Shaklee’s are definitely the best. (www.shaklee.net)
The Vita-Lea multivitamins come in jars of 120 or 240. You take one twice a day with food. They come with or without iron. These are the only vitamins I’ve ever felt a difference with, compared to when I don’t take vitamins. They make you feel replenished if you’ve just had a baby, or keep you from feeling depleted if you’re currently pregnant. And they are natural, mild, and from an environmentally-conscious company. (They’ve got great cleaning products too, if you can afford them.)
And no, I’m not a distributor =) I don’t know anyone who works for the company either.
I’m just an advocate because I hate vitamins, in general. I’m a total skeptic when it comes to them because the idea just doesn’t make sense. How can you get the benefits of eating healthy if you don’t actually do it but take a little pill? How can artificially made vitamins and minerals really get absorbed into your body? Why are there so many types and combinations of vitamins—don’t I smell profiteering? I have a million questions like these, and I feel confirmed because super-super health gurus also all deny taking vitamins to be beneficial.
That said, how can you argue with the medical establishment that folic acid isn’t important? Or that supplements of vitamin C prevent scurvy? Or that the Marines put people on fasts of vitamins and water, and they can still train? There must be at least something to the idea.
For the longest time I never felt anything, to be honest. I took prescription vitamins when I was pregnant with my first baby (of course! because I was a first-time mom). They were fifteen dollars for fourteen, so that was annoying. I took no vitamins when I was pregnant with my second baby, partly because I didn’t know I was pregnant for quite awhile and partly because I was reacting to my annoyance with the prescription ones from before. I relented and took a combination of Flinstones and One-A-Day vitamins for my third pregnancy. And then I finally caved and bought some expensive Shaklees after I gave birth to my third baby because I felt depleted and a mom friend of mine (with seven children) swore by them. Guess what? I started feeling better almost immediately! I was humbled.
Since then, I have been on them for almost two years now. And I am definitely healthier than I was between my other pregnancies. But, I have to admit that none of my children were born any healthier than the others. They all were delivered fine, weighed a lot at birth, have good teeth so far, and are generally following the same growth patterns. None of them have allergies, asthma, or any other severe thing. I definitely felt absolutely no difference when I didn’t take vitamins and when I took the prescription or One-A-Day ones. They were just a chore.
I have noticed now that the iron-fortified vitamins make me a little constipated. This is already a problem during pregnancy, so that’s kind of a bummer. And they accentuated my morning sickness (which was mainly at night, actually). So I got around that by not taking my evening vitamin when I was pregnant with my fourth baby, and by getting the non-iron-fortified kind now. I am much happier. In general, I have discovered that many of my pregnant friends feel drastically better when they stop taking their multivitamins during their morning sickness time. That is a risk you have to be willing to take, of course, but perhaps the body knows what it needs at that time and vitamins are just not it. Likely it is just the iron, which is a nausea culprit. Try skipping the iron-fortified kind if you are majorly sick. When I was pretty sick with my fourth, my midwife told me that skipping a couple months of the vitamin was fine since I had been on them for awhile and was eating healthy. When I resumed the vitamin around the fifth month, it didn’t have those negative effects. And needless to say, my fourth baby came out fine… she’s probably the healthiest one so far.
So if you are weighing your vitamin options at this time, I would suggest Shaklees if you are going to take them at all. And I’d probably skip the iron if I had morning sickness. I’d try to eat as healthy as possible though, still being somewhat of a skeptic. Because I trust God and nature, I have to believe that the best supplements will always come from the actual food you are eating.