How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamin and Infant Probiotic
WeNatal Contributed Blog Post
Part of preparing for pregnancy means choosing the right prenatal supplement. It can be overwhelming to navigate the options and know what to trust in an unregulated industry. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
In this guide, we break down what makes a great prenatal supplement and share our top recommendations for you. It could be the key to boosting your chances of pregnancy and ensuring optimal health for you and your family.
Doesn’t Food Provide the Fertility Nutrients You Need?
Believe it or not, most people are deficient in essential nutrients, even with a healthy diet. Factors like depleted soil, food storage and transportation, and increased stress from our environment make it challenging to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from food alone. Plus, if you have a chronic illness or take medications, nutrient absorption can be affected.
That’s why optimizing your nutrient intake is essential for fertility, pregnancy outcomes, and the long-term health of your baby. Supplementing with a high-quality prenatal is a must, especially in the months leading up to conception.
What Are Prenatals and Why Do They Matter?
Prenatals are specially formulated nutrient blends that go beyond regular multivitamins. They are designed to enhance fertility, improve egg and sperm health, balance hormones, and build nutrient reserves for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Getting the right nutrition before and during pregnancy is linked to better brain development, healthy birth weight, reduced pregnancy complications. Unfortunately, many pregnant women fall short on essential nutrients, putting their health and their baby’s health at risk. More on babies’ essential nutritional needs later in this piece.
When Should You Start Taking a Prenatal?
It’s never too early to start taking a prenatal. Research suggests that starting at least 3-6 months before conceiving is ideal. This is the time when your child’s DNA is being set up for success and when you can address potential health issues proactively.
Using comprehensive prenatal helps support reproductive health, builds nutrient stores, improves egg and sperm quality, and provides essential nutrients as pregnancy progresses. It’s also crucial to continue taking a prenatal during lactation and for at least six months after your baby arrives to prevent nutrient deficiencies, support healing, maintain mood, and ensure health for future pregnancies.
Should Men Take Prenatal Vitamin Supplements Too?
Absolutely! Prenatal health is no longer just a woman’s responsibility. Scientific evidence shows that men contribute 50% to infertility. A man’s lifestyle can impact sperm health, which, in turn, affects pregnancy outcomes and the health of future generations.
Taking specific antioxidants and vitamins with antioxidant properties can protect against sperm damage and improve fertility. Studies have shown that antioxidants can increase male fertility four-fold and significantly enhance the chances of a successful pregnancy.
What Should You Look for in a Prenatal?
When choosing a prenatal, here are some key factors to consider:
- Contains Iron: Iron is essential during pregnancy, but not all prenatals have it. Look for a prenatal that contains Ferrochel Iron, a highly absorbable form that doesn’t block the absorption of other nutrients.
- Contains Folate, not Folic Acid: Many people have difficulty processing synthetic folic acid due to genetic variations. Look for a prenatal that includes folate, which supports ovulation, prevents miscarriages, and promotes healthy brain development.
- Contains Adequate Vitamin D and Choline: Vitamin D aids calcium absorption and supports healthy pregnancy outcomes. Choline is crucial for fetal brain development.
- Contains Antioxidants: Look for a prenatal that includes antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, selenium, manganese, and acetyl L-carnitine. These protect against oxidative stress, reduce the risk of complications, and support proper fetal development.
What to Be Wary of When Choosing a Prenatal:
Supplements in the US are not regulated, so it’s essential to choose third-party tested products. Third-party lab testing ensures quality and provides unbiased verification of nutritional values and product contents.
Also, pay attention to what’s not in a prenatal. Look for a prenatal that is non-GMO and free of synthetic fillers, artificial colors, and common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts. Bonus points if the manufacturer tests each batch for microbiological contamination and heavy metals.
The #1 Prenatal Brand We Recommend: WeNatal
When it comes to prenatals, WeNatal is a top-notch choice. Their formula includes bioavailable ingredients at research-backed amounts. They prioritize men’s health and the mind-body connection, making them stand out from the crowd.
What sets WeNatal apart:
- 100% Clean Formula: No synthetic additives or artificial ingredients.
- Right Nutrients, Right Dose: Their formulation includes key nutrients in the most bioavailable forms.
- Just Three Pills Daily: Get the nutrient density of 6 to 8 pills packed into just 3 per day.
- Attention to Men’s Health: WeNatal recognizes the importance of male fertility and includes specific ingredients to support it.
- Holistic Approach: They offer effective tools like the WeNatal Journal to support both mind and body.
What Happens After the Baby Is Born?
After you become a parent, nutritional supplementation remains important for moms and babies. Here’s why: 90% of babies in the U.S. are born missing Bifidobacterium infantis, due in part to modern medical practices like antibiotic use and c-sections. Consequently, babies may not be exposed to the good bacteria needed to support the development of a healthy gut microbiome.
Supplementing this beneficial probiotic strain is essential because it helps babies fully digest the nutrients found in breast milk. B. infantis EVC001 was discovered by scientists at UC Davis who were studying breast milk, and this led to the creation of Evivo Infant Probiotic to restore infant gut health.
Babies supplemented with B. Infantis EVC001–the active ingredient only found in Evivo–are shown to have:
- Improved sleep
- Decreased gas/fussiness
- Decreased diaper rash
A healthy gut microbiome is also associated with healthy immune function, and may contribute to lower rates of diseases, such as eczema, food allergies and diabetes. Since babies are born with a naïve GI tract, and the infant gut microbiome starts developing right at birth, it is best to start a probiotic like Evivo as soon as your baby is born. You can even put it on your registry!