Natural Supplements

Katy Birth Center has a fully stocked supplement center available for our clients.  We carry vitamins, minerals, herbals, essential oils, protein powders, green supplements, supplements for breastfeeding, topical products, etc.  We also carry some infant/children products as well.

Prenatal Vitamins:  We carry several prenatal formulas.  Our favorite is Prenatal Forte by Integrative Therapeutics.  This prenatal has all the vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy pregnancy plus digestive enzymes to help you absorb the nutrients in the foods you eat as well as herbs that are supportive for pregnancy.  This is in a large tablet and you take two with each meal for a total of six daily.  These are food based vitamins and while concentrated, they have to be more quantity than you would get with a chemically formulated product.

We also like Prenatal Pro by Designs for Health.  This prenatal comes in a capsule form and also has folate instead of folic acid (the preferred source for folic acid).  It has a nice blend of vitamins and minerals but does not have the digestive enzymes or herbals.  This formula also requires taking a total of six capsules per day.  Again, this is a food based product not a chemical formula.

We also carry prenatals by Rainbow Light.  Prenatal One is an adequate prenatal vitamin but is too low in calcium/magnesium and so you will need to supplement with extra cal/mag which we have also by Rainbow Light.  The cal/mag comes in several formulas, one large tablet, 3 small mini tabs and a chocolate flavored wafer (3).  This prenatal is usually just used in early pregnancy when nausea can make taking many vitamins too difficult.  Once the nausea has abated, we strongly encourage you to switch to the better, higher potency vitamins we offer.

Another vitamin that has been used by clients that just can’t swallow tablets or capsules is a chewable prenatal by Pioneer.  The dosage is two chewable tablets 3 times daily.  This is another formula that doesn’t have the optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals but it is fine for early pregnancy when swallowing tablets or capsules is too difficult.

Another supplement that we suggest all clients take from the beginning of pregnancy through breastfeeding is a fish oil supplement (omegas). The one we prefer and carry is ProDHA 1000 mg.  This strawberry flavored fish oil is very well tolerated and has the perfect blend of DHA and EPA for pregnancy and the developing baby.  The dosage is 2 gelcaps daily.

Most pregnant women have at least some issues with sluggish bowels or constipation.  We strongly encourage our clients to take a good quality probiotic not only during pregnancy and nursing but also after.  Having the right balance of healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract can make a world of difference in how you feel and to keep your immune system strong.  (We also encourage a daily serving of live culture yogurt).  The probiotic that we like is Ultimate FloraMax Vaginal Balance 50 billion by Advanced Naturals.  This is also strongly recommended for anyone with a history of UTI or yeast  infections.

And last but not least is an extra dose of Vitamin D3.  We have a small chocolate flavored chewable from Integrative Therapeutics.  One daily is usually adequate for most moms.  We also carry a VitD3 drop from Carlson called Super Daily D3.  One drop daily gives 4000 IU and one bottle will last a full year.

Natural Remedies for Common Pregnancy Complaints

(ALL REMEDIES RECOMMENDED ARE PREGNANCY SAFE)

Morning Sickness-Morning Ease by Mother’s Herbals (Trilight) is a liquid tincture taken 30 min. before arising and then every 2 hours as needed.  A similar product is Morning Sickness Balm by Mountain Meadow Herbs.

Insomnia-Snooze Ease by Mother’s Herbals (Trilight) is also a liquid tincture.  This can be taken before bed and also if you wake during the night and can’t go back to sleep.  Great product that doesn’t make you groggy the next day. Lavender essential oil is also a great remedy for insomnia.  (During pregnancy especially be sure to only use therapeutic grade essential oils such as DoTerra and Young Living.  We carry DoTerra at KBC.) Please ask for more info before using essential oils.  We also offer Essential Oils classes every month at KBC.

