Herbs and Supplements

“You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make … or don’t make.  If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control, then you must                   examine what you have or haven’t done so far to create                     the outcome you want.”

Kim Wildner

If we believe in the perfect design of our bodies to give birth we must also, at least to some degree, believe in the perfect design of nature to keep us well. At Kona Birth & Midwifery Services we believe fully in nutrition being the key to our health and the babies we grow. Supplements should not be in place of food; they should in fact, be supplemental. Both prior to and during pregnancy it is especially important to be sure we are getting the nutrients we need and in the forms and amounts we need them. Always aim to get as many vitamins and minerals as possible from the foods you eat. A colorful plate of whole foods is likely to give your body and baby what it needs to grow, be well and thrive!

"A healthy newborn begins at conception."
Kelly Caldwell, CPM

Prenatal Vitamins 
Not all prenatal Vitamins are created equal. Many Vitamins are synthetic, have additives and labels can be misleading. In order to be of value, a Vitamin must be able to be absorbed and not merely flushed through your system.  It is important to ensure you are getting enough nutrition and in the right amounts. This should primarily be done through healthy eating habits, but to ensure that you are not missing anything in your diet we recommend the following prenatal Vitamins based on their ingredients and their efficacy:

Garden of Life Raw Vitamin Code
MegaFood Baby and Me Herb Free
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
Rainbow Light

Pregnancy is the perfect time to begin investing in yourself and your baby in an even more holistic way. Taking the time to make your own prenatal infusion or tinctures can be nourishing to your mind, soul and body and can render an even better Vitamin for you and your baby than one bought at the store.  There are several ideas for recipes at the bottom of this page if you would like to learn more.

Supplements
Vitamin B9

During pregnancy the body demands more folate and many diets are already folate deficient. Taking Vitamin B9, or folate, is very important for all women who are or desire to become pregnant. The risk of neural defects are decreased when folate is sufficient in the pregnant mother's body.  Great sources of dietary folate include beans, spinach, and asparagus.

Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12

A deficiency in these two Vitamins are thought to contribute to morning sickness. Lower levels of B6 are thought to cause nausea and low B12 levels can lead to vomiting. Taking 25 mg of B6 three times per day is thought to quell nausea, and and the same dosage of B12 to help with Vomiting has shown no adverse effects on the growing baby.  B Vitamins are not stored by your body and must be added to your diet or in a supplement form every day.  To ensure you get enough in your diet make it a point to eat potatoes and starchy vegetables along with meat, eggs, and milk.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Is recommended as part of a naturally healthy diet and has shown no related concerns to continue or begin taking in pregnancy. These omega-3 fatty acids aid in fetal development, and specifically brain development. In recent studies it has been thought to prolong pregnancy and it is now suggested that women stop taking cod liver oil around 34 weeks. Tip: Often, when taking cod liver oil, a pregnant mother can feel nauseous due to the normal, slower digestion during this time in her life. Freezing the oil will allow it to pass further through your digestive track before devolving and can often prevent burping a fish oil taste as well as nausea.

Floradix Plus Iron

This supplement is a very easily digestible iron and is recommended for pregnant mothers, or those planning to become pregnant, who are on the anemic side. Low levels of iron can be very detrimental to not only the pregnancy but the postpartum and the breastfeeding period as well.  This supplement can increase your iron stores for birth or it can be taken in the postpartum period to aid in recovery.  Most iron supplements are either liquid or in tablet form but typically liquid forms are digested and absorbed faster and more easily.

Cal-Mag

Both Calcium and Magnesium are foundational blocks on which babies are built and it is also often found to be lacking in appropriate portions in the American diet. Like iron and Vitamin C, Calcium and Magnesium have a symbiotic relationship and taking these two together is a powerhouse of balanced minerals.  Taking this supplement before pregnancy, as well as during, is thought to help prevent preeclampsia along with diets rich in proteins and green veggies.

Digestive Enzymes

In pregnancy, both hormones and intestinal compression due to the growing baby can give a mama problems with digestion and they will often experience common complaints such as heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux.  Taking an enzyme prior to a meal can help alleviate some of these ills.  Enzymes, especially when mixed with probiotics, are excellent!  They help to break down food and aid in digestion.  This allows more of the nutritive value of food to be absorbed and gives less problems to mom during and after eating.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil

This is a spray and can be sprayed over the inside of your arm or behind the knees; somewhere where the skin is thin and the oil can easily be absorbed. It is an incredible source of magnesium which can help to prevent preterm labor and maintain healthy sleep patterns for the pregnant mama as well reduce stress in those last few weeks of pregnancy.

Herbs for PregnancyScience and Technology 459

First Trimester

Peppermint
Ginger
Red Raspberry Leaf

Second Trimester*

Echinacea

Third Trimester*

Nettles
Alfalfa
Oat Straw
Chamomile
Garlic
Cramp Bark

*Note that you can continue to take herbs from previous trimesters as your pregnancy progresses.  For example, First Trimester herbs can be taken in all three Trimesters while Second Trimester herbs can be taken in the Second and Third Trimesters.

Read More:

Baby's Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Nutrition in Pregnancy
Medicinal Plants in Pregnancy
Herbs to Avoid in Pregnancy and Lactation
Herbs for Pregnancy Problems
Healthy Options in Pregnancy
Differences in Prenatal Vitamins
Choosing a Vitamin
Best Vitamins and Supplements
Baby's Brain Development and Nutrition
Homemade Vitamins
Vitamin and Mineral Tincture
Multi-Vitamin Tincture
Pregnancy Tea Recipe
Herbal Prenatal Vitamin Recipe
Cod Liver Oil
Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf in Pregnancy
Cal-Mag Information

 

As with anything you would choose to put into your body, be sure to do your due diligence with each of the above listed products prior to taking. If you are pregnant or otherwise concerned then consult with your care provider. Never consider a website the substitute for the knowledge and collaboration of a care provider.