Do I really need a prenatal supplement?
This is a question I get asked quite frequently! You’ve decided you want to start trying for a baby, naturally the next questions is, do I really need a prenatal supplement?
As a Fertility Naturopath, I believe that first and foremost the nutrients we obtain from food are foundational for our fertility. So you might be thinking, do I really need a prenatal vitamin? I like to think of a prenatal supplements as an ‘insurance policy’, in addition to the food we eat.
The Research on Prenatal Supplements
Studies on taking multiple micronutrients are still scarce. Research suggests that supplementation before getting pregnant can help restore micronutrient status to recommended levels. Research has shown that prenatal supplements have a beneficial effect on fertility in healthy and infertile women. This includes a shorter time to pregnancy and an increased chance of becoming pregnant.
Why do I Need a Prenatal Supplements?
Most prenatal supplements contain a whole range of nutrients in small amounts. A big portion of the table contains the more well known nutrients like folate (best form is methylfolate), and vitamin B12. Both of these vitamins are critical in preconception and the very early weeks of pregnancy.
Prenatal supplements also contain other important nutrients like iodine, which many Australian women are deficient in. Iodine is important for thyroid function and getting pregnant. For the first two trimesters of pregnancy you make the thyroid hormones for both yourself and your baby! So it’s important that you consume nutrients such as iodine, to improve your fertility and reduce the chance of miscarriage.
Not All Prenatal Supplements Are Created Equally
Some companies use very cheap forms of these nutrients that aren’t well absorbed or used by the body. The best example of this is Elevit! While it’s a common prenatal for some health care professional and even influencers to recommend, I can think of at least 3 different brands that are of better quality.
If you found this blog helpful then let me know in the comments below! If you need more help with your fertility then book in for a consultation today.