Healthy Habit – Fish Oil & Other Supplements

7 Oct

I’ll be honest, if I had known that I was going to have a mulitivitamin meltdown yesterday, I probably would have put this topic off until later. Alas, I did not anticipate how confusing and overwhelming the world of multivitamins can be. Unfortunately, the world of supplements during pregnancy isn’t much easier. However, I’ve located a few supplements that are commonly recommended for use during pregnancy and found some good brands to take.

Fish Oil (at least 300mg, per http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/omega3fishoil.html)

Fish oil is recommended to supplement Omega-3s. Omega-3s are especially important during pregnancy because they contribute to the neurological and visual development of the baby. Unfortunately, most omega-3s come from fish and my main fish intake now is sushi. Which is off-limits during pregnancy. *saddest face you have ever seen* So, though I will be trying to supplement my diet with other non-raw-deliciousness, I think that fish oil is probably a good supplement for me to take. But, pregnant women have to be careful when selecting a supplement. It has to be mercury free. And it shouldn’t smell or taste fishy, because that means it may have gone bad. I’ve been taking Nature’s Bounty fish oil, just to see how it makes me feel. My sister-in-law complained incessantly that her fish oil supplement made her have fishy burps (aren’t you glad I shared that with you?) and that is something I want to avoid. I didn’t notice a fishy taste (or aftertaste), but I did notice that for the first few days I took it, it made my stomach feel kind of . . . bleh. Not sick, just not perfect. So, taking fish oil will definitely have to be a habit I get into before I conceive so that my body is used to taking it and doesn’t get that bleh feeling. However, Nature’s Bounty is not going to be the supplement I use. It has 1,200mg per supplement. That is 4 times the recommended amount!

So, I started looking for other fish oil supplements. The first one that caught my eye was the one to the right. The description read: “The Benefits of Whole Wholemega is a true expression of nature’s wisdom. By using only sustainably caught Alaskan salmon – among the world’s cleanest andmost pure fish stocks – an extra virgin, low heat process is all that’srequired to deliver nature’s intelligence and the whole complementof omega fatty acids, while still guaranteeing optimal purity.“Food Grade” Wholemega is extensively tested fordetectable PCBs, heavy metal contaminants, and toxins thatmust be distilled out of other fish oils.” Seriously – sustainably caught salmon? It sounded amazing. But, it was $37 for 120 pills and it contains 1000mg of fish oil.

So, I sadly continued my search. I found two brands of fish oil that I liked, though, unfortunately, they aren’t made with sustainably caught salmon! I found Nature Made fish oil and GNC fish oil. Both contain the recommended amount of fish oil, both are purified to ensure there are no heavy metals like mercury and lead, and both are less than $10 a bottle. And, as a bonus, the Natures Made fish oil advertises that it is burp-less. 😛

Red Raspberry leaf (only in 2nd and 3rd trimesters)

After reading this description of red raspberry leaf, I decided it was apparently a miracle pregnancy supplement: “Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains.” Apparently red raspberry leaf makes pregnancy easy one cup of tea at a time! However, there is one gigantic asterisk next to this supplement. It isn’t clear if it is safe during the first trimester. Though many sites I looked at stated that it was safe, I trust the American Pregnancy’s Association’s recommendation of using it only during the second and third trimesters. (see http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/herbaltea.html). I found a pack of 24 red raspberry leaf tea bags for $3.54 (and free shipping on orders over $49!).

Probiotics

The third supplement I plan on taking during pregnancy is a probiotic supplement. Probiotics have several benefits during pregnancy. First, they help to keep the digestive track *ahem* moving. Second, they can help reduce allergies in your baby. Third, women who took probiotics during pregnancy were found to have a smaller waist line and a lower body fat percentage a year after giving birth.

After reading a bunch of reviews (and being realistic about my budget), I settled on Phillips Colon Health Probiotic, which is $28.22 for 90 tablets at Sams Club. Not too shabby, given all of the benefits that protiobics have!

What supplements did you take during pregnancy? How did you like them?

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