Prenatal Vitamins and Supplements
to take during
Good nutrition is important before and during and after pregnancy to support optimal maternal health as well as baby’s growth and development.
Good nutrition is important before, during and after pregnancy to support optimal maternal health as well as baby’s growth and development. Pregnancy Supplements are used to provide additional essential nutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) during pregnancy, especially when there are nutritional gaps in the diet. The body’s demand for Vitamins and Minerals increases in pregnancy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all women should supplement two to three months before pregnancy, continuing through the first trimester with 400 µg of Folic Acid / Folate daily. This is to prevent maternal Anemia, puerperal sepsis, low birth weight, and preterm birth. Folic Acid / Folate also assists in the prevention of Neural Tube Defects (NTD’s) like Spina Bifida.
NTD’s are a common cause of disease and death in all ethnic groups in South Africa. A study by Teckie et al (2013) reports that NTD’s occur in about 1 in 800 births in South Africa, and that since the fortification of staple foods in South Africa with dietary Folic Acid, the incidence of affected births has declined by approximately 30%.
Pregnancy Supplements First Trimester
During the first trimester of pregnancy, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients to support your health and your baby’s development. While it’s best to get most of your nutrients from a balanced diet, some women may need prenatal supplements to fill any gaps in their nutrition.
Prenatal Vitamins are specially formulated for pregnant women and contain essential nutrients like Folate, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D3, and other vitamins and minerals important for foetal development.
Here are some common nutrients that may be recommended during the first trimester:
Active Folate / Synthetic Folic Acid: Both forms of Vitamin B9 are not the same thing! Active Folate (5-MTHF) is readily absorbed by the body immediately. Synthetic Folic Acid needs to be broken down by the body first before it can be used. Active Folate is the preferred form.
This vitamin is crucial during the early stages of pregnancy to prevent Neural Tube Defects in the developing foetus.
Iron: This is essential for preventing anaemia, which is common during pregnancy.
Calcium: This is important for the development of your baby’s bones and teeth.
Vitamin D3: This helps your body absorb calcium and is important for your baby’s bone health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are important for foetal brain and eye development.
Vitamin B12: This is important for nerve function and red blood cell production.
It’s important to talk to your Doctor before starting any new supplements during pregnancy to make sure you’re taking the right dosage and to address any specific dietary concerns or medical conditions you may have. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products is the foundation for a healthy pregnancy, and supplements should be used to complement your diet, not replace it.
Pregnancy due date calculator
- Teckie G, Krause A, and Kromberg J. (2013). Neural tube defects in Gauteng, South Africa: Recurrence risks and associated factors. South African Medical Journal, 103(12), 973-977. doi:10.7196/SAMJ.7119
Stellar-Mama Prenatal Vitamins
Preconception, Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
(5-MTHF). This form of Folate is 7x better absorbed than synthetic Folic Acid. Stellar-Mama also contains Myo-Inositol, Chelated Iron, Calcium, B-Complex, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 and other essential nutrients to support mom and baby before, during and after pregnancy. Each pack of Stellar-Mama consists of 3 components:
a 30-day pack of 30 Multivitamin Capsules, 30 Calcium tablets and 30 Omega-3 capsules. Stellar-Mama is suitable for pescatarians and is also Halaal.
Stellar-Mama is a good pregnancy supplement as it has a comprehensive nutrient formulation for Mom and Baby.
Preggy-Mama Pregnancy Supplement
Preconception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Preggy-Mama contains active folate which is 7x better absorbed than synthetic folic acid. It also contains
Myo-Inositol, which together with Folate lowers the risk for Neural Tube Defects. It also contains Chelated Iron which has a softer side effect profile as well as other minerals and vitamins for baby’s development.
Preggy-Mama is Vegan friendly and is Halaal. It is also suitable for women who struggle with morning sickness and nausea as it is only one tablet. The tablet can be crushed and taken with a meal.
Preggy-Mama is a good pregnancy supplement for Vegans as it has no animal extracts.
