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Happy Mother’s Day! on prenatal vitamins

Robyn Openshaw - May 08, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Mothers do the greatest work in the world! On this day, I’d like to say how thankful I am that Kincade, Emma, Mary Elizabeth, and Tennyson made me a mom, starting nearly 18 years ago. I love you guys so much.

And thank you to anyone who reads this blog who does that work every day. It’s hard work and sometimes it feels thankless. But there is nothing else like it–in its highs and lows and its impact on human beings and the world.

If you’re a mom, or if you might be someday, or if you participate in nurturing others, I honor you every day, and especially today!

Here’s an email I got this week about PRENATAL VITAMINS, from Sashleigha:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:

My doctor prescribed prenatals . These are the “other ingredients”:

hypromellose, beeswax, pyridoxine HCI, Zinc oxide, magnesium oxide, d-calcium, pantothenate, microcrystalline cellulose, cupric oxide, thiamin mononitrate, dibasic calcium phosphate, titanium dioxide, FD and C Red #40, shellac, and cyanocobalamin.

What should I take?

Answer:  Zinc oxide? They put it in paint, batteries, batteries, and plastics, because it’s insoluble in water. Shellac? That’s paint/glue! Titanium dioxide has been classified as a carcinogen if you breathe it, proven to cause lung cancer in rats, so perhaps eating it isn’t a good idea?

Red dye #40? Pull up the Materials Safety and Data Sheet on it. This is just part of what it says: “Harmful if swallowed, symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, pain and diarrhea. May cause central nervous system depression; liver and kidney damage based on animal data. Use of this product may aggravate preexisting skin, eye, and respiratory disorders including asthma and dermatitis. Causes skin and eye irritation: symptoms may include pain, redness, and swelling.”

I am so frustrated by medical doctors telling people to eat those synthetic pills. At a minimum, please don’t take the iron pills they sell in pharmacies. That form of iron is not useable by the body, and it will make you constipated.

Food is the best prenatal. All of the nutrients that are found, in synthetic form, in those pills, are found in natural form your body can use in greens, vegetables, and fruits. Also seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains (especially sprouted).   If you must take a vitamin (probably a good idea to avoid falling below minimum thresholds, if you’re eating the S.A.D.), at least get a brand at your health food store, not in the pharmacy.

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: p.s. I was totally blown away by your email! Not only that, I decided to open one of them up and squeeze out what I thought would be powder.  I got a dark sludge that smelled like foul fish!!! THAT’S recommended to go in my body to harbor a healthy place for a potential fetus?! NO THANK YOU! I was so ANGRY!


Posted in: Detox, Health Concerns, Relationships, Supplements, Whole Food

11 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day! on prenatal vitamins”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about vitamins for children–when they can be particular about what they will and will not eat? And do you give children milk and if so, till what age?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Sarah, please read 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and/or The Green Smoothies Diet, and/or the Nutrition Manifesto (12 myths about nutrition most people believe), all of which address why I have never fed my children milk in the past 16 years. I believe vitamins may or may not keep children or adults above very low minimum thresholds (avoiding scurvy, rickets, etc.) but is not going to help them be healthy and thrive and optimize life and energy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn, I’m new to blogging and I know this is off this particular subject but it’s the only way I know to contact you. Your program has been a life saver to me and my wife. Both successfully fighting diseases thanks to you. We would now like to take this nutrition education to the next level in order to help other. Do you know of any online nutrition certification courses that we can take? Some of them are accredited which we want but may not be as holistic as you teach. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Integrative Nutrition in NYC is the only thing that might come close, although it’s a bit “all-inclusive” for my taste. But the traditional “dietetics” and “nutrition” degrees taught at universities are too underpinned by meat/dairy and even refined foods (in the research, funding, curriculum development) for my taste. Someday I’d like to be involved at a macro, policy-making level to develop good curriculum free of special interests. Till then, that’s an avenue you might pursue! Good luck Randy, and congrats on your progress!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So, not even goat milk after the 18 months of breastfeeding?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      I did use raw goat milk with my kids, yes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I appreciated this blog about prenatals. We’re hoping to have another child in the somewhat near future and I definitely won’t be taking the prenatals (not that I really remembered to take them every day with the other 3). I also wanted to ask if there were some reliable websites or books dealing with the dangers of vaccinations. I stopped doing vaccinations for my kids about a year ago because I just didn’t feel good about it anymore, but I would like to have some reliable facts to back that up. Can you recommend any?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Lisha, please see my Book Reviews on the site for that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post! I have a 2 month old baby, and I didn’t take any prenatals–just made sure I ate well and exercised! At almost every single appointment, my doctor told me that everything with my baby looked “perfect”. It was the best pregnancy I’ve ever had. No swelling, very little back pain, and I had a good amount of energy (despite the fact that I was chasing after two other little ones). I’m a big believer that nothing can replace a healthy, whole foods lifestyle!

  6. This website contains – ( – a comparison chart of all of the national leading prenatal vitamins. Very useful information – Makes comparing prenatal vitamins faster and more efficient

  7. Robyn, Did you know what the origin of the prenatal vitamin is? Linus Pauling calculated and reported to the Federal Government all the early deaths from radiation poisoning due to above ground nuclear bomb test. Alarmed by the findings he discovered he wrote a letter to Dr. Meade Johnson asking him to create a clean source of iodine for pregnant women to take to protect their fetus from poisoning before birth! That later became the prenatal vitamin.

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