Supplements for Pregnancy & Nursing: What I Take

Newborn baby

I often get comments and questions asking about the supplements for pregnancy and while nursing that I take. I talk about the prenatal care options I choose in this post, but wanted to write about the specific pregnancy supplements I take.

Important Note

These are the supplements I chose to take after consulting with my doctor, thyroid specialist and midwife. I share these for informational purposes only and not in any way as a suggestion of medical advice. This post is strictly informational and should only serve as a starting point for a conversation between you and your medical provider about the best supplements for pregnancy in your specific case.

Why Supplements for Pregnancy?

Pregnancy and nursing are times of a woman’s life when it is important to be vigilant about getting enough nutrients to nourish her little one and supplements can be helpful. There are also some supplements that are important to avoid during pregnancy and nursing and any pregnant woman should work directly with her care provider to make sure she is taking the correct supplements for her body and pregnancy.

As someone who has quite a bit of experience being pregnant and nursing over the last decade, I’ve seen first hand how supplements can make a pregnancy (and delivery) easier!

Each woman’s dietary and nutrient needs will vary, but as a general rule, a nutrient-dense diet is the most important factor in her ability to get enough vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and supplements can’t take the place of a healthy diet and good lifestyle habits.

When I am pregnant, I focus on consuming the following:

  • Lots of high quality protein from high quality sources like grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs, and wild, caught, sustainable seafood (smaller fish preferable). Organ meats from grass fed sources are also wonderful for pregnancy and nursing and can help reduce the chance of anemia.
  • Large amounts of vegetables, especially green ones! Green veggies have folate, which is important for fetal growth, and are also high in many other nutrients. They help prevent the constipation that can sometimes occur during pregnancy, and are great for making sure nursing moms are getting enough vitamins. During pregnancy, I live by the motto of “When in doubt, eat more veggies.”
  • Healthy Fats galore! Pregnancy and nursing are not times to skimp on healthy fats. Quality fats are absolutely vital for baby’s brain development, organ and tissue growth, and good milk production for mom. Sources like healthy meats, coconut oil and coconut products, olive oil, avocados, and nuts are especially good during pregnancy.
  • Other high nutrient foods like homemade bone broth, soups, fermented vegetables like homemade sauerkraut, fruit (especially berries) and green smoothies are also great for pregnancy and nursing.

Supplements for Pregnancy

Even with the most solid diet, it can be difficult to consume enough of the necessary nutrients for pregnancy, especially with our modern food supply. For this reason, I take certain specially selected supplements while I am pregnant or nursing:

Folate

The supplement folic acid is commonly recommended, but there is substantial difference between folic acid (the synthetic form) and folate (the natural form). This article explains the difference in detail. The dosage is also slightly different, and some sources recommend as much as 1200 mcg of folate per day for maximum benefit.  This amount should include the amount in multivitamins and any additional folate supplement (be sure to check multivitamins, as many contain the synthetic form!). Folate is one supplement that has been extensively studied for use in pregnancy and is extremely effective at preventing neural tube defects. It is also very inexpensive and easy for every pregnant woman to take.

NOTE: People who have a MTHFR defect will need to consult with a specialized practitioner and will probably need to take L-5-MTHF which is the methylated form of folate. I explain more in this post.

Prenatal Multivitamin

There is some debate on if a full multivitamin prenatal is necessary during pregnancy or not. While I don’t routinely take a multivitamin, pregnancy and nursing is one time that I do. A deficiency in a vitamin or mineral won’t make a tremendous, immediate impact on an adult in most cases, but during the intensive developmental phases of pregnancy, a nutrient deficiency can have lasting consequences for baby.

A high quality prenatal is an “insurance policy” or sorts to guard against deficiencies but should accompany a high nutrient diet! Many prenatals contain iron, though this isn’t necessary if you are consuming red meat from healthy sources and organ meats. Just make sure it doesn’t contain folic acid (but folate or methyl folate). This is the brand I use.

Probiotics

Probiotics are critical, especially during pregnancy. During the birth process, babies culture their beneficial gut bacteria from what the receive from mom when passing through the birth canal and from nursing in the months afterward. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t happen in the same way with cesarean deliveries, but research is finding ways to help facilitate this process.

Quality probiotics (I take these) help ensure that baby will get a good dose of beneficial bacteria during a normal vaginal delivery, which can reduce risk of ear infection and illness in the first few years. Good gut health also has a tremendous impact on lifelong health, and this is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health. Probiotics also help mom avoid illness and constipation during pregnancy, and might reduce the risk of Group B strep. Since baby’s gut bacteria continues to culture during the nursing time, it is good for mom to continue to take probiotics during this time as well.

Vitamin D3

There is a lot of emerging research that Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of many pregnancy related complications including gestational diabetes. It is important for baby’s bone and hormone development and helps support mom’s immune system during pregnancy. Some research suggests that nursing babies may be able to obtain Vitamin D from the mother’s milk if mom is getting more than 5,000IU/day. I take 5,000 IU/day while pregnant or nursing, unless I’m able to get 30 minutes or more of midday sun.

When supplementing, I only take Vitamin D3 with K2 and I occasionally test blood levels of vitamin D to make sure my levels don’t get too high.

Magnesium

I take magnesium all the time, but find it especially helpful in pregnancy. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to poor fetal growth, preeclampsia, or even fetal death. Proper magnesium levels also help mom’s tissue growth and recovery during pregnancy and may help baby receive more nutrition through the placenta. It is very difficult to get enough magnesium from food sources anymore, so I typically use magnesium oil on the skin, or an ionic supplement. As a general rule, I don’t exceed 500 mg from all sources unless advised by my doctor.

Coconut Oil

During pregnancy and nursing, I take several tablespoons of coconut oil and other healthy fats in smoothies or tea daily as a supplement in addition to cooking with it. It is naturally immune boosting, supportive of baby’s brain development, and contains many of the components of breast milk to support nursing as well.

Third Trimester Pregnancy Tea

In the third trimester, I add in Red Raspberry Leaf Pregnancy Tea (here’s the recipe). There is some limited research that Red Raspberry Leaf may increase the strength of contractions without increasing the pain and that it may shorten labor. While scientific studies are limited, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from women who swear that RRL helped shorten their labors or make it easier.

I personally mix RRL with with herbs and drink as a tea in third trimester because it is refreshing and an easy way to sneak in some extra nutrients since I’m already trying to consume more fluids.

Things I Avoid

Just as deficiency of some things can be dangerous during pregnancy, consumption or contact with other things can be harmful to a developing baby. In general, these are things I avoid during pregnancy (and all the time- not a complete list… do your own research):

Did you take supplements during pregnancy? Are you pregnant now? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. About the folic acid, in particular . . . my first has spina bifida which is a neural tube defect.  This defect happens at about 28 days gestation.  At that point, many women do not even know yet that they are pregnant.  Folic acid is very important to take as soon as pregnancy is possible for you.  As an aside, I have also read here and there that Vitamin A toxicity is a potential link to spina bifida.  But toxicity is only a concern with the beta carotene type which is another good reason to get healthy vitamin A from animal foods instead of pills.

    • Excellent point… I should have explained that better and I agree.. folic acid is the most important before you know you need it. I basically take it all the time, just in case, and I’ve suggested this to others in the past too. Thanks for bringing that up. How is your little one doing? Also, great point on getting vitamin A from food sources!

      • What about the possible long-term negative effects of folic acid supplementation? I think the benefits definitely outweigh the risks during and before early pregnancy, but I’m hesitant to take such high levels continuously. Would folate be preferable? It seems safer than folic acid, though more expensive, unfortunately.

        • I’ve seen research on that too. I’ve alternated between folic acid and folate at times, though since I’ve been so continuously pregnant or nursing, I’ve felt safe taking these levels. Also, people eating a conventional diet consume more folic acid than they realize, since it is added to most processed foods, breads and grain-containing foods. Since I don’t eat any of these foods, I’ve always considered the higher level to be perfectly safe, but you are right, each person should evaluate the risks individually and a person eating high grain and processed food diet should supplement carefully.

          • Thanks for asking–my “baby” with spina bifida is now a very happy seven-year-old.  He’s a parapalegic but very smart and relatively complication-free so far.  Spina bifida is a hugely variable condition.  The Spina Bifida Association published some research a year or so ago that indicated a correlation between high doses of folic acid in the latter part of pregnancy and a higher risk of breast cancer.  Their conclusion was that the benefits outweigh the risks especially among moms who have already had one child with a NTD.  But, really, folic acid will do nothing to help a NTD that has already occurred.  I take high doses all the time except during the second and third trimester of pregnancy when I get the normal amount in a prenatal vitamin. (I’ve had three children since my first)

          • If you or the father has the MTHFR mutation, you will want to make sure you get the methyl form of folate and not folic acid.

          • “…and a person eating high grain and processed food diet should supplement carefully.”

            Not everyone who eats “high grain”, however that is to be defined, automatically consumes a processed food diet as well. Maybe you meant to say “OR processed food”? Just asking.

            There is nothing wrong with a modest consumption of grain – both during and outside of pregnancy & nursing – as long as you don’t have celiac disease or an outright allergy. The Weston Price folks have plenty of info on proper cooking of grains so as to make them highly digestible through inactivation of any antinutrients, e.g., phytates, etc.

            Unless we are of aboriginal blood, our bodies are adapted to consumption and digestion of properly prepared grains in addition to all the other good foods you eat. Let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Thanks for considering this viewpoint.

      • I got a little confused after reading this comment. So, you are reccomending folic acid over folate? Susan is saying that taking folic acid before becoming pregnant is very important. But, I thought you were saying to stay away from the folic acid pills and switch to folate. Please clarify for me as I am a bit confused. Thanks

        • I stand by my article: folate is the superior supplement, as it is the natural form of the vitamin. I was simply thanking Susan for reminding everyone of the importance of timing when taking this supplement. It is best to start as early as possible: even before getting pregnant, if possible.

          • One more question, even if I dont have the MTHFR gene should i still take folate instead of the folic acid? Or is folate mainly recommended for people with that gene? Im questioning if i should get the blood test that shows if i have that gene before getting pregnant so it made me question: Is folate more beneficial to anybody with or without the gene who is preparing to get pregnant? If so, the test seems unnecessary.

          • Judy- Everyone should be tested because it’s important to know which variant you have as it can affect other aspects of your health. With that said, everyone should also avoid folic acid, as it’s synthetic and harder for our bodies to use, regardless of whether or not we have mthfr.

          • Judy – While I agree with Ally in the sense that it can be beneficial to know one’s genetic status for a number of reasons, the answer to your question is that folate is preferable to folic acid for the entirety of the population, not just those with MTHFR. Switching from the synthetic to the natural form of the vitamin will not harm you in anyway, and could help if you are among the 50% or so of the population that carries at least one MTHFR mutation.

    • Just another voice chiming in to say that many women are not aware they have a common gene mutation (MTHFR) that prevents them from converting folic acid to a useable source of folate. New research is possibly linking synthetic folic acid to miscarriage (and other pregnancy complications) for this reason **for this demographic of women. FOLATE is absolutely vital for healthy mom and baby of course, and there are several prenatals that have a bioavailable, methylated form of folate that is safe for women who carry the mutation or not. A quick google search with keywords, “MTHFR; pregnancy; folic acid” will turn up all sorts of research to explain further. I’m on my fourth pregnancy and just learned of it myself. After two high risk pregnancies with complications and a miscarriage, I wish I would have known this sooner. I’m awaiting test results but quite certain I’m in this demographic of women. Just thought it might be vital information for at least a few readers. Blessings to all.

        • Definitely looking forward to that post… good to know!!

          Since this article is in reference to prenatal supplementation, I’ll add that I decided to go with the Seeking Health prenatal which is formulated by Dr. Ben Lynch (one of the main experts on MTHFR research) but it requires 8 pills a day plus it’s pricey. He also offers a protein shake as a replacement for the pills and although also pricey I’m leaning towards switching to that since it’s so much more convenient. I’d be interested to know what other women who carry the mutation use for sure… I have quite a few months ahead in this pregnancy still so trying to learn all I can now to hopefully make it to term healthy and well this time. Thanks for sharing all of your insight so generously here in this space, btw.

