Well, I am finally back at work full-time after taking almost a year off to have my daughter Chloe, so it’s only fitting that the first product I get to review is a prenatal supplement! I guess I know a lot about prenatal vitamins now because 11 months ago I was doing my own research trying to find which ones were the best and safest out there.
I found out that there are some things you should look for and some things you should definitely avoid when choosing a prenatal vitamin.
Here’s what to look for:
Manufactured in the U.S.A.: The first thing you want to make sure of is that the product is made by an American company. Because the supplement industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, a lot of overseas companies think they can get away with offering products that have either impure ingredients, or worse, potentially harmful ones!
100% Natural. You should make sure that anything you are putting in your body during pregnancy is 100% natural and free of any chemicals or synthetics.
Whole food ingredients. You should make sure that the vitamin comes from 100% Whole Food so it is able to be absorbed by the body.
Proper dosages. Many companies overfill their vitamins with more than you and your child needs because of poor absorption.
Independent, 3rd-Party Testing. Any supplement you take should be independently tested in a 3rd-party laboratory to ensure potency and purity. You want to make sure that the product you are taking is exactly what it claims to be.
No binders or filler ingredients. Many companies use ineffective or potentially harmful filler or binder ingredients in their formulas. Any vitamin you take should be free of binding agents or fillers such as microcrystalline cellulose (wood pulp).
No animal by-products. Avoid products containing gelatin.
Gluten-Free. Wheat-based ingredients are sometimes used as filler or binder ingredients and these can upset the stomach and cause constipation.
Complete formula. You don’t want to waste your time taking several different prenatal vitamins when there are a few out there that actually do offer “complete formulas” with pretty much everything you need.
Money-Back Guarantee. If a company is not willing to offer unsatisfied customers their money back, then they probably don’t stand behind their products. You should only purchase vitamins and supplements that are guaranteed to work with an easy refund process if they don’t. Not all supplements are right for everyone, and if you are taking one that doesn’t seem to be doing its job, then you should be able to return it and try something else.
What to avoid:
Products containing harmful ingredients. There are several ingredients commonly used in cheaply made supplements that have been found to be damaging to health if used over time. Some of these ingredients are binding agents– meant to hold the ingredients in the pills together and these can build-up in your system, potentially causing poor digestion, improper immune function, and constipation. Other ingredients, such as magnesium stearate are used as lubricants to keep the pills from sticking to the machines or from sticking together. If taken for an extended period of time, these lubricants can coat the lining of your intestines and inhibit the absorption of nutrients from the regular food you eat. And then there are also “filler ingredients” such as microcrystalline cellulose which is essentially sawdust, used to “pad” the ingredients of the pill to fill out the capsules.
Overseas companies. Companies that are based in China or the South Pacific have looser manufacturing standards and some even have unclean facilities or use cheap labor. You should make sure that your supplements come from U.S.-based companies so that your rights are protected. U.S. companies are subject to the laws and regulations of the United States, where some overseas companies are not subject to any laws or regulations.
Companies that only offer one or two products. Some supplement and vitamin companies seem to spring up overnight and disappear almost as quickly. Usually these companies are just hopping onto a recent diet-craze to make a quick buck. You should only trust companies that have a full-line of products.
No money back guarantee. If a company is not willing to offer you your money back if you are unsatisfied, then you should probably expect them to be ripping you off. Any company that will give you a full refund, no questions asked, is one that is confident in their products and their efficacy.
The One I Used:
Whole Body Research 100% Whole Food PreNatal Vitamins was the best pre-natal supplement I could find. With 100% Natural, Whole Food ingredients, this product is made from real food, so your body and your baby can actually absorb the nutrients. Not only that, but most of the ingredients in the formula are what are known as “superfoods” because they are not only packed with the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need, but they are also full of powerful antioxidants that can help fight off the free-radical cells that can later become cancerous. I try to eat as many of these “superfoods” as possible, so when I found that I could also be getting some through my vitamins, I knew that this was a great, healthy choice. If you want to know more about Whole Body Research 100% Whole Food PRENATAL Organic Fruit and Berry Blend, visit their official website, www.wholebodyresearch.com