If you’re trying to get pregnant, you might be feeling inspired to try those expensive supplements with designer labels and bold statements about effectiveness. After all, we know that deficiencies in certain vitamins and nutrients have been linked to some scary pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and even birth defects like spina bifida and skeletal deformities. But before you commit to shelling out too much money, you should know that most (not all) of those supplements and vitamins are unnecessary and may even cause discomfort.
In a sweeping review of peer-reviewed studies on the effectiveness of prenatal vitamins and supplements, researchers noted that most of the concoctions packed into a pill are basically useless. For example, many of the studies examined in the review made claims that women need a laundry list of vitamin supplements, however, the women studied come from impoverished countries where malnutrition is a serious problem. If you’re not suffering from vitamin deficiencies then how many supplements do you really need?
But there are a couple of critical supplements that women looking to become pregnant should consider taking because no matter how many leafy greens or health tonic smoothies you eat, preparing your body for pregnancy will need more folic acid and vitamin D.
Folic acid is part of B vitamin family and is a wonder nutrient and if taken daily before and during pregnancy at least up to week 12 then a mother can help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Mother and expecting mothers should take 400 mcg and make sure to consult their doctor about increasing or decreasing their dose.
The other wonder vitamin that many people in the US simply lack enough of is vitamin D. Vitamin D is a tricky one because you can take the recommended daily dose and not reap the rewards unless you expose yourself to sunlight, which is how the body processes the vitamin. For those living in northern regions where the winters are long and cold, vitamin D deficiencies can lead to some serious health problems. Without adequate vitamin D, anyone can experience depression, fatigue, become more likely and more often afflicted by cold and flu season just to name a few.
To demonstrate how powerful vitamin D is on pregnancy, consider this; babies born in the fall and who have had more exposure to vitamin D and sunlight show a measurable gain in life expectancy and will experience illness less than those who had less exposure to vitamin D and sunlight.
Whether you choose to take a supplement or not, though, you will want to make sure that either your diet or vitamins contain these critical vitamins.
Selenium and Zinc
Selenium and zinc, when taken alongside vitamin E could help increase semen quality and motility. You can find selenium in seafood, organ meats, some cereals, and even Brazil nuts.
If you love your fatty fish and eggs then you’ll love knowing that moega’3’s are a superfood that boosts brain support and can even help you get pregnant after the age of 35. Pass the Hollandais sauce!
There are some claims that coenzyme Q10, which is part of the coenzyme family that is abundant in animals and bacteria, can help women’s reproductive system be more receptive to IFV treatments. It is important to note, however, that coenzyme Q10 has not been approved for use by the FDA for any use in humans, including as a skin cream, and any claims to benefits of use must be viewed with a skeptical eye.
The bottom line is that supplements are a safe and effective way to help your pregnancy be as healthy as it can be. No one should ever make critical decisions about their health – or the health of their unborn baby – without consulting a doctor first. But if your prenatal vitamins are crazy expensive or are making you feel sick from too much iron then you can ask your doctor about switching brands or even eliminating some of the supplements to help alleviate upset stomach issues. Chances are, if you have a well-balanced and nutrient-packed diet then you may already be getting most of the vitamins you need to support a healthy pregnancy and you might be able to reduce your daily supplement intake to just folic acid and vitamin D. Always talk to your doctor before making any decisions that affect yours or your unborn child’s health.
More About Fertility:
- 7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Male Fertility
- How Do Ovulation Kits Work?
- What Increases Your Chances Of Having Twins?