Ahhh, the age-old saying.
Vitamins (I like to pronounce the word as Bear Grylls does). They keep you healthy, strong, and make up for all the nutrients you aren't getting in your daily life. Heck, if you don't get enough sun exposure, there is a vitamin for that, too! Some people feel they are a bunch of poo- eat healthy, balanced meals and you should be fine. Others wouldn't let a day go by without taking them. And then, there are people like me, who aren't sure what to think- so I take them as directed; when I'm getting a cold or before/during/after pregnancy.
I started taking prenatal vitamins SIX months before trying to conceive Preston. I was a prenatal freak. Never missed a day. They were prescribed by my OBGYN (who was crazy PRO-VIT), and I took them as though my life, and the health of my baby's life, depended on these huge, horse pills. End result = healthy baby, happy family.
Was the health of our little bean, in part, due to the vitamins? Hhhhmmmmmm.I can't help but wonder how the women of the pioneer days ever had a healthy baby. No prenatals, no ultrasounds, no check-ups, no pain killers during labor, no c-sections. How did man ever make it thus far?
I started taking prenatal vitamins TWO months before trying to conceive baby #2. My OBGYN here in Seattle had a bit of a different approach on prenatals. He wasn't do-or-die, like my OB in Ohio. He was more like, "If you aren't eating healthy, balanced meals on a daily basis, then you probably should take the prenatal vitamins. And no one brand is better than the other. It's a bunch of marketing hoopla. Taking something is better than nothing." Okay....so this time around, it's up to ME to pick the prenatal vitamin. Well balanced diet or no, I'm taking something!
So, I started doing research. And did you know that dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA? I didn't. Because of this, all prenatal vitamins are NOT created equal. Which accounts for the differences in nutrients. Which accounts for how easily the pills are dissolved. Which accounts for all the preservatives and/or additives, that we future mothers aren't even aware of. YIKES!
Luckily, I happened upon Fairhaven Health. They are actually located in Bellingham, Washington...not far from me! They specialize in natural products, from pre-conception to post-natal care. Their prenatal vitamin, Pregnancy Plus® Prenatal, prides itself on being all-natural – no artificial colors, dyes, flavors or preservatives. Plus, it's made in the USA!
So, I tried them out. And, I was very pleased. The pills weren't huge, were easy to swallow, AND didn't upset my stomach. Kudos to Fairhaven Health and Pregnancy Plus Prenatals®! I took the pills for four months, pre-conception through the beginning of my pregnancy. After I ran out, instead of ordering more, I went to my local pharmacy and picked out an OTC prenatal vitamin.
And, guess what- the pills were huge, they upset my stomach, and I wasn't confident about what exactly I was putting in my body. But, I'd already bought the bottle, and continued to take them. Eventually my body adjusted, and I thought all was well. Minimal weight gain, low blood pressure - I even PASSED my glucose test- no diabetes this time! An uncomplicated pregnancy..wowzas!
BUT, I have low iron. I'm taking prenatals, yet my iron is low? Hmmmm. I can't help but wonder if I would be having this issue if I'd stuck with the natural prenatals from Fairhaven Health? They don't add all the extra junk in their vitamins, meaning my body would be absorbing only what it should. And maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't have an iron deficiency. But, I'm supposed to take a prenatal PLUS an iron supplement. Seems crazy! So I think I'll go back to Pregnancy Plus Prenatals® and call it a day.
And who knows, maybe the prenatals didn't make a difference. But, I'll never know. And I'm sticking to my story!