Nutrition and Supplements for a Healthy Pregnancy

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Supplements to take for a healthy pregnancy- Blissfully Ever AfterPhoto courtesy of Ashley Bateman Photography

WHAT SUPPLEMENTS DO YOU NEED TO TAKE DURING PREGNANCY?

 

Since starting my health and wellness business back in late 2010 and learning more and more about health over the past 3.5 years, I have became a source of information for family, friends, and people that get to know me through my blog. One of the most asked questions I get, is what supplements to take during pregnancy.

 

Being a young mother and having many friends who are currently in this same season of life as me, it’s no surprise that I get this question a lot. I mean, everyone wants to have a healthy baby right? I know that is my main priority while pregnant.

 

Today, I want to share with you my top tips for Nutrition and Supplements for a Healthy Pregnancy. I also want to share my story and how I am so very thankful that I am currently using the supplements I do and how they have helped quite possibly change the outcome of a very sad situation….that I am continuing to pray will be positive.

Mother-and-children-quotePhoto courtesy of Ann Thompson Photography

 

Since I have been pregnant 3 times now {one miscarriage-baby in Heaven, my handsome son and currently pregnant}, I have a lot to say about this topic.  I hope you know that you should supplement while pregnant because you are growing another person inside you and you need the extra nutrients. I chose Shaklee supplements for my pregnancies and swear by them.

 

Shaklee’s been around for almost 60 years and is the number one natural nutrition company in the USA.  You can read more about the Shaklee difference here.

 

I am not a doctor but Shaklee has lots of doctors on board and this is what they recommend for pregnancy.

 

My first pregnancy is what changed my thinking about natural health and wellness. At the time I was not healthy at all. I actually didn’t really ever think of health. I was more concerned doing house projects and enjoying life with my hubby….but guess what? I needed good health to enjoy those things!! I found out I was pregnant around 9 weeks and at 11 weeks had a miscarriage. At the time I was really in a blur because everything happened so quickly. I had started using Shaklee’s Get Clean line of cleaning products a few months prior to my miscarriage so was familiar with the company and products somewhat, but after my miscarriage I decided to dig deeper into the health portion.

 

I soon got on a multi-vitamin {can you believe I wasn’t taking a multi-vitamin before?} that contained folate and was is specifically made for a women’s body. I also started taking a Immunity Support that would help to build up my natural immune defense and give me more energy through natural B-vitamins. Luckily, I had been taking these two supplements for a few months when I found out I was pregnant for the second time.  It truly was a miracle.  My body had healed and new life was forming inside me.  This time, I wanted to do everything I could to keep the little one healthy and safe to full term. I was about 5 months pregnant when I went on a business trip with my good friend Bonnie to Shaklee’s corporate headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area. During this trip I met some amazing men and women who were taking natural health to the next level. They were going beyond over the counter medications, prescription drugs to treat symptoms….they were learning and working to prevent symptoms from even occurring using natural supplementation, healthy eating, and exercise. It was a new concept for me and I was intrigued.

 

While on this trip, I spoke with a lady who asked me about my pregnancy and what supplements I was currently taking. I told her and she also recommended I begin taking OmegaGuard to help support brain development and heart health in the baby and also Osteomatrix to help with bone development. Right when I returned home I ordered the products and begin taking them as soon as they arrived. I really felt remarkable during this pregnancy. My skin was glowing, my hair was thick and healthy, I was able to exercise almost daily walking about 3-4 miles and every check up for our baby went great! The time had come and I was now full term and still no baby yet. He really was comfortable staying inside my tummy. After an induction at 40 weeks and 4 days, I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy weighing in at 9 pounds and 5 ounces. He was our Shaklee baby!

 

In fact, our little guy has been on stage and met Shaklee’s President & CEO Roger Barnett and they just loved him and that he was a Shaklee baby from day 1!

 

Mead Family with Roger Barnett

 

Shaklee Baby Blissfully Ever After

 

Almost two years went by as we watched our little one grow from a newborn to an infant to a toddler until we found out we were expecting baby #2.  This actually came as a surprise to us because we weren’t planning an exact time to start trying, but sometimes life just happens and we are OK with that.  We were excited {and a little nervous} to be adding to our little family. I think both of us were secretly hoping for a girl so we could enjoy one of each, but were happy and blessed with whatever God gave us.

