When I finally got pregnant for the first time, I became nearly paralyzed as I began to evaluate every single thing I put in my mouth. Which prenatal vitamins to use was the beginning of what seemed to grow to a 1,000 Big Decisions! I first splurged at the grocery and filled the fridge a few hundred $$$ of fresh, organic vegetables and wholesome ingredients for perfect food that I was going to whip up from now on.
Then morning sickness hit, and I wouldn’t even crack the fridge door! The food that I now couldn’t stand to cook slowly turned into a slime castle. Like most moms, I started nibbling at whatever I could stand. And then whenever the green subsided, I worried instead about the quality of my prenatal vitamins and just how in the world to choose between them….surely there was a difference between the ‘ole “Just take a Flintstone” and the $60/month ‘Primo’ versions advertised?
There are BIG differences!
As a midwife who now owns a natural health & lifestyle store, this question that comes up a lot. Here are some of things to consider:
1. Synthetic vs. “Whole Food” Supplements - in general, synthetic vitamins are devoid of the varied complex of nutritional factors that typically help the element be utilized by the body. These isolated, chemically synthesized components often act more like a drug within the body, and ‘overdosing’ or toxic levels are more likely. Pregnant woman often find that their nausea is greatly reduced (along with constipation) when they discontinue their Rx vitamins (always synthetic pharmaceuticals). Food-based prenatals are rarely linked to constipation (think raisins, prunes, black strap molasses.) While whole food supplements are more expensive their insurance-supplied counterparts, this is truly a case of “you get what you paid for!” Interested in more of the debate? Try http://www.whale.to/a/shea1.html
By-the-way, you’ll often find the amounts in the food-sourced to be less, because more of the nutrient is absorbed. Only about 10% of the common form of iron in synthetic vitamins is typically absorbed! If the vitamin doesn’t say “food-based” or “whole-food” on the label, then it’s not.
Indigo Forest carries only food-based supplements, and has several prenatal lines from which to choose!