I see some of you mention here and there certain supplements or herbs you are taking, and I also see them in charts I look at. I googled it but still am a little unsure why these are taken and which ones are for what? I take a daily prenatal and have been for 6 months to prep my body but other than that am a little lost... why are you guys taking more stuff and should I be?
Supplements while TTC
if your cycles are regular and you are ovulating normally there is no need to take any other than a good prenatal vitamin with folic acid.
I'm taking vitex, vit b6 and evening primrose oil because I haven't had AF since having my dd 21 months ago and I'm trying to encourage my cycle back. Vitex is supposed to encourage the body to ovulate, balance out hormone levels and help to regulate periods. Vitamin b6 is also supposed to help balance hormone levels and promote a normal length luteal phase. Evening primrose oil is supposed to help increase the amount of fertile CM, as is grapefruit juice.
Some people also take soy isoflavones to try and promote ovulation and shorten cycles.
But like I said, if your cycles are regular your prenatal vitamin is just fine to take.
I agree that a prenatal is all you need if you don' t have other issues. That's all I took when TTC #1, but now I'm also taking a B6 supplement (and also *was* taking Vitex too) while TTC #2 because of a short LP.
I do have a question though- a couple of my family members have said I need to take a DHA omega-3 supplement when TTC because it's important for the developing baby for when I do conceive, and also because I don't eat any fish or seafood, I need that supplement. My dr. has never said anything about this and I never took it while pregnant with #1, so just wondering what you all know about this????
Thanks for asking this question, because I have been wondering the same thing. :) I have been taking a vegan daily prenatal for a few months (I'm not vegan, but I am vegetarian and a lot of prenatals have fish oil). I am also taking flax seed for some extra omega-3s and cranberry supplements to help prevent a UTI (from all of that laying around with my hips propped up after sex ;)). I also take a calcium chewy with meals. It is good to know that I don't need to take anything else! :)
I might be taking more than a lot of other ladies on here, but my cycles have been really wonky for the last 6 months or so. Here is the list of what I'm taking, how much, and why. :)
- Folic Acid 1000mcg per day through the 12th week of pregnancy (helps prevent neural tube defects)
- Evening Primrose Oil 1000mg per day from CD1 through ovulation (increases CM & EWCM)
- Vitamin B-12 500mcg per day (aids folic acid; also hoping it will help with my energy level and depression)
- Vitamin B-6 100mg per day through the 12th week of pregnancy (increases luteal phase; do not stop taking after BFP; B-6 also recommended to help with morning sickness)
- Vitamin E 400iu per day (strengthens egg lining and increases EWCM)
- Fish Oil 600mg per day (increases EWCM and makes CM more alkaline--helpful for swaying blue)
- Prenatal Plus 1 per day (contains: 10,000 IU Vitamin A, 150mgs C, 400 IU D, 75 IU E, 100mcgs K, 25mgs B1, 25mgs Niacin, 25mgs B6, 800mcgs Folic Acid, 100mcgs B12, 300mcgs Biotin, 40mgs B5, 800mgs Calcium, 18mgs Iron, 450mgs Magnesium, 15mgs Zinc, 2mgs Copper, 5mgs Manganese, 200mcgs Chromium, 25mcgs Molybdenum, 25mgs Potassium, 10mgs Inositol, 100mcgs Selnium, 10mgs Choline, 10mgs PABA, 50mgs DHA Powder, 75mgs Ginger Root, 50mgs Chamomile Flower Extract and 25mgs Raspberry Leaves)
- Zinc 50mg per day (repairs egg damage and helps with implantation)
- Green Tea 1-2 cups per day (loosens CM, increases fertility)
- Soy Isoflavones 80/120/120/160/160mg CD3-7 (a natural plant derived phytoestrogen (phyto means plant), which is an anti-estrogen, just like Clomid. Both are known as SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators). It works by fooling your brain into thinking its estrogen levels are low. This causes your body to release more FSH & LH which helps stimulate follicle production.)
