What is a prenatal supplement?
A prenatal supplement is a supplement taken while trying to conceive, and during the pregnancy as a means to get an adequate amount of vitamins, and minerals required for optimal fetal growth.
Are prenatal supplements necessary, and when should I start taking prenatal supplement?
Yes, because multiple studies show that the maternal nutritional environment during early gestation, and even conception heavily influences adult metabolism, and the genetic makeup of the babies produced.
From about 12 weeks onwards, a baby will get its nutrients solely from their mother’s placenta. Until the maternal blood supply to the placenta is complete, the baby relies on the nutrients within its mother’s endometrium for sustenance.
Prenatal supplements are absolutely necessary while trying to conceive, and most especially in the first trimester, and is highly recommended to be taken throughout the pregnancy to ensure your baby is getting all its required vitamins, and nutrition.
A Harvard study found that a mother’s diet, and nutrition programs their baby’s metabolism even as early as the zygote stage. If the zygote senses a low-nutrient environment within the mother, it will boost the baby’s metabolism to collect as much nutrition possible during the pregnancy which manifests as nutrient storage in the form of fat after birth. However, it’s important to note that “while differences in gene expression can be hereditary, they can also be due to factors in the environment like nutrient availability.”
Should I take prenatal supplements containing methylfolate or folic acid?
I used Kin Fertility’s Prenatal supplements which contained methylfolate instead of folic aside because studies have found that 1 in 3 people have a common genetic variant that have difficulty processing it in their bodies. Improving folate status is important during pregnancy as folate is a micronutrient that decreases neural tube defects, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive dysfunction/.
Consuming prenatal supplements that contain methylfolate (which is naturally occurring in the body) instead of folic acid (which is synthetic) has its benefits such as it’s still well absorbed even when your gastrointestinal pH has been altered, it’s bioavailability isn’t affected by any metabolic defects, and does not mask vitamin B12 deficiency.
When should you start taking prenatal supplements?
It’s recommended you start taking prenatal supplements at least 3 months prior to trying to conceive to achieve optimal nutritional levels in your body. For example, prenatal supplements contain either methylfolate or folic acid to improve your folate status which is instrumental in decreasing any neural tube defects (NTDs). This optimal folate status needs to be reached prior to conception, and maintained in the first trimester which is when the neural tube closes.
Neural tube defects are birth defects of either the brain, spine, or spinal cord such as Spina Bifida, and anencephaly.
Why do some prenatal supplements smell like fish?
Most prenatal supplements smell, and taste like fish because they contain omega-3 fatty acids which is an essential nutrient for building your baby’s brain, and retina.
Why do prenatal supplements make you constipated?
Prenatal supplements contain iron which is the likely cause of your constipation. Your prenatal supplements need to contain iron because it is an essential nutrient required to make lots of red blood cells. Red blood cells are important because they carry oxygen to the body tissues. In fact, during pregnancy, your blood volume increases by about 50% as your body works in overtime to not only create the baby growing inside of you but also give more love to your organs that have to work even harder than pre-pregnancy.
Taking iron is especially important during pregnancy because not only is low iron common in the general public, but gestational anemia affects 25% of pregnant women in Australia.
What prenatal supplements should I take in Australia? Kin Fertility Prenatal Vitamin Review
Personally, I took the Kin Fertility prenatal supplements in the lead up to getting pregnant, and all throughout my pregnancy. I had heard many great reviews about Kin, and I loved to the ease of getting it online, and delivered to me. Of course, my obstetrician had a look at the ingredients, and she gave it her approval for me to take throughout the pregnancy.
Interestingly, we had anticipated it would take weeks to months for us to get pregnant as we knew there had been some difficulty in both sides of our families for conceiving. However, we got pregnant on the first try, like literally the first night of us trying, so I had been only taking Kin for 3 days when I conceived my son. Despite this short time frame, never in the pregnancy was there any growth or developmental issues in my son detected, and he’s growing big, and strong each day!
Plus, unlike other prenatals supplements, never has any of my Kin Fertility prenatal supplements ever smelt or tasted like fish!
What is Kin Fertility?
Kin Fertility is an Australian Telehealth solution that seeks to empower women through transparent, and convenient access to reproductive healthcare. Women are able to skip the medical centre queues, and get direct, online access to an Aussie GP who specialises in women’s health, as well as access to various reproductive healthcare needs like the contraceptive pill, the fertility hormone test, prenatal solutions for the couple, various pregnancy products, and of course postpartum essentials too.
What are postnatal supplements?
Postnatal vitamins are similar to prenatal supplements in the sense that they enrich the mother’s body with the nutrients required to nourish their baby during breastfeeding but have been adjusted to assist with the changes occurring postpartum.
After a woman gives birth, her body experiences postpartum depletion where there is a decline in the nutrients required for nutritious breastmilk but also is linked to perinatal anxiety, and depression.
In fact, breastfeeding mothers need to consume more calories (roughly 300-400 more calories) and absorb more nutrients like iron (especially if they experienced gestational anemia or had heavy bleeding during childbirth), and vitamin D so the baby can absorb calcium, and phosphorus but also to prevent a weakening of their bones.
What postnatal supplements should I take in Australia?
Kin Fertility sells postnatal supplements which contain 18 highly bioavailable essential ingredients. Their postnatal supplements have been designed to resolve postpartum depletion, replenish the nutritional needs of mothers during the first 6 months postpartum, and empower the mothers body for breastfeeding.