The best building blocks for growing a healthy baby come from varied diet of natural, unprocessed foods, but some pregnant women choose to supplement their diets for a little extra assurance or to ease their pregnancies. Choosing organic supplements during pregnancy maximizes the availability of essential vitamins while reducing the fetus’s exposure to toxins. Here are 6 organic supplements that are considered safe for pregnancy. Be sure to check with your health care provider to see if these supplements are appropriate for you.
1. Prenatal Vitamin
A quality organic prenatal vitamin is the primary supplement that most pregnant women need, and provides a base of calcium, iron, Vitamin D and B-vitamins. Most prenatal vitamins will provide at least 400 mcg of folic acid, but check the label. If yours does not, pick up a folic acid supplement as well.
2. Folic Acid
Folic acid is a B-vitamin that reduces the risk of certain birth defects, such as spina bifida. Adequate folic acid consumption is essential in the first trimester, even before most women suspect pregnancy. All women who might become pregnant should consume 400 mcg of folic acid daily. Once pregnancy is achieved, consider increasing the daily dose to 600 mcg. Women with certain risk factors, such as having a previous baby with spina bifida or other central nervous system issues, should consume 4000 mcg of folic acid daily on the advice of their health care providers.
3. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which improve the development of the fetus’s eyes and brain. These fatty acids can be consumed by eating fish, but pregnant women are advised to limit their fish consumption to reduce the baby’s exposure to mercury. Mercury-free fish oil supplements provide the benefit of Omega-3’s while reducing the risk of mercury exposure. Avoid cod liver oil during pregnancy, as high Vitamin A levels can be toxic for the baby.
4. Fiber Supplements
Organic fiber supplements can help with the common problem of constipation in pregnancy, which is triggered by hormonal changes. Psyllium-based supplements are commonly available, but organic flax-based supplements provide the added benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure to drink plenty of water with organic fiber supplements.
5. Evening Primrose Oil
Organic evening primrose oil supplements might have some use in the last month of pregnancy to help prepare a woman’s cervix for labor. The supplements can be taken orally or used as a vaginal preparation. Although it is controversial whether evening primrose oil is effective, it is important to wait until 36 weeks to begin use, just in case.
6. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Organic red raspberry leaf tea might be useful to help tone and strengthen the uterus during the last part of the pregnancy in preparation for labor and birth. Again, it is important to wait until the last month of pregnancy to drink red raspberry leaf tea, so that the baby has had plenty of time to grow and mature before birth.