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Fairhaven Health is a company with a lineup of products ranging from preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum. They truly have a diverse array of products available – from vitamins, supplements, and teas, to ovulation and pregnancy tests, to belly creams and balms, to yoga workout DVDs.
There are a few staples that every pregnant woman should have: a supply of prenatal vitamins, an omega-3 supplement, nausea and heartburn relief tablets, some belly cream for stretch marks, and a prenatal workout DVD.
PregnancyPlus Prenatal Vitamin
PregnancyPlus Prenatal Vitamin is a once-daily vitamin which is a great vitamin for preconception, during pregnancy, and postpartum when breastfeeding. One of its important ingredients is folic acid 800 mcg/tablet, which is crucial especially during pre-conception and during the first trimester. One vitamin will provide you with 18 mg of iron which is important especially for women prone to iron deficiency. All of the ingredients (except Vitamin A) provide 100% of the recommended daily value for pregnant women.
The vitamins are in tablet form and are smaller than most other prenatals, so they go down easily. Fairhaven Health doesn’t use any artificial dyes, colors, or flavors and doesn’t use preservatives which is a big plus (there’s a small pack of a desiccant to keep moisture away; plus, the vitamin C as ascorbic acid is a natural preservative). While you may normally not be too concerned about additives, once you find out you’re pregnant all that often changes: with a tiny life to take care of, you want to be sure you’re not doing more harm than good with what you put into your body.
For the label curious, here is what’s included:
Per tablet, % recommended DV
Vitamin A (as beta carotene) 5000 IU, 63%
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 60 mg, 100%
Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) 400 IU, 100%
Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl acetate [Covitol]) 30 IU, 100%
Thiamin (as thiamine HCl) 1.7 mg, 100%
Riboflavin 2 mg, 100%
Niacin (as niacinamide) 20 mg, 100%
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) 2.5 mg, 100%
Folic Acid 800 mcg, 100%
Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) 8 mcg, 100%
Biotin 300 mcg, 100%
Pantothenic Acid (as d-calcium pantothenate) 10 mg, 100%
Iron (as iron fumarate) 18 mg, 100%
Iodine (kelp) 150 mcg, 100%
Zinc (as monomethionine & gluconate) 15 mg, 100%
Copper (as copper sulfate) 2 mg, 100%
Other ingredients: Microcyrstalline cellulose, stearic acid, croscarmeliose sodium, vegetable stearate, silicon dioxide, tablet coating (contains hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and polyethylene glycol).
PregnancyPlus Omega-3 supplements contain 675 mg of DHA omega-3 fatty acid, 225 mg of EPA fatty acid, and 104 mg of other fatty acids per 3 gels. According to the ingredients, the fish oil comes from herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. Like the prenatal vitamins, they are also free of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. Omega-3’s have become a popular supplement in recent years both for pregnant and non-pregnant women. The vital role of DHA in particular has been well-established in fetal neurological development, and is also thought to benefit the inflammatory response. Additionally, a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed studies showed that adequate DHA levels are associated with a lower risk for pre-term birth.
The soft gels have a natural citrus flavor that doesn’t make the fishy smell overpowering and the gels are in concentrated small sizes. The citrus flavor is especially great if you suffer from the “pregnancy burps”, as many pregnant women do. You don’t want to be tasting fish every time you burp! Most fish oil supplements are huge, but not these. With small gels, you don’t need an entire glass of water to chug down three gigantic capsules (read: your overactive pregnancy bladder will be grateful!). What is also great about these omega-3’s is that they don’t contain other vitamins like A, C, or D. Many other brands of omega-3 supplements contain these additional vitamins but if you’re combining this kind of supplement with a multivitamin you may be getting way more than your daily 100%.
PregEase is a morning sickness and heartburn relief chew tablet. The recommended use is 1-2 tablets daily as needed for nausea or heartburn relief. If you need or want to take less, they can be halved with a (sharp) knife. The main ingredients are vitamin B6 (10 mg), vitamin B12 (1 mcg), and calcium (110 mg) per one tablet. Vitamins B6 and B12 are what many OB’s seem to recommend for nausea relief, and the calcium (as calcium carbonate) works as an antacid, and is a common ingredient in most OTC antacids. Other ingredients include: brown seaweed powder, deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract, lemon balm, ginger root powder extract, amylase, lipase, protease, xylitol, orange flavor, microcrystalline cellulose, citric acid, stearic acid, magnesium stearate, and stevia.
These tablets have an orange flavor that tastes pretty good. In one tablet you can get a mix of the B vitamins and an antacid, without having to buy them all separately and agonize over analyzing labels. For example, some B6 supplements alone can contain 50 mg per capsule. Recommended upper daily limits for B6 range from 50-100 mg because too much can cause neuropathy.
DreamBelly Butter is a moisturizing cream for stretch marks. It can be used to prevent and and soothe stretch marks during and after pregnancy. It contains aloe vera, rose hip oil, honeysuckle, and grapefruit among other ingredients. It is also recommended for soothing itchy skin which can occur as the skin stretches. It should be applied at least twice daily.
The cream is free of parabens, artificial colors (it’s silky white), and artificial preservatives. The scent is amazing. It has a light milky fresh scent which you’ll want to put all over! The scent is very light and not overpowering at all. The belly butter goes on smoothly and makes skin feel moist. If you’ve got itchy skin the cream is light and cool which is soothing.
Healthy Mom, Happy Baby Prenatal Yoga
Healthy Mom, Happy Baby is a prenatal yoga DVD led by two instructors which is suitable for all levels. It includes several parts including: warm-up, arm strengthening, standing series (two parts), balancing, back bending, hip opening, and a final relaxation/savasana. The warm up and final cool-down are about 10 minutes with the rest of the parts being 40 minutes for a total workout of about an hour or so from start to finish.
The menu is divided into many sections so you can easily come back and repeat sequences that you like or want to work on. There are also wall exercises which is a great addition. Further, in many spots you’ll be shown an alternative pose or modification in the corner. The workout is set to calm music which can help you to relax. Even if you’re in pretty good shape and used to fast-paced workouts, while workout is slower and more relaxing, it is still challenging (you’ll probably be sore afterward if you don’t do yoga frequently). If it’s important for your workouts to be specifically prenatal so you don’t have to worry about doing anything risky, this workout is a great choice. This DVD will be suitable all the way through your pregnancy, including at the end when you’re big and likely out of breath easily.
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Check out Fairhaven Health’s website for these products and a range of other products for preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum. They also offer free shipping for online orders (with no minimum purchase). Also check out our feature on Fairhaven Health’s TTC products.
Rogers, L.K., Valentine, C.J., and Keim, S.A. (2013) DHA supplementation: Current implications in pregnancy and childhood. Pharmacological Research: 70(1): 13-19. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2012.12.003.