Hey there, future mama! Trying to create a tiny human can be a roller coaster ride of emotions. One minute you're adding baby names to the secret list I KNOW you have on your phone, & the next, you're wondering if eating that extra piece of chocolate could be considered prenatal care (if only, right?). But among the swirl of advice, one question stands out: to prenatal or not to prenatal *before* the bun is in the oven?
The short answer is YES, definitely prenatal-vitamin-it-up before… but I also have a long answer for you.
There are so many extra things your body needs during conception & early pregnancy but I forced myself to pick the 6 most important vitamins, minerals & fatty acids you need to be taking BEFORE you conceive…
- Folate: The MVP of B-vitamins. Scientifically speaking, folate is vital for DNA synthesis & repair, & it also aids in the rapid cell division & growth in early pregnancy. Not only does it have a central role in neural tube development (we're talking the future brain & spine here!), but it also helps to prevent serious birth defects of the baby's brain & spine known as neural tube defects.
**Most prenatals contain folic acid. Hard pass on that. Active folate (5-MTHF), the natural form of vitamin B9 found in foods, is 1.3 bazillion times better than folic acid (that’s totally a scientific number) because…
- Direct Utilization: Folate is readily usable by the body, while folic acid requires conversion, which can be less efficient for some individuals, making folate a more direct source of the nutrient during pregnancy.
- Reduced Risk of Accumulation: Folate intake from natural sources or active folate supplements (5-MTHF) reduces concerns about excessive folic acid accumulation in the bloodstream, potentially minimizing associated health risks.
- Enhanced Neural Tube Defect Prevention: Active folate's efficient utilization in the body supports optimal neural tube development in the baby, making it a preferred choice to ensure effective prevention of neural tube defects during conception & pregnancy.
Sorry, ONE MORE note on Folate - studies show that it supports ovulation as well! One study showed that women who got more folate were forty to fifty percent less likely to have ovulatory infertility than women taking less than three hundred micrograms.
→ (Our Wholesome Prenatal has 600mcg of 5-MTHF)
- Vitamin D3: Studies have shown that despite taking a prenatal vitamin, women were still low in Vitamin D3. There is *typically* not enough Vitamin D3 added to prenatals so it is important to check. We put 4,000 IU in ours for this EXACT reason.
>>I never want to freak anyone out, but I also know that knowledge helps us make the best decisions for our bodies & our baby’s… Low Vitamin D3 levels in early life is linked to schizophrenia, diabetes & skeletal disease. Appropriate levels of Vitamin D intake can prevent or reduce depression, dementia, diabetes, & autoimmune disorders.
So yeah, it’s pretty important.
→ (Our Wholesome Prenatal has 4,000 IU of Vitamin D)
→ (Our Wholesome POSTnatal, for after baby arrives, has 6,400 IU of Vitamin D!)
- Calcium: Beyond making bones dance, calcium plays a huge role in nerve signal transmission, muscle contraction, & secretion of certain hormones & enzymes. While the tiny dancer inside you is developing bones & teeth, ensuring an ample supply of calcium means they won't be borrowing too much from mom's bone bank.
>>> Calcium is ALSO involved in the regulation of various hormones, including those related to the menstrual cycle & fertility. Adequate calcium levels contribute to proper hormonal balance, which can positively affect ovulation & the menstrual cycle. Hormonal imbalances can disrupt the regularity of menstrual cycles, making it more difficult to predict ovulation & conceive.
→ (Our Wholesome Prenatal has 200mg of Calcium)
- DHA: This omega-3 fatty acid is more than just a brainiac. While it does promote brain development, it's also involved in the formation of the retina. So, you’ll be taking these golden brain & eye boosters before your little one is even on the scene. That way, you’re getting this brain & vision goodness to your baby in the earliest days & weeks of pregnancy. It's like giving them glasses & a library card from the get-go!
>>> Omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, play a role in maintaining hormonal balance. Hormones are essential for proper ovulation, implantation, & the maintenance of pregnancy. So, pretty much allllll of the baby-making things.
→ (Our Wholesome Omega-3 has 640mg Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Iron: At a molecular level, iron is the co-star in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. With a baby coming on board, blood volume increases to supply oxygen to your growing little lovebug (baby). Think of iron as your body's delivery service – ensuring timely O2 deliveries, with no missed packages.
>>> Iron is involved in DNA synthesis & cell division, which are critical for the development of healthy eggs & sperm. Adequate iron levels can contribute to the overall health of reproductive cells. WHOO HOO for that! Also, iron is essential for the development of the placenta, the organ that nourishes & supports the developing baby.
→ (Our Wholesome Iron is completely customizable with 13.5mg per capsule)
- Selenium: Okay, okay… I know this one seems random, but it is SO IMPORTANT for conception (both for mom & dad!). yet, most prenatals completely leave it out! Selenium is an antioxidant protects cells from damage. Preliminary studies have shown that when taken by women this supplement may help prevent miscarriage. For men it is recommended to ensure viability of sperm.
→ (Our Wholesome Prenatal has 100mcg)
But Do I *Actually* Need Prenatals?
If you're hoping your fridge pantry have got you covered with a side of veggies fish, sometimes they might need a little backup. Prenatals are like that trusty sidekick, ensuring you don't miss a beat (or a vitamin).
So yes, you really do need them. Midwifes OB-GYNs highly recommend being on a prenatal 1-3 months before conception so that your body is getting everything it needs to grow a healthy little baby. sice you don’t even know you’re pregnant for the first few weeks, you can rest assured that your little one is getting everything he or she needs before you even know they’re in there. So sweet, right?
Wrapping it Up (with a lovely bow of course)
Jumping into the baby-making pool? Don't forget your floaties, aka knowledge! while we wish chocolate counted as a prenatal (science, are you listening?), for now, we've got these beautiful supplements that have “everything you & baby need… nothing you don’t!”
Happy baby-making! 🍼🎉😂