Supplements for a healthy pregnancy

  • Thu, 07/07/2022 - 18:08
  • Supplements for a healthy pregnancy
  • by IMI health

Becoming pregnant isn’t always easy. Trying for a baby is an emotional process, especially when it doesn’t happen as quickly as you would hope.

We may assume pregnancy is a natural occurrence our bodies should be able to achieve, but this is not the case. The important thing to remember is that it is no-one’s fault. Many women and couples struggle when trying to get pregnant. This can be affected by many factors, from pollution to genetics and stress.

Your body needs proper nourishment to optimise your chance of creating the miracle of new life.

Our practitioners have helped many women and couples achieve a healthy pregnancy. They’ve compiled a list of the key nutrients you need before and during.

The essentials


The first supplement in your regime should be a well-formulated prenatal, which should be taken before you start trying for a baby, during pregnancy, and sometimes (depending on the formula) after pregnancy to support nursing.

The best prenatals will include active, natural forms of folate (safer and superior to folic acid) and B12. Around 30% of the population have a MTHFR mutation, which means they cannot absorb B vitamins which are not active. [1]

Folate is a key nutrient to ensure the healthy development of your baby and insufficient levels of both B12 and folate have been linked to difficulty becoming pregnant. [2]

Your prenatal should also include iron, which is essential to your baby’s brain development, and for maintaining healthy energy levels during pregnancy. It’s important that your prenatal features a bioavailable form of iron, as low quality forms can cause unpleasant side effects like constipation.

Around 90% of women in Hong Kong of childbearing age have insufficient levels of vitamin D. Imbalances have been linked to difficulty becoming pregnant, and lower vitamin D concentration in breast milk. Vitamin D promotes healthy development and growth of your baby’s bones in the womb, and during nursing. [3]

Additional nutrients like choline, selenium and zinc are also key.

Klaire Labs’ Prenatal & Nursing Formula ticks all these boxes and more. That’s why it’s our practitioners’ go-to in clinic.


Choline supports natal health, helping nourish the placenta, positively influencing the development of your baby during pregnancy and after birth.

This crucial nutrient relieves pressure from the methylation cycle, which is a key function while trying to become pregnant and during pregnancy. Supplementing choline helps your body reserve more capacity to create and repair DNA.

Essential for your baby’s brain development, choline ensures healthy development of your baby’s brain in the womb, and has been found to impact your child’s neurodevelopment well into childhood. [4]

Our favourite form of choline is Optimal PC by Seeking Health: a high quality source of choline.

Fish Oil

Omega 3 works its magic before your baby leaves the womb, supporting brain development for better cognition throughout childhood. Studies show that the children of pregnant women who have adequate levels of omega 3 have better problem solving skills, memory and verbal intelligence. [5]

One in 10 women in Hong Kong experience sadness and emotional challenges after giving birth. Studies show that fish oil is one of the key supplements for reducing symptoms. During pregnancy, maternal stores of DHA and EPA (key nutrients for mental health) are passed onto your baby, often leaving Mum depleted. Supplementation helps ensures maternal stores remain replenished while baby absorbs all the nutrients they need. [5]

For a safe, high dose of omega 3, turn to Fish Oil 800, a premium formula featuring fish oil in its triglyceride form, which is absorbed 70% better than when omegas are delivered as ethyl esters.


Probiotics aren’t just for your gut. They nourish several areas of health which support reproductive health: your gut, immunity and emotional wellbeing, improving levels of good bacteria in intimate microflora, creating a healthy environment for your baby. 

Supplementing with probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding has multiple benefits. Studies show that they help improve the benefits of breast milk. They can also improve sIgA production in newborns (the antibody which acts as our first line of immune defence) while improving your baby's digestive health.

There is promising evidence that probiotics can support maternal mental health too, reducing stress levels of mothers-to-be. [6]

Studies have also shown that probiotics can help settle your stomach during the first trimester of pregnancy. [7]

Ther-biotic Women’s Formula contains strains which reach your digestive system and intimate areas, live and effective, improving levels of good bacteria.

Ubiquinol CoQ10

CoQ10 provides energy to the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) and eggs contain more mitochondria than any other cell in the body, requiring more energy to function properly. Levels of CoQ10 begin to decline after age 20, making supplementation essential for most.

Not only for women, ubiquinol’s antioxidant properties also support normal sperm production, protecting DNA, and preventing oxidative stress from damaging genetic information.

What’s right for me?

While the essentials for pregnancy remain the same for everyone, it’s crucial to make sure you have filled any nutritional gaps, so that your body is fully supported and not under any strain while you’re trying to become pregnant. Studies show that imbalances in iron, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and zinc can impact reproductive health.

Our naturopaths can help clearly identify why you may be finding it difficult to become pregnant - from recommending nutritional tests to gain a clear picture of any imbalances, to pinpointing genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors which could be contributing.

Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Our naturopaths are here to help and guide you on your journey prior to pregnancy, throughout it and beyond.

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[1] DaVinci Labs, Strengths and Limitations of Methylated Vitamins
[2] NHS, Complications of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia
[3] S Pilz et al, The Role of Vitamin D in Fertility an during Pregnancy and Lactation: A Review of Clinical Data
[4] H W Korsmo et al, Choline: Exploring the Growing Science on its Benefits for Moms and Babies
[5] J M Coletta et al, Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy
[6] V Desai, Effectiveness of Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Synbiotic Supplementation to Improve Perinatal Mental Health in Mothers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis                               
[7] Davis Health, Probiotics improve nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, study find