrition and fill the gaps. It should aid the journey and not cause inflammation of the liver or irritation of the GI lining. More importantly, certain supplements and herbal products are unsafe in pregnancy and breastfeeding or have not been tested. It’s important to be aware of exactly what supplements you are taking. A trusted source is key.
Steer clear of harmful additives or fillers.
Be aware of additives in your supplements that cover taste or smell. Vitamins should smell and taste like vitamins. Taking your supplements with food or at night will help with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D as well as aid in tolerability.
Don’t stop supplementing after pregnancy.
The postpartum period and early motherhood can be just as challenging as pregnancy—if not more—yet many women stop their supplementation when their diet and nutrition lacks the most. During the postpartum period, your body is recovering from birth while providing sustenance to your growing baby. And mothers of young children know the extra energy and endurance required for those busy toddler years. Supplements can be tremendously helpful during this time, to help with hair loss, anemia, sleep issues, anxiety, as well as optimizing nutrition.
In addition to core multivitamins, Perelel’s Mom Multi Support Pack contains Omega DHA+EPA, plus our special Beauty Blend and Stress Support Blend. Research shows that EPA in an omega with both EPA + DHA helps with postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as supporting metabolism. Meanwhile, DHA is crucial for breastfeeding moms to support a baby’s brain development. Perelel’s Beauty Blend includes key ingredients like collagen and appropriately dosed biotin to help the body heal and combat hair loss. The Stress Support Blend is breastfeeding-safe and promotes relaxation and sleep. Our goal is to create smart supplements to help moms recover and continue to feel their best. We want to support women with a tailored nutritional supplement matching exactly where they are along this journey.
Exclusive to the Happiest Baby community, use promo code HAPPIESTBABY at checkout for 20% off your first Perelel order.
Dr. Bayati is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist practicing in Santa Monica, California. She serves women from adolescence to menopause with an emphasis on preventative health and holistic care. Her passion is obstetrics. She resides in Santa Monica with her husband and three children.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.