Lifestage: Pre Baby & Fertility
When starting the pregnancy journey, diet is very important. Including nutrients that promote vibrant health as you pursue your fertility goals is one of, if not, the most vital steps you can take. Choosing a pre-prenatal supplement can be overwhelming—and not just for the moms-to-be but future-dads too
When starting your pregnancy journey, look for supplements that include these ingredients:
Your doctor may recommend a supplement with folic acid. But, to get a finished folate, the body can immediately use, look for methylfolate. It not only supports neurodevelopment for your future baby (1, 2, 3), including visual, language, and memory skills (4), it also supports your body’s energy production (5, 6), brain’s processing speed (7), and memory. And it is needed for synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (8), which affect sleep (9), cognitive function (10), and mood (11).
Brain and nervous system development begin much sooner than you’d expect. Methylcobalamin, also known as vitamin B12, helps support this process (12). And when combined with Methylfolate, your body forms red blood cells and produces SAMe, a compound involved in immune function and mood. They also help iron work better in the body. If you are vegan or vegetarian during this lifestage, it’s important to supplement your B12, as your body doesn’t make it and it’s exclusively found in animal products (13).
Many herbs have nutrients that promote health as you pursue your fertility goals. These can contribute to your overall wellbeing to help your body function. Herbs you may look to during this journey can include: Ashwagandha Root, Ginkgo Biloba, Chasteberry for her and Saw Palmetto Extract, American Ginseng, and Maca for him.
During pregnancy, your brain changes. Science has confirmed many moms-to-be experience brain fog, slight memory issues, and more. But, not all is lost; by adding probiotics to the above essentials, you can support a healthy gut-brain connection (14, 15). Your gut, through its Gut Microbe System, influences your brain's function. Plus, with probiotics, you’ll get the added benefits of promoting better digestion and supporting healthy regularity.
Along with Vitamin D's more well-known benefits, like supporting immunity and helping to build healthy bones, it can also be supportive when on your pregnancy journey. Scientific studies have shown Vitamin D to help nutritionally improve sperm motility, count, or quality in men (16, 17). Other studies indicate that optimal vitamin D levels help regulate sex hormones which work to support a woman’s conception goals (18). It’s an important nutrient for both men and women during this lifestage.
DHA is really important during the first week of development, which often occurs before you realize you are pregnant. Without DHA, a baby's brain, spinal cord and eyes cannot develop properly (19), so it's vital that you get enough of the nutrient. Many moms-to-be struggle to get the DHA they and their babies need through diet alone, plus our bodies don’t make it, so you have to take it.
Looking for supplements with the above ingredients to help you start your journey? We’ve got you covered.
Ready. Set. Go! Fertility for Women and Ready. Set. Go! Fertility for Men nutritionally support the body to help meet your fertility goals via 3 products in 1. Each contains an herbal supplement, an antioxidant formula, and a complete multivitamin. And both include all of the above essentials.
Highly Cultured Probiotics for Women
can help you feel your best from the inside out. As a highly concentrated probiotics supplement containing 50 billion+ organisms per capsule, it provides an effective amount of bacteria to help support your gut-brain connection and promote better digestion.
Sunny Skies Vitamin D Drops
are made from pure fractionated coconut oil (MCT oil) and vitamin D3. This sunshine-in-a-bottle supplement helps restore and maintain vitamin D levels. Pure and potent, they contain no vitamin K2, which can interfere with medications.
One Fish, Two Fish Prenatal DHA
was created to help women bridge the diet gap and avoid DHA deficiencies before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. We only use real, pure triglyceride oil, not synthetic ethyl ester oil like others do. Also available: No Fish, No Fish Vegan Prenatal DHA.
And remember, no two journeys are the same. Patience, mindfulness, and a bit of selflove go a long way. Looking forward to you reaching all of your goals during this lifestage.
Madhavi Gupta, M.D. is the founder and CEO of Best Nest Wellness. Dr. Gupta is board-certified neurologist and has won The People’s Choice Award as a favorite doctor three years in a row. She holds a degree in biochemistry and humanities from MIT, completed her neurology residency in New York City, and completed her fellowship in headache medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
(1) Folate and neural tube defects, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 285S–288S.
(2) Folate and epigenetic mechanisms in neural tube development and defects, Sivan Vadakkadath Meethal, Kirk J. Hogan, Chandra S. Mayanil & Bermans J. Iskandar, Child's Nervous System, Volume 29, pages1427–1433(2013).
(3) Folate and Vitamin B12: Function and Importance in Cognitive Development, Bhutta ZA, Hurrell RF, Rosenberg IH (eds): Meeting Micronutrient Requirements for Health and Development. Nestlé Nutr Inst Workshop Ser Nestec Ltd., Vevey/S. Karger AG., Basel, 2012, vol 70, pp 161–171
(5) Mitochondrial function and toxicity: Role of the B vitamin family on mitochondrial energy metabolism, Elsevier, Chemico-Biological Interactions, Volume 163, Issues 1-2, 27 October 2006, Pages 94-112.
(6) Vitamin B Supplementation: What's the Right Choice for Your Patients? J Psychosoc Nurse Ment Health Serv, 2017 Jul 1;55(7):7-11, doi: 10.3928/02793695-20170619-02.
(7) Effect of 3-year folic acid supplementation on cognitive function in older adults in the FACIT trial: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, Volume 369, Issue 9557, 20–26 January 2007, Pages 208-216.
(9) Serotonin control of sleep-wake behavior, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 269-281.
(10) Serotonin and human cognitive performance, Curr Pharm Des, 2006;12(20):2473-86. doi: 10.2174/138161206777698909.
(11) Serotonin in Mood and Emotion, Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 21, 2010, Pages 367-378.
(12) Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanism, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 66, Issue 5, 1 May 2008, Pages 250–255.
(13) Vitamin B12 and vegetarian diets, Med J Aust 2013; 199 (4): S27-S32.
(14) The effects of probiotics on depressive symptoms in humans: a systematic review, Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2017; 16: 14. Published online 2017 Feb 20.
(15) Psychobiotics and the Manipulation of Bacteria–Gut–Brain Signals, Trends Neurosci. 2016 Nov; 39(11): 763–781.
(16) Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa, Human Reproduction, Volume 26, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 1307–1317.
(17) Association of vitamin D intake and serum levels with fertility: results from the Lifestyle and Fertility Study, Fertility and Sterility , Vol. 108 No. 2 / August 2017.
(18) Shedding new light on female fertility: The role of vitamin D, Rev Endocr Metab Disord DOI 10.1007/s11154-017-9407-2.
(19) Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the developing central nervous system (CNS) – Implications for dietary recommendations, Biochimie, Volume 93, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 7-12.