          • I also have the mutation and bought the optimal prenatal from seeking health. I just started today, how do you like them? I didn’t want to start with 8 pills, so I took 1 with breakfast and 2 with lunch to see how I tolerate them. So far so good.

        • Katie,

          I will be curious to read your article. I am newly pregnant and compound heterozygous for two MTHFR genes. My obgyn prescribed high doses of folic acid but I know methylated folate is the correct way to go. If he is prescribing 4mg of folic acid, would I also take 4m of methyl folate? Is it a one-o-one conversion? I’d assume I would take less, but not sure. Since folate is water soluble anyways, it isn’t possible to take too much, right? I’m following up with my Naturopath this week to inquire about this exact thing. I have a history of miscarriages plus a blood clotting disorder so I want to verify I’m taking the correct dosage. Thanks!

      • I wellness mama. Wondering with the liquid forms of supplements you take, do you add them to something or just squirt in mouth?

    • Susan,
      Actually, the Vitamin A produced from beta carotene is better than animal sources of Vitamin A. Basically, your body only turns beta carotene into retinol (Vitamin A) if your body needs it, and if it doesn’t, the extra beta carotene is excreted. Here are a couple websites with good information about the safety of beta carotene: http://www.livestrong.com/article/527426-beta-carotene-while-pregnant/ and http://www.pregnancy.org/article/safety-vitamin-intake-during-pregnancy

    • Hello,

      I ordered the prenatal vitamins you suggested on Amazon and read they it suggests speaking tour doctor before taking if you are nursing. I am still nursing my two year old daughter, do you it would be OK to take these?

    • Vitamin A toxicity usually occurs from high dose retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetatea. Beta Caotene is a carotenoid found in plant foods that converts on average at a 12:1 ratio to retinol and is pretty safe at high doses.

  2. Isn’t there also vitamin d in the fermented cod liver oil as well? I always thought that if I too that I didn’t need to supplement with more vitamin d.

    • There is, but not 5000 iu worth in a regular dose. It’s definitely best to measure blood levels if you can but most women need the additional during pregnancy…

      • i wellness Mama,
        I am in my last month of pregnancy and am not due until the 15th of January. I have been taking FCLO (only half a teaspoon) every two days. The days I don’t take it I take Nordic Natural prenatal DHA supplements. I am worried about the vit A content in the FLCO that’s why I have a few days off. How much of the royal blend should I take for a healthy birth? I have read different reports and am worried about damaging bubba. ALso they found I had a low platelet count, should I take more FCLO to counteract that?

        Any suggestions would be very much appreciated

        🙂

        • I actually back down the last month and avoid the FCLO the last couple of weeks pre-delivery since it can have a blood thinning effect and just take the butter oil and eat lots of Vitamin K rich foods until after the birth

          • you mention FCLO having a blood thinning effect, I’m 20 weeks pregnant and wanting to start supplementing with other things besides just my prenatal- If you know ahead of time that you are having a c-section would you still take the FCLO up until the last month? typically any type of blood thinner and surgeries don’t mix so i’m curious.

          • I am about 2 months pregnant with my third and I will definitely take less FCLO or stop toward the end of this pregancy. My second pregnancy was my first “natural” pregnancy and I took FCLO all the way through and I did bleed heavily after delivery. My midwives gave me a shot of pitocin because they were concerned with the amount of blood. I was completely fine! I didn’t have that problem with my first but then again I was in the hospital and had pitocin during labor, so I’m not sure if I would’ve bled more had i not had pitocin in my system. I suppose I will find out this time!

  3. There are several great non-animal protein sources such as quinoa, nuts, yogurt and beans. Not everyone eats meat or fish and it would be great if these were included in your list.

    • Animal proteins are the most complete protein and the most complete source during pregnancy. Those other foods do have protein as well but it is much more difficult to get enough complete protein without animal foods. I understand that this is more than a nutritional decision for some people and I don’t mean to discount those choices at all, but from a nutritional perspective, animal foods are the best sources of protein.

      • I’m sorry but that’s not accurate. Animal protein is not only acidic on the body but it’s extremely hard to digest and absorb so while you think there might be more protein in animal sources, the body cannot it utilize it. That’s why there’s so many meat eater that are anemic. Not only that, too much protein hardens the cells causing a lot of health issues including cardiovascular diseases. Plant sources have complete amino acids that are akaline on the body and are about 99% digestible and absorbed.

        • I was a little confused by your comment. You said that animal protein is not usable by the body but too much can cause hardening of the cells? If you can’t use it how does it get to your cells? Where is your proof for what you said? Some people may have a hard time digesting meat, yes. This is not true for the majority of people. People who are anemic could be that way because their digestive tract is in bad condition. A healthy digestive tract does a very good job at utilizing protein from meat. If one is worried about having too much protein(not sure why because your body will just excrete it), just don’t over eat meat!

  4. you mentioned on my wellness journal to take red raspberry leaf tea. Should this be continued throughout pregnancy as well?

  5. I am just now 5 weeks along in my first pregnancy. I have been following your blog (& meal plans) for the last 6 months or so & LOVE it all! Thank you for posting this! I have been taking a prenatal vitamin and 2000 iu of D3 daily. I now plan to up my intake of D3 since I don’t get the opportunity for sunlight very much and I will also start adding the probiotic & cod liver oil to my daily routine. Thanks again Katie 🙂

  6. great list of supplements.  i have not always been good with keeping up with my supplements.  it’s rather expensive for one who is always pregnant or nursing.  

    do you have any additional supplements/advice  for woman suffering (multiple) miscarriages. 

    pax, lena

    • Often, the cause of miscarriage can be insufficient progesterone levels. In this case, using a natural progesterone cream in the second half of the cycle and for the first couple of months of pregnancy will help sustain the pregnancy until the placenta starts making progesterone. Just look for a natural progesterone cream with no added herbs (like Dong quai) and no soy.

  7. Thankfully I had an amazing GP who asked me to take folic acid and omega three as soon as we were planning a pregnancy.  Interestingly two amazing girls later I remembered that my adult acne only every left during pregnancy and started taking folic acid in a large doze – I’m happy to say that after 20 years of trying every pill and potion on the planet – ITS GONE!  Peta

  8. You linked to the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal. Is this the one that you would recommend? I’ve also done some reading about Rainbow Light’s Prenatal one-a-day (
    http://www.rainbowlight.com/multivitamins-prenatal-one-multivitamin.aspx) and Complete System (
    http://www.rainbowlight.com/womens-multivitamins-complete-prenatal-system-multivitamin.aspx). Any suggestion on which one I should take. The Complete System looks like it’s got almost twice the amount of everything (is that necessary?), as well as some extra greens. It’s also more expensive…

    What to do???

        • I have taken both and discovered that I like the Rainbow light better. You only have to take it once a day and I feel like it has been worth every penny. I thought that New Chapter was the cream of the crop, but the Rainbow Light has won me over. I have three kids and pregnant with baby 4.

        • I stand by my New Chapter. They are the best you can buy-the highest quality and the best mix of ingredients. Plus, splitting the does into three allows you to take one with each meal, splitting up the iron and easing constipation and nausea.

      • Are there any others that are good? I read that New Chapter is now under P&G’s control. And I read that Rainbow light has american ginseng that is not good so it’s making me weary of buying it.

          • I’ve tried Garden of Life raw prenatal and within a month I had a whole body itch. It started off on my arms, then legs and eventually my back. It wasn’t a rash. I just felt really itchy. After itching it turned into one. So weird!! I’ve never been allergic to anything. It took me awhile to pin point the prenatals. Soon as I stopped the itching cleared up. Hmm.. maybe too much of a certain mineral? not sure, but I have since switched to Rainbow Light’s once daily prenatal and so far so good!

      • Hello, I just recently found out I am pregnant. I am checking into prenatal vitamins and I picked up New Chapter and then saw that it contains gluten (less than 20ppm), I’ m pretty strict paleo, did anyone have any difficulties with this amount of gluten, 3 times a day? Thanks for any response. I am from Canada, I haven’t seen the rainbow brand around here.

  9. I’m nursing a newborn right now and just bought a bottle of natural calm. On the bottle it says to consulte with a doctor before taking if you are pregnant or lactating, or for children under four. Is this something to be concerned about, or is it just something that must be stated on the bottle of every supplement? (I also have a two year old who I would also like to give this supplement to.)

    • From my understanding, that is something that is put on practically every bottle. The same is on benadryl, tylenol, and many other meds that doctors consider “safe” during pregnancy. Personally, I take it during pregnancy and nursing as there is some evidence that it makes both easier. I also give it to my kids (5,3,2)

  10. What is your opinion on DHA? I started to take Nordics Naturals DHA supplement at month 5 in my pregnancy. I’ve read somewhere that omega 3’s from fish oil can be harmful in the last trimester (this was from spectrum brands website – because of blood thinning capability). I’m confused. Should I just switch to the Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend – Capsules that you recommend instead?

    • I just did the FCLO/Butter blend during my last two pregnancies and from what I understand, the vitamin K helps with blood health and clotting and is also great for getting baby’s levels up. I also drank Red Raspberry and Nettle tea, which is great for the blood. With those two pregnancies, I bled very little after each delivery and those two have been my easiest babies. Definitely not a scientific study, but enough reason for me to keep taking them…

      • Thanks! I just started taking the FCLO/Butter blend in chocolate and wow, I’m surprised that I like it! 2 months to go on my pregnancy. My doctor was on the fence regarding taking DHA omega 3 supplements close to the end of the trimester, but she approved the magneisum supplements to help with the leg cramps and consitipation that comes with being pregnant. I really appreciate your blog – so glad I found it!

        • Hi Sarah, I was bought the cinnimon gel and can’t stomach it. I was planning to try the capsules but now I’m thinking of the chocolate. You use the gel?

  11. Wow, this is great advise! I was thinking of taking a prenatal vitamin by Garden of Life, does anyone know if this is a good one? Thanks:)

    • Also, forgot to ask, if I am eating lots of homemade yogurt and fermented foods, do I still need to take probiotics? Thanks!

    • I’ve been taking garden of life prentatal mult-vitamin throught out my pregnancy (7 months now). Never had any side effects and it’s small and easy to take and has 1,400mg of Vitamin D3, which seems to be hard to find in a prentatal multivitamin these days since they try to make so many of them vegan and vegetarian safe. Only fermented soy. The only thing that happen to me is I didn’t get enough iron (18 mg) from this multivitamin or my diet (anemic), so I started supplementing with Megafood blood builder (they are a good brand as well, but VERY expensive), so far we haven’t retested for anemia to know if that is working. I started cooking in my cast iron pan more often.

    • I have been taking Garden of Life Raw prenatals for a solid year now, I love them! No baby yet but I am working on getting healthy so I just consider it a multivitamin 🙂

  12.  I just found out that Im pregnant, and I’ve been following all of your supplement recommendations for quite a while now, And I also have been taking 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw organic applecider vinegar everyday for heartburn and other nutritional purposes, is this safe to continue taking while pregnant?

  13. Do you think it’s okay to take prenatals and cod liver oil/butter oil blend at the same time?

  14. I just found out I am pregnant, and was wondering if I could take the Natural Vitality CalMag.  I saw on your list about the Natural Calm, but I already have the CalMag and wasn’t sure if I could start taking that.
    The recommended serving has 400mg of Calcuim and 200mg of Magnesium.  Thanks!

  15. What are your thoughts about Vitamin A toxicity and birth defects?  Is that more so related to synthetic Vit A?  My multi has 5000 IU of vit A.  Wondering about getting too much with that FCLO and foods.  Thanks!

