My journey finding the perfect vegan prenatal supplement

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!

34 weeks pregnant

34 weeks pregnant with my only Son in 2010

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?

Makes no sense to me how people can eat such beautiful creatures when there is no need too

Such beautiful creatures

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.

PreNexa; don't believe the hype like I did

PreNexa; don’t believe the hype like I did

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.

RL_Circle-Logo_2013

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.

Preparing my body this time around with Rainbow Light

Preparing my body this time around with Rainbow Light

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!

Loving so many of the Rainbow Light products

Loving so many of the Rainbow Light products

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.

8 thoughts on “My journey finding the perfect vegan prenatal supplement

  1. Heather

    Yeah… I’m still taking my prenatal and probably shouldn’t be too proud of its ingredients! I was just happy it wasn’t ginormous and didn’t make me nauseous! but definitely gonna check out this Rainbow Light! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. WillyBMum2014 Post author

      Well you know what Heather, you probably did not even think too much about it in the beginning like me? As we learn more, we figure things out, and move down a better path. Happy that sharing my story has helped.

      Reply
  2. Monica

    First of all – you are the hottest preggie-lady on the planet! I LOVE Rainbow light and have been taking them since my first pregnancy. I take their women’s 1 and purchase their kids products as well. And EWEEE about gelatin and other disgusting stuff in vitamins!!

    Reply
    1. WillyBMum2014 Post author

      Thanks Mon! Yeah, it is just so scary the chemicals and unnecessary additives that go into especially prenatals isn’t it? I, unfortunately, was not taking something as pure as Rainbow Light when I was pregnant with Miles, I wish I had been, but one of the beauties of becoming a parent is you figure stuff out and you learn so much. When Baby Number 2 comes along, I am on it!!

      Reply
  3. Nancy Johnson Horn

    Glad I was one of the like minded moms who recommended Rainbow Light. For health reasons I needed a dairy free protein powder and I was so happy to find Rainbow Light. I am addicted to their Energizer protein powder – love to add the vanilla to my green smoothies.

    Reply
    1. WillyBMum2014 Post author

      Thanks Nancy for recommending them. Did you go to the event they had in NYC last year, I missed it unfortunately. I am really happy to have found them too, as it was a long process! So relieved, to have found a company that honestly seems like they have their heart in the right place, and that their products are readily available.

      Reply
  4. Jessica @peekababy

    I keep kosher in addition to being vegetarian, so I am well aware of how often gelatin is snuck into things–did you know that a lot of chewing gum has gelatin in it as well?!
    If a package is marked Kosher gelatin, then it is fish gelatin (usually from tilapia) or Kolatin which is also from beef bones.
    So glad you found a better option for vitamins! I’ll have to look into their supplements!

    Reply
    1. WillyBMum2014 Post author

      This is really interested Jessica. I did not know that kosher gelatin is made from fish. I just don’t not know why companies do not use the vegetable gelatin, called agar-agar which is made from algae, instead? I did not know about chewing gum containing gelatin either, but personally gave that up a long time ago because all the ingredients seem to be mainly chemicals. Thanks for sharing this. Super helpful.

      Reply

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