Preconception Supplements For A Healthy Pregnancy

A pregnant woman walks outdoors.

Taking supplements prior to conceiving is one way that mothers-to-be can set themselves up for a healthy pregnancy.

A healthy pregnancy depends on many factors, including diet, exercise, lifestyle, mental-emotional health, and more. Taking supplements prior to conceiving is one way that mothers-to-be can set themselves up for a healthy pregnancy. In this article, we’ll cover what we believe are the most important foundational supplements for women who are trying to conceive.


Note: There are many more options when it comes to enhancing fertility, including herbs, mitochondrial support, probiotics, hormonal support, etc, which we will cover in another article. This article simply covers the most important nutritional foundations for good preconception health.

Supplements Vital For Preconception Health

The two supplements that we consider most important for preconception health support are a Prenatal Multivitamin and an Omega-3 Supplement. Probiotics are an optional third supplement to further support reproductive health. 

1. Prenatal Multivitamin

Prenatal multivitamins are designed to support the increased nutritional requirements of conception and pregnancy. It is ideal to begin taking a prenatal multivitamin at least one month before trying to conceive and to continue use throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Beginning a prenatal multivitamin before conception helps to ensure that your vitamin and mineral stores are optimal throughout your entire pregnancy rather than trying to catch up later.

Key Nutrients In Prenatal & Postnatal Daily Nutrients

There are many nutrients that play an important role in preconception health, and we believe that a broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral formula is best for most people. However, in this article, we are only touching on a handful of the nutrients that we believe are particularly important during the preconception period.


Folate: Folate supplementation is well-known as a strategy to help prevent neural tube defects in developing embryos. The neural tube forms in the first month of pregnancy - sometimes before the mother even knows she is pregnant, so preconception supplementation is ideal (1). The preferred form of folate is 5-MTHF, as opposed to folic acid, which must be converted by the liver to folate in order for the body to use it (2).


Iron: Iron requirements increase during pregnancy, and deficiency of this essential nutrient can have adverse effects for maternal well-being, as well as for fetal growth and early neurodevelopment (3,11). Our Prenatal Multivitamin contains iron bisglycinate, a form chosen because of its efficient absorption and gentleness on the stomach (4).


Note: We recommend using blood tests to help guide iron supplementation as both too little and too much may be harmful. Consult with a doctor to determine what is right for you.


Calcium: Calcium is required for healthy skeletal development in infants and to protect the mother’s bones during pregnancy (5). In the preconception period, calcium is important for hormonal regulation, notably the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone which controls ovulation. In the very first stages of pregnancy, calcium is needed for proper cell division and implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining (6).


Zinc: Zinc is well known as an important mineral for growth and development, quenching oxidative stress, and supporting immune function. During the preconception period, zinc is important because it influences oocyte (egg) maturation, quality, and functionality; plus, it is important for the health of the uterine lining (6).


Vitamins D3 & K2: Vitamin D is important for its effects on bone growth, neurological development, and immune health. Vitamin D deficiency has effects on fertility plus adverse effects throughout pregnancy, birth, and infancy (7). Vitamin K2 works as a partner to vitamin D3 when it comes to bone health and calcium metabolism. Read more about their synergy here: Better Together: Vitamins D3 & K2


Read more about what to look for in a prenatal multivitamin here: What To Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin: Essential Nutrients

2. Omega-3 Supplement

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) are essential for brain development and function. They also balance inflammation and support overall maternal health (8).


When specifically considering preconception, studies have found that higher intakes of EPA & DHA improve embryo health and significantly improve women’s fertility and pregnancy rates (9,10).


Our Mother’s Omega-3 supplement was created with the fertility journey in mind and contains hefty doses of both DHA and EPA. Our supplements are third-party tested for your peace of mind. 

3. Optional Probiotic Supplement

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria supplements that support the human microbiome, and in turn support almost every aspect of human health. Emerging research shows that supplementation with probiotics may be helpful for vaginal and reproductive health, though details are still unclear (12,13).


Our Women’s Health Probiotic contains 50 billion CFU of probiotics, specifically formulated to support a women’s immune, vaginal, and urinary health.


Read more about the health benefits of probiotics here: The Vast Health Benefits Of Probiotics

Get our bundle with all three products now!