    • I’ve personally never worried about it, but from what I’ve read, the factors that matter are the form of Vitamin A and the balance of Vitamin D. I actually don’t take a regular prenatal a lot of the time and just take the FCLO, magnesium, gelatin and get a high vitamin diet and lots of sun…

      • Hi, can I draw everyone’s attention to the fact that animal vitamin A which is in all cod liver oil and in organ meats especially liver is HIGHLY teratogenic (causes birth abnormalities) so should be avoided. There is very good evidence for this. Beta carotene is vegetable based vitamin A which is safe. DO NOT take extra vitamin A. I am an OBGYN in the uk, and I have seen this. Advice of ‘I’ve never worried about it is just plain irresponsible and misguided. You’ve been lucky your children are healthy. I don’t normally comment on forums but this is too much to ignore.

          • You want to use small fish like sardines anyway. Cod contains way too much mercury. And I agree.. no vit A. Dr fuhrman’s prenatal contains no A as it is toxic. I have read on generation rescue 10k is the max to avoid brain damage but you don’t know how much of it you are eating so best to avoid it altogether.

        • This is so confusing ! I just read all over the place to add Cod liver oil while pregnant. Are you saying not to?

  16. fclo must be better than fish oil, or you probably wouldn’t be emphasizing it so much. But it’s soooo expensive! You take 8 capsules per day? That’s 2 bottles a month, for just me… if i put my husband on it (assuming i can even get him to take 8 capsules of anything everyday), that’s one bottle a week. Would a high quality fish oil do the trick?

    • A quality fish oil would definitely be good, ad I’d suggest krill oil if you can, but the fclo has a higher concentration of vitamins a and d and is less likely to go rancid because of the fermentation

      • ok so during pregnancy you are suggest 8 capsules of the royal blend? (the high vitamin butter oil/fermented codliver oil blend? thanks for clarifying in advance!)

  17. Since you are growing a whole second skeleton in your body do you recommend taking calcium. Since I follow paleo, I don’t consume much dairy. I take natural calm magnesium, and when I have made some (not often) I have bone broth. I have been told I don’t really need as much calcium since I am not consuming as many anti-nutrients. But when I do get pregant does that need to change?

    • I definitely double up on the bone broth while pregnant for this reason. It is a more broad spectrum solution than just a calcium supplement, and you get the trace minerals too…

  18. I’m confused now about whether I should be taking a prenatal or not. I also thought in a more recent post you said we should be taking folate instead of folic acid? Thanks for clearing this up!

  19. I am 22 weeks pregnant and feel I should step up my vitamin intake. (I am only taking a prenatal.) I agree with some previous comments that FCLO is pretty pricey. Do you know anything about Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil?

    I will be purchasing Natural Calm this weekend, and might try the Red Raspberry tea. I am not a tea drinker (never have been), but I know this is healthy for myself and my baby. I am also looking into taking a pro-biotic.

    I love your website!! Thank you for all of the useful information.

  20. Hello Wellness Mama,

    A couple of questions. 1) I am confused about the probiotic. This is for my gut health. How does it populate the birth canal so that the baby can obtain it? 2) Also, Robb Wolf said that FCLO is great, but it doesn’t have as high omega 3s that a high quality fish oil (I used to take SFH brand, prior to FCLO) so he suggested alternating. Since starting FCLO months ago at your recommendation, I have seen a lot of improvement in my hormones, leading, hopefully, to better fertility. What is your take? If I were to consume both Pr-conception, I take 5 g FCLO/butter blend daily.

    • The gut bacteria influences vaginal bacteria as well while food, etc pass through and are wiped away after using the restroom. Gut bacteria taken internally will also be used to populate vaginal bacteria. I often use Bio Kult vaginally, especially during pregnancy to make sure the bacteria is optimal when the baby is born. I’ve taken both FCLO and Fish Oil (krill) before and during pregnancy and have seen good results. I also take Folate and magnesium pre and during pregnancy…

      • You mention using Bio Kult vaginally. I’m interested as I’ve been battling BV on and off for the past several months. I take pro-biotics orally. By vaginally you mean you insert a capsule into your vj, correct? Thank you for clearing this up for me. If that’s the case, I’m definitely going to try!

  21. Great post! What about Calcium? OB recommends 1000 mg per day. If you are not able to take dairy, do you recommend taking an extra calcium supplement? Also, if your prenatal has alread7 800 mg of Folic Acid, would the added Folate be too much?

    • My personal preference is to drink bone broth daily as it is the most bio-available source of calcium and contains necessary gelatin and trace minerals. I prefer to stick to vitamins with folate instead of folic acid (folic acid, the synthetic form, has some link to breast cancer) but you wouldn’t necessarily need both…

      • If I’m not able to get bone broth in daily (I don’t have the time to make it), can taking a tablespoon of gelatin per day be good enough to get the necessary calcium?
        If I do instead a multivitamin and folate (instead of a prenatal that has folic acid), is there a good multi that you recommend? I’m so confused, there’s so much information out there, and my OB said that taking a prenatal is enough….I’m taking Rainbow Light once a day Prenatal at the moment…
        Also is hemp protein poweder ok to take daily as a breakfast smoothie during pregnancy? Thanks so much!

        • The gelatin is great, but won’t give you the calcium. Foods like sardines are another good source of calcium though… I do a multi and folate and fermented cod liver oil daily along with magnesium and gelatin at night…. Hemp is ok, but eggs are abetter source of protein and have choline and important fats for the baby too…

  22. Just wondering whether any vitamins I’m currently taking for my own health are bad for the baby. Flaxseed oil tablets (I get dermatitis and this helps), fish oil, lysine (prevents cold sores) and silica (good for hair)? I will also take the vitamins you recommend and have been taking folate already. Thank you 🙂

  23. Are these supplements all okay to take without speaking to a doctor. Im 18 weeks and had been sceptical about taking any supplements (besides my pregnancy vitamins) until I briefly spoke to a naturopath and he told me I should continue to take what I was taking prior to pregnancy. I had stopped taking them as my doctor told me they weren’t necessary but I feel as though my body is lacking nutrients. I’ve just started re taking spirulina, probiotics & fish oil but would like to take the supplemnts you mentioned as I feel they are necessary. Also, what do you think of calcium supplements? Or would I not need them if I were taking VitD? 🙂
    Thank u x

    • I personally don’t take calcium as it is relatively easy to get during pregnancy and most people need the magnesium more. I’d always talk to a doctor before taking anything, but personally, I felt safe taking all of these during pregnancy and they are generally considered safe during pregnancy…

  24. Hi katie,
    I know there has been lots of talk about ideal birth spacing and whether or not breastfeeding is okay while pregnant. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

  25. How about iodine supplementation? I’ve been reading all sorts of things about the lack of iodine in the American diet. I had to go so far as purchase salt with iodine at a health food store because I could not find it on the shelf of a grocery store. Thoughts?

  26. Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  27. Hello! LOVE your blog, you are truly a wealth of knowledge and I so appreciate you sharing it all.
    Do you have any thoughts on CoQ10? For preconception I’ve heard it’s good, and would I continue taking it during pregnancy? Also, my husband takes anti anxiety meds sadly, which I’m concerned will effect his sperm quality. What are your thoughts?
    Thank you 🙂

  28. Hi Katie- Have you ever dealt with group b strep? I’ve been positive 4 out of five and was wondering if you had any advice to prevent that from happening?

  29. Vitamin D3 . . . During my pregnancy I was taking a total of 6,000 IUE’s, 5,000 from the supplement and 1,000 from my prenatal. I took it to boost my immune system during the pregnancy, I didn’t get sick once during a very contagious flu season! My daughter was quite eager to join us and after a few weeks of bed rest my water broke at 34 wks. During her month stay in the Special Care Unit, they couldn’t figure out why her calcium level was high. Finally a friend, who is a Naturopath, asked about my Vit-D intake. They checked my blood to see if my levels were high, they weren’t. They sent her blood to the Mayo Clinic to find out indeed her Vit-D was high, much higher than should have been. I had to stop taking my Vit-D3 supplement until I’m done nursing. What I learned is, babies have a difficult time breaking down Vit-D, which could lead to parathyroid issues. The NP said the 1,000 in my prenatal was fine, but to hold off on the 5k. Just a FYI.

  30. Hopefully I will be a momma soon and just doing my research. I take FCLO/Butter oil, desiccated liver capsules, magnesium and occasionally vit D drops…do I still need to take the full dose of prenatal vitamins – would the liver caps give me enough folate? Thinking of Rainbow Light organic Mult, is this a good choice?

  31. i took a anti bacterial capsul,and i think i am pregnant,what will happen?i had a cough and colds that time and now i suspects i am pregnant.

  32. What do you know about raspberry ketones and garcinia cambogia? Is it okay to take either of these while nursing?

  33. Hi Katie, thanks for your helpful info. And thanks guys for your comments. Please anyone know for sure if the TREVO (natural supplement) drink is okay for a pregnant woman?

  34. I take a 400 mg magnesium supplement daily and want to start taking Natural Calm because I notice a great difference in my sleep! I’m still nursing though. I saw where you mentioned not to exceed 500 mg? I’m pretty sure I’m exceeding that. I noticed my son slept better too after I take the Natural Calm. Could he be getting some of it? Is it safe for him? I took melatonin a couple of times when I was desperate for sleep (not knowing that that was a bad decision, glad I know now!) I need something that helps me get good sleep since I’m still waking up in the middle of the night to feed my 11 month old!!

  35. If I’m taking a prenatal vitamin with probiotics (New Chapter) do you still recommend taking a separate probiotic? What are your thoughts on the New Chapter probiotic instead of the brand that you recommended? Thanks in advance!

  36. I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant.
    My sister-in-law is trained in “Touch For Health”.
    I bring every and all supplements to her to muscle test me on before I take them.
    I’ve muscle tested WEAK on EVERY pre-natal vitamin I’ve brought, expect RAW brand.
    One supplement I’ve tested very strong on throughout my entire pregnancy?
    CAYENNE PEPPER.
    I started taking it before I was even pregnant to rid my GI tract of parasitic organisms that caused gas….I’ve been pregnant before this one, so I KNEW my ‘gassy’ issues would be even worse if I were to stop taking the Cayenne.
    I’m curious if ALL pregnant women would benefit from taking Cayenne Pepper supp. considering it’s renown benefits for the circulatory system.

  37. Trying to make a decision based on the form of folate –

    I am trying to decide between Thorne Research Basic Prenatal (500 mcg as Calcium Folinate and 500 mcg as L-5-Methyltetrahydrolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt)

    and

    Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal (800 mcg folate)

    Not sure if I have the MTHFR gene mutation or not yet (haven’t been tested)….but I do have Hashimoto’s and I know it is common. I’m still confused as to the difference between the two types/forms of folate listed in the prenatals above.

  38. I was wondering if it really is ok to have frozen raw liver (if frozen for 14+ weeks beforehand and organic, grass fed) I’ve made small “liver pills” for myself, and have been taking them for about a week or so. I have been feeling wonderful and I attribute that to the liver! But articles are saying the Vitamin A could be harmful to the baby, should I be worried? And should I stop?

  39. Hi Wellness Mama. I was all set to buy fermented cod liver oil (I’m 35 and got off the pill 5 weeks ago to try to get pregnant) but I just read on babycenter.com that although fish oil is a good pregnancy supplement, cod liver oil is not because it has too much Vitamin A, which is not good for baby. Can you clarify please? Love your website and trust your advice!
    Thanks!

  40. What do you suggest for aching teeth in early pregnancy? It can wake me up and make me feel anxious. I follow GAPS/WAP and feel confident I’m getting all the good fats ect. Yes, I take probiotics, fclo, drink bone broth ect. Thanks!

  41. Yes! I take Genesis Pure products. They are amazing! I’m 5 months pregnant and have felt great. Anyone interested in learning more let mw know!

  42. I just recently suffered from a miscarriage and a d&c and I am just starting to get back to trying. What, in your opinion, are the most important things to take pre pregnancy ? Please reply to me. Thank you!

