If there is one thing my preconception care clients are confused about it is the wide variety of prenatal supplements on the shelf!
And rightly so!! There are so many to choose from and so often we are told by TV, GPs, the supermarket, marketing, people we know - to just go on the generic one.
However! There is so much importance in a prenatal supplement so I am here to STOP you in your tracks!!
PLS do not take the generic one. Hear me out first….
Firstly, if you plan on doing your preconception care alone without a health team, be mindful there are a lot of prenatals on shelves at Chemists that might have some nutrients you personally might be needing to be mindful of.
Whether due to any medications you’re on (many have contraindications), your health status, genealogy, digestive health (ie IBS), iron deficiency, or iron overload (careful now), other supplements, etc!
What to LOOK for - The BASICS:
Active B’s: 1, 2, 3 + 5
pyridoxal 5-phosphate aka active B6 (so important for morning sickness + progesterone production)
co-methyl-cobalamin (active B12)
5-mthf / folinic acid (ACTIVE folate)
zinc citrate dihydrate
calcium / magnesium ascorbate (vit C)
iodine (again, dependent on your thyroid/health status)
What to *try to AVOID -
folic acid (synthetic)
cyanocobalamin (non active B12)
pyridoxine (non active B6)
ascorbic acid (vit C)
What you need to know about buying OTC supps:
Often very low dose
Questionable effectiveness - possibly unable to help correct your nutritional deficiencies
The reason the folic acid form of folate may not be beneficial for you, is only if you have the MTHFR gene polymorphism: and how would you know unless you have in fact been tested?
Typically iron is in the form of ferrous fumarate which is poorly tolerated, causes constipation for some people and often irritates the gut
low dose D (very in some) - better to sit and soak up the sunshine (when you can! Cod liver oil is a great source of vitamin D)
As a Nutritionist, I prescribe quality-grade prenatal supplements, based on your personal health status and history. Whether we need to be wary of iron, medications, etc. These are practitioner-only supplements that must go through rigorous testing to be approved for therapeutic use in Australia.
Being in many mum-fb-groups I often see people recommending certain diets, supplements etc and the bottom line is - what works for person A is not going to be what person B needs. Get your health advice from someone with expertise in that field.
Any questions or planning a baby in 2022? Preconception care starts now!