5 Nutrients To Include In Your Diet If You’re Trying To Conceive Or Pregnant
By: Madeleine Wisecup
A few months ago I found myself once again parked in the middle of the supplement aisle at the grocery store reading the back labels of various prenatal supplements. I was pretty confused. What minerals and vitamins should my prenatal include? Should it include folic acid or folate?
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A few months ago I found myself once again parked in the middle of the supplement aisle at the grocery store reading the back labels of various prenatal supplements. I was pretty confused. What minerals and vitamins should my prenatal include? Should it include folic acid or folate? Is the brand third party certified and sustainably created? I had so many questions. So I went home and did what I do best…research.
A few hours later I finally came across Full Circle Prenatal, a comprehensive, evidence-based prenatal multivitamin designed to deliver optimal forms and amounts of nutrients for women before, during, and after pregnancy, developed by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner, Ayla Barmmer, MS, RDN, LDN. I reached out to Ayla to chat with us to help clear up some of the confusion so many individuals face when it comes to selecting a prenatal. I also wanted to better understand which nutrients women should include in their diets when pregnant and/or TTC and why.
As a registered dietician and functional medicine practitioner, Ayla, MS, RDN, LDN has spent the past 15 years focusing on women’s health and infertility. And yet the path she took to get here was, as for many of us, not a straight one.
“I feel as though my career and the things I’ve done in my career have morphed about a million times,” she shares. “I spent time trying to find my way, figuring out what I wanted to do, what I wanted to specialize in.”
It wasn’t until she landed in the infertility and prenatal space that she realized this was where she was meant to be. “When I finally landed in the infertility and prenatal space I felt really good,” she tells me. “That’s really my niche.”
In addition to being the founder and formula developer of Full Circle Prenatal, Ayla also owns and operates Boston Functional Nutrition, an integrative and functional nutrition practice specializing in women’s health and infertility. She also serves as a mentor and educator, founding the Women’s Health Nutrition Practice Group in 2017 and the co-founding the Women’s Health Nutrition Academy in 2018, along with Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Lily Nichols.
What Inspired Ayla to develop Full Circle Prenatal?
As is the case with most founders, Ayla created Full Circle Prenatal out of necessity. She was having a hard time finding a formula that she felt provided the necessary doses and sources of nutrients women needed throughout their pregnancy.
“I developed the formula,” she shares, “because I couldn’t find a combination of the evidence-based doses, forms, sources of nutrients that I wanted in a prenatal.” Not to mention, that she was having a hard time finding brands that were transparent about their testing, including third party testing, something that she truly values in supplemental brands.
And so, “naively, I decided to launch my own,” she tells me. Developing and launching Full Circle Prenatal has easily been one of the hardest things Ayla has done in her professional career. But, she shares, “it’s also been extremely rewarding.”
5 Nutrients To Include In Your Diet During Your Pregnancy
One of the things I’ve learned throughout my fertility journey is the importance of building up our storage of nutrients before trying to conceive. I asked Ayla to explore this in more detail and, to help us better understand what nutrients we should include in our diets and why.
“I think the most important nutrients to focus on are the ones that play a role specifically in the very early stages of a pregnancy, even before the egg’s development,” Ayla explains. You want to start building up your nutrients up to 3 months prior to conceiving, focusing on nutrients such as magnesium, B Vitamins, including folate, B12, and B6, choline, and fatty acids such as omega-3s. “And you need these nutrients in really high supply,” Ayla tells me because the entire process from fertilization to embryo development is a nutrient intensive process. You want to build up and store all those nutrients “so you have enough in the early stages.”
Press play to learn more about the benefits of these nutrients and what foods you should be including in your diet to support the build up of these nutrients.
Why Full Circle Prenatal Doesn’t Contain Iron
One of the more unique aspects of Full Circle Prenatal is that it doesn’t contain iron. I was curious about this as every other prenatal I’ve come across includes this mineral in their formulas. But, as I found out, there was a very good reason Ayla omitted iron from the Full Circle Prenatal.
“There are a few reasons you don’t want iron mixed in with a multivitamin, shares Ayla. “One, it does affect the absorption of other nutrients in that prenatal. But really, she continues, you want to match your iron supplementation. If you do take a supplement, with your specific needs, because needs vary.”
Some women may only require low doses of iron supplementation during pregnancy. “You don’t just want to take iron as an insurance policy, shares Ayla, “because it can be inflammatory.” Iron is a mineral that needs to be in balance in the body as there are a lot of complexities involved when it comes to iron metabolism.
So, bottom line, explains Ayla, “I really like to recommend someone take a custom approach with iron and take it separate from the prenatal with food and dose it based on your needs.” Note: Ayla shares how women can figure out their daily iron needs in this episode.
In this episode Ayla and I explore:
- What nutrients to include in your diet if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive
- Why iron isn’t included in Full Circle Prenatal
- The difference between folate and folic acid
- Why many of us are deficient in Vitamin D and how we can remedy that
- The difference between plant-based prenatals and synthetic prenatals
- The challenges Ayla faced and overcame to develop Full Circle Prenatal,
- and so much more!
Connect with Ayla and Full Circle Prenatal:
Other episodes you might enjoy:
- Happy Hour 101: How Alcohol Impacts your Hormones
- 4 Phases Of Your Menstrual Cycle – What you need to know!