Congratulations! You’re either considering, trying for, having or have recently had a baby! That’s no small feat. Your body is making magic happen (times 2!), and it needs a tremendous amount of nutrients to carry you and your baby through pregnancy and beyond. Unfortunately, many surveys and scientific studies find that pregnant women don't get all the nutrients they need from diet alone, which is why virtually all doctors suggest taking a prenatal multiple.
Go with the smart option. We base our formula in science and medical data. The ingredients in brainMD’s Smart Prenatal represent the most advanced research (it’s bonkers how forward-thinking we are!) on the nutritional requirements of mother and baby before and during pregnancy, as well as throughout lactation. We have carefully selected 28 crucial ingredients for their superior safety of long-term use, purity and effects on both brain and body health.
Ingredients & Facts
B Vitamins In Their Most Active Forms
Contains generous amounts of B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate and biotin—vitamins so fundamental to your baby’s brain development that the brain has special transport systems to move these vitamins across the blood-brain barrier and deliver them to the brain cells. Deficiencies in these vitamins can impair the mother's or baby's capacity to benefit from the other essential nutrients. Breastfeeding also draws on the mother's B vitamin reserves, and lactating women frequently have B vitamin deficiencies as do many pregnant women.
Folate, as Methylfolate not Folic Acid
Folate is the most researched nutrient for pregnancy, yet most prenatals and other multiples provide folic acid, a synthetic form of folate that the body poorly converts into active MeF (what you need!). Smart Prenatal supplies the smart folate choice – methylfolate itself (also called methyltetrahydrofolate). This is efficiently absorbed and readily enters the brain and other tissues, eliminating the need to convert folic acid into MeF (which some women can't do) and going to work directly with the body’s folate enzyme systems. Another good thing is that MeF bypasses a very common gene mutation in humans, called MTHFR C677T, that impairs the body’s capacity to convert folic acid.After birth, MeF continues to be extremely crucial for an infant’s development and for the mother’s health. By continuing to supplement with MeF, she supports the infant’s ongoing growth and development, while protecting her own mood and well-being. MeF also helps mother and infant dispose of homocysteine, a metabolic product that can become brain-toxic.Smart Prenatal provides methyl not only as MeF but also as MeB12 (methyl-vitamin B12), which works closely with MeF to ensure optimal benefit.
Vitamin B12 as Methyl, Not Cyanide
This formula supplies the methyl form of vitamin B12 (MeB12), rather than the commonly used cyano-cobalamin, which contains potentially harmful cyanide. (Yes, that last bit is as terrifying as it sounds.) Methyl is vital for DNA production, maintenance and repair, and for healthy gene regulation (epigenetics), which determines a cell’s specialization, like skin cells or blood cells. Epigenetics also helps make you biochemically unique.Methyl is necessary for the brain to produce various major neurotransmitters and the sleep hormone melatonin, as well as for nerve cell functioning and for numerous essential brain and body processes. After birth, adequate B12 in breast milk is important for the infant’s ongoing brain development, including for its nerve cells to continue developing myelin, the electrical insulation that allows nerve impulses to move efficiently, a prerequisite for healthy sensory and motor functions and an overall healthy brain.FYI: plants don’t make vitamin B12, so vegetarians and vegans need to supplement their diets with it.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
Essential for the brain and other organs to process proteins, carbs and fats, and for all our cells to make energy. Your body’s thiamin reserves are normally very low and are readily depleted by high-sugar diets, alcohol and various prescription drugs. Deficiency is common in pregnancy, affecting at least 25% of mothers in one study, and is linked to nausea and vomiting. Mothers low in thiamin may produce breast milk with insufficient thiamin for healthy infant development.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
This vitamin is very important for the baby’s healthy heart development. It’s also essential for the body to process carbs, fats and amino acids, and for energy production by the mitochondria, our cells’ tiny powerhouses. Mothers low in riboflavin may produce breast milk lacking a rich supply of nutrients for healthy infant development.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
This is a fully active form of vitamin B3 that bypasses the uncomfortable skin flush linked to the niacin form of B3. It helps the energy-generating mitochondria make NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, reduced), a high-energy nutrient fundamental to the energy exchanges that the mother and baby rely on.
