Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most exciting things ever, but with the excitement comes a lot of unknowns and cautions around what is safe and not safe to do.
Not only are there certain foods it’s best to avoid, there are also certain herbs and supplements that are best avoided as well. With pregnancy, not a lot of research can be done on the mothers because it’s not ethical to test things out in case it is harmful to mom or baby. Often times it’s simply suggested to avoid the product just in case.
Note that in this article, I will only mention items where there’s no question about it and it’s known that they are 100% safe.
Some protein powders are safe to take while others are not. fermented organic vegan proteins+ is safe to take during pregnancy because it is made from food ingredients. Another reason why it’s great for pregnancy is because the protein has been fermented, making it easier to digest and the nutrients more bioavailable. A not so nice side effect of pregnancy is increased bloating and digestive disturbances, so the easier your protein is to digest, the better.
During pregnancy, it’s critical to keep you blood sugar as balanced as possible, especially to avoid the inevitable sugar cravings that will come. Balancing your blood sugar will also help with the first trimester nausea too, and I myself found that I was very uninterested in meat/fish in the first trimester, so a protein powder was a great way to get my protein.
Some protein powders contain adaptogenic herbs, which are a definite no-go during pregnancy, so you do want to be careful that yours is 100% food ingredients.
Probiotics are important, regardless of whether you’re pregnant. Specifically from a pregnancy standpoint though, baby receives a significant dose of bacteria when he or she passes through the birth canal. It’s also thought, from testing baby’s meconium and testing placenta, that bacteria is actually present pre-birth too. We don’t know a lot about this yet, but the health of the mother’s flora can certainly translate to baby.
In one study, administration of lactobacillus reuteri (one of the strains in advanced gut health probiotics) to both mothers in late gestation and to infants throughout the first year of life decreased the infants’ levels of IgE antibodies to food allergens at 2 years of age. From an eczema standpoint, one meta-analysis provided evidence of probiotics playing a moderate role in preventing atopic dermatitis and IgE-associated atopic dermatitis in infants.
Omega 3s / Fish Oil
Fish oils are safe to take during pregnancy. Research is mixed on whether it is important for fetal brain development, however having adequate omega-3 fatty acid levels may reduce the risk of post partum depression for the mother. A fish oil is a great complement to eating fish a few times a week, however many pregnant women find themselves turned off fish from the strong flavour/smell. I know I did, so it was even more important to take my fish oils.
This is a broad category, and similar to the protein powder, if the product is 100% food based, like fermented organic gut superfoods+, then it is totally safe to take. You would want to watch out for adaptogenic ingredients, like maca or ginseng as these aren’t proven to be safe during pregnancy.
Prebiotics are proven to enhance mineral absorption, which helps baby get minerals too, and can help relieve constipation, which you are likely going to want help with as your pregnancy progresses. One of the ways they do this is by feeding the good bacteria or the probiotics in your gut.
You might have heard of some common prebiotics like inulin. The issue with inulin is that it can be incredibly bloating for some people, particularly in large quantities. I promise you, when you’re pregnant you want to avoid anything and everything that is possibly bloating because your stomach is already more sensitive. Interestingly, phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, which are the primary ingredients in the fermented organic gut superfoods+, are now classified as prebiotics. Using a whole food based product to get your prebiotics is ideal!
Others that are safe to take include iron, vitamin D, and magnesium. Depending on your situation, make sure to speak with a health practitioner about what is safe for you.