GradStudent13-- I have heard that flaxseed is not safe during pregnancy, which is why I'm thinking of trying something different for the omega-3 intake. I don't want to take a fish oil either (and I don't think my stomach would keep it down...), but I have found an omega-3 supplement derived from algae instead of fish. I may try that, but am still wondering if I even need it. I was thinking of just trying to eat some nuts daily (walnuts are supposed to be good for omega-3), and maybe that would be enough???
Thanks for your list, kittenbritches. Very helpful!
I'm not taking any kind of omega-3 supplement right now, just thinking about trying the algae-derived kind. I'd rather just get my omega-3s with whole foods instead. I will have to ask my dr. if eating walnuts daily would be enough omega-3s. I've never tried hemp milk and a quick internet search does not show anything about it being dangerous during pregnancy, so will have to look into that. Thanks, janellody. Gradstudent13, if you find out anything with your research and if you find a good algae-derived omega-3 supplement (in case dr. says I should take them), please let me know!
I have a shake every morning that is chock ful of nutrients and use different milks all the time. I stay away from dairy in general, so I have tried all different types of milks - almond, oat, hemp, hazelnut, soy, rice, coconut. I mix it up all the time so I get different nutrition from all the different types! My shake is really yummy on it's own, so I couldn't tell you how all of these taste by themselves because they all taste the same in my shake, but the ones I have tried by themselves I like a lot! It's a good way to add in some extra nutrition to use these milks instead of regular milk sometimes.
That is a fantastic question - on that topic, is there anything one shouldn't take while TTC? Here is what I take every day:
Spirulina - to get the B Vitamins and iron since I'm veg
Greens shake with probiotics
Alive plant-based multi-vitamins
Calpurnia7, sounds like you are taking good stuff to me! A lot of people take a prenatal for several months before ttc so that they are getting enough folic acid. I would just double check your multi-vitamin to make sure it has a bunch of folic acid. If you are looking for a good vegetarian prenatal, I am taking Deva Vegan Prenatal, which is working for me.
I initially started out with cod liver oil, because I thought fish oil was all created equal... but then I was told to stay away from that which is made from the fish's liver, because of the high content of Vitamin A, which can cause some issues for a developing fetus. You may want to check this info out, though, because this was two years ago... maybe more studies have come out and it's changed.
I did not know that flaxseed was bad during pregnancy. Now I feel awful since I was eating a lot of it during my last pregnancy (which ended in m/c!). I don't ordinarily eat it, but I got a wild hair up my butt and decided to start eating it whilst pregnant.
Who knows if that was the actual cause or not, but it still irks me!
Oh, and I am going to start drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea. I take a prenatal daily (I've been doing that since long before I was pregnant with DD #1... over 3 years).
BeachLove-I think the jury is still really out on flax-some say great for pregnancy and developing healthy little ones, some say to avoid it because we are not sure. I think some of the fear over flax is because it goes bad if not stored properly, like so many other things. Rancid stuff can always cause problems in pregnancy. I don't think there is really much cause to blame it or yourself for any m/c risks. There is so much conflicting information about what to eat and not eat, it can get really confusing. My acupuncturist (who is a fertility specialist) says flax is great. I guess the best thing to do is to ask an expert that you trust and try not to read the internet (except here of course) too much. It always just makes me more anxious.
You might want to do a little bit of research on the raspberry leaf tea -- my understanding is that it can cause uterine contractions and should only be consumed near the end of pregnancy because it can induce labor.
Of course I just read another thing that said it is safe to take throughout pregnancy. It seems like there is a lot of conflicting information out there, so like I said, I'd read up on it. Then again, maybe you already did!
My vitamins are a pretty good source of folic acid - I'm only about a third of the way through a big bottle, so I'd like to at least try to get my money's worth from that bottle before starting something new.
Last night I went to Whole Foods and asked for a good veg EFA and they suggested I try chia seeds. I shook them up in my greens this morning and it worked well. Chia is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which is good for me right now because I'm exercising a lot. Supposedly chia can also help keep body cells hydrated, pretty cool!