The Seven Sins of Prenatal Vitamin

October 18, 2010
Prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of iro...

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I am often asked, with so many prenatal vitamins already on the market, why we at Sound Formulas decided to research, formulate and manufacture our own brand of prenatal vitamins called Before Baby Boost. My answer is simple. The quality of the available prenatal vitamins did not meet the most basic needs of developing baby AND their pregnant mothers.

A mother’s body donates all the nutrients to form her baby’s body. Since the baby developing inside her body is nature’s priority, it takes what it needs. If there aren’t enough high quality nutrients developmental problems may occur in baby’s body. What often goes unrecognized is that even if baby’s body gets the nutrients it needs for proper development, mother’s body may suffer nutrient deficiencies causing long-term physical and/or emotional conditions.

Here are what I call the Seven Sins of Prenatal Vitamins:

Most Doctors Don’t Even Know This… But They Should!

1.  Poor Quality: Most prenatal vitamins contain poor quality, synthetic forms of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like an inferior form of B12 called Cyancobalamin (that’s harder on your liver) and the cheap, hard to absorb, Calcium Carbonate. With these forms, you and your baby won’t get all the nutrients you need!

2.  Inadequate Potency: Most have inadequate potency (not enough for baby and mom, based on current research). You can’t expect to magically make a perfect loaf of bread from a teaspoon of flour, and you can’t expect to create a healthy baby without enough nutrients either! Here’s an example: folic acid. Most prenatal vitamins contain 400 mcg of folic acid, but research indicates that you and your baby really need at least 800 mcg!

3.  Tablet Form: Most are hard to digest due to being highly compressed and covered with waxes, such as carnauba wax. This stuff is great for waxing cars and protecting the noses of jet airplanes, but your stomach can’t penetrate it! There are true stories of “port-a-potties” being emptied with hundreds of undigested multivitamins found at the bottom. Use capsule forms instead.

4.  No Omega-3s: Most prenatal vitamins DO NOT contain optimal Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of high quality fish oils, that build your baby’s brain, nervous system, eyes, skin, and cells. If they are included, they probably don’t contain a high enough dosage of DHA and EPA oils or aren’t certified free of dangerous heavy metals such as mercury, lead (ever heard of lead poisoning?) cadmium, aluminum and PCBs (environmental toxins). Flaxseed oil does not easily convert into DHA oil, which is essential for baby and mom. They also may not be in the needed amounts.

5.  Calcium & Iron Together: Iron and Calcium should be taken at separate times of the day. Why? Calcium and iron compete and interfere with the absorption of each other so they can cancel each other out. Not good for you or your baby’s health.

6.  Missing Nutrients: Most prenatal vitamins don’t contain key nutrients (like C0Q10 and alpha lipoic acid) that truly help the body produce an abundance of natural energy, something all pregnant moms need. These powerhouse nutrients are expensive and rarely included in prenatal vitamins.

Solutions to Sleeplessness “Morning Queasyness”: Many prenatals  don’t address specific problems that pregnant women experience.  Sleeplessness (see Before Baby Boost™’s Nighttime Formula) can be helped with a nighttime calcium and magnesium supplement.  And “morning queasiness” can be quelled with natural solutions like Papain enzyme (from Papaya) and Ginger Root Extract.

It is vitally important that you think of both your developing baby and yourself when purchasing your prenatal vitamins. If your body is depleted you ability to take care of your family and yourself is diminished; often with very sad consequences.

Dr. Dean Raffelock is the author of A Natural Guide to Pregnancy and Postpartum Health, Avery- 2003. He has been in practice since 1977 and has a holistic practice in Boulder, CO. He has earned four board certifications (clinical nutrition, acupuncture, applied kinesiology, chiropractic) in the holistic arts. He is the president of Sound Formulations a company that formulates and manufactures science-based nutritional products for numerous companies. He is also the Vice President of Research and Development for Sound Formulas ( – a company dedicated to providing women health information and top tier nutritional supplements.

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