Over The Counter (OTC) Supplements in Pregnancy
All too often pregnant women who believe in “All Natural” supplements are coming to the office taking a slew of OTC supplements along with their “Natural” prenatal vitamins. Too name a few, excessive Vitamin C & E, Cranberry Extract, Lecithin, Red Raspberry Leaf, Evening Primrose Oil etc. Do not be sucked in by the advertising. None of these supplements have been shown in a controlled medical trial, where women who take the medication are separated from women who receive a placebo, have been shown to help with keeping your baby healthier, safer or start the onset of labor. What I can say is that not a single OTC supplement you get in a health food store is evaluated by the FDA. What is written on the bottles is not necessarily what is in the bottle, there can be higher or lower doses or even worse there can be cross contamination with other supplements made in the factory that have been shown to hurt your baby.
Everyone wants a healthy baby
Everyone wants a healthy baby. My advice, start with a prenatal vitamin with DHA, there will have to be at least one capsule if you bought the correct vitamin. DHA, is an essential fatty acid shown to assisted in brain development, it only comes in liquid form. If you are willing to pay the extra cost I would stick with a prescription prenatal vitamin because the FDA is required to oversee their production and ensure they actually contain the ingredients on the label. Although the FDA is far from perfect they have on more than one occasion required drug companies to take their medications off the market, including prenatal vitamins, for quality control issues. The OTC supplements you are taking are completely unregulated. We have sample prescription prenatal vitamins in the office if you are interested, even chewable ones!
Do NOT take gummy prenatal vitamins
Do NOT take gummy prenatal vitamins, although they may taste yummy, they have little nutritional value, specifically lacking any real source of iron and most patients usually end of anemic during the pregnancy. Adding Calcium Carbonate 1200 mg if you are not a big fan of milk, cheese, yogurt and other calcium containing foods has been shown to support maternal and infant bone health.