      • Correct me (since I’m probably wrong). 🙂 Aren’t there Omega-3’s and Vitamin D in the cod liver oil? I take Garden of Life Kind prenatals which have 1000 IUE’s of D3. Along with 2 tsp of cod liver oil a day, should I really need to take a D supplement?
        We have some Juice Plus supplements (veggie and fruit capsules). What are your thoughts on those?
        Last question: We have a B complex supplement and a B12 spray. It seems like my prenatal has a good bit of B vitamins in it. Should I stop taking the B complex and spray? Thanks!!

  43. Hi Katie
    Thanks so much for all your information! I’m just beginning delve into the natural world. I’m currently pregnant and wondering what you recommend for those intolerant of fish! Right now i’m taking an organic algal based DHA, ground flaxseed in oatmeal or smoothies, and flaxseed oil in my smoothies as well. Do you recommend any fish based products that TRULY mask the fish flavor? I am normally super sensitive to the slightest taste of fish…during pregnancy its even worse. I have a history of hyperemesis gravidarum with my two previous pregnancies.
    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated 😉
    Thanks for all you do, you’re an inspiration!

    -Christina

  44. Great read and very informative. I am expecting my first baby this coming summer and agree with pretty much everything you mentioned. One of the only things I’m not doing is taking a probiotic, which I had debated. Thanks for the reminder.

    Mila

  45. Hi Kate,
    I have a lot of food intolerances and have just found out I am pregnant with my first. It is quite unexpected ( but very happy) so I have not been taking any pre pregnancy suppliments but was taking evening-primrose oil and vitex for my PMS. I am worried about the baby as I have a very limited diet because of my intolerances and a lot of the recommended pregnancy vitemans on the market contain problem foods for me. I am very gasy and am fluctuting between constipation and very loss stools. Would a Spirulina vitaman and then folic acid supplement be suitable, along with a brobiotic? Can you recommend other alternatives?
    Thankyou for your time.
    Kind Regards,
    Ainslee

  46. I was looking at the ingredients of the prenatal you recomended and in the ingredients say it has rice, oats and fermented soy, so you are ok with that?

    I take simply one prenatal vitamins.

    I’m nursing my newborn and she is my third baby. I have never tried magnesium and would like to start adding it to our supplements. I was thinking to start using it externally, so is it the same to use it externally than orally? I would like to know of the 2 products for magnesium you recommend to take which one do you think is the best? when can use magnesium on my newborn?

    I read that you mentioned you took fermented cod liver oil but also omega 3s so the cod liver oil isn’t enough?

    thank you

    • I’d use magnesium externally first. You will absorb it and she will benefit through nursing. I just try to make sure I”m getting a lot of Omega-3 while nursing and the FCLO is great for fat soluble vitamins but not the highest in Omega 3

  47. After 3 long years of trying to get pregnant after have already trying Clomid and other drugs to try and get pregnant, I told my husband I wasn’t able to take the medicines as they caused a lot of mood swings and other side effects that I didn’t care to keep having. I read your post on foods to eat and foods to avoid, along with using natural progesterone cream. I just found out 2 days ago that I am pregnant with our 2nd child! I’m so excited! I know it ultimately happened because it was God’s timing and it was his blessing! I do plan to continue to eat healthy, so thank you for your posts! I needed to see them as I would’ve probably given up on the whole idea of having another child!

  48. Drs everywhere say NO fermented cod liver oil during pregnancy due to the high levels of vitamin A. What would you tell them?

    • I’d encourage everyone to do research, but I personally felt safe taking along with a careful diet that made sure all fat soluble vitamins were consumed in the correct ratio. From what I’ve read, it is when Vitamin A is consumed in incorrect ratio to Vitamins D, E and K that problems occur

  49. Hi Katie!
    Love this site!! Can’t thank you enough for all that you do. Can’t wait to try your recipes from bone broth to making my own toothpaste.

    I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and on strict bed rest. I had an IC and a cerclage was put in at 17 weeks. This being said cooking is off limits for me right now since I can’t be on my feet too long. I do make breakfast for my son and I. My husband works a lot and isn’t much of a cook. I’ve got some help but none of them are willing to cook either. So it’s take out for us 🙁 almost all the time. We pretty much follow paleo my husband more than my son and I but as I said being on bed rest doesn’t give me a lot of options to be as healthy as I would like. I cook with coconut oil or grass fed butter or ghee but as we know restaurants doesn’t. All this being said I really would like to follow a strict structured supplement plan.

    I have been taking the prenatal that you do recommend before I was even pregnant. Though it’s making me constipated I really want to keep taking it. I take the Nordic DHA and would like to switch to FCLO with butter oil. I want to take all the supplements you recommend given I am very limited to achieving a very healthy diet right now. Can you please just guide me as to what exactly you took and how much on a daily basis when you were pregnant? Because even though you recommended the prenatal but on one of your response you said you don’t really take them? I know this post is from 2 years ago. Hoping you’d be able to read this comment and help me out?

    Thanks in advance!!

  50. Hi!

    I found your blog a couple weeks ago and have loved reading your posts 🙂 I am 14 weeks pregnant right now with my first baby and am trying to do everything I can to prepare for a natural child birth. I have a question about the coconut oil you suggested. I cook with coconut oil all the time, but when I’ve tried adding extra into smoothies or sneak it in other places I find I can’t handle the taste, it’s just too strong for me. Do you think I could take capsules with the same result?

  51. Great post! I was doing all of these things in preparation for pregnancy, but once I got pregnant I began slacking big time – either due to morning sickness, food aversions (especially coconut and nuts), or inability to cook in my kitchen (mice!). Are there certain points throughout pregnancy that are the optimal “windows” for these supplements? I’ve been taking New Chapter Perfect Prenatal throughout, FLCO off/on throughout, and have just reincorporated probiotics, magnesium, Vit D, and iron (in addition to boosting my iron-rich foods). I’ve just entered my third trimester and am hoping that I didn’t miss a critical window of baby’s development with my relatively lax diet and supplementation. Thoughts?

  52. Hey Katie ! Question
    im ttc and we currently drink raw grass fed milk ..little hay in our mn winter’s 😉 and mostly raw butter if not grass fed butter and cheese. I will try to uptake my bone broth as well so do you think I need to even consider looking at calcium? Im going to add natural calm and do raw life prenatal along with cod liver oil …(maybe fermented) vit d and probiotics and vit c maybe too.

    I will also add the teas I already have at home and focus on lowering cod liver oil and uptake vit k in last months what would u recommend for my calcium question and how to get vit k at end of pregnancy. Can u get too much vit k? Thanks!

    • You probably won’t need any more calcium but the magnesium should be helpful. I have taken supplemental Vitamin K and also consumed the herbal tea with alfalfa and grassfed butter. Best of luck 🙂

  53. When you order your 5 gallon container of coconut oil, do you worry about it getting hot in the mail? And, is that a concern with other supplements that you order online as well?

    I am also wondering if you think it is ok to take a prenatal vitamin AND cod liver oil? Wondering if the Vitamin A and Vitamin D would be too much in the two combined? Thanks!!

  54. Hi,
    I have the same question as Molly above, in reference to the prenatal and the FCLO. Is ok to take a prenatal vitamin AND FCLO? Would be too much to combine the two?
    If so, I was thinking that I could take a couple days off (a week) of the prenatal and on the days off take the folate and the FCLO? OR do you take all 3 every day?
    Thanks so much!

    • I’m jumping on Molly and Sarah’s questions as well.. I’m in my first trimester and still breastfeeding my 18 month old… currently I take FCLO, Alternate between Garden of Life Raw prenatal and New Chapter Prenatal and take Garden of Life Vaginal Care probiotic… is there concern about overdoing it here? thank you!!!

  55. Great info Katie!
    I’m curious about your thoughts on DHA during pregnancy. My naturopath is very adamant about getting lots of it during pregnancy for baby brain development and cognitive function. I couldn’t find anything about DHA content in the fish oil you linked to, but that company has other products (Krill oil) which mention DHA.
    Thanks!

  56. I just wanted to chime in that the most organic pre natal vitamins I could find (they also have probiotics in them!) although I take an additional probiotic are the prenatals by The Honest Conpany. You have to take 3 a day but they have an organic coating that makes them
    Easier to swallow than any other prenatal I have tried!

  57. Hey Katie,
    Thank you for all your practical info! I’ve been a long-time follower of wellness mama and I just found out that I’m pregnant (YAY!) and I’ve been reading through all your pregnancy blogs all day. I’m glad you mentioned about being aware of what’s in detergents and personal care products because I think most people worry more about what they put IN their body then what they put ON it, but both are equally important. I’m generally conscious about the products I use on my skin and house, but even more so now. I’ve been using Zero Xeno products which appear to be the cleanest products I’ve found. Have you heard of their products? Or have any recommendations of products that are safe to use during pregnancy?

  58. I didn’t see my post appear, so I’m writing again. .. Lol.
    I think what I said was (ha!) that I first came across you blog through the food babe Facebook page. I am just starting to learn to eat organic and non-GMO and so when I came across your blog, cod liver and and bone broth and vaginal probiotics were all are all new to me!!! And everything that I need to know about what to avoid and not do is overwhelming. I an 4 weeks pregnant with my very first baby and I wanted to ask: for a regular girl like me, who eats out often and eats chicken and veggies, cereal, pizza, etc; is this prenatal good for me?

    http://www.metagenics.com/mp/products/wellness-essentials-pregnancy

    I saw that dr. Oz’s daughter daphne took this during her pregnancy, and I figured if it’s good for dr. Oz’s daughter, it will be good for me.
    Although I did replace the DHA for Nordics prenatal DHA, because theirs has rosemary extract, which I heard was a no no. I’m also wondering if it has to much Vit E, and the nortons also have Vit E????
    But either way, I guess I just need reassurance and because I’ve been reading your blogs I feel like you could help steer me the right way even though I don’t do the cod live and all that good stuff. I hope to get to that point later on or my next pregnancy, hopefully, I just need to research more. But right now I’d love your feed back!!! Thanks a bunch and god bless!!

  59. Hey there!
    Great post and information. I live in western Europe with not much sunshine. My GP put me on a high dosage serum shot of Vitamin D every 3 months. Each shot is about 100,000 IE of D3. When i stopped taking this serum shot and switched to FCLO exclusively my D levels dropped again. (Nothing to do with the FCLO probably but other factors affecting absorption.) So i went back to using the serum shots. I am planning to get pregnant and I was thinking if I should start the FCLO again. Is it a good idea to do FCLO+ once in 3 months D3 shots? Being a vegetarian, i could really use the many benefits of FCLO. Thanks for your time and ever awesome answers! 🙂

  60. Hi!
    Thank you for this very informative post! Have you come across the Super Nutrition Simply one Prenatal? I wanted to know if you or anyone here has tried it and was happy.

    Thanks

  61. Hi there, sorry I haven’t had time to read through all comments to see if this one’s been asked, but I’m very early in pregnancy and have noticed my skin getting really oily and lots of blackheads, I’m really worried it’s going to get heaps worse. Just wondering if I can take evening primrose during pregnancy as I’ve read some things that say perhaps not in the early stages?

    Or, if there’s any other safe supplement I can take for skin breakouts specifically.(I am taking all of the other suggested supplements on your list and have a healthy diet).

    Up until pregnancy, I kept skin breakouts at bay with chaste tree, evening primrose etc.
    Appreciate any help!

  62. Would you be able to recommend a prenatal multivitamin that does not contain Soy? Soy gives me severe constipation unfortunately, sorry for the TMI. Thanks!!!

  63. Hey again. I am taking garden of life olde world icelandic cod liver oil could I just buy butter oil to take with it? Thanks!

  64. Hello! I love reading your blog especially because my husband and I are trying to conceive and your knowledge and experience is very helpful! Quick question: I am currently taking the New Chapter Prenatal Multivitamins. Should I be adding a folate supplement to this?

    In the New Chapter Prenatal there is 600 mcg of folate – do you think I should add a 400 mcg folate supplement to this to make sure I am getting adequate amounts?

    Thanks so much and keep on blogging!