Summary

When trying to conceive, ensuring that your body’s nutrient stores are plentiful is essential. Taking a broad spectrum prenatal multivitamin and mineral formula alongside an omega-3 supplement is a strategy that ensures the intake of nutrients that are important for egg quality, fertility, implantation, and early embryonic development that can occur prior to knowing that you’re pregnant. Probiotics are further helpful for supporting overall health in general and reproductive health in particular. 


Supplementation is simply one piece of the puzzle when it comes to preconception health: Diet, lifestyle, exercise, and mental-emotional well-being all play a role in supporting good fertility outcomes.


Read more healthy lifestyle tips here: Basics Of An Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle


If you’re interested in learning more about strategies to support fertility, reach out to customer support and let us know! support@drgreenlife.com 

References:

  1. Avagliano L, Massa V, George TM, Qureshy S, Bulfamante GP, Finnell RH. Overview on neural tube defects: From development to physical characteristics. Birth Defects Res. 2019 Nov 15;111(19):1455-1467. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1380. Epub 2018 Nov 12. PMID: 30421543; PMCID: PMC6511489.

  2. Ferrazzi, E., Tiso, G., & Di Martino, D. (2020). Folic acid versus 5- methyl tetrahydrofolate supplementation in pregnancy. European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, 253, 312–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.06.012

  3. Georgieff MK, Krebs NF, Cusick SE. The Benefits and Risks of Iron Supplementation in Pregnancy and Childhood. Annu Rev Nutr. 2019 Aug 21;39:121-146. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-082018-124213. Epub 2019 May 15. PMID: 31091416; PMCID: PMC7173188.

  4. Bumrungpert, A., Pavadhgul, P., Piromsawasdi, T., & Mozafari, M. R. (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Ferrous Bisglycinate and Folinic Acid in the Control of Iron Deficiency in Pregnant Women: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 14(3), 452. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030452

  5. Lujano-Negrete, A. Y., Rodríguez-Ruiz, M. C., Skinner-Taylor, C. M., Perez-Barbosa, L., Cardenas de la Garza, J. A., García-Hernández, P. A., Espinosa-Banuelos, L. G., Gutierrez-Leal, L. F., Jezzini-Martínez, S., & Galarza-Delgado, D. Á. (2022). Bone metabolism and osteoporosis during pregnancy and lactation. Archives of osteoporosis, 17(1), 36. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11657-022-01077-x

  6. Kapper C, Oppelt P, Ganhör C, Gyunesh AA, Arbeithuber B, Stelzl P, Rezk-Füreder M. Minerals and the Menstrual Cycle: Impacts on Ovulation and Endometrial Health. Nutrients. 2024 Mar 29;16(7):1008. doi: 10.3390/nu16071008. PMID: 38613041; PMCID: PMC11013220.

  7. Mansur, J. L., Oliveri, B., Giacoia, E., Fusaro, D., & Costanzo, P. R. (2022). Vitamin D: Before, during and after Pregnancy: Effect on Neonates and Children. Nutrients, 14(9), 1900. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091900

  8. Shahidi, F., & Ambigaipalan, P. (2018). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Their Health Benefits. Annual review of food science and technology, 9, 345–381. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-food-111317-095850

  9. Hammiche, F., Vujkovic, M., Wijburg, W., de Vries, J. H., Macklon, N. S., Laven, J. S., & Steegers-Theunissen, R. P. (2011). Increased preconception omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake improves embryo morphology. Fertility and sterility, 95(5), 1820–1823. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.11.021

  10. Trop-Steinberg, S., Gal, M., Azar, Y., Kilav-Levin, R., & Heifetz, E. M. (2024). Effect of omega-3 supplements or diets on fertility in women: A meta-analysis. Heliyon, 10(8), e29324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e29324

  11. Schmidt, R. J., Tancredi, D. J., Krakowiak, P., Hansen, R. L., & Ozonoff, S. (2014). Maternal intake of supplemental iron and risk of autism spectrum disorder. American journal of epidemiology, 180(9), 890–900. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwu208

  12. Reid, J. N., Bisanz, J. E., Monachese, M., Burton, J. P., & Reid, G. (2013). The rationale for probiotics improving reproductive health and pregnancy outcome. American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989), 69(6), 558–566.  https://doi.org/10.1111/aji.12086  

  13. López-Moreno, A., & Aguilera, M. (2021). Vaginal Probiotics for Reproductive Health and Related Dysbiosis: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of clinical medicine, 10(7), 1461.  https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071461 

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