5 Tips to a Healthy Pregnancy
By Jenni Oates
There must be something in the water! It seems like everyone I know is getting pregnant! This is such an exciting time, yet invokes many questions as well.
I’ve been asked many questions lately in regards to pregnancy and which vitamins are “safe” to take while pregnant. As women, we have an innate desire to protect and to do what is best for our children. That desire fueled me, as well as many other women, to investigate just what I was putting in my body as well as what nutrients I needed. So in regards to the safety of vitamins while you’re pregnant, here are a few thoughts. Many of you reading this may already know these things, so I’m not trying to “insult your intelligence!” All I know is, the vitamins I was given by my doctor for a prenatal, ATE THROUGH A PLASTIC CUP!! If that’s not an eye opener, I don’t know what is!! What I used during my pregnancy was safe, 100% natural with nothing bad added (no colors, artificial sugars, or preservatives), and SO SIMPLE!!! It’s simplified my life and kept me feeling strong. Not to mention my recovery time was so quick…..which is probably why I had 4 babies in 6 years. Shaklee helped me bounce back really quickly.
If you are not pregnant right now, but have had children and are looking for ways to “recover” from all that your body goes through in this wonderful process, click here to see how to rebuild your body after birth.
Click here to read my friend Melissa Anderson’s story of how she made sure she had a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Where Do I Start??
These are 2 basic and foundational supplements I’d tell any pregnant woman to use. It’s a simple solution to one of the most important times in your life!! Changing brands can truly change your life. It did for me!!
1.Vitalizer for Women
(in place of my prenatal and offered me SO much more!!)
2. Energizing Protein or Cinch protein
(Cinch was my personal favorite because it kept me full longere and tells the body to build lean muscle, something most pregnant women watch fly out the window as they grow larger and larger. I believe this was a huge factor for fast muscle recovery in my stomach, kept me from gaining too much pregnancy weight, and also helped me keep strong stomach muscles which came in handy for pushing. I never pushed more than 3 times with all of my children but 1).
5 tips to a Healthy Pregnancy
TIP #1: Pregnancy is Not a Disease
Just because you get pregnant, does not mean you stop living and doing those things that help promote health when you weren’t pregnant. You don’t stop taking vitamins or stop exercising (unless you have a condition in which your doctor has deemed exercise dangerous). My doctors, while extremely kind and well meaning, made me feel like when I got pregnant I needed to shift and change everything. It’s actually quite the opposite. Which brings me to my second tip…
TIP #2: Your Pregnant Body has an Increased Need for Nutrients
When you are pregnant you should be doing MORE nutritionally than before you were pregnant. There is a greater need when pregnant. Where do you think your baby comes from??? I can guarantee he or she does not come Ex Nilo (out of nothing). Every cell of the baby comes from somewhere. It will come from nutrients (vitamins, minerals and protein) that you put into your body daily or from YOU. A baby is not created from nothing but from cells. Cells require nutrients and protein to form. If you are not getting these, the baby will pull the amino acids from your muscles, organs, and cells. This leaves your depleted and feeling yucky. Again, simple solution is to provide the body what it needs daily and you save yourself a lot of days of feeling run down or worse. Many issues for us women that develop months, years or even later in life come from this important stage where we lived for nearly a year totally depleted. Just think about it for a minute!! The baby WILL always get what he needs. But who is the one who will suffer presently and long-term if there is not an adequate amount available daily?
Another aspect of this is that when your body is deficient in nutrients or protein, it will manifest through cravings oftentimes. Did you know that if you are craving chocolate you are deficient in Calcium (add in Shaklee’s Osteomatrix to curb this!). If you crave junk food (chips, fried foods, and sugary snacks) then you are deficient in B vitamins (add in B-Complex to get all 8 B vitamins and stop this in it’s tracks!!! I personally took and still do at times, 2 B at every meal. I feel like a different woman. I love me some B’s!!!)
TIP #3: Shaklee Vitamins are as Close to Nature as Possible
Vitamins are not like medicine. Because medicine is synthetic and unnatural, it is possible to overdose and cause severe
problems. Over 100,000 people die yearly from this, and well into the millions over the past 30 years. Not so with vitamins that are real and natural in nature.
Wisdom would say to check the brand you take because not all vitamins are the same. Some can actually do more harm then good because they are synthetic, meaning they are produced in a lab somewhere to mimic the real thing. Drugs are synthetic and have side effects. So if you take a synthetic, cheaply made vitamin, it stands to reason you will have what?? SIDE EFFECTS! Your body can not process or utilize synthetic vitamins. See the different types of vitamins here.