  65. Hi, I’m 6 weeks pregnant, and i’m taking fermented cod liver oil with high vitamin butter oil, after reading that it can cause excess bleeding during birth, i’m a bit worried weither i should continue or not.
    I’d love some advice on this thanks heaps

  66. Hi there,
    This is all a bit confusing for me so I’m hoping for something simple. I don’t have a lot of money. Right now I’m taking maternal symmetry by vitanica. I don’t get enough calcium. I am thinking of getting GOL Raw calcium supplements. The calcium comes from Algae. Is this safe for baby?

  67. Hi

    I would like to ask you if you have any problem to loose weight after pregnancy I breastfeeding but did not loose any weight cause I am still hungry so I am eating all the time I do not want to limit myself cause I think diet will loower my milk supply.

    Many thanks for your answer

    • I didn’t have much trouble, although my weight loss/gain is affected by my autoimmune disease. It is pretty essential to eat well when nursing because you are right, it will affect your supply. I’d suggest eating really nutritionally dense foods and foods high in fiber to help fill you up. Your body is trying to replace all the nice nutrients you are passing on to your sweet baby 🙂

  68. My wife has been taken TREVO and has gotten pregnant even though we were practicing the natural safe period. Is TREVO safe for her pregnancy if she continues to take?

    • TREVO Highlights:
      * Made with 174 natural ingredients
      * 100% Vegetarian
      * Supplies the body with all required daily nutrients
      * Has an ORAC score of 373,000
      * Can be taken by children (2years and above), adults, pregnant women and nursing mothers
      * 98% body absorption as the supplement works directly through the cells
      * NAFDAC approved
      * Kosher Certified
      * CAP-e tested
      * Has no side effects

  69. Hi Katie,

    I purchased the prenatal vitamins you recommended here, but I have a question: do they contain the “bad” type of folic acid? Thanks for all you do to promote health!

  70. Hi Wellness Mama,

    I have been taking Cod Liver Oil throughout my entire pregnancy (I am currently 36 weeks pregnant). However, I have been taking Standard Process Cod Liver Oil. Now, I am worried I could have been doing harm to my baby. Is this a good/safe brand of Cod Liver Oil? Please advise! I am a worried mama.

    Thanks,
    Judith

  71. Hi Katie,
    thanks for all you do, absolutely love your website and the fact you are empowering mums to help their families be healthy.
    Just a question, I noticed the pre-natal you suggest (new chapter) contains fermented soy.
    In your opinion is this a problem and can it have the same effects on estrogen as ‘normal’ soy?
    I am only concerned as i am working on restoring my fertility naturally (it took 4 years to concieve my now 7 month old son). Went grain free, dairy free etc 3 months ago, feel fantastic but didnt want to make it harder to fall pregnant a second time. and wasnt sure if the fermented soy in the pre-natals were a significant enough dose to pose a concern? would love to know what you think?
    thanks so much
    Lou

  72. Hi Katie,

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on the New Chapter prenatal now that it is manufactured by Proctor and Gamble? I took this brand during my first pregnancy and now we are trying for our 2nd child. Would you consider them good still?

  73. Can I take Sibu Sea Buckthorn Liquid Supplement For Skin, Hair & Nails and floradix while I am breastfeeding?
    Thank you

  74. Hi Katie,
    I adore your blog, I can’t even begin to tell you how much my health and quality of life has improved through the great info you provide. I use many of the products you recommend and love them. I did, however, have what I believe to be a bad gluten reaction to the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal that are linked to this article. They say “gluten-free” on the bottle, but it also say contains “fermented soy and fermented wheat”. I had a bad reaction, and others taking New Chapter products with fermented wheat have reported that as well. I just thought I should share what I found.

  75. Thanks so much for all of your well thought out suggestions! I did my own research on your advice and I agree with your opinions about pregnancy & nutrition. I just finished ordering the folate, fermented cod liver oil, Bio Kult, and the Natural Calm drink. Your writing was such a great resource to help me find high quality supplements. Thanks again!

  76. Hi Katie,
    I am pregnant with my third and I’m in the middle of my 6 th month. I’ve been anemic for about 2 months now. I’m taking all of the above supplements you have suggested and was to begin with also using coconut oil.
    The dr recently recommended I take Iron so I bought a food based iron that I have taken successfully in the past. My. Blood work this week revealed that I’m still pretty anemic.
    I’m doing all that I can, eating foods that help absorb Iron and eating iron rich foods as well.
    Aside from drinking a bone broth I was wondering if taking a desicated liver was ok as I’m not a big fan of just eating it. I rather take it in pill form.
    My acupuncturist is against it for some reason but with all the reading I’ve been doing it seems it would help.
    I’ve had a very long case of chronic fatigue syndrome even when not pregnant and I spend most of my days feeling like I can’t breathe.
    Which I’ve been told is because of the chronic fatigue.
    So again, I was doing some research on how to fix all of these symptoms so I can make it through my final trimester and liver kept popping up but wanted to ask if it’s safe to take the liver. My Dr and midwife both didn’t seem it have an opinion on it. 🙁

  77. Wellness mama,

    According to the reviews on the prenatal you listed, a lot of people have stated how that company sold out to Proctor and Gamble which apparently is a terrible company all on its own as well as the reviewers stating the ingredients are not all real ingredients. Just found out I’m about 4 weeks along and looking for the best prenatal available. I took a prenatal prescribed by my doctor before and during my pregnancy with my son but now that I’m adamant about reading labels and ingredients, I want the best products possible for my family.

    Please help!

    Love your page, I come here multiple times a day, everyday! 🙂

  78. Should I get the butter blend or just the liver oil? Does it matter? I’m just a few weeks into my second pregnancy and I’ve had cramps this time around as well as inflammation of my left rib. Looking for healthy alternatives and so tired of the docs constantly prescribing medication!!

  79. Hello! My diet isn’t ideal so I definitely want to supplement with a multivitamin but my go-to MV (which is the one you posted in your link-new chapter), sold out to proctor and gamble which is GMO heaven. I don’t really trust their production but my next bet (the raw vitamin MV) contains fermented soy that isn’t certified organic. Can you recommend another healthy MV option? Thanks in advance!

  80. Hi, are you taking all these supplements daily during pregnancy, If I take cod live oil do I have to take Vitamin D supplement too as I heard cod liver oil contains high amount of vitamin D. And one more question, can I take multivitamin and cod liver oil together daily during whole pregnancy??? or will it be overdosed ???? Thank you so much. Love your posts

  81. A good pregnancy/nursing diet must contain healthy fats, proteins and green vegetables. Deficiency of magnesium can lead to poor tissue recovery during pregnancy. Vitamin D is very important for both mother and baby as it ensures good immune system in pregnancy and development of hormones and bones of baby.

  82. Hello. I purchased the prenatal vitamin your link brought me to but I wondered if you were aware that this prenatal is not made with folate. On the label online it says folate, but when i received it the label says:
    Folate ( folic acid in culture media)
    Is there another one your recommend instead or did you know this was just folic acid?

  83. I love your blog and your recommendations!

    I do want to caution the use of Vitamin D and calcium mentioned in the post and comments. Our culture sometimes can over focus on certain nutrients at the expense of balance. For example, people were told to consume large doses of calcium for the last couple of decades, and now we are finding out that that is linked to all sorts of serious health problems. The book The Calcium Lie details this:

    http://www.calciumlie.com/

    The same is true for Vitamin D, as the Vitamin D casualties are starting to show. Some people have serious health problems when they supplement with Vitamin D, especially in large doses.

    Vitamin D and calcium both require magnesium in order to be used properly. However, we have a pretty magnesium-deficient population. Supplementing with vitamin D can deplete magnesium which in turn then leaves calcium free floating in your soft tissues (not good). yes, vitamin D and calcium do wonderful things in the body, but they need the right support structure or else they can become toxic influences.

    Dr. Carolyn Dean says this better:
    http://drcarolyndean.com/2013/03/the-vitamin-d-debate/

    I don’t have the answer as to whether people should or not supplement with Vitamin D and calcium, but I do think people should know of the debate surrounding its use. I certainly wouldn’t attempt it without making sure I was supplementing with PLENTY of magnesium, as that’s the foundational mineral the other two depend on. However, it’s best to have all this tested, although usually conventional doctors don’t utilize the tests needed for an accurate read on these…. hair and tissue mineral analysis, for example and others listed in the Magnesium Advocacy Group on Facebook, mentioned below.

    Even magnesium itself needs other cofactors to work properly (vitamin B6, boron and bicarbonate), even though it is one of the more foundational minerals and is usually a good place to start with supplementation. Then you have to watch that your sodium and potassium levels stay strong, and on and on, then other minerals. High minerals food sources and trace mineral supplements are good in that minerals are in a natural balance.

    Lots of good info on http://gotmag.org/ and Magnesium Advocacy Group on Facebook. Thanks!

  84. hi Katie,

    im 5 Months pregnant was starting on vitamin d, just wanted ask if 2000 iu per day is fine..my prenatal n dha together has 1800iu per day.

  85. I have read about the great health benefits of fermented cod liver oil with high vitamin butter oil. Do you know if these supplements are safe with someone who has MTHFR?
    Thanks so much!

  86. Hello! My little man is almost a year old (in two weeks!) and about 5 days ago I started taking vitamins again as part of my effort to do a bit more for myself and my body. Keep in mind I haven’t been taking vitamins since maybe 2 months postpartum… and even with my prenatal during pregnancy, I was never 100% consistent. But, surprisingly I haven’t missed a day until today – and I did so on purpose. For the last 2-3 days, little man has seemed fussy, and a bit constipated although he did pass it successfully and without even so much as a grunt, but it was thick, dark and, well, tough. I also noticed that when I pumped at work on Monday, my milk had an odd tinge to it – blueish? Yellowish? It just looked not-normal (at least not my normal). My urine has also been superrrrr bright and dark. The pharmacy tech said to drop my B vitamins, that that could be causing the breastmilk and urine discoloration if I am taking too much. I was told to take a light dosage iron pill because I lost a lot of blood during birth, and I have always been slightly anemic and/or hypoglycemic. I have been feeling great these past 3-4 days; lots of energy, in a better mood, feeling a little more “go.” But, I stopped taking my vitamins today because I am concerned they are not good for little man – or rather something out of the bunch isn’t. I am hoping you can help me decipher what I need, what I can toss out, and what could be causing the fussiness/tummy issues for lil man and my changed milk. Thanks in advance!

    I also started lil man on 1/2 packet daily (or every two days) of Rainbow Light Infant/Baby Multivitamin & Probiotic combination. I haven’t given him that today either.

    My vitamins – I take 1 of each once daily:
    Simple Truth Prenatal Once Daily
    Simple Truth Calcium 600gm w/ Vit D3 200IU (prenatal has 232mg Ca, 400IU D3)
    Simple Truth Vit B Complex 50mg (thiamine 50mg, riboflavin 50mg, niacin 50mg, B6 50mg, folic acid 400mcg, B12 50mcg, biotin 50mcg, pantothenic acid 50mg) (prenatal has thiamine 1.7mg, riboflavin 2mg, niacin 20mg, B6 2.5mg, folic acid 800mcg, B12 8mcg, biotin 300mcg, pantothenic acid 10mg)
    Simple Truth Vit D3 400IU (prenatal has 400IU D3 – but I live in western WA – no sun 9 months of the year!)
    Simple Truth (vegetarian) Vit C 500mg (prenatal has 60mg)
    Nature’s Bounty Gentle Iron Glycinate 28mg (prenatal has 27mg from ferrous fumarate)
    Oregon’s Wild Harvest Organic Fenugreek 1500mg or Simple Truth Fenugreek 600mg?
    Vitanica Lactation Blend (borage seed oil, fenugreek seed, milk thistle seed, fennel seed, Nettle’s leaf, blessed thistle, vervain, hops flower, oat straw, red raspberry leaf, goat’s rue, chaste tree berry)
    Nature’s Way Acai standardized 10% polyphenols
    Nordic Probiotic

  87. Hi Wellness Mama,

    I was wondering your thoughts and everyone else’s on RAW’s probiotic for Women. Would that be another good probiotic to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    Thanks.

