A Good Look At Prenatal Vitamins

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When I got pregnant 2 months after I got married, my first thoughts were of how much I wanted to pump my body full of good nutrients in order to give my baby the best start on life!


Well, actually that’s not true.  My FIRST thought was, “Holy crap.  I’m 21 years old.  My last collegiate soccer game of my life was 4 months ago and I’m going to be a mother in 9 months.  I have no clue what I’m doing.  I’m just a kid!”


That was my first thought.  Once I gathered myself and pinched myself a few times to make sure this was not a dream, I formulated a plan.  A plan to fuel my body the best I could so this baby would have the best shot possible at being healthy.


My motto quickly became


Load up on nutrition now because t’s easier when they are inside of you than outside of you because they can’t say “no”!


I viewed my 10 months of pregnancy as potentially the greatest time in my child’s life to build a healthy baby and, as a result, one day, a healthy adult.  I had already been taking some great supplements for 2 years called Shaklee that had really helped me with some severe physical issues due to an eating disorder I had in high school.  So I was curious how my prenatal vitamins stacked up.



Compare  Your Prenatal Vitamins to Shaklee


Like any pregnant woman I was given a box of prenatal vitamins at the doctor’s office and a prescription to fill for more.  Before I threw any down the hatch I decided to do a couple of tests on them to see how they compared with the Shaklee supplements that I was already taking.


My findings shocked me!


Here is the bottom line: Whatever you put in your body, make sure it is REAL and doesn’t contain harmful additives that leave you worse off than if you hadn’t taken it at all.   Understand this key factor when you’re scouring labels at the supermarket or health food store – something only has to be 10% natural by the government standards in order for a manufacturer to be allowed to put “All-Natural” on the label.  Yikes!  That doesn’t sound very natural to me.   Who makes up these rules anyway?


If you want to know exactly what I took during pregnancy I mapped it out for you.  If you just had a baby and are struggling with exhaustion, baby weight not wanting to budge, or issues that didn’t seem to be there prior to having your baby, check out what you can do post-delivery to rebuild your health!



The 3 Types of Vitamins


Not all vitamins are the same, so I discovered.  I grew up thinking, “A vitamin is a vitamin is a vitamin.  They are all the same, except one company charges more.”   But I found out that is not true at all.  Just like all food is not the same quality, all TV screens are not the same clarity, and all water is not the same purity, all vitamins can’t be lumped into the same category.  There are really three types of vitamins.


  1. Synthetic
  2. Natural/Altered
  3. Natural/Unaltered


1. Synthetic Vitamins

These vitamins are chemically produced in a lab to mirror the real thing. You body does not even recognize it as real because it is a chemical and therefore these are actually MORE harmful to take than nothing at all!

2. Natural/Altered Vitamins

Usually these vitamins start out real, but after all the processing, the live enzymes are killed and you end up with a vitamin that has little nutritional value and, a lot of times, added binders and fillers.  This is worth repeating: By FDA standards a company is allowed to slap ALL-NATURAL on it’s label if it has only 10% natural ingredients! In other words, don’t be fooled by the label! Make sure you can find the research to PROVE it will do what it claims on the bottle.


3. Natural/Unaltered Vitamins


Truly natural vitamins are comprised of natural, real ingredients from food sources and are cold processed to keep the enzymes alive.  The key here to remember is, many claim to be natural, but few really are.  The only way to really know is to look at the 3rd party research (research done by an  outside company on the company itself) and true clinical studies (not “scientific claims” that sound heady but aren’t based in real, clinical testing.)  Another way to know about your vitamins is to test them.


You can read more about how to test your vitamins here.   Let’s just way my doctor-prescribed prenatal vitamin did NOT pass the test.  It ate a hole through the bottom of a plastic cup!  EEEEWWWW!




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