Shaklee vitamins, however, are different, which is precisely why I chose to trust them for the past 12 years and all throughout my 4 pregnancies. Taking Shaklee supplements is like eating food (obviously nothing is as good as the real thing, but it is as close as you can get in a pill form)! So to avoid vitamins while pregnant is like saying “I can’t eat too many apples. It might hurt me.” You can’t over-dose on apples or spinach (too much spinach will just land you on “the John” for a long period of time. But this proves that the body know exactly what to do with too much of anything).
TIP #4: Understanding the Label
Many companies do not adhere to FDA standards, so you will not find the appropriate labeling on the bottle. By FDA standards, vitamin companies must label their products with “Ask your health care professional if pregnant or nursing.” Although the label may read “Ask your health care professional if pregnant” this is no way mean that the product is harmful or that a pregnant lady should avoid this product…this is just following proper FDA protocol. The FDA also says that a product only has to be 10% natural to label it with “All Natural.” I don’t know about you, but this makes me a little angry. I don’t want clever marketing on a label to sway my choices if the product is actually poorly made with synthetic ingredients. So beware of what you are purchasing simply because “the label says so.”
This is just one more reason why I only trust Shaklee vitamins. Shaklee has done over 200 million dollars of research to see how vitamins, minerals, and protein actually work in a human body, they do 350 quality control test on every individual ingredient in every bottle, every time, and they have over 100 published clinical studies in peer reviewed medical journals. That may not mean much to you, but know that 98% of companies out there don’t have a single scientist on staff, have zero clinical studies published proving the efficacy of their products, and do little to know testing. You have no idea what you are actually getting in that bottle at the end of the day).
TIP #5: Know what You Need
As a rule of thumb, you need a complete Protein, and vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids (omega 3′s) every single day to create healthy cells. Throughout the different stages of pregnancy, the baby’s development is changing and growing, therefore your nutritional needs will grow too. For those of you who like detail about what’s happening with specific nutrients and protein and why you need it, I’ve broken it down for you below. But remember this as you read this…. KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! If you are taking your Vitalizer and Protein as the basis for daily nutrition, you’ve covered most of this list below. Health does not have to be complicated, nor do you really need to know any of this. Just take what’s proven and been working for people for 56 years, and has made millions of people feel better and live better quality lives. Shaklee is the only choice for me. My health and my babies health was not something I wanted to gamble with. I wanted something sure and proven.
But for those of you who like the nitty-gritty details, here are a few.
Protein is HUGE for the early stages (and throughout) because the baby is just developing and those cells come from somewhere. Protein will also help keep hormone levels even and help ward of nausea.It also makes you feel more full than less nutrient dense carbs. Take in morning and again at night to keep off hunger during the night and allow the body to build and repair while you sleep. This is proteins primary function–building, repairing, and healing. Nighttime is the primary time for this function.
B-Complex (that has all 12 Bs in the PERFECT ratio that they are found in nature; not taking one B and overloading on it. i.e B12, or B6. Anytime B occurs in nature it is with all 12 and in perfect ratio.): This is crucial for many development things but folic acid is necessary to prevent spina bifida. Also can help with uterine cramps so taken in large doses right before and during labor can help ease the pain of contractions.
Lecithin: Helps in later stage (around 6-7 months) when the brain is going through rapid growth. Lecithin will increase the amount of brain synapses that the baby has.
Herb-Lax: Prevents toxemia and helps with constipation, thus preventing the ever dreaded hemorrhoids that pregnant women can get.
Osteomatrix (Calcium/Magnesium) : Aids in building strong bones, but the Protein is just as, if not more, crucial than Calcium. Bones are primarily made up of water and amino acids, not calcium like most people think. Calcium is also huge for acid reflux as the baby gets bigger and pushes your stomach up higher to your esophagus. Within 5 minutes, chewable cal/mag (or about 10-15 for the regular OsteoMatrix) will soothe the worst case. Calcium, like B, can also help with uterine cramps so taken in large doses right before and during labor can help ease the pain of contractions.
VitaLea (Multivitamin): The body needs a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals for various functions and development. Shaklee’s multi (as well as all of their vitamins) are bioavailable (meaning the body can get to the nutrients and use them) and will be absorbed. The scientist, doctor, and nutritionist team that develops Shaklee vitamins have tested which nutrients should be paired together to optimize absorption in the body. A poorly manufactured vitamin does not take this into consideration and you basically are paying for expensive pee!
Omega 3 Complex and GLA (Omega 6s): Important for brain development and hormone balancing. I.E. Keeps mom happy and not crazy!!!
As you enter your late 2nd and 3rd trimester, you may want to consider adding in extra. I always added extra Vita-Lea for Women (multivitamin), extra B Complex (for my sanity), and extra Sustained Release C (helps with tissue building, stress and immunity), and multiple servings of protein a day. You can get these in individual bottles in addition to your daily Vitalizer for Women.
To see more on Vitamins During Pregnancy, click here.
Click here to read Nancy Mellott’s amazing pregnancy story.