Constipation-This is very common in pregnancy and the first and best remedy is to increase your water intake.  You need to be drinking ½ to 1 gallon of pure water every day.  Most people find it easier to keep a large bottle with them at all times and just sip throughout the day.  If you don’t drink much water you have probably shut down your natural thirst responses and you need to retrain your body to let you know you are thirsty.  If you will force yourself to drink adequate amounts for 5 days, your natural thirst will return and it will be easier to remember to drink.  Also be sure you are eating enough fiber and roughage.  Lots of fresh fruits and veggies will help this as will the addition of bran or flax to your diet.  If you drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and veggies and still have issues with constipation, you could try Move Ease by Mother’s Herbals (Trilight).  Occasionally people with severe morning sickness (hyperemesis) will have constipation with the use of Zofran.  Often you might need Colace in this situation which is available over the counter at drugstores.

Leg Cramps-These can be very annoying and affect your sleep.  This is usually causes by a lack of minerals.  Some find an additional cal/mag supplement to help or sometimes you need more potassium. All these are included in prenatals and you can also find good sources in food choices. Calcium rich foods include dark green leafy veggies, dairy products (especially cheese and yogurt), canned salmon with bones and almonds.  Magnesium food sources include beans, nuts (especially almonds), dark green leafy veggies.  Potassium food sources include dried apricots, spinach, baked potato, white beans, plain yogurt, salmon, avocadoes, mushrooms and actually last in this list, bananas.  If you do get a leg cramp, flex your foot toward your calf or even get up and walk around. Both will help.

Indigestion (heartburn)-My favorite remedy for this common complaint is papaya enzyme tablets.  The best source I’ve found is by American Health and it is available in many health food stores.  I recently found it at Vitamin Shoppe.  You can chew 2-4 tablets at the first sign of discomfort and you will feel instant relief.  It may return in 20-30 minutes but you can just chew a few more.  This is a food based product and no worries about overdosing.  Also avoid spicy foods, lying down right after a meal and overeating which can be a fairly small amount especially in the 3rd trimester.  Eating small, frequent meals is best anyway as it gets a constant supply of nutrients to your baby.

Abdominal cramping/bloating-Exercise and moving by walking, going onto hands and knees and even knee chest will often help this.  If this becomes a common occurrence you might want to try Gas Relief by Trilight.          

Headaches- Some moms suffer from frequent headaches in pregnancy and many never have one or just very occasionally.  These can be hormone induced and very annoying.  First, always drink a large glass of water. Dehydration can always be a culprit for headaches.  Try peppermint oil (just smell it from the bottle).  Lavender essential oil can also relieve a headache.  This can be applied to your forehead directly.  Also consider a chiropractic adjustment (only from a pregnancy certified chiropractor).  These can be real lifesavers.  As a last resort, you can consider two Tylenol but we prefer to not use medications if at all possible.  Migraines are another problem that can be worse in pregnancy.  Please talk to your midwife about the remedies for migraines.

Hemorrhoids- These are another common pregnancy complaint.  After the first trimester, take 50-100 mg rutin 3-4 x daily if you have an active case.  If you have had them in the past, I recommend taking one dose daily throughout the pregnancy (after 12 weeks).  This will often keep you from having them progress.  (These are available at health food stores.)  Rutin is a vitamin C derivative and works great to strengthen vein walls.  I have seen this shrink a hemorrhoid in 24 hours.  Of course, anything that helps you avoid constipation will also prevent hemorrhoids, too.

Round Ligament Pain- This is probably the most common pregnancy complaint we hear.  While it can be extremely uncomfortable, it is not dangerous and is caused by the stretching of this ligament as the uterus grows.  This ligament attaches at the pubis and on each side of the uterus about midway up.  So, as the uterus grows, so does the ligament but sometimes it gets stretched too far and can cause a sharp pain.  Leaning into the side that hurts can help as can a warm bath.  Try to avoid sudden movements, like turning over too quickly in bed.  Also coughing or sneezing can cause the ligament to spasm.  These are often very short  and sharp and once over they rarely continue to cause discomfort.  There are not really any herbal remedies for this.

Restless Legs- This is a less common complaint but many women do occasionally suffer from this malady.  It can really make sleeping much harder and they can be very annoying.  Extra magnesium can help, heat works for some, cold water works for others.  Some people swear that putting a bar of soap between the sheets will eliminate RLS.  Bananas before bed work for some.  Yoga or stretching has helped.  Even sex and/or orgasm have helped others.  Try whatever seems reasonable to you and let us know what works for you!!