  88. Hi, i have not had a chance to read through all the comments, sorry if someone already asked this. I have always taken FCLO, but now that i am pregnant i want to boost up my vitamin k for baby and I . Do you recommend switching over to the butter oil/FCLO combo, or just the butter oil while pregnant. And if Butter oil/FCLO combo can i do so throughout whole pregnancy, or should i be concerned in any trimester about the vitamin A in FCLO? Thanks for some insight!!

  89. Hello very curious about rubber containers, i just bought a set of rubbermaid and am wondering if its safe choice for storing food? Help please!

  90. Hi, do you know if it is ok to take FCLO and a prenatal that contains Vitamin A and D in it at the same time? I have the vitamin code raw prenatal, but unsure of the A and D levels of both combined? Thanks 🙂

  91. Hi!

    Did you take all of that stuff at once? The prenatals you recommend have folate in them, but did you take the separate folate pills as well?

    Thank you!

  92. Hi!

    I am 28 weeks pregnant and suffering with an inflamed rib cage. I’ve read coconut oil and FCLO were good for inflammation along with other foods high in omega 3s. My dr appreOved both but as I was about to order the cod liver oil I looked through the comments about it being a blood thinner? Am I too late in my pregnancy to take it? I currently take rainbow light prenatals along with a low dose aspirin because of a miscarriage. Again, my dr said it was ok but after reading that now I’m cautious.

    Thanks!!!

  93. In nursing a d recently ran into a vitamin D deificiency. I started taking 1000 IU and got severe palps. I found out that if your magnesium is low, that vitamin D could do this or just low magnesium on its own. So I started taking magnesium and tried Naturak Calm. It’s working slowly, but I’m not sure how much to take and if there are any other supplements to help with my racing heart. A cardiologist suggested I take magnesium glycinate? Something easily absorbed basically. I also take Garden of Life Raw probiotics which I think had plenty of Vitamin D.

  94. Hi Katie,

    I recently found out I was pregnant and I’m also nursing my toddler and plan to nurse throughout this pregnancy. Do I need to up my dosage on certain vitamins or consume more of a certain food item during this process?

    Thanks for such great info!

  95. Hello! I just found out I’m pregnant and have been tracking my food each day. I’m getting almost 100% of my vitamins each day through my diet. In addition to a great diet, I take 800 mg of folate, 2 capsules of fermented cod liver oil, probiotics, and magnesium. Do you recommend that I ALSO take a prenatal vitamin? I currently have a bottle of Megafood Baby and Me. Thank you so much for your help!

  96. I have two different prenatals stocked up in my pantry just because I just couldn’t decide which one was best. One gives a DV of Vitamin A at 63% (50% of natural beta carotene and 50% retinyl palmitate) the other is a whole foods one with a DV of 100% (100% as beta carotene from cultured media).

    When it’s all said and done which one would you recommend. The one with the 50/50 Vit A blend also has the added plus of having methylated folate and methylated b6 & b12- whereas the whole foods prenatal ingredients are all from cultured media. I am so used to take GP FCLO/Butter Blend capsules, but am wondering to to work this with either of my prenatals while pregnant. Is there one that might work out better with the added boosts of nutrients in FCLO capsules? How did you work prenatals with your FCLO?

    Thanks for your help!
    Jamie

  97. I was wondering if you have found any research on the safety of taking 5-HTP, GABA or L-Glutamine during pregnancy? Thanks

  98. Is it ok to take gelatin while pregnant? I wanted to start taking it to help with some joint/ muscle pain and now I found out I’m pregnant. I feel it is ok but my dr said there is no research on it. Just wondering your thoughts. Thanks! Love your blogs!

      • I was wondering if you have found any research on the safety of taking 5-HTP, GABA or L-Glutamine during pregnancy? Thanks

  99. The attached link in your paragraph about prenatals is for New Chapter Prenatal. This brand contains folic acid, however. Is there another brand you recommend that doesn’t contain folic acid. I’m looking at Orthomolecular products and possibly Thorne. Thanks!

      • Can you explain the magnesium thing…I get like 800 mcg of magnesium a day primarily from food and then the small amount that is in my vitamin code pre-natal. Are you saying one shouldn’t exceed SUPPLEMENTAL magnesium by 500 mg? I sometimes take extra magnesium if I cannot sleep, have a headache, or if my anxiety gets really bad, but now I am concerned because I was planning on taking Cal-Mag for the rest of my pregnancy but, that would surely put me WAY WAY WAY over 500 mg if food sources is included in this.

  100. Hi Katie! Thank you so much for the great resources you provide! I am planning on getting pregnant in the next year or so and want to make sure my body is adequately prepared nutritionally, especially as my family history includes spina bifeda and cleft pallet. I currently use Intra Max (link: http://store.druckerlabs.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/pdfs/%28web%29intramax_label.pdf & http://store.druckerlabs.com/intraMAXinfo_s/117.htm ) and feel pretty good about the nutrient profile, at 800 mcg of folate would an additional folate supplement be a good idea? Also, in comparison would to pre-natals this vitamin seems to have a similar nutritional info panel, although the Intra Max isn’t a designated “pre-natal” would it be a good option?

  101. Hi katty, I am 2 months pregnant and taking the real dose omega 3 you recommended, I am thinking about ordering the vitamin D3 to take also during my pregnancy but not sure because the over vitamina D3. It says it is vegan so I think is good. What would you do?

  102. Hi I am new to this conversation. I have 7 children under 9 I am currently nursing and I have server
    scalp psoriasis. I have read combining d3 and Omaga 3 have helped but I have also read that adding coconut oil can also help with the psoriasis symptoms. You have mentioned many more vitamins in past postings can I take all of these supplements while nursing and may be pregnant with number 8. What is the right balance of vitaimins at the same time trying to get my psoriasis under control and nursing?

  103. Different people have different experiences. Coconut oil contains giant amounts of lurid acid, a strong anti-microbial carboxylic acid that protects the system of the vertebrate and newborn. Pregnant and nursing mothers ought to eat copra oil to extend the standard of the uterus atmosphere and breast milk.

  104. Is it ok to drink tea that has fennel fruit, alfalfa, rose hips, to help with digestion while pregnant? I’ve read different reviews on the safety. Thanks!

  105. Hi mamas,

    I am 4-5 weeks pregnant and trying to comprehend this folate/folic acid thing. I am currently taking Jamieson natural sources Prenatal complete with DHA, it says in contain 1 mg Folate (folic acid). Is this enough, or should I be supplementing a Folate only vitamin as well? I would love any input!
    Thank you 🙂

    • If the folate is in the form of folic acid, like it says, then you need a different vitamin, especially if you have mthfr. Have you been tested for that?

  106. Hey Wellness Mama,

    I want to be clear, you took the supplements listed daily throughout the entirety of your pregnancies?

  107. Hi Katie, I am trying to get pregnant and my question is, should I consume prenatal now or should I wait till I am pregnant? If so, how many caps should I consume? If I were to take the prenatal, do I still need to take an additional folate supplement? Also, I do already consume liver pills, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc caps daily. I noticed that these are also already in the prenatal you recommended, so will I overdose? Thanks so much!

  108. Hi! I just ordered the pre-natal vitamin you recommended. Is there anything else you would recommend to take along with these supplements? I am slowly learning about a more holistic approach to medicine. All my life I was raised to trust the doctors. Therefore, with my first two pregnancies I did what the doctor said, and used the prenatal vitamin he recommended. After just suffering a miscarriage, I am devoted to seeking out the best nutrition before starting to try again. It is overwhelming though because there is so much to learn. It’s not as easy as driving to the local drugstore and picking a prenatal vitamin off the shelf.

    I want to make sure I give my body (and growing baby) everything it needs to be healthy (when I conceive.) I do not believe that can be done by following the traditional medical path. So, as of now I will be taking the Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic, the Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal vitamin, and the Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil. I will be honest and tell you my diet is not where it should be, although I am making an effort to improve it each day.

    So, please give me you opinion whether or not the plan I stated above seems to be safe. I am so worried I will miss something very important. I understand that you are not a doctor, and I should consult my medications/supplements with him, and I will. But I would like for you to give me a plan to present to him so I do not have to continue searching hours on end for a healthy supplement and vitamin plan for pregnancy.

    Thank you so much for you blog. It is wonderful.

  109. Im 31 weeks pregnant with #4 & doing more of a hands off pregnancy ( doing a lot of prenatal myself – and seeing a Chriopractor) My Chrio has me taking Omega 3 Fish Oil…but in a few weeks (closer to the EDD) I’ll begin my Evening Primrose Oil (2 capsules inserted vaginally at night) as I do with all my pregnancies….as well as my Alfalfa supplement to increase the Vitamin K in my system. I’m having an Unassisted Home Birth – and Vitamin K was recommended by all the Free Birthers I know (to help I case of blood loss) My question is…with all 3 of these supplements, am I getting over the daily recommendation of Vitamin A? I was told by a Pharmacist friend that I was (but she also isn’t a supporter of me birthing Unassisted) so I thought I’d get a 2nd opinion. I’m not taking a regular prenatal vitamin (never have with any of my pregnancies) Any insight is appreciated 🙂

  110. Dear Wellness Mama,

    Absolutely love your blog!  but posting for the first time.

    I have a 1.5months old baby boy diagnosed with G6PD deficiency.

    I was suffering from severe chronic allergies since 12yrs but was majorly able to fix myself prior to pregnancy through candida diet plus high strength probiotics. But I have seen my allergy returning post delivery (extreme weakness during pregnancy due to hypermesis + c-sec delivery).
    Am also afraid I haven’t provided optimum gut flora to my baby as a result.

    Can I continue to take the high strength probiotics (Healthy Origins 30 billion CFUs of 8 different strains) while nursing? Does it have any adverse affects if he is g6pd deficient?

    Any insight will be very appreciated!

    Here’s the one I’m taking: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00309S4C4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00309S4C4&linkCode=as2&tag=wellnessmama-20&linkId=FRUXK2XHT6OFJ3CJ

    • I don’t have any personal experience with G6PD, so I’m not sure on any specifics for that, but hugs to you! I’ve taken high dose probiotics while nursing to help improve my own gut flora and hopefully pass on benefit through the breastmilk, but I’d check with a doc or naturopath just to be sure.

  111. Hi Katie,
    I absolutely love your blog and all the incredible information you take so much time researching and sharing with us.
    I know answering my question is a bit of a tough call, but i’d really love your opinion. I’m a mother of two (3 and 1) and am still nursing (both). After some research I have reason to believe I have higher than ideal levels of mercury. I know there are some significant dangers in detoxing while nursing, however, I also know that i’ll most likely be nursing well into my next pregnancy.
    In your opinion, would it still be dangerous to do a gentle (cilantro & chlorella) detox timed in between my little ones two daily feeds?
    Thank you!

    • Good question. I’m definitely not a doc and can’t give medical advice. I can say that personally, I would be really hesitant to do anything with mercury detox while nursing, but might consider doing really low levels of natural detox remedies if I felt the benefits outweighed the risks. Is there a good naturopath nearby that could give you some specific help?

  112. Hi! Thank you for this great info! Love it all. Is there a way you can give me the name of the probiotic that is linked above? I’ve tried it multiple times and it won’t work. I’m trying to find a probiotic as we speak! Thanks 🙂

  113. Hi Katie! Your blog is great – and congrats on your newest pregnancy! 😉
    I am 24 weeks pregnant and along with Prenatals and probiotics, am on Magnesium (malate), Vitamin D as well as Fish Oil Pills (Designs for Health Omegavail). I’m wondering if I should add/switch the fish oil to the Fermented Cod Liver Oil… I did notice your link here and elsewhere on your site (FCLO post) talks about the Green Pastures FCLO but the link takes you to Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil… can you please clarify? 🙂

    thanks a bunch! 🙂

  114. Hi there. I was wondering if we take omega 3 before pregnancy (hemp-flax supplements), BUT skip it a bit during first trimester (due to travel, etc 7-10 days), do we have stores in our body and not need to worry? Thanks!