You will NEVER regret giving your babies the very best. I know that I don’t!!!
Test Your Vitamins
Here are 3 tests I did to check out my prenatals up against Shaklee.
1. I first did the water test.
If a vitamin does not dissolve in water in less than 30 minutes, than it just passes through your body unused. The prescribed prenatal multivitamin did not dissolve in 30 minutes. Plus, the water turned bright blue from large amounts of food coloring in the coating. Blue 1, used to color candy, beverages and baked goods, may cause cancer. Blue 2, found in pet food, candy and beverages, has caused brain tumors in mice. And that is what is in the prenatals that I would be giving my growing baby! Shaklee’s dissolved completely in less than 10 min with no food coloring. There are no colors or harmful additives in Shaklee vitamins. My prenatals included a calcium pill. Calcium is the hardest to break down in water so not many pass this test. Not a single speck dissolved off of it in 24 HOURS!!!! AND, my doctor recommended multi ate through a plastic cup overnight.
2. Another test I did was the cooking test.
You can literally “bake” your vitamins at 325 degrees. If there are harsh binders and fillers in the vitamins they will cook out. Nasty black stuff came out my prenatals!! It was really gross. Nothing came out of Shaklee’s because it is a whole-food supplement so it was just like cooking food!
3. Finally, I compared the vitamin and mineral level.
VitaLea had almost twice as much stuff compared to the doctor recommended prenatal!
For every pregnant woman, I would highly recommend switching to a brand that is safe and works. I took the essential foundational vitamins and protein every day and felt great!
2 Foundational Nutrition Keys
1. Shaklee Vitalizer, which is a 30 day supply of 80 different vitamins and minerals. It contains 2 Vita Lea, 2 Carato-E-Omega Complex, 1 B + C complex, and 1 Optiflora Probiotic. Here is the breakdown of what the vitamins do:
Vita-Lea– gives you 100% RDA of all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B + C Complex– C boosts your immune system, which is down because of your body working so hard to form the baby. Plus Vitamin C does tons of other things involving connective tissue and basic body building functions, preventing stretch marks, and aids in post-labor recovery time. Shaklee’s C is Sustained Release, meaning it releases over a period of time. Taking one C is like eating 1 1/2 oranges every hour for 6 hours. This Complex is also coated in the critical B vitamin, folic acid, which is necessary for the baby’s development. Many B-Complexes contain this important B vitamin but your body can’t access it in time and it leaves your system unused. B also helped when I was in labor with cramping! It is called the “happy vitamin”–helps regulate hormones, blood sugar, reduce cravings, etc.
Carato-E-Omega Complex–helps with skin elasticity, provides critical antioxidants, and aids in proper circulation. It also delivers 7 Omega 3′s to help reduce the risk of heart disease and promote brain and joint health. CaratoMax part of the Complex is basically caratanoids found in fruits and vegetables which provide tons of antioxidants protection.
Optiflora–can help maintain a healthy balance of intestinal micro-flora. This helps prevent yeast infections and promote digestive health.
2. Energyzing Soy Protein or Cinch Protein–THIS WAS HUGE FOR ME!!! This is probably the biggest part, in my opinion, of a foundational nutrition program for a pregnant mother. Everything involved in making a baby requires protein. Every cell in the baby has to come from somewhere. It will either come from what you put in your body, or from your organs, muscles, etc. The baby must get protein to build cells.
It also helped me with morning sickness in those early months because it regulates blood sugar — which causes nausea. Your immune system is 96% protein so the Energyzing Protein keeps your immune system running by providing it with all 9 essential amino acids. Almost every function in our body has amino acids as its base, so this is crucial in the formation of the baby.
I would make myself a shake first thing in the morning, but I also would make a glass of boiling water and mix a serving of the cocoa protein in at night so that I went to bed with a full stomach (but not from food that would keep me awake or make me feel sick!). This really helped to curb the nausea!
Other Supplements I added:
Osteomatrix (Calcium/Magnesium) – calcium manufacturers have a hard time getting the needed amount into a form your body can digest in that 30 minutes period of time–Shaklee’s dissolves in 10 min. in water to ensure that you get 100% of the calcium you take.
Herb-Lax–when you are pregnant you are very prone to constipation at times so this helped to keep me regular, while continually cleansing my colon from harmful toxins from the food I ate. I tried to do my best to eat healthy, but toxins can enter in through so many different ways!
Lecithin — Is found to improve brain development and function. I took this more heavily during month 6-7 when the baby’s brain is developing.
It was so worth it to go all-out for those 10 months (and even when I breast fed afterward) so that my child had the best possible foundation as soon as she or he entered the world. I did this with all of my pregnancies. This foundational nutrition has really given my children a great immune system, and they are very healthy, bright, and strong! None of them have ever even been to the doctor! Thank you Shaklee!!