Though a vegetarian or vegan diet likely means you’re getting plenty of the vitamins and minerals that plants have to offer, certain nutrients are hard to come by if you don’t eat food from animal sources. To make sure you’re getting all the good stuff you need to support your pregnancy, make sure your prenatal vitamin checks off this list. (Spoiler alert: We’ve made sure to include all these nutrients and more in The Essentials for Females. The veggie-friendly formula is also free of gluten, yeast, colors/dyes and preservatives.)
Did you know that during pregnancy, your Iron needs double? That’s because your body uses Iron to help blood transport oxygen to the baby. While you can get Iron from plants, it’s typically a form that’s harder to absorb, so we’ve included 27 mg of a bioavailable form (Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate) in The Essentials for Females.
Vitamin A is key for fetal development (it supports eyes, bones, the heart, lungs, kidneys and more!) but it only comes from animal sources. You can get Beta-Carotene, which the body can covert into useable Vitamin A, from plants. But not all bodies are equally capable of pulling off this conversion, so getting preformed Vitamin A in a supplement (we’ve formulated with 1,800 IU) is a safer bet.
You’ve probably heard that Folate/Folic Acid is crucial for fetal brain, spine and nervous system development, but Vitamin B12 is another biggie you’ll want in that department. It’s found naturally in meat, fish, eggs and dairy, and you can also get fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast. If your diet isn’t heavy on those foods, you’ll want to pop a prenatal that has B12. We include 1,000 mcg of the super bioavailable form of B12 called Methylcobalamin to cover your bases.
In pregnancy, Vitamin D is crucial for the proper development of the fetal skeletal system, immune system, respiratory system and cardiac tissue. It can also help reduce major pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. We get Vitamin D from the sun, with small amounts also found in fatty fish and beef liver. To make sure that you’re getting enough year-round, we’ve included 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 (the most active form) in The Essentials for Females.
This one’s another must-have for fetal brain, spine and nervous system development, and its richest sources are eggs, dairy and meat. It can also be found in shiitake mushrooms, soy, wheat germ and broccoli, but a supplement can make sure you hit the mark on the daily. Many prenatal vitamins skip or skimp on this crucial nutrient, but we pack 150 mg of Choline Bitartrate into every daily sachet of The Essentials for Females.
This Omega-3 Fatty Acid is critical in pregnancy because it influences both brain and eye development of the fetus, improves babies’ cognitive function, and can reduce the risk of preterm birth. Fish is the biggest source for it, but all Bird&Be formulas feature a capsule with 300 mg of DHA from algae oil inside each daily sachet. This approach dodges the toxins that can be found in fish, while also offering a vegan and sustainable option. Bonus: there’s none of that fishy aftertaste.