I received the following on one of my posts about pregnancy but thought I’d also include the information here.
I’m newly preggo for the second time (first time being 4 years ago). My diet and knowledge have changed a lot since. I’ve been researching your blog and have a couple of questions. First what prenatal vit did you end up liking the best? Why did you stop taking vitamineral green and fruits powders while you were pregnant? And, just out of curiosity, why do you use both hemp powder AND seeds in your smoothies and not flax?
Love your blog, you rock.
Here is my response:
Congrats on your pregnancy.
You ask great questions….
1) I was partial to Vitamin Code’s prenatal in spite of the controversial vitamin D3 being/not being vegan, especially for people who couldn’t get enough vitamin D from sun exposure due to where they live. However, I have since learned that vitamin D2 (vegan) is just as effective as vitamin D3, so supplementing with extra vitamin D2 and taking a truly vegan prenatal is an option. The high amount of vitamin D in Vitamin Code is great - they are way ahead of the curve with respect to this. I don’t know of any other prenatals doing that and it’s so important while pregnant. I also like that Vitamin Code uses capsules instead of tablets…. usually means less processing. However, New Chapter is still great. They’ve been around a while and have many happy customers. :)
2) I stopped Vitamineral Green and Fruits of Earth while pregnant because of ingredients that could be questionable during pregnancy. I know of women who took VG during pregnancy, but I opted not to. You could consider their other product Greener Grasses though – good stuff! I’m taking it now while breastfeeding. (I think they might’ve changed their VG formula since then because I don’t see one of the questionable ingredients in there. There is parsley juice in it though, and parsley is known for affecting breastmilk, so it still might be better to go with Greener Grasses. If you decide to go with VG, you might want to double check with your midwife or physician.)
3) Hemp has a more ideal ratio of omegas than flax (read more about this here). I also like the higher protein in it which is why sometimes I used both hemp powder and hemp seeds.
Thanks for reading,
Now that I’m breastfeeding, I check all the ingredients of a product to make sure it’s safe, gentle enough for Kamea, and won’t mess with my milk supply. As a result, I’ve taken a close look at a few different green powders. Because my diet is on the bland side to prevent digestive upset for Kamea (I’m not even sure this is entirely necessary, but I’m playing it safe just in case), I’m not getting as many greens as I’d like, so I wanted to add a green powder to my life. However, the two former favorites of mine, Vitamineral Green and Ormus SuperGreens, might not be good choices. These are great products (my husband still uses both!), but I’ve decided not to use them while breastfeeding. They both contain parsley which can reduce milk supply.
But! I “think” found one that fits the breastfeeding bill:
HealthForce Nutritionals Greener Grasses™ For the most part*, it seems that the handful of ingredients Greener Grasses contains are fine to consume while breastfeeding, and, in fact, some are even considered galactagogues (promotes lactation)! After I researched the ingredients online, I checked with both my (and Kamea’s) naturopath, and then I checked with my midwife. They both agreed that it was fine to take while breastfeeding.
According to HealthForce Nutritionals’ website:
Greener Grasses™ is an incredible combination of green grasses. It provides healthy alkaline elements and a large amount of 100% whole food nutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace minerals including those that are naturally colloidal and better, chlorophyll, fiber, phytonutrients, and more)! Incredible Value, Nutrient Dense, 100% Pesticide free, Nutritional Grass Complex
It contains 5 different forms of 100% pesticide free grown grasses:
Whole leaf : Wheat Grass, Barley Grass (naturally occurring fiber)
How does it taste? It tastes like most green powders… it’s not something that I want for dessert - haha - but it’s nice and mild in flavor. I usually just drink it down with a 1/2 cup of water.
*As with many things… you find some info supporting and some info not supporting a couple of these ingredients as safe for breastfeeding, barley grass and wheat grass specifically. While many websites said barley grass was good while breastfeeding, this site claimed otherwise. A similar situation occurred for wheat grass. Perhaps the milk-supply-increasing ingredients balance out the ones that might reduce it? I’m not sure. I decided to go along with my naturopath and midwife and give it a try for a few days. My results since taking it? My milk supply seems to have increased - I didn’t actually need that – but Kamea isn’t complaining – lol. Still… I wonder. Since it doesn’t seem to be reducing my milk supply, I’ll keep taking it but not every day. I’ll keep a watch on things and go from there. Meanwhile, I will keep researching, too. I wish I could find a definitive answer… any lactation specialists out there know?
UPDATE: According to the book, The Nursing Mother’s Herbal, green drinks and super green foods that include barley and alfalfa greens have traditionally been used to increase milk. I just bought the book for my Kindle last night and I like it a lot! Very informative so far.