Metabolically Active Folate
One of the most important vitamins for pregnancy is Folate. Stellar Activ-FOLATE contains the active form of Folate. Folate has an important role in pregnancy both before and after conception. For women who are struggling to conceive, folate can help prevent early pregnancy defects that can lead to miscarriage. It is also recommended that women who have suffered from previous miscarriages increase the dose of Folate taken before pregnancy and into the first trimester.
Studies have shown that a higher intake of supplemental Folate was associated with higher live birth rates after assisted reproductive technology treatment. Stellar Activ-FOLATE contains active Folate that is 7x better absorbed than Synthetic Folic Acid and that is why Stellar Activ-FOLATE is a good Pregnancy Supplement.
- Gaskins AJ, Afeiche MC, Wright DL, et al. Dietary folate and reproductive success among women undergoing assisted reproduction. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;124(4):801-809. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000000477
- Schaefer E, Nock D. The Impact of Preconceptional Multiple-Micronutrient Supplementation on Female Fertility. Clin Med Insights Womens Health. 2019;12:1179562X19843868. Published 2019 Apr 23. doi:10.1177/1179562X19843868
- Scaglione F, Panzavolta G. Folate, folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate are not the same thing. Xenobiotica. 2014 May;44(5):480-8. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2013.845705. Epub 2014 Feb 4. PMID: 24494987.
Nutrients supporting Glucose Metabolism
InsuMax-Q is recommended for pre-conception (before pregnancy) as it contains minerals and vitamins that can assist with reproductive health.
Once you are pregnant, we recommend our Stellar-Mama or Preggy-Mama pregnancy supplements for Mom and Baby.
Red Blood Cell Boosting Nutrients
During pregnancy women need extra iron because their blood volume doubles, as they are essentially making blood for them and their baby. Pregnant women are at risk for Iron Deficiency which can cause anemia, reduced birth weight and reduced gestation periods.
Iron Deficiency is one of the most common and prevalent nutritional deficiencies worldwide. WHO recommends that pregnant women should take oral Iron and Folate / Folic Acid supplementation daily to help prevent maternal Anemia, puerperal sepsis, low birth weight and preterm birth.
Nutritional Anemia is caused by an inadequate intake of micronutrients, such as Iron, Folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
FerOvance can be used as a pregnancy supplement especially for Pregnancy related Anemia. FerOvance is suitable for vegetarians and is Halaal.
- Turawa E, Awotiwon O, Dhansay MA, et al (2021). Prevalence of Anaemia, Iron Deficiency, and Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Women of Reproductive Age and Children under 5 Years of Age in South Africa (1997–2021): A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(23), p.12799.
Frequently asked Questions
Prenatal supplements are extra minerals and vitamins that a pregnant woman takes during pregnancy to help with the healthy development of their baby, as well as to replenish their own body with nutrients.
Prenatal supplements are designed to provide pregnant women with additional minerals and vitamins that are essential for both the optimal development of their baby and the maintenance of their own well-being. These supplements are formulated to fill nutritional gaps that may arise during pregnancy, ensuring that both the mother and the developing foetus receive all the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy journey.
Prenatal supplements contain key nutrients such as Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Various B-Vitamins. Newer generation of prenatal supplements contain the active form of Folate (instead of synthetic Folic Acid) as it is better absorbed.
Folate is vital for preventing neural tube defects in the growing foetus. Iron helps prevent anaemia in the mother, while Calcium and Vitamin D support the development of strong bones and teeth in the baby. Additionally, prenatal supplements often include Omega-3 Fatty Acids, such as DHA, which promote healthy brain and eye development in the foetus.
Prenatal supplements are beneficial during pregnancy and are also recommended in the preconception period, as they prepare the body for pregnancy by ensuring that it is adequately nourished before conception occurs.
Pregnancy tablets are usually taken with a meal like breakfast. Please check the directions on the box of your pregnancy tablets for more information.
Stellar-Mama and Preggy-Mama are our pregnancy supplements in South Africa. Both Stellar-Mama and Preggy-Mama can be used prior to falling pregnant, throughout pregnancy and during breastfeeding. It is recommended to continue taking your pregnancy supplement for at least 12 months after giving birth or at least for as long as you are Breastfeeding.