 

A few months went by after finding out I was pregnant and at this time I was taking Vitalizer for Women which is a 80 bio-optimized nutrient supplement containg a multi-vitamin with folate, B&C complex, Omega 3′s, and probiotic.  I also was taking an Immunity Support and occasional extra chewable Vitamin C when I felt like I needed a boost. I was feeling great and healthy just as I had in my previous pregnancy with our son.

 

But, on November 20th, 2013 our lives changed forever. Just a couple weeks prior to this date we had found out we would be having a girl {we were delighted} and you may have remember us posting about our cake reveal with our family. It was an exciting time for us…but the information we received on the 20th soon brought our joy to a screeching hault. As we sat patiently in the ultrasound room after getting a call back from my OB that they had seen a cyst in the pelvic area of our baby girl, we went in for more observations. After about 2 hours of looking around at the baby, we were brought into the Perinatal Dr’s office and explained that it looked like our daughter had a problem with both her kidney and her heart. TIME. STOPPED. My heart, stopped. I couldn’t breathe. What did he just tell us? Could this be serious? We are healthy…..I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I take quality supplments, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularily. Luckily at this point the rustle of our son playing with toys on the floor distracted me from the news we just received. I just wanted to grab him and my husband and run out of the room and act like what we just heard never happened. What felt like minutes that went by was in realty seconds and the Dr. asked us what we were thinking and if we had any history of down symdrome in our family or genetic disorders. Both the husband and I shook our heads no. The Dr. than further explained to us that we could get either blood work or an amniocetes done to test for trisomy 13, 18, and 21, and down syndrome. He also informed us that we could make the decision to terminiate the pregnancy. What? Terminiate the pregnancy? That wasn’t going to happen. So, we opted for the blood test and went right over to figure out more as what could be going on.

 

2 weeks passed as we anxiously awaited the results from the testing. My OB informed me at my next appointment that the testing came back negative. I started to cry…..I’m not sure if I was relieved or just emotional, but it felt good to cry. After leaving the appointment I prayed A LOT. I began researching like crazy on ways to be the healthiest during pregnancy from sources I trusted. I wanted to know what supplements I should be taking to help with heart conditions. I kept praying like crazy. We met with specialist at Children’s Hospital a few week’s later and they had confirmed that there was something wrong with both our baby girl’s kidney and heart. They asked me a lot of the same questions about my current health and family history. They also brought up the amniocenteses and termination as other options. Again, neither options were for me. I kept praying. We went to our second appointment at Children’s Hospital a month and a half later and heard from them that her heart looked similar but her growth was great, her measurements were good, and whatever I was doing…to keep doing it.

 

This my friends is where I KNOW WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that my prayers to God and my Shaklee supplements were working. 

 

I thought to myself, what if I hadn’t been taking these supplements during this pregnancy? What if I never made the choices to revamp my health and change my lifestyle? In a time as difficult as what I was going through, I felt a sense of peace and comfort knowing that the Lord was protecting my sweet baby girl, me, and that I had been given resources to help both of us stay as healthy as possible {despite her proposed congenital heart defect}.

 

If any of you are wondering what little miss has diagnosed with, it is called Tetralogy {TET-RA-LO-GY} of Fallot  {FA-LO} with Pulmonary Artresia.

 

This condition is more rare but there are many people who have this condition and with surgery can live, normal, healthy lives. The Olympic Snow border Shawn White has TOF and many other successful athletes who do high endurance sports. This gave me hope that our little girl’s condition could still allow her to live an active lifestyle.

 

I am truly so blessed to be taking the supplements I am currently taking and am praying with all my might that I will carry this little one to full term {my goal is 39-40 weeks} and have a healthy, plump baby. In the event that she does have this condition upon birth, I want her to have the best chances by being full term, a good weight, and healthy as can be through supplementation while in the womb.

 

Please say a prayer for our sweet little girl and our family as we head into a new journey that has brought us both ups and downs. We know that she is in good hands!!!

