Doctor says NO to prenatal vitamins?! - Mothering Forums
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January 2010 > Doctor says NO to prenatal vitamins?!
crunchycon08's Avatar crunchycon08 01:27 PM 05-28-2009
I'm due in January with my second. Went to the doctor yesterday. Asked him about prenatal vitamins. He said NOT to take them. Said they are of no nutritional value and that the only thing I needed to worry about taking was folic acid until seven weeks (which I will be on Monday).

He said prescribing prenatals was an old-fashioned practice and a diet with lots of dark leafy greens, fish, etc was much better.

I've never heard of this before. I like it (hate taking the vitamins) but just feel so weird not taking any vitamins.

nataliachick7's Avatar nataliachick7 01:31 PM 05-28-2009
it has always been my personal opinion after my research that multivitamins are worthless. our bodies do not really absorb them. folic acid is important though, but be careful with what kind of fish you get as a lot of it contains tons of mercury.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 01:37 PM 05-28-2009
I prefer whole-food supplements. Ones that are naturally high nutrient. I take:
maca root powder
bee pollen
fermented cod liver oil
coconut oil

to name a few. I also don't have constipation which can be caused by synthetic iron in supplements. greens are like my favorite type of veggie to eat, so it's easy for me. Just remember to cook greens
marinak1977's Avatar marinak1977 02:08 PM 05-28-2009
If you take whole food prenatals, they actually get absorbed, but it's true that most commonly available multis make for expensive pee.
I take Innate prenatals, and these are supposed to get absorbed. I am also trying to eat healthy, although with morning sickness it's a bit harder to get a balanced diet. Luckily I'm craving fruit.
carmen358's Avatar carmen358 02:30 PM 05-28-2009
I would have to disagree somewhat. Taking a prenatal is by no means unnecessary for everyone. A lot of people have deficiencies or abundances of various things in their body. Eating a whole food, organic, balanced diet can absolutely provide you with everything you need....that is the ideal anyway. However, a lot of people don't have access to food that hasn't had everything 'good' in it so processed out of it and so much crap added to it. I wouldn't say that everyone needs a multivitamin (or any vitamin) but I also wouldn't say they are a waste and unnecessary. If I'm not able to get everything I feel my body needs from my diet (which happens) then I can 'fall back' on my multivitamin.

Western medicine is notorious for suggesting vitamins, herbs, etc. "do nothing." However, there are billions of people in the world for many, many generations that would absolutely stand as proof to the fact that that is not true.

I do believe we know what our bodies need best. So maybe a multivitamin isn't for some people...for some people it is.
NekeT's Avatar NekeT 02:39 PM 05-28-2009
I've heard this before as long as you eat a well balanced whole food diet. However, I do take whole food prenatals. They seem to help me a lot with the fatigue.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 02:43 PM 05-28-2009
well if you look up bee pollen alone- it has just about everything you could be missing.It is not EVERYTHING however. Which is why you would need other good supplements. You also need animal vitamin A- which is different than synthetic A and good for you.

I agree that you most likely won't get everything through eating well-prepared meals alone. But nature offers us an array of healthy superfoods.
Faliciagayle's Avatar Faliciagayle 03:39 PM 05-28-2009
My "prenatal" is an infusion of nettles and RRL (about 1/2 quart daily) along with 800 mcg Folic Acid.

Other than that, I try and eat as well as I can.
jtrt's Avatar jtrt 03:46 PM 05-28-2009
This is definitely thought-provoking. I agree with several of the other ladies' posts that a healthy diet is ideal and I agree that many supplements are poorly absorbed. I think a whole food supplement is a good idea for most pregnant women.

I have the MTHFR mutation and take a good multi, a B complex supplement, 5mg of folic acid and a prescription folic acid for women with MTHFR. The mutation inhibits the body's ability to synthesize and use folate and folic acid in particular. It is NOT an extremely rare mutation and I hate to think about thousands of undiagnosed women abandoning PNV and multivits if this concept of "vitamins do no good" went mainstream. I know that I am carrying this to the extreme but it is really the first thing I thought of.

Amy
dosergirl's Avatar dosergirl 03:48 PM 05-28-2009
i'm chiming in from another ddc (september) i stopped taking my prenatal at like 12 weeks, it made me sick. i have had a perfect pregnancy with no problems at all so far. i am totally healthy and i eat really well. i think it is widely accepted that if you don't want to take them, you will be just fine without them.
ShwarmaQueen's Avatar ShwarmaQueen 03:49 PM 05-28-2009
It's true that prenatals are not necessary for everyone. A well-rounded diet goes a long way!
paxye's Avatar paxye 04:35 PM 05-28-2009
I agree... diet is the best way to get vitamins and even then if a diet is not the best (by not the best I don't mean junk food all the time, but eating well but not eating everything you "should" in a day) I don't think that they are needed...