  115. Hi
    I am currently taking Fermented cod liver oil to heal my cavities. I am a mother of a 2year old eagerly waiting to plan for second one. My main doubt is whether I could continue taking Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod liver oil even during Pregnancy ? Is It safe for baby ?

    First time, I was only on Pre-Natals. So now in case I become pregnant, is it safe to use both Prenatal and Fermented cod liver oil ? Please help with these confusions and concerns.

    Thanks in Advance.

    • This is a great question to ask your doctor! Mine was fine with it, but you should always make sure you check! Even if they ok it for you, it helps them to know what you are taking!

  116. Is it too late to get any benifit from starting a probiotic if I’m already 20 weeks pregnant? I have a history of severe preeclampsia and HELLP – so looking for anything to help prevent!

    • Probiotics may be especially beneficial in the bacterial transfer in labor and in balancing gut bacteria during pregnancy, so I’d say you definitely still have time to get the benefits 🙂 Congrats on your pregnancy and prayers for a smooth pregnancy/delivery!

  117. Thank you for this helpful post. Do you still recommend “Optimal Prenatal”? Also, can you explain why 500mg of magnesium is the max for pregnancy? I’ve been struggling with constipation and have been taking almost 1000mg for a while. I’m 20 weeks with baby #6 🙂

    Thanks for any help!

    • That is the prenatal I am currently taking. 500 mg is considered the max from conventional sources without checking with a doc, but some women do need much more. I’d check with a doc or midwife to be sure though (and I’ve personally taken more than that at times too)

  118. HI! I am wanting to start supplementing with EVCLO , I am 29 weeks pregnant though with a scheduled c-section on Feb 22. I was taking a good prenatal with fish oil AND I make a point to eat sardines/anchovies/Cod 3 times a week. So I guess I was thinking that was enough but want to be sure this last trimester I am getting the best Fish oil possible. Would you recommend starting that this far into pregnancy? Maybe just taking 1/2 a tsp every other day or so then stopping mid-January?? Also, do you give that to your kids too? (my son is 2 and takes the bio-kult that I take per your recommendations 🙂 So i figured he’d take the EVCLO too as well as my husband who is a crossfit athlete and needs all the joint help he can get lol.). I am always just afraid of high vitamin A levels ! lol So I have always steered clear of FCLO BUT I see you AND a few others I respect in the natural health community recommend the SAME brand of high quality EVCLO AND I asked my Doctor he said it was fine to take (BUT he doesn’t really know much when it comes to natural health but said he doesn’t see an issue with it). Thanks!! Any feedback would be great as I am anxious to get started with the EVCLO asap 🙂

    • I personally take it at that point in pregnancy, but with a c-section, I’d ask your doc again and be careful about taking any CLO or fish oils at the very end, as they can thin blood somewhat.

  119. Hi there! I’m preparing myself for pregnancy. I love your website and really trust your input. I’m trying to decide on what prenatals/vitamins I should be taking before getting pregnant and I came across Honest Company’s “one a day prenatal”, I read the nutrition facts that states it contains folate not folic acid. Would you mind taking a look at this and let me know your input? Would you trust a one a day prenatal to give me everything I need for a healthy pregnancy, or would you take multiple different kinds/brands like you reccomend on your blog for supplements for pregnancy? Also, are probiotics/probiotics important to take before and during pregnancy? Should I be taking that as well? Thanks! I hope to hear from you ASAP!

    • I am always leery of a all-in-one prenatal as the one I take requires 8 capsules a day The Honest one does look like it has good forms of most of the nutrients and I’d say it is a better option that many. I’d check with your doc or midwife to be sure though. Personally, I take probiotics before and during pregnancy as there is a microbial aspect to birth that probiotics may support (check out the film Microbirth for some really good info on this).

      • Thank you for your input, I really trust it considering all the research you’ve done! I am just trying to find the best one possible and I’ve recently came across this one too as one of the better prenatals. What’s your take on these, if you don’t mind? I just don’t understand why there are SO many different sources we get our Folate from our calcium from our vitamin a,c,d, etc from. Which source is the best? I just want the best possible. Thanks! http://amzn.to/1ZJsAnb

        • Judy- do you have the mthfr mutation? If so, you need methylfolate. Folate still needs some conversion, and it’s harder for those with the mutation. Thorne and emerald labs makes a good one. Be sure to compare the lead content in each as well. Emeralds has .17ppm and seeking health has .5ppm. Im not sure about thornes though. You can get this info from the manufacturer.

  120. Thank you so much for your informative post!!!! I enjoy your site!!! One question I have is, should I take FCLO everyday while pregnant or should I space it out? I am new to taking FCLO. I saw in your post that you stop taking it before delivery. I can’t seem to find someone to answer this question.

    • I’m not really familiar with the ones available there, but look for a high quality one that has methylated forms of vitamins (like L-5-MTHF or methylfolate instead of folic acid) and that should be a relatively good indicator.

  121. I’m taking the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal which has 600 mcg of Folate. Would it be overdoing the folate and unsafe if i take the 800 mcg Folate supplement in addition? Or should I be ok with the prenatal vitamin?

    • New Chapter contains folic acid, so I would stay away from that one, especially if you have mthfr. It says folate on the label, but if you read in the parentheses it says from folic acid.

  122. Hi! I just got the seeking health prenatal I lOVE gave me so much energy with just 1/2 a dose….my only concern is the milk thistle ???? Is that safe while pregnant??? I emailed my LC and she just gave me a copy of a text book page that said it may be or may not be lol….doesn’t help me any. My OB says anything over the counter is safe…but I also dont buy that lol. I’ve read mixed things about milk thistle while pregnant or nursing. I am 7 and 1/2 months pregnant and thought I needed more energy read your blog then read reviews on his site (seeking health) and these sounded great. …but was wondering your thoughts! Thanks!!!

    • My midwife was ok with it, especially in the small amounts in the prenatal, and I found records of use of milk thistle as a remedy in pregnant women throughout history. I personally feel safe using them even with the milk thistle, but I’d definitely keep researching until you feel comfortable with a decision one way or the other.

      • Thank you! yeah I’m just taking 1/4-1/2 a dose right now they give me soooooo much energy lol…..my functional medicine doc thinks I may have been deficient in some or many of the ingredients in the vitamin so my body is absorbing them so quickly. I don’t think I have an issue with the milk thistle either like you said, esp with the small amount that is in it.

  123. HI Katie,

    I absolutely love your blog, the extensive info and all the work you put into it. I’m currently dealing with systemic candida, have been for years, have done many cleanses and so forth over the past and am feeling great. I still cycle through grapefruit seed extract, olive leaf extract, oregano oil and caprylic acid and have been doing this for about a year. My husband and I are talking about trying for our next baby and am wondering in your opinion if any of these are safe to continue or how you would proceed in my situation. I should mention its been well over a year now of clean eating with almost no sugar… I take a sac b as well as a probiotic complex daily.

    Thanks so much for any insight!

  124. Hi Katie,
    I have loved and love reading your blog during my pregnancy with baby #2. I’m currently 17 weeks and am considering taking the Rosita’s Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil once my Nordic Naturals DHA supplement runs out. I took it before I got pregnant and my 8 year old also takes it. I was nervous to take it with my prenatal because of the Vitamin A, but my OB has given me the green light. I would like your opinion as well. Is it ok to take in addition to my prenatal, which is Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal. I was just planning on taking 1tsp of EVCLO a day. Would that be safe? I really like the health benefits of EVCLO and want to start taking it again. I’d love your advice. Thank you.

  125. I am so sad to say that I can not afford that prenatal at $60 a month. Are all folate versions of folic acid equally good for you? I am debating just taking the folate supplement and a DHA since I am worried that the cheaper folate containing vitamins are not as good. One cheaper multivitamin says: Folate-(as L-Methy(folate), is that version okay?

  126. The seeking health Brand is great! I bought it & was to much for me though I couldn’t even take 1 pill without feeling crazy lol. I had to send them back. I got another one with same kind of b-12 & folate , 90 day supply called best nest wellness, found on Amazon, it’s a one a day pill which I’m not crazy about but you can split it up! Was $35/40 I think for 90 days. I like it. There’s also just folate/b-12 that you can take but the best nest or there’s one called zahler that has good folate!! I get it too $60 a month really expensive !!

  127. I ordered a prenatal that online claimed that it had folate, when I got the vitamins in the mail the ingredient list states folate (from folic acid)…does this make them bad? I also have the folate pill you have linked above would it be harmful if I would take those on top of my prenatals? We just started trying to get pregnant again so hopefully I’m about two weeks along right now!!

  128. What about the:
    Magnesium (as Albion® DiMagnesium Malate) 250 mg
    Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) 2000 IU
    Folate [50% as Quatrefolic® ((6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate, glucosamine salt) and 50% as folinic acid (calcium folinate)] 800 mcg
    That is already in the multivitamin you suggest? Are they not enough?

  129. Hi,

    I’m 6 weeks pregnant, and I’m not sure whether to take the pure synergy prenatal or simply a folate from pure encapsulations? Could you recommend something for me? If I understood it right the prenatal is completely whole food based and the folate is synthetic?

  130. Hi Katie, I just had a quick question. I’m a lot earlier in pregnancy and I really respect your opinions. I’m taking Innate Response prenatal vitamins because they all seem to come from natural sources. You are taking the Optimal Prenatal. Is that one better than the one I’m taking? Is there something wrong with my brand? I’m just curious what your opinion is, you have so much more experience in this area than me!

  131. I know everyone is concerned about about synthetic folic acid in the prenatal vitamins but please be concerned about the synthetic vitamin c ascorbic acid. It’s a synthetic chemical made from sugar that had been mutated with extremely harsh and powerful toxic chemicals. It’s super cheap to make, that’s why it’s in everything (even so called organic fruit snacks for kids)! It also kills your good bacteria and destroys your needed intestinal flora (all information on the topic, I found at herbdoc.com) It’s so hard to find a multi-vitamin with out this stuff in it! Although, the website I found this information on does sell a good multi-vitamin, I don’t 100% agree on his beliefs (like being a vegan) but I do appreciate his approach on real natural nutrition.

  132. Really nice post with all the information. It will be extremely useful for me as my first baby is on the way…

  133. read guts and grease the diet of native americans to has good info . too bad these people will never be able to eat for health easily again and it was all free. we must get there wisdom 50, 000 years built.

  134. So taking the Optimal Prenatal by Seeking Health with the red raspberry leaf in it is safe to take in the first trimester?
    I am homozygous C677T MTHFR and am told to take baby aspirin everyday while pregnant. Is there a safer alternative or should I just suck it up? And should I do lovenox too? Would taking fish oil with it be too much of a blood thinner?
    Thanks!

  135. Hi Katie, thank you so much for this list! My husband & I are just putting together a list of supplements we need so we can budget accordingly. Shipping from amazon to Australia is cost prohibitive, so we usually order from iHerb. I am just wondering if you have an opinion on the Thorne prenatal multi? It contains 500 mcg as Calcium Folinate and 500 mcg as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt
    Thanks so much for all the work you do!

  136. I see that you didn’t mention the FCLO in your post, but it is mentioned in the comments. In light of the new information surrounding its’ production methods, do you currently still consume it daily?

  137. I have to say, I have been following your posts for a few years now and always have found them enjoyable and educational. Now that I am an aspiring midwife, I have really been loving your birth stories and these healthy-pregnancy posts. Thank you!

  138. Hi Katie! I was wondering if you continue to take these same supplements while you’re nursing or if you change anything?

    Thanks in advance!

  139. I am wondering about probiotics. Is it okay to take them as a supplement all the time? I have heard that it isn’t, but so many bloggers are recommending to take them all the time in and out of pregnancy. Isn’t eating a lot of probiotic foods enough (kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.)? I have heard there is more beneficial bacteria in a teaspoon of homemade sauerkraut than a whole bottle of probiotics. I’m just wondering why you would then need to supplement too?