 

Now, I wanted to share my personal story with you about my pregnancy’s because it just goes to show you that no matter how healthy you try to be, life happens. I’ve asked my Dr.’s over and over if this is my fault, was it something I ate, breathed, did, etc. and the assured me that this is something that just happened and wasn’t my fault. So, what I hope for you is that you get your body as healthy as possible and create a healthy place for your baby to grow in the womb and if anything should ever happen, pray and know that you are doing all that you can to help your little one.

 

Here is what Shaklee recommends for a Healthy Pregnancy:

 

*Because the nutritional needs during pregnancy and lactation are unique to this stage of a women’s life, we strongly urge all women who are pregnant or nursing to discuss the use of dietary supplements with their obstetrician.

However, along with our general recommendation to eat a healthywell balanced diet to ensure pregnant and nursing women are meeting their nutritional needs, we also recommend a combination of Shaklee supplements that can be used as alternatives to a standard prenatal vitamin once discussed with the Obstetrician.

 

An excellent “Shaklee alternative” would be:

2 tablets of Vita-Lea with Iron
2 tablets of B complex for the basic prenatal nutrients, in particular folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects

For women who do not drink milk or eat the recommended number of servings of dairy foods the addition of:

2-4 tablets of OsteoMatrix can help meet needs for calcium,vitamin D and other bone health nutrients

To provide a safe and beneficial amount of omega three fatty acids (ie. DHA):

3 softgel capsules of OmegaGuard per day are recommended to support fetal brain development

 

It is not uncommon for some pregnant women to need additional:

1 tablet of Iron plus C can be added providing an additional 18 mg of Iron and 60 mg of Vitamin C

And lastly:

Shaklee 180 meal smoothie prepared as directed, and used as part of healthy breakfast or midday snack provides a mother and her growing fetus with an additional 270 calories, 24 grams of high quality protein and 6 grams of fiber.

 

Although Vitalizer is a comprehensive nutritional foundation for virtually all adults, there are some components that might not generally be considered essential in a standard prenatal nutrition program. In addition, certain nutrients such as folic acid were not included at levels intended to support a pregnant mother and her growing baby. The use of Vitalizer during pregnancy should be discussed with the Obstetrician, who may wish to suggest an addition 1-2 B Complex and Osteomatrix as stated above if approved for you.

 

Jennifer Recommends:

I recommend everything that Shaklee recommends with a few additional lifestyle products.

 

Get Clean Non-Toxic Cleaners and Natural Laundry Proudcts because you should NOT be cleaning with toxic cleaners.  If you haven’t switched to natural cleaners now, you should ASAP.  If not for you, for your baby.  This kit  has everything you need to start cleaning your way to a healthier home.

 

Enfuselle Skin Care and Natural Hair Care because you should remove all toxins from your home including and especially your what goes on your skin.  Did you know that anything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body…where your baby is?  Sick.  Not for me.
Natural Daily Care like toothpaste, deodorant, lotions, etc. because I believe you should take out all toxins.

 

Thank you so much for reading to the end of this very lengthy post. I hope you could it informative and helpful if you are currently pregnant, trying to get pregnant or considering to get pregnant in the near future. Take your health and your baby’s health seriously. You have no idea what it’s like to not have a healthy baby…until it happens to you, so I pray for you that your baby with be as healthy as possible and your pregnancy will be wonderful!

 

Stay tuned for my posts about postpartum care and breastfeeding nutrition.

 

 

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Jennifer

Jennifer

Founder/Author at BlissfullyEverAfter
Jennifer is the founder and author of Blissfully Ever After, a lifestyle blog featuring the hottest and latest DIY projects, home decor trends, stylish crafts, easy recipes, budget living advice, and health tips. A former 9-5 corporate worker turned savvy Mom and Housewife shares her secrets of creating a blissful life {even on a budget}! Your one stop shop for all things crafty, life, and home!
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Comments

    • says

      Thanks so much, Krysta! You know, on that trip I had no idea what was going on…literally until the day I returned and had a call from our doctors office. God has a way of timing things and I know he wanted me to fully enjoy the trip to Chicago and that is why I didn’t find out until I got home. We do feel blessed to find out before she is born though to have time to emotionally and mentally prepare for her arrival. Thanks for your prayers!
      xo,
      Jennifer

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