There are so many on the market, but what are the best pregnancy vitamins and how will they boost your and your baby’s health?
While many of us take the odd vitamin pill when we’re feeling run-down, now is the time to make supplements a top priority.
‘A woman’s nutritional status has a huge impact on her pregnancy,’ says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville.
‘It’s becoming clear that the nutrients received in the womb can have a lasting effect on your baby’s health, affecting everything from her IQ to the risk of her developing certain conditions, such as diabetes, in later life.’
As well as choosing the right vitamins, it’s important you take all supplements in the most beneficial way.
While the best way to get essential nutrients is through a healthy diet, there are some vital baby boosters, including folic acid and vitamin D, that you won’t find enough of in food alone.
In fact, research by nutritional scientist Glen Matten, co-author of The Health Delusion (£12.99, Hay House), has found that the majority of expectant mothers are lacking certain key vitamins and minerals.
Timing your vitamin intake
Ideally, supplements should be taken from at least three months before conception. ‘This is how long it takes for an egg to mature prior to release and fertilisation,’ says Marilyn.
However, it’s never too late to start topping up your nutrient levels. Pills can be taken at any time of the day, as long as you’re consistent.
If morning sickness is a problem, then taking them after dinner might be a better option. It’s better to take supplements with food as some can make you feel nauseous on an empty stomach and some need fat to absorb properly. Vitamin C also promotes iron absorption.
How to choose best vitamin supplements
The shelves of your local chemist might be loaded with pills, but how do you go about choosing which is best for you?
The best multivitamin and mineral supplement for pregnancy will contain calcium, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron and folic acid, all of which are vital for healthy development.
Taking supplements can help boost a healthy diet
Topping up on vitamins
While a prenatal multivitamin and mineral will cover most of your body’s requirements, most experts agree it’s a good idea to take an omega-3 oil supplement, too. The essential fatty acids are important to your baby’s brain development and vision.
Cod liver oil is a no-no, as it contains vitamin A, too much of which can harm your baby. Instead, try Vitabiotics Pregnacare Plus or Healthspan Opti-Omega.
Wiley’s Finest Prenatal DHA provides sufficient essential omega-3 nutrition during pregnancy supporting lifelong health for mother and baby. They are made from sustainable wild Alaskan Pollock – making it the only omega-3 supplement range that is 100% certified by the Marine Stewardship Council sustainable seafood program (MSC).
Marilyn also suggests taking a daily probiotic. ‘New research from Finland shows a probiotic supplement can lower your risk of gestational diabetes by as much as 20%,’ she says.
Blueiron liquid iron supplement
Blueiron, an award winning liquid iron supplement from Scandinavia, is revolutionary in that it tastes as good as it performs. Blueiron is bursting with wild Nordic blueberries – there are over 50 crammed into each bottle – and, as well as providing the iron a woman’s body needs to support her pregnancy journey, it is a rich source of immune-boosting natural antioxidants.
A bottle of Blueiron provides vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Folic acid and Zinc to fight off illness, Biotin that helps to keep your hair and skin healthy during pregnancy, and Vitamin E to help protect cells from the oxidative stress that can contribute to ageing.
Gentle and effective
Thanks to a patented micro-encapsulated delivery system, Blueiron is absorbed in only the amounts needed by the body to ensure mother and baby stay healthy. It’s easy on the stomach which means fewer of the side-effects commonly experienced with iron pills, such as indigestion and constipation. What’s more, it tastes good and the nutritious blueberries enhance the body’s ability to absorb the maximum amount of iron in every daily spoonful.
A 330ml month's supply bottle of Blueiron costs RRP £14.99 and is available at www.blueiron.co.uk and selected pharmacies and health food stores. (Advertisement feature)