Pregnancy Supplements

As explained in the book, supporting infant brain development starts with making sure you are getting the right nutrients during pregnancy.

A good-quality prenatal multivitamin and a nutritous diet will go a long way toward that goal, but there are likely still a few key nutrients that you will have to supplement separately.

Read on for my top recommendations for choosing a prenatal and the additional supplements you may need during pregnancy to support brain development.

  Remember to check with your doctor before adding any new supplements.

What to Look for in a Prenatal

Additional Supplements to Support Brain Development During Pregnancy

1. Choline

2. Vitamin D

  • The optimal vitamin D level for preventing preterm birth is likely at least 40 ng/ml.
  • Many women will need to supplement with 5000 IU per day to reach that level.
  • Look for a soft gel or liquid version containing vitamin D3.
  • Good brands to consider: Doctor’s Best, Seeking Health
  • Seeking Health Optimal D3 Liquid seems to be among the most effective brands for addressing vitamin D deficiency.  It has 2000 IU per drop. One option is to start with 3 drops per day for two weeks (i.e. 6000 IU), then reduce to 2 drops per day (i.e. 4000 IU).

3. Fish oil/ Omega-3 Fatty Acids

4. Iron

  • Most women will get enough iron from their diet and prenatal multivitamin, so there is no need to take a separate iron supplement unless blood tests suggest a deficiency. (Getting tested for anemia in the third trimester is important!)
  • If you are anemic and your doctor recommends taking additional iron, look for iron bisglycinate, a form with fewer digestive side effects.
  • Recommended brands: Solgar Gentle Iron , Thorne Iron Bisglycinate

5. Probiotics

  • As will be discussed in Chapter 17, adding a probiotic during pregnancy is optional, but may help to reduce inflammation and support a healthy microbiome for your baby.  For that purpose, one good choice is L. rhamnosus GG, found in Culturelle.
  • In the third trimester, certain strains are helpful to reduce the odds of testing positive for Group B streptococcus and therefore requiring antibiotics at delivery. These strains are: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14, found in Jarrow FemdophilusRephresh ProB and Metagenics Ultra Flora Women’s.

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