Stellar-Mama is a triple pack containing a vitamin and mineral capsule, a calcium tablet and an Omega 3 capsule. Whereas, Preggy-Mama is a single combination tablet containing vitamins and minerals, but excludes Omega 3. Preggy-Mama is an innovative pregnancy supplement which is suitable fore Vegans.
Stellar-Mama and Preggy-Mama – for Mom and Baby.
During Pregnancy, the need for certain Vitamins and Minerals increases because of the development of your Baby. The following Vitamins and Minerals are most important during Pregnancy –
- Folate is important for your Baby’s Brain and Spinal Cord development and for the prevention of Neural Tube Defects such as Spina Bifida
- Iron becomes important in your second and third trimesters of Pregnancy as the blood volume increases for baby and to prevent anemia in Mom
- B-Complex Vitamins work synergistically together with Iron during Pregnancy and are essential for the development of healthy red blood cells
- Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium are essential for the development of Baby’s Bones and Teeth as well as for maintenance of Mom’s Bones and Teeth
- Antioxidants such as Vitamin C are important for Immune Support in Pregnancy
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids particularly those rich in DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) are important for the development of Baby’s Brain as well as for maintenance of Mom’s Brain to prevent “Pregnancy Forgetfulness” and Post-partum Depression
Yes, Vitamins for Pregnancy taken on an empty stomach can make a person feel sick and nauseous. Some Women during their first trimester of Pregnancy develop “Morning Sickness” and thus anything that they take will make them feel sick.
It is recommended that you always take your Pregnancy Supplement with a meal to prevent you from feeling sick. Alternatively, if you are suffering from pregnancy-related Morning Sickness it is best to stick to a plain Folate Supplement like Stellar Activ-Folate in your first trimester of Pregnancy.
Yes, if you are trying to conceive it is recommended that you start taking folate (folic acid) at least 2 to 3 months before trying to conceive. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all Women planning to fall Pregnant should start supplementing with Folate (Folic Acid) at least 2 to 3 months prior to conception and for the first trimester of Pregnancy.
It is also beneficial to start preparing your body for Pregnancy by taking a Pregnancy Vitamin that contains Iron, B-Complex Vitamins, Antioxidants, Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D in addition to Folate (Folic Acid).
Preggy-Mama is a Pregnancy Vitaƒmin and Mineral Supplement that contains Vitamins and Minerals for preparing your body for conception.
Ideally, you should start taking pregnancy vitamins before conception (before even falling pregnant) especially Folate. The birth defects prevented by Folate (Folic Acid) happen within the first few weeks of pregnancy, before you even know you’re expecting.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all Women planning to fall Pregnant should start supplementing with Folate (Folic Acid) at least 2 to 3 months prior to conception and for the first trimester of Pregnancy.
Even if you eat a healthy diet, you may still need to take Pregnancy Vitamins, especially Folate (Folic Acid). The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all Women planning to fall Pregnant should start supplementing with Folate (Folic Acid) at least 2 to 3 months prior to conception and for the first trimester of Pregnancy.
Your body’s nutritional demands increase during pregnancy. It takes a lot of vitamins and minerals to grow a full-term baby! Pregnancy vitamins help fill the gap in any missing nutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) you may have.
Preggy-Mama can help to fill the Vitamin and Minerals gaps that you may have during Pregnancy, that your diet may not provide.
Prenatal Vitamins are Pregnancy Supplements that contain a combination of Vitamins and Minerals that you will need before, during and after your Pregnancy. Folic Acid / Folate is the most important Vitamin to take when planning a pregnancy. However, there are many other Prenatal Vitamins that are also important in Pregnancy such as Iron, B-Complex Vitamins, Antioxidants, Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium.
Taking a Prenatal Vitamin such as Preggy-Mama will provide you with a comprehensive combination of Pregnancy Vitamins and Minerals.
Yes, it is recommended that you take Pregnancy Vitamins while breastfeeding for at least 6 to 12 months after giving birth. Breastfeeding is a nutritionally demanding period in a Woman’s life and thus supplementing Vitamins and Minerals that are lost through the Breastfeeding process is important.
Preggy-Mama can be used before, during and after Pregnancy and throughout the Breastfeeding process.