Before I share with you my Prenatal Supplements I want to mention my preconception regimen HERE. Now that I’ve mentioned that, let’s dive right into my prenatal supplements. Not too much has changed from my preconception supplement regimen, but I have added a few to the list.
My 11 Prenatal Supplements & Superfoods
1. Folate (not folic acid)
Folate is super important for type 1 diabetics for a couple reasons. First being that babies born to T1D mama’s are more likely to have neural tube defects. Making sure you have optimal folate levels and keeping A1c in range will do wonders in minimizing your baby’s risk. Second, folate has been shown to help prevent pre eclampsia – another huge bonus for type 1 mamas. If you’re wondering why folate and not folic acid, I’ll have to write a blog post on it because the original article & website I would link to (by Megan at Living Whole) has since been deleted. She did a great job at explaining the difference. This is the folate brand I use.
I take selenium for thyroid health. It helps with the absorption of thyroid hormones. This is the selenium brand I use.
UPDATE: I have recently taken a more whole food approach to minerals/vitamins. I now eat Brazil Nuts because they are a great source of natural selenium, however the amount in each nut does vary. Things like location, soil quality, and harvest date are some factors that can make two nuts have drastically different levels of selenium.
Oh zinc, let me count the ways I love thee. Zinc is great for immune health – year round, but seeing as how I got pregnant in the Fall I knew I would need a good immune boost to get me through the nasty winter months. Zinc is also great for T1D health and a very hard nutrient to find in food now a days (due to soil depletion). This is the brand of Zinc that I buy.
UPDATE: I have recently taken a more whole food approach to minerals/vitamins. I now eat oysters because they are an incredible source of natural zinc; the highest zinc food source in the world. HOWEVER, I will say, that if I were pregnant again I’m not sure that I could stomach oysters so I may revet back to supplements until I was able to stomach them.
Vitamin D, which technically is not a vitamin, but a hormone, is very important for people with an autoimmune disease but especially for people with type 1 diabetics because, like folate, it helps prevent against pre eclampsia. I love to get my vitamin D from the sun, but if you live in the northern country like me, vitamin D can’t be absorbed through the skin year round – even if the sun it hitting your skin. I will dive into this in a future post, but it has to do with the angle of the sun and what hemisphere you are located in because the rays that give you vitamin D are not strong & long enough to reach you.
UPDATE: I have recently taken a more whole food approach to minerals/vitamins. I now only get Vitamin D from the sun or Fish Eggs. This is the brand of Fish Eggs I take.
Like Zinc, Vitamin C is great for immune health! Vitamin C is yet another supplement that helps prevent pre eclampsia – and what diabetic doesn’t love the sound of that?! This vitamin C brand is great because it comes from a food source of natural berries (including camu camu – which is the holy grail in the vitamin C world.)
Almost done… I know this is a super long post. So here is an adorable picture of Justin and Jett to switch things up.
And back to supplements…
Did you know it takes 28 molecules of magnesium to metabolize a SINGLE glucose molecule. So if you have T1D, it’s likely that you’ve been deficient in magnesium for some time now. Magnesium is essential for over 300 reactions in the human body, many of which help a developing fetus. I do a combination of topical and oral magnesium.
Collagen has a whole list of nutritional benefits that I would LOVE to get into, but this post is already pretty long… So in short, collagen helps with skin elasticity and is packed with protein This is important for pregnancy because #1. It helps to prevent stretch marks and #2. It gives you loads of protein which is a key component in the Brewers diet (which is well known for its effects in preventing pre-eclampsia). I am a huge fan of the brand Vital Proteins because they are an extremely transparent company that sources their product from grass-fed, pasture raised cows. They are also super easy to find: Buy from their store, buy from amazon, I’ve even spotted them at my local Whole Foods store.
UPDATE: I have recently taken a more whole food approach to minerals/vitamins. I now get collagen via bone broth.
8. Modified Brewers Diet
This is another topic that I would love to dive more into, but to save time I will summarize. The Brewers diet is essentially a paleo, high protein diet. The idea behind it is that as blood volume doubles so does your body’s need for albumin (found in protein). Without adequate levels of albumin your body will have trouble explaining its blood volume, which will cause your body to think it’s hemorrhaging (because all it knows is that there isn’t as much blood as there should be). In response to the “hemorrhaging” the body will constrict its blood vessels, which leads to a rise in blood pressure. I follow a modified Brewers diet for pregnancy: I exclude the dairy, soy, and gluten recommendations but stay on track with eating a high protein diet. And like the diet suggests, I do not limit my salt or fat intake, I consume liver, eat foods high in calcium & vitamin C, I try to eat as many vegetables as my pregnancy nausea will allow, and have about 2-3 eggs daily.
9. Lots of fermented & pickled foods
In addition to the brewers diet, I also include lots of fermented & pickled foods. This is an excellent way to get lots of good pro and prebiotics! My favorites are sauerkraut and pickled green beans!
Nutritional yeast is loaded with an array of B vitamins!
- B1 (thiamine) plays a major role in baby’s brain development.
- B2 (riboflavin) contributes mostly to eye & skin health, but also helps baby grow bones, muscle, and nerves. B2 also lowers the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
- B3 aids in digestion and is a big player when it comes to reducing morning sickness symptoms.
- B6 helps your body produce the adequate hormones it needs for pregnancy.
- B9 (aka folate/folic acid) helps to prevent neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. It also helps reduce the risk of developing pre eclampsia.
- B12 (cobalamin) helps maintain the health of your nervous system and also helps to prevent neural tube birth defects.
This is the brand I use, and I typically use it as seasoning to my scrambled or fried eggs. I also use it to make dairy free cheese sauces.
11. Desiccated Liver + Organ Meat Capsules
This one is late to the game. I originally published this post and totally forgot to include Liver Capsules + Organ Meat Capsules. I’m going to blame this forgetfulness on #pregnancybrain! Organ meat it loaded with nutrients so they’re great for pregnancy. I also have very low levels of Vitamin A (no matter how much I supplement) and liver has tons of it! I use the brand Vital Proteins & Ancestral Supplements.
That’s a Wrap!
There you have it! In addition to a healthy diet, these are the pregnancy supplements I take. Let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite pregnancy supplements are.