I tried to take prenatals in my first pregnancy and I just got sick.... I stopped after about a week and never took any again...
melodyka's Avatar melodyka 11:45 PM 05-29-2009
ooh this is news I like to hear! i am shocked that this is coming from an MD! i feel like the whole prenatal vitamin thing is SO big in the medical community.

i feel so sick when I take mine, but since I feel so sick all day anyway, I can't eat as well as I normally would & therefore am not getting the necessary nutrients.

so. i guess i will continue this crazy cycle of prenates for now (at least during this critical nural tube development stage)
nudhistbudhist's Avatar nudhistbudhist 02:40 AM 05-30-2009
I have major damage to my liver and kidneys from traditional vitamins. My iron saturation is in the 70's, which is waaaaaaaaay too high. The only way to lower it is thru blood letting. It started last pegnancy when I started taking "prenatal vitamins." I had pain in my liver, which I now know is sclerosis (scarring) from iron overload. I take a raw "vitamin" now, which is ground up food and plants and PROBIOTICS in one!. I have to take 4 because they are just food, not concentrated chemicaly created vitamins. They are wonderful!

Vitamin Code Womens, if anyone is interested.
misswerewolf's Avatar misswerewolf 02:53 AM 05-30-2009
My partner works in research (he's a research doctor). One of his favorite things to do is to bemoan the greediness of the vitamin industry. He refers to it as a multi-billion dollar industry, and he says over and over that most people do not need extra supplements or vitamins of any kind. The only exceptions would be if you're totally malnourished (poor Africans, for example) or have some kind of wacked-out physiology (i.e., your body can't make [insert some kind of chemical name here]).

So, yeah, a well-balanced diet goes a long way. I never took pre-natal vitamins. In my regular life, I also don't take any kind of vitamins (unless you consider Ovaltine as a vitamin -- ha ha ha!).
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 03:03 AM 05-30-2009
I'm reading Real food for Mother and Baby right now by Nina Plank and HIGHLY recommend it
Adelle Davis has a great book too, if you can get it. Called Let's have healthy Children. Both authors take a nutrient rich foods approach instead of taking a vitamin and eating whatever you want.
Marylizah's Avatar Marylizah 03:51 AM 05-30-2009
My regular doctor (not an ob or mw) told me the same thing two days ago.

He said a large study done in the US showed they were pretty much useless...
ekblad9's Avatar ekblad9 12:01 AM 05-31-2009
I notice a difference when I don't take my vitamin, though. I also take a whole food supplement, folic acid, pro biotics, and drink tea with nettle, some rrl, dandelion, alphalpa and a few other herbs. Hmm - will have to look more into this.
bizzeebee's Avatar bizzeebee 12:05 AM 05-31-2009
They are touch and go for me. If I feel like taking it I will, or I won't for a few days...just, whatever. I eat fairly well. I do take iron because I am too lazy to find out what I can eat with lots of iron. I am not big into red meat, but I make sure I get LOTS of calcium.
I would like to find a better alternative, cause I hate iron pills. They really mess your system up.
PaulaJoAnne's Avatar PaulaJoAnne 12:15 AM 05-31-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrt View Post
This is definitely thought-provoking. I agree with several of the other ladies' posts that a healthy diet is ideal and I agree that many supplements are poorly absorbed. I think a whole food supplement is a good idea for most pregnant women.

I have the MTHFR mutation and take a good multi, a B complex supplement, 5mg of folic acid and a prescription folic acid for women with MTHFR. The mutation inhibits the body's ability to synthesize and use folate and folic acid in particular. It is NOT an extremely rare mutation and I hate to think about thousands of undiagnosed women abandoning PNV and multivits if this concept of "vitamins do no good" went mainstream. I know that I am carrying this to the extreme but it is really the first thing I thought of.

Amy
Passing through, and wanted to add something.
Raw milk has the right amount of folic acid in it, if its part of the daily diet.
Can't get any in pasturized, cause its been killed off.
Just thought some might find that of interest.
ekblad9's Avatar ekblad9 12:24 AM 05-31-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizzeebee View Post
They are touch and go for me. If I feel like taking it I will, or I won't for a few days...just, whatever. I eat fairly well. I do take iron because I am too lazy to find out what I can eat with lots of iron. I am not big into red meat, but I make sure I get LOTS of calcium.
I would like to find a better alternative, cause I hate iron pills. They really mess your system up.
Floradix rocks for iron. I use the liquid and it's SO much better than any iron pill I ever used. Also, cast iron skillets!!! I haven't been anemic since my best friend bought me one! And I don't even use it everyday.
rachel65655's Avatar rachel65655 10:38 AM 05-31-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
well if you look up bee pollen alone- it has just about everything you could be missing.It is not EVERYTHING however. Which is why you would need other good supplements. You also need animal vitamin A- which is different than synthetic A and good for you.