    • I do it to increase the diversity of my gut bacteria and to make sure that I have an abundance of bacteria to pass on to my baby, as well as to crowd out anything less than savory, like GBS (dangerous to baby) or yeast (which you are more prone to in pregnancy). Healthy fermented foods are definitely great, and I consume those as well, but probiotic supplements can be targeted since they contain very specific strains of bacteria.

      • Thanks for clarifying :). Are there any consequences for taking probiotics supplements long term or would you say that mostly everyone should be doing that?

        • I personally wouldn’t just take a single type of probiotics over the long term but do take an alternating regimen of these three to help support gut health. I’d ask a doc to be sure if you are considering doing this too, but I haven’t seen any negative effects from probiotic use.

  140. Hi, just wondering if there is another brand of multivitamin you would recommend taking that bobsleds expensive?…

  141. Hi Katie, do you have any recommendations for dads, prior to conception? I’ve heard that what a dad consumes in the three months prior to conception is just as important as what the mum eats for the whole nine months.

  142. Hi wellness mama, I do have one more question as I was looking to buy some of these supplements since I am nursing.. The multivitamin you show has 2000 icu for vit D and the vit D drops has 1000 for two drops .. So how do you get your 5000 in? Do you just take extra drops? Also if I take the multivitamin and the folate supplement it adds up to be 1600 and it said in post to do 1500… Just wanna make sure I’m doing too much … Thanks for any help

  143. Hi Wellness Mama! I am nursing right now and have continued to take my prenatals while doing so, but realized after reading your post that I am taking one that has folic acid instead of folate. I am also taking Coconut oil and vitamin D, but am not taking the other supplements you mentioned. My question for you is if you stop using any of the supplements while nursing (such as the extra folate) or if you add any extra while nursing. I also am wondering if you supplement your baby with vitamin d drops or if the baby gets enough from your milk since you are taking 5000iu.
    Thank you!!

    • I don’t worry as much about folate while nursing as I do during pregnancy and I don’t supplement baby directly with anything, including D, unless blood tests show that I need to.

  144. Hi, Thank you for your prenatal vitamin recommendation. Upon reviewing the reviews on Amazon for this vitamin, it was brought to my attention that this brand has a very high amount of Vit E- some say it is a dangerous amount for a developing fetus. Any thoughts on this? I’d like to pick a prenatal soon because Im already pregnant. Thanks!

    • I’d ask your doc to be sure. My doctor and midwife were both fine with that brand because of the ratios of E to other fat soluble vitamins, but I’d definitely check with yours. Congrats on your pregnancy!

  145. 2 questions – for Magnesium I was wondering why you no longer recommend Natural Calm and instead take the Trace Minerals product?

    Also, on the prenatal vitamins. Do you have any info on the Thorne Research Basic prenatal which contains folate. Is there any reason why you take the Optimal Prenatal instead?

    Thanks

    • Natural Calm is still great, I just haven’t personally been using it in my last pregnancy (she was breech and with her position, it was giving me heartburn so I stopped taking it). I removed it because it isn’t what I’m personally taking but might add it back in now that I’m not pregnant. From what I’ve seen, Thorne prenatal is another good brand, I just really liked the particular ratios in the Seeking Health Prenatal and that the folate is methylated.

  146. Do you still recommend Cod Liver Oil consumption during pregnancy? If so, is 1 tsp okay to take on a daily basis? I’m in my 2nd trimester and would love some guidance. I take Rosita’s Raw Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil, by the way.

  147. Hi there! I have become obsessed with your blog, and am so grateful for the wealth of information you provide, and the amount of care and research that goes in to your posts!
    I have 2 questions:
    1. I read your post on fulvic and humic acid and even ordered the recommended bottles; Do you recommend it during pregnancy? I’ve tried to research further and have had trouble finding any information on the subject specifically when related to pregnancy.
    2. I am taking probiotics orally, currently. Do you suggest I use the vaginal method closer to my delivery date to reduce pathogens and increase beneficial flora for baby’s introduction to the world, or throughout pregnancy?
    I am excited to read your responses! Thank you for all you do.

  148. Thanks for this great information! I am about 7 weeks pregnant with my first and have MANY questions, but no one to ask because we are waiting to tell people until after the first trimester. I have read through this post several times (both before and after conception) and am so thankful for your recommendations! I know that I have some dysbiosis problems that unfortunately weren’t treated before conception, but I really want to give my baby the best gut flora possible. Is a high dose/high quality probiotic enough to balance things out or should I be looking into other treatments? (I am currently taking prescript assist) I know they don’t recommend detoxing or using many herbs during pregnancy but I also don’t know what is worse- detoxing or enduring bad flora for 9 months and birth! Any suggestions you may have would be appreciated and congrats on your new little one!

    • Congrats on your pregnancy! I’d personally stick with a really clean diet and probiotics during pregnancy to be safe, but definitely check with your doctor or a specialist if you think you need to address things more aggressively.

      • Hi Katie, Do you consume gelatin while pregnant? All the sources that I’ve read say that it’s ok. My herbalist isn’t familiar with its safety and my doctor is really quite useless when it comes to natural supplements. Just wondering what you do because I can’t find a solid answer from anyone saying “you’re clear, go ahead”

  149. I am surprised you take the optimal prenatal Katie when therei are not organic ingredients in it and also not all the ingredients are food base. Can you tell me Katie why you take this. To be honest, I took this during my pregnancy but I finish the bottle and I was wondering if I could find a food based prenatal. Before I order other kind, I would like to know your answer,if you would.

    • Many people (including me) have trouble converting the food based forms of certain nutrients to form needed for optimal pregnancy. For instance, for some people can’t convert the folate in greens to folinic acid or methylfolate which are important. From Seeking Health “This multivitamin does include some whole food ingredients: ginger, zeaxanthin and lutein from marigold, red raspberry leaf, and milk thistle. Some of the other nutrients are derived from natural sources as well: vitamin D from lanolin (sheep’s wool), vitamin K from natto (soy – no soy allergen remains). Most of the vitamins and minerals are synthetic, however. The potency and efficacy of our products is of utmost importance to Seeking Health. We choose to use the most bioavailable, absorbable forms available – many of them, like the folate (L-5-MTHF) and B12 (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin) are the prevalent forms of the vitamins in the human body. These ingredients, in these superior forms, however, are often synthesized.”

  150. Do you continue to take cod liver oil while pregnant and nursing? And if so, how much do you take while nursing specifically?

    Thanks so much!!

  151. Hi, I am considering having a third child depending on health issues. I am 35 and have elevated thyroid antibodies and a potential autoimmune thyroid disease. I want to make the thyroid condition will not affect the pregnancy and baby. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in a couple weeks and would not consider pregnancy for 6 months to ensure I am healthy. Any advice or suggestions? Thank you.

    • I definitely made sure that my thyroid levels were regulated and that my doctor was comfortable with them before getting pregnant this time. I also made sure to stick to a really nourishing diet and check my levels (and adjust meds as needed) during pregnancy to avoid any negative effect on baby.

  152. Hi, I have a six month old that started solids this week and just found out yesterday that I am pregnant again. My daughter is very sensitive to soy, dairy, and eggs in breast milk, so I am concerned about eating well for the pregnancy. I am going to try separating the eggs white and hope that I can eat egg yolks. I avoid grains as well. Any advice would be much appreciated.

  153. What about Calcium? I heard that baby needs 1,000mg (1 gram) of calcium per day and that if I don’t eat that then it will come from my body to compensate. If Calcium is good to take, which one? Calcium citrate, carbonate, phosphate, etc?

  154. Well written and informative text! While trying to get pregnant, most women take extra supplements of one kind or another: some in the hope that these will help them conceive and improve egg quality, others wishing to undertake every possible effort to maximize their body’s health.

  155. So basically the seeking health brand is the only way to go because even if some of the prenatal vitamins have folate it isn’t methylfolate? For instance the organic my kind vitamins have folate but it is just food based? Also do you need seeking health prenatal AND additional L-5 MTHF? I’m confused as to where to start as someone who just suspects a defect and would prefer not to use folic acid in the mean time.

  156. Baby and me 2 (BRAND NEW formulation in 2016) is methyl folate AND is food based. Wondering if this is superior to seeking health parental I’m taking?

  157. If I am taking the butter oil/fermented cod liver oil blend, do I still need to supplement with vitamin D? If so how much? Thank you!

  158. Hi Katie! Love your blog – you’ve been a great natural resource while I was pregnant and now breastfeeding… and trying to keep my 4 yr old well through the winter (yay for your Elderberry syrup! ?) I have a post partum question I’m hoping you can help with – not sure if this is the best place to post, so please move if not! ? My 2nd daughter was born early February (like yours!)… After 2 weeks I lost all my pregnancy weight – about 22 lbs! Now over the last 9 weeks, I’ve gained back 5 or so! ? I’m exclusively breastfeeding, and when she was around 3.5 weeks I had to eliminate dairy and soy (I already wasn’t doing wheat/gluten for my own reasons). I can’t figure it out… Started working out again several times a week (spin and strength training which I did while pregnant) at 7 weeks post partum… Could it just be hormonal and if so, anything I can do? I know sometimes we hang onto weight while breastfeeding – but gaining seems so odd? I’m still eating a clean diet like I did while pregnant – not a lot of extra portions/snacks – only difference is the elimination of dairy? Dr had my thyroid tested 2 wks ago – TSH was 1.9 which is a full point lower than my pre-pregnancy “norm” – I’m on no meds (had to take synthroid .25 during 1st and 2nd trimesters) – maybe the cleaner diet has regulated the thyroid? Still following the supplements you recommend above (prenatal, high dha/epa fish oil, good probiotic, 5k iu Vit D (that tested 67 2 weeks ago!), and also taking extra vitamin C and collagen.) With my 1st baby I lost all weight pretty quick but then plateaued – no gain. Anyhow – any thoughts? Have you encountered quick post partum gain after losing with any of your pregnancies? Also, have any of your nurslings had a dairy allergy? Thank you – really appreciate your insight! ?

    • I can totally sympathize and apparently some women can gain weight with the influx of prolactin during breastfeeding and the lack of hcg that is present during pregnancy. One thing I’ve been experimenting with to make sure I get enough healthy fats and also am able to keep the weight off is just separating fats and carbs, keeping carbs at night. My doc recommends this for adrenal balance and I always feel like my adrenals and hormones suffer a little while nursing. In other words, I’ll eat a high protein breakfast (or smoothie with collagen and dairy free protein powder) for breakfast, a huge salad with meat, nuts and homemade dressing for lunch (meals with fats) and then for dinner eat protein and carbs like sweet potato without the fats. I’m taking similar supplements still as well, and I’ve noticed a big difference in this in the last few weeks and my sleep is improving too. Hope this helps!

      • It REALLY does help! You’re the best! ? Thank you for your insight! I will try moving those things around… Incidentally – made a sweet potato, butternut squash and carrot roast veggie side last night and slept 7+ hours straight (baby has been sleeping through for a few weeks now! Yay!) – so those evening good carbs just may be the ticket!
        What non-dairy protein powders do you like? I had been using Vega’s Sport vanilla but quit while pregnant since it had the L-glutamine in it… Is L-glutamine okay while breastfeeding?
        Would love to hear more about your “post partum” hormone/adrenal/weight journey! Best of luck – my little lady is 12 weeks today! How’d that happen!? ?

  159. Katie,
    Thank you so much for your site. I feel like I come here every weekend to learn more about my health and healthy living for my family. With that said you mention to get a good doctor/naturopath to make sure that supplements, etc. are okay to take during pregnancy and nursing. I’m just about to have Baby #2 and feel lost finding a natural doctor that is actually good and also one that I can afford to go to. Any advice on how you found doctors you trust? I am struggling after spending way too much money on naturopath doctors that I feel are not experts in Hashimotos and roceasea (my two overall issues). And my doctors I currently see do not support any “natural” treatments since they are supported by research. Thank you so much for any help!

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