Prenatal vitamins are vitamin and mineral supplements intended to be taken before and during pregnancy and during postnatal lactation. Although not intended to replace a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins provide women of child-bearing age with nutrients recognized by the various health organizations including the American Dietetic Association as helpful for a healthy pregnancy outcome — Wikipedia
During my last pregnancy, I took the prenatal tablet my Doctor prescribed to me. I did not think too much of it or the ingredients for the matter; I just trusted that it was okay to take. Fast forward 4 years and I am of a completely different mind when it comes to what I put in my mouth. And, I mean completely different!
Gelatin is a substance which is an ingredient in most tablet capsules and most jelly like lollies (candy). But, how many people know what gelatin is; not many apparently. I played around with this theory asking people in stores, “Does this product have gelatin in it” – sadly most people I encountered did not know what gelatin was. Just like me a few years back! It is not like the brands are screaming it out to the world and I see why; it seems like such a paradox to put animal by-products in fruit products, medicines and candies right?
Gelatin is favored as a coating for medicinal tablets and caplets, and is usually made up of body parts from slaughtered cows, pigs and horses too. Feel sick, I do?
I have been what-I-thought-to-be a vegetarian for over 25 years, with bouts of veganism and pescetarianism thrown in. However, as I did not know what gelatin was beforehand, I realize that I have unknowingly consumed animals in this form. This makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it, but I do have comfort knowing that at least my heart was in the right place and now I am on the right path.
Towards the end of my pregnancy last time, my Ob-Gyn’s office gave me what they called “vegetarian prenatal” samples to try. I immediately loved them because they were apparently an animal-free supplement. It clearly states on the bottle in capital letters – PRENATAL VITAMIN WITH PLANT-BASED DHA. I trusted my Doctor and assumed from the front of the packaging that it was okay for me to take. I continued on this way for quite some years, taking PreNexa once a day through breastfeeding my Son, and planning on being pregnant again.
But, a few months ago I ran into problems. PreNexa is prescription only. And, it is quite pricey retailing at around $300 a month. I used to get it for around $30/month with my health insurance but most recently the cost was risen and I was getting charged around $100/month. So I was looking around for an alternative.
While researching this posting, I happened to look on the back of a PreNexa bottle, and I was shocked to see gelatin as an ingredient. I mean, how wrong is that? PreNexa really tried to make it look like at a glance that it was a vegan option and I fell for it, and apparently my Doctor thought the same thing too. Not stopping there though; PreNexa also contains unnecessary dyes and palm oil! Major Party Foul. I immediately stopped taking PreNexa. I was really upset; why didn’t I just read the label in the first place and more importantly why do companies use such dodgy ingredients in such an important product. I swear, from now I am reading labels diligently.
Following this realization; I asked 3 Doctors, 2 Chemists & my health insurance company for vegan prenatal suggestions and none of them could help me either. They just had no idea.
And, there I was confused, annoyed and back to the drawing board.
At a loss, I reached out through the Willy B Mum Facebook and Twitter feeds for suggestions. I received so many answers, from like-minded Mums, with the brand Rainbow Light being forwarded on to me again and again. Social Media is such a helpful resource, as I had never heard of Rainbow Light before.
As coincidence would have it, not long after that I was sent a package from Rainbow Light, which I was very excited about. Rainbow Light produce vegan, certified organic prenatal tablets made from a pure, nutrient-rich formula made up of vegetables and fruits. By taking this prenatal daily one can support the health of a baby growing in the belly, and Mummy too of course.
I love Rainbow Light for a lot of reasons, and not just their spiritually calming name and colorful logo! I feel like, after going through this whole ideal, that I can trust them. They seem like they are focused on producing high-quality products that are safe for people to take as well as being very considerate of our Earth. They are going the extra mile; I see this with their packaging being made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled & being 100% Recyclable helping to keep 8 million bottles out of landfills annually (as per their web page).
The Rainbow Light prenatal is made from natural foods like raspberry, cranberry, ginger, pomegranate, blueberry, broccoli, artichoke, kale, and beetroot. This formula fights free-radical damage, aids in healthy fetus development, provides cellular support and increases vitality.
By taking the suggested 4 tablets a day a woman will consume 2,500 IU of vitamin A, 800 IU of vitamin D, 60 mg of vitamin C, 1,000 mcg of Folic Acid, 15 mg of vitamin B-6, and 18 mg of iron. The prenatals do not contain sugar, wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, fish or shellfish, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and additives. Loving this, it is exactly what I want to hear!
I have now been taking Rainbow Light for 2 months, and I am so happy and relieved to report my search has ended, and not just for prenatals.
I also take the Rainbow Light iron tablet once a day, and use their vegan protein powder in my smoothies after working out at the gym. I was struggling with finding a vegan protein powder and an iron supplement too but that is a whole other article!
So people, the moral of the story is – Start Reading Labels! Unfortunately, a lot of the big companies put all kinds of nasties in our foods and supplements. We all have things we like and do not like and you always want to be sure that you are not putting something into your body that you do not agree with. I learned the hard way. But, I made it through the other side and am all the more smarter for the experience. Being an Earth conscious vegan-inspired Mother like me, it really makes it hard to go anywhere else but Rainbow Light.
Peace, Love and Plants. Thanks for stopping by to read Willy B Mum.