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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been choking down prenatals as often as I think of it. I can't swallow pills at all, so I have the disgusting chewables. As dumb as it sounds, I never really thought it was an option to ~not~ take them.

Talking to a couple of midwives recently on the phone, one said that she believes the body has all that it needs, as long as you eat a well balanced diet, to provide the baby with proper nourishment, and she did not feel pre-natal vitamins were necessary at all, on top of a healthy diet.
In fact, she said that the synthetic ones you buy at the drug store or get prescriptions for just come right out in your urine, that your body barely absorbs any of the goodness of them at all. She said if anything, herbal ones are the best, but they are not readily available...

What do you all think of that?
 

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For me, personally, I eat a really balanced diet, take prenatals and am *still* anemic
My iron is low with the pills, and I wouldn't want to see it without them!
Obviously, that's an individual thing and I wouldn't expect every mama to run into that issue, but it's one reason I take them.
 

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If you're already healthy and you eat well, they're not necessary. (I still took Folic Acid during 1st trimester b/c I hardly ever eat enough folic acid).

I hate taking pills and prenatals make me sick or constipated. Plus I don't like supplements in general (highly unregulated) so try to avoid when I can.
 

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Prenatals make me really sick in the beginning of pregnancy, my OB always tells me that I can go off them but he does want me to take a folic acid supplement. He actually jokes that a woman should stop taking her prenatal vitamins when she becomes pregnant because so many women get sick off them :LOL

In the 3rd trimester though he always encourages me to go back on them for the Iron because so many women can be affected by low iron at that time. It's always worked pretty well for me!
 

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I feel better taking them ( I like rainbow brand)- some days I am really good about eating very well...other days I slack a little. That way I "know" the baby is getting the nutrients or at least I hope!!
 

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I tell clients that if they feel better taking them, then take them. If not, don't sweat it. I don't think they're as vital to a healthy pregnancy as people are led to believe.

I especially don't recommend them in the first trimester because many women find it aggravates their nausea.
 

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more absorbable vitamins are as close as a trip to the health food store. of course, they aren't prescribable, so many people use the crappy ones because insurance pays. I see a world of difference in how I respond to a decent vitamin. Do I think they're a critical need? no, for the most part I don't take them. however, I have a pretty high iron diet - leafy dark greens, blackstrap molasses, red meat, legumes, nuts, dried fruits, citrus. I am still anemic - enough to be fatigued and dizzy. A more digestible form of iron does help a little. So I think they can make you feel better even if the baby is not being harmed without them. And how good is good? An diverse diet of entirely whole foods, to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone! I won't feel as bad now when I miss a day (or 4 in a row) here and there
I am not keen on taking supplements... or anything really- partly b/c of my difficulty in swallowing pills- I need liquids of many things or even worse- chewables. And partly because I just don't feel it's necessary. I eat a lot lot of red meat, too, lots of leafy greens and legumes.... anyways, thanks for the support and insight.
 

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Well one way for you to know would be to keep a diet sheet for a week then look up the RDAs and see if you are at least getting that in every category... also things to consider is if you eat any processed foods or foods with hydrogentated oils, sugars all these things take away from the body and add some stresses so they take extra nutrients to counter-act.
 

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I think it's easier to get as much as we need of some vitamins but not others. Also, keep in mind that the RDAs are a minimum, not necessarily the optimum. Which is not to say you should take vitamins with 25x the RDA of everything - that can be dangerous at worst, unnecessary at best.

Some of the vitamins/minerals/nutrients that are hard to get enough of even in a healthy diet are

Selenium - much of our soil in the US is selenium deficient, so even eating lots of fruits and veggies will not guarantee you adequate levels of selenium. Low selenium has been linked to pre-eclampsia in a British study I saw not too long ago.

Calcium/magnesium in a balanced 2:1 ratio. Even if you eat a ton of dairy products, your body will not necessarily be able to use all the calcium because dairy products don't have enough magnesium.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Given how important these are for fetal brain development, especially in the third trimester, to me it makes sense to take a supplement, a) because I personally don't eat fish and b) even if I did, it would be hard to eat enough mercury-free fish or enough flaxseed/oil to get enough omega-3s.

B-12 if you're vegan.

In terms of getting enough vitamins in your diet, it's important to eat as high-quality produce as you can - at this time of year, that may mean frozen veggies and fruits rather than fresh, as frozen veggies are processed right next to the fields, while fresh may take weeks to get to market. The longer produce sits around, the worse it does in retaining vitamins/minerals. It's also important to eat as much organic as you can - not only because of the pesticide issue but because organic farms usually have better soil quality (i.e. not stripped and "replenished" with artificial fertilizers) and thus produce higher quality fruits and veggies.

If you hate taking pills, especially the big yucky multivitamins, in addition to doing the dietary analysis suggested above, you could look into individual supplements of what you feel you might need more of to be on the safe side. Selenium, for example, comes in a little pill. Trader Joe's makes a B-12/folic acid supplement that is tiny and dissolves on your tongue. You can get sodium ascorbate (Vitamin C) in powder form and stir it into juice.

You can also look into liquid supplements, like Floradix for iron or calcium/magnesium - these are food-based and very easy to take, especially if you stir them into a little juice. Fish oil and flax oil for omega-3s can be blended into smoothies to disguise the taste. You can also get ground flaxseeds or whole ones and grind them yourself.
 

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ACOG says if you get .4 mg (I think it is) of folic acid, then you don't need prenatals. I rarely took them this last time and Evan is fabulous!
 
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