Pregnancy supplements 101
When it comes to pregnancy supplementation, the internet is full of confusing contradictions. One site says a pregnant person needs supplements, but another says you should not take anything because it will harm the pregnancy. ARG! How confusing, overwhelming and really unhelpful.
Soooo, I'm going to break down supplementation in pregnancy to help you feel more confident that your nutritional needs are safely being met.
First, 2 questions I get all the time.
1. Do we even need to take supplements?
In a dream world, we would get all of our nutrients from our diet. Sadly, the nutrient density of the food we eat (because of processing, lack of variety and the overall decrease in nutrient density of food due to mass farming practices), means our diet is not likely covering all of the nutrient needs we have in pregnancy. So in a nut shell, yes, supplementing is a good idea.
2: Does quality matter?
Many of the studies that claim supplements don't help, are missing an important piece to their study. Quality. You can’t compare a cheaply made, untested, low quality brand and say that all fish oil pills are rancid and ineffective. Nor can you compare a synthetic form of a supplement to its naturally sourced form. That’s like looking at the nutrient content in a Big Mac and concluding that ALL foods have no nutrients in them. No….the big Mac has very few nutrients (enter defamation lawsuit from McD). A bowl of slow cooked grass-fed beef stew with yams, and greens and beets, or a big kale salad with grilled salmon on it etc., is a whole different story.
Here is what I suggest as the basics for supporting a healthy pregnancy:
Basics for all pregnant people:
*note: If you are in your first trimester and you are feeling very nauseous, sometimes swapping out your prenatal for just a folate (ideally in a methylated form called 5’MTHF) can help manage the nausea, or at least aggravate it less.
Second/third trimester: Taken if a need is identified
Supplements aren't a one size fits all. If you are concerned that you are not getting adequate nutrition during your pregnancy, a thorough intake and review of your current and past health is the best place to start. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Dr. Emilie Salomons Dr. TCM, FABORM, OBAAM, Doula.