The prenatal supplement industry is expected to reach $673 million by 2025—almost double what it was in 2015. Vitamin deficiencies can have dramatic effects on unborn children. Neural tube defects and other congenital anomalies are easily prevented with adequate folic acid intake. Pregnancy also needs higher doses of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. Calcium and iron intake also needs to be boosted to reduce the risk of birth defects. Supplementation is an effective way to insure yourself against deficiencies at a negligible cost.
The Prenatal Magic Bullet
Specialist Dr. Scott Gavura recommends high quality multivitamins, but recognizes that pregnancy is not always expected. For that reason, women who are planning a pregnancy should take a balanced supplement even before they conceive.
Naturopathy tends to recommend hundreds of dollars’ worth of supplements that correct food intolerances, PH imbalances, and hormone depletion. None of these conditions are common in pregnancy, and the body does an excellent job of regulating PH. Prenatal vitamins needn’t be the complicated affair some profit-hungry brands claim it is. It’s when botanicals enter the picture that things get dangerous. Some naturopathic supplements contain cyanide-releasing cyanocobalim, for example. The industry is also rife with fear mongering over additives like cornstarch and gelatin. These fillers are included to make sure the product has an adequate shelf life and retains the integrity of the nutrients it contains.
In short, while pregnancy is not as nutritionally complex as some believe, supporting two people naturally requires more nutrients. Your body creates more blood cells, which need iron and vitamin B12. An altered diet caused by nausea and cravings is often low in meat, eggs, and dairy, so protein and calcium can be in short supply. As long as vitamin sellers are using the right manufacturers, prenatal supplements simply compensate for new nutritional needs.