I agree that you most likely won't get everything through eating well-prepared meals alone. But nature offers us an array of healthy superfoods.
Too much vitamin A can cause birth defects and you should not take any more than the recommended daily doseage.
Twisted Cinderella's Avatar Twisted Cinderella 06:02 PM 05-31-2009
What an interesting and thought provoking post.
Oriole's Avatar Oriole 06:20 PM 05-31-2009
Not pregnant, but I saw the title and couldn't stay away!

Vitamins never made sense to me, pregnant or not. I always thought that we have to be able to survive without them, people that don't take them seem to be doing just fine, so wouldn't it saturate and overload certain vitamins for those people if they began taking vitamins on top of their regular diet? I don't think clinically manufactured pill can be healthier than an apple or a carrot.

How cool that you found that kind of a doctor!
I'm glad to hear that I'm not crazy, and that there are people out there that think like I do. :
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 07:56 PM 05-31-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel65655 View Post
Too much vitamin A can cause birth defects and you should not take any more than the recommended daily doseage.
Actually this is only partly true. Synthetic A is not good for you. Which goes by the name retinal palmitate. It is extremely toxic and not for pregnant or nursing mothers in large doses.

Animal A, which occurs in foods that people have eaten from the beginning of time is perfectly safe in MASS QUANTITIES. It is found in animal fats. It is also found in good brands of cod liver oil. I dare you to eat enough animal source A to overdose! That would mean eating more meat than any of us could manage and it just wouldn't happen. We eat meats to taste, which is usually not terribly much.

Vitamin A is an essential building block. The stuff healthy babies are made from.
ACsMom's Avatar ACsMom 08:23 PM 05-31-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by marinak1977 View Post
If you take whole food prenatals, they actually get absorbed, but it's true that most commonly available multis make for expensive pee.
I take Innate prenatals, and these are supposed to get absorbed. I am also trying to eat healthy, although with morning sickness it's a bit harder to get a balanced diet. Luckily I'm craving fruit.
Yeah, I agree - you need a high quality one that your body can absorb, hopefully one where the vitamins are derived from whole-food sources. I think your doc is on the right track, in that it's certainly better to get your vitamins from food, but you'd have to be a VERY conscientious eater in today's world of depleted soil and pesticide use. Better be safe than sorry and take a high-quality supplement. I take Rainbow Lite prenatals, and also do a little wheatgrass juice every day and fish oil.
Dea's Avatar Dea 05:31 AM 06-01-2009
I take CLO, but why fermented CLO? Is it nasty to take?
And for the other things that others were talking about where do you get them? (Various teas and such) I shop at Whole Foods, but additional resources would be good.
Hmm I wonder if a whole other thread would be good.....
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 10:46 AM 06-01-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dea View Post
I take CLO, but why fermented CLO? Is it nasty to take?
And for the other things that others were talking about where do you get them? (Various teas and such) I shop at Whole Foods, but additional resources would be good.
Hmm I wonder if a whole other thread would be good.....
I got my fermented CLO on sale, because they were discounting the licorice flavor. I got several.
I like it because you take such a small amount, it really doesn't seem to matter. It comes with a syringe and we fill it up and squirt it right in our mouth. My CLO is from Blue Ice.

I got a pregnancy tea recently in bulk from Azurestandard.com If you are on their list of places they drop too you can get on a group drop and get lots of things fairly cheap.
cahwilson's Avatar cahwilson 11:42 AM 06-01-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
I got my fermented CLO on sale, because they were discounting the licorice flavor. I got several.
I like it because you take such a small amount, it really doesn't seem to matter. It comes with a syringe and we fill it up and squirt it right in our mouth. My CLO is from Blue Ice.
Thats the same kind of CLO I take as well. I believe the fermented blue ice is the only one on the market now that does not contain added synthetic vitamins. Please correct me if I am wrong on that! And so far even in all my nausuea it goes down just fine. Its like the only thing that goes down easy right now!
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 11:45 AM 06-01-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by cahwilson View Post
Thats the same kind of CLO I take as well. I believe the fermented blue ice is the only one on the market now that does not contain added synthetic vitamins. Please correct me if I am wrong on that! And so far even in all my nausuea it goes down just fine. Its like the only thing that goes down easy right now!
I think you are right I'll get back to you for sure!
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