During my first pregnancy I felt young and healthy, knew I was making good lifestyle choices, and didn’t feel that the extra expense of a fancy prenatal vitamin was worth it. I took folic acid prior to conception and for the first half of the pregnancy. I took prenatals every once in a while when I got a sample or a bottle was on sale for super-cheap.
With the benefit of hindsight, I went into my second pregnancy a bit more intentionally. I’d had a difficult time recovering from my long labor with Aidan. I worried that I might be a bit anemic. So, I decided to take a generic over the counter prenatal the whole pregnancy with Cora, and supplemented with liquid iron near the end.
Cora’s birth went a lot smoother (and quicker – 15 hours compared to 41!!), and I recovered well. Unfortunately, before her first birthday she began having issues with dental decay. At this point we suspect that a number of factors contributed to our troubles, including the possibility of inadequate nutrition/nutrient absorption during pregnancy. If you’re unfamiliar with our family, let me assure you – I eat plenty and I eat WELL!
SO… with the sad realization that perhaps my body just isn’t pulling its weight without assistance, I decided to throw everything I could at it before conceiving Alex.
I increased my dairy intake (calcium plays a big role in tooth enamel development, as does vitamin D), subsequently gained 5lbs in two weeks (I needed the padding, right?), and started taking a whole food prenatal.
I’ve really always felt that we should get all of our necessary nutrients from FOOD rather than pharmaceuticals. It doesn’t make sense to me that we wouldn’t get all that we need from our diet.
There are lots of theories as to why our bodies don’t get or absorb all that we need. These range from depleted nutrients in the foods we eat (due to factory farming and neglectful animal care practices), to a lack of digestive enzymes and poor gut flora (due to over-ingestion of antibiotics and the like), to improper preparation of foods like grains and nuts (which contain phytic acid that may block absorption).
It’s disappointing to need supplementation at all, but I feel MUCH better knowing that the supplements I’m taking actually ARE food, rather than a chemical replica of nutrients cooked up in a lab!
New Chapter has been in business for nearly 30 years and seeks to utilize whole food in its pure, unadulterated form to deliver what they call “The Wisdom of Nature” to those seeking natural wellness. They are also committed to sustainable farming and manufacturing processes like organic and biodynamic agriculture, composting, and recycling.
In addition, New Chapter is a participant in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program, something that I’m especially excited about.
A little bit about their prenatals (from their promo matierials):
Perfect Prenatal whole-food complexed multi-vitamin, including targeted levels of whole-food folate, is formulated specifically to nourish mother and baby.
Cultured and safe for pregnancy herbal blend combines whole foods and Class 1 herbs with live probiotics to support a healthy pregnancy.
A blend of broccoli, kale, and other cruciferous sprouts supports healthy estrogen metabolism and breast health.*
Once-per-meal formula is easy-to-take, easy-to-digest, and can be taken anytime – even on an empty stomach!
I appreciate that there are no artifical colors or flavors, that I recognize every ingredient on the label, and that they are gluten free!
I didn’t have any trouble with nausea from taking them, or any aftertaste, etc.
While I’m not super confident that any multi-vitamin is a miracle worker, I do value the quality of these vitamins compared to others!
And now a few details about their fish oil supplements:
New Chapter’s Wholemega Whole Fish Oil supplement offers a whole-food approach to fish oil supplements. It’s a naturally pure 100% wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil that delivers the whole, natural omegas, antioxidants and vitamins found in wild Alaskan salmon – the good stuff “purified” fish oils can reduce with chemical processing.
Wholemega’s naturally pure, 100% wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil is sourced from clean, pristine Alaskan waters – among the world’s cleanest and purest. Like extra virgin olive oil, Wholemega’s wild-caught, naturally pure Alaskan salmon is pressed immediately after harvest.
I was very excited to try these. Rob and I used to take fish oil by the handful and order it in bulk. I really felt like it helped me function and made me feel healthier overall. We then learned about some of the controversy surrounding fish oils and were saddened that we couldn’t afford quality oils from sources we trust.
Wild caught salmon sounds about as good as it gets, and I like what they have to say about their processing methods. We definitely need all the vitamin D we can get!
Unfortunately, I have to admit that I haven’t gotten all the way through the bottle they sent me. Of all the fish oil brands I’ve tried, this one has the strongest “fishy” aftertaste and I have fish-burps for hours every time I take one. :(
I may just be extra-sensitive because of pregnancy. I do try and remember to take it at night so that those side effects aren’t as bothersome.
We also unexpectedly received a bottle of Zyflamend Whole Body. The Zyflamend line is intended to help maintain a healthy inflammation response in the body. Here’s more from the website:
Inflammation is a natural process that affects every cell and organ in the body. Zyflamend promotes a healthy inflammation response that helps support joint health and many other body benefits.* Zyflamend has been studied at leading research institutions and has been shown to benefit multiple areas of health including joint health, skin health, bone health, and normal tissue growth.*
The line includes Zyflamend Whole Body, Heart, Breast, and Prostate.
Each delivers powerful antioxdants from herbs and spices that have been trusted across cultures and generations.
Rob tried these out for me since he works out nearly every day and is especially interested in joint and bone health. While he couldn’t see any immediate tangible benefits, he said they were easy to digest and he didn’t notice any negative side-effects or discomforts.
Overall, we feel good about using this brand of supplements and are confident that they are contributing to our overall health. Thanks again to New Chapter for the products to review!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.