Over the years, hundreds of pregnant or nursing women (with some form of IBD or IBS) have written in asking me what is safe for them to take. Did you know that this topic is covered in great detail in Chapter 9 of Listen to Your Gut? There are 32 pages devoted to it, in fact! So, if you don’t already have it, you can order it HERE in both e-book and hardcover.

Essential Supplements For Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms

Note: I am going to give links to each product in my LTYG Shoppe, so you can see which brand I recommend and why – but if you don’t like to buy online, just get your local store to order them in for you.

Here are the supplements I believe every mother should take during pregnancy (and ideally for three months prior to conception), for the duration of breastfeeding, and then for at least three months following weaning (to replenish your own body stores and health):

Nature’s Way Prenatal Multivitamin – this one has everything you need in easily tolerated forms.

Udo’s Oil (or flax oil) – 1 – 2 tbsp. per day. This will not only nourish baby, but prevent your hair from falling out or thinning after you birth.

Cod Liver Oil – 6 capsules or 2 tsp per day. Crucial for baby’s brain development and must be from an animal source (like fish), not a vegetable source.

Bone Matrix – 2 tbsp per day. These are the minerals that are needed for bones and teeth. If you are not getting enough of these minerals, your body will pull them from your own bones and teeth to give them to baby and you will experience a whack of tooth decay! You can mix these in water or juice (they’re tasteless), or just take them straight.

Minerals Of Life Trace Minerals – 1 tbsp per day. These are all the minerals that used to be in our soil before Agribusiness trashed  things. Mix with water or juice (almost tasteless)

Protein shake or if you have digestive difficulties, then Absorb Plus – as needed – if underweight, or no time to eat properly, or as a super easy vehicle to carry all your supplements!

Natren probiotics in powder form (Megadophilus, Bifido Factor, Life Start, Digesta-Lac) or capsules (Healthy Trinity – if you prefer and have no diarrhea or heartburn). If you have heartburn during pregnancy, take the probiotics in powder form, and if your heartburn is severe then see a Craniosacral Therapist to release your diaphragm and esophageal valve. Go to upledger.com and find a therapist in your area that is certified LEVEL II or higher. Sucking on DGL licorice lozenges is also a quick remedy for heartburn.

• Raspberry leaf tea – Traditional Medicinals has a good one. Known by herbalists to strengthen the uterus.

• Follow the Healing Diet in Listen To Your Gut that suits your symptoms, or at least follow the Maintenance Diet (see below) strictly.

Other supplements that are also beneficial:

Coenzyme Q10
Pycnogenol or Grape Seed Extract
Vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form – or take in it ascorbic acid form if you tend towards constipation.
Angstrom/Nanoparticle-sized Iron if you need additional iron supplementation – when taken with lots of water, this form will not constipate you, nor will it aggravate or trigger intestinal bleeding.

Be sure to read my other blog post, Jini’s Tips for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms, for additional information – as well as a shake recipe, which is an easy way to simplify your supplement regime each day.

As always, the best policy to follow is to consult your doctor if you are unsure about what supplements are safe to take for your specific health condition while you are pregnant or nursing.

In good health!

Original post April 2011. Most recently updated May 2020.