Wondering what vitamins or supplements are safe to take in pregnancy? I’ll share the supplements I’m currently taking at 21 weeks pregnant in my 4th pregnancy. Most of these I was actually taken before I became pregnant. Some other supplements I was taking pre-pregnancy I have discontinued and will resume taking post pregnancy. Also, I may add in some other things as my pregnancy progresses if new symptoms arise such as heartburn etc. I will share all of those in future posts! Please note this all specific to my needs and not necessarily what every woman should be taking. Your needs and doses may vary depending on you...that’s the beauty of individualized naturopathic medicine :)
Because I have a history of pre-eclampsia in my first pregnancy, I put a strong emphasis on high blood pressure prevention in my pregnancies.
CoQ10 - Coenzyme Q10 has been shown at 200mg from week 20 on to be preventative of preeclampsia and is overall very important for cardiovascular health and cell energy.
Fish oil - omega 3’s are very anti-inflammatory and also can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels among a whole host of other health benefits. DHA, a component of fish oil is also super important for baby’s brain and neurological development.
Magnesium bisglycinate - magnesium helps with muscle relaxation (for those nasty leg cramps that can happen further along in pregnancy) also help with sleep, anxiety and reducing blood pressure (my overall favourite mineral).
B-Complex - The B vitamins are so important for every reaction that happens in the body. Bonus: B6 can help with nausea which really helped me in the first trimester, also a B complex will contain some folic acid (B9) which is important for baby’s spine and prevention of spina bifida.
Probiotic - Probiotics help with immunity and digestion. They lay the foundation for gut bacteria. During pregnancy our immune system is suppressed so we don’t attack baby thus other opportunistic infections such as yeast can overgrow and a probiotic can help keep this under control.
Folic Acid - as mentioned above folic acid is important for baby’s spine and nervous system development and prevention of spina bifida. It is best to take folic acid in its active form MTHFR because then your body doesn’t have to do the converting of it and it is more easily absorbed.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D is a hormone that is really important for mood, bone health and immunity as well as a number of other bodily functions. Most North Americans are low in vitamin D and it is worth getting tested to see where your levels are at.
Echinacea - This is my go-to herb if I feel like I’m coming down with a cold or flu. It helps to shorten the duration of sickness as well as prevent getting sick. It is one of the safest herbs to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding so it has been my go-to through my previous 3 pregnancies as well as this one and throughout nursing. Needless to say, I’ve gone through quite a few bottles in the last 8 years
H.A.D. - This is homoeopathic adrenal support. It is known that the adrenal glands take a hard hit during pregnancy due to the demanding physical and emotional stress a pregnancy can bring for mom. Since the safety of adaptogenic herbs (herbs that we use to treat and support the adrenal glands) is not always known I choose to take a homoeopathic (energetic medicine) during pregnancy and even at the beginning of nursing before changing to a herbal formula again once the baby is a bit older.
Whey Essential All in One - complete protein- this protein powder saved me through all nausea and vomiting. I just mixed it with ice and cashew milk and I found it soothed my nausea. Most women find carbs are their go to to help with nausea but in actual fact, it is a protein that can help relieve nausea and keep the stomach feeling full longer. I take it daily after my workout to help with muscle repair and energy. This particular protein powder also contains a complete multivitamin thus eliminating my need to take a prenatal (esp with the extra folic acid and the B complex I take). It also contains digestive enzymes, greens, antioxidant fruit blend, essential fatty acids etc. So helps with energy, immunity, mood, digestion etc.
Collagen - collagen makes up a huge component of our body tissue. This particular collagen helps with the elasticity of the skin so I’m hoping this will help with prevention of (any more) stretch marks and wrinkles.
Lastly not pictured here but I, well actually my 3 children, have been rubbing coconut oil on my belly nightly to help keep the skin moisturized so it doesn’t itch as much as it stretches and the coconut oil can also help to prevent stretch marks. It has become part of our bedtime routine as they love talking to and waiting to feel kicks from the baby! :)
As always it’s really important to check with your Naturopathic Doctor which supplements would be safe and appropriate for you during your pregnancy. I treat lots of women pre, during and post pregnancy and their needs change drastically during each stage so having professional guidance during this crucial, vulnerable time is so important to help you have the best, healthiest and most enjoyable pregnancy!
Dr. Claudia Truglia practices Naturopathic Medicine at the Stoney Creek Natural Health Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic in Stoney Creek, Ontario. She has an eclectic practice treating a broad range of health conditions with an emphasis on diabetes, mental health, cardiovascular health, women's health and gastrointestinal conditions. Dr. Truglia also works as a Naturopathic Consultant for CanPrev Premium Natural Health Products and as a columnist for the local Hamilton Spectator. She is a member of the BDDT-N and CAND.