Vitamin B6, as Pyridoxine and Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate
This vitamin is vital for early brain development, and Smart Prenatal provides both of its best-absorbed forms. It is essential for at least 100 enzymes that help the brain make key neurotransmitters and help the body utilize carbs, fats and amino acids derived from proteins. Vitamin B6 helps dispose of homocysteine, which can damage the brain and circulation. Vitamin B6 promotes the conversion of homocysteine into very useful antioxidants. As a mother continues to breastfeed, both she and the infant can become very low in vitamin B6. Good B6 status is linked to healthy infant growth.
This vitamin is often deficient during pregnancy and lactation. It is integral to at least 3 major energy-generating enzymes. Biotin is very involved in healthy gene regulation via epigenetics, which determines practically everything our cells do and when they do it. Biotin influences epigenetic regulation that translates into healthy development of the brain, skin, hair, nails and everything else in the body. Deficiency is increasingly common in the U.S. population. Alcohol intake can deplete this vitamin, as can intestinal absorption problems and anticonvulsant drugs.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
The brain cells (and all our other cells) need this vitamin not just for generating energy but also to make amino acids, proteins and hormones, convert fats into useful fatty acids and build cell membranes. Freezing, canning and refining depletes this vitamin from foods, but Smart Prenatal ensures you get yours!
Choline (Methyl and More)
Now classified as an essential nutrient—practically a vitamin, meaning we’ve got to get it from our diet—choline is a rich source of vital methyl groups and an important backup for the methyl that the mother and baby get from methyl folate and methyl-B12. Human studies have confirmed choline is especially important for the baby’s heart development, and U.S. mothers with higher choline intake have healthier babies. Choline supports the brain and body’s production of acetylcholine, our most abundant nerve transmitter. Choline is also very important for the mother’s liver health, for the placenta to function and for high-quality milk production during lactation.
No longer regarded as just a bone vitamin, vitamin D3 is absolutely vital for the brain and all the organs. Very few people get enough sunshine to make optimal amounts of this vitamin; therefore, deficiency is extremely common. The liver and kidneys convert vitamin D into a powerful hormone, “Hormone D,” which regulates at least 900 genes. Many of these genes regulate healthy brain development via stimulating the formation of synapses (nerve cell connections), brain cell sensitivity to growth factors, and healthy response to the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin. This formula provides D3 (cholecalciferol), the most active vitamin D form—avoid taking D2, which can block vitamin D3’s benefits.
This vitamin is essential for brain development and the maintenance of its trillions of synapses (nerve cell connections). It’s also crucial for the development of healthy eyes and vision, intestinal function, lung function and immunity. Our formula provides authentic vitamin A, rather than beta-carotene, which many people have trouble converting into functional vitamin A.
A well-functioning brain is equipped with very high levels of vitamin C. Beyond providing major antioxidant protection for the delicate brain tissues, this vitamin is a necessary cofactor for enzymes that regulate the major neurotransmitters acetylcholine, dopamine and norepinephrine. The baby also needs C to make myelin for its nerve cells to conduct electricity and to ensure the structural integrity of the blood vessels that supply its brain cells.
This antioxidant vitamin is important protection for cell membranes, which are the most dynamic working parts of all our cells and make the brain’s incredible connectivity possible. This supplement provides the full spectrum of vitamin E—alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol—that are present in a healthy diet. Vitamin E is also important to keep breast milk free of harmful free radicals, substances that steal electrons from your biological molecules and result in cell damage.
Vitamin K2, as Menaquinone-7 (MK-7)
This vitamin activates proteins that regulate calcium to support brain cell maturation, survival and electrical conduction. Vitamin K proteins also regulate calcium in the other organs, and this MK-7 form is considerably more active than vitamin K1. It helps ensure calcium will form hard deposits only in the baby’s developing bone, teeth and nails—not in the heart, blood vessels, brain and other soft tissues where they could cause harm. Vitamin K2 also promotes the baby’s coagulation mechanisms needed for healthy wound healing.
Magnesium and Calcium
Magnesium is an underappreciated essential mineral, necessary not just for you and your baby to make energy and maintain brain, heart and muscle health, but also to help calcium work better. The brain, heart and other “soft” organs need just a small allowance of calcium for optimal function. Magnesium helps prevent excess calcium from causing tissue damage. Magnesium powers as many as 300 enzymes (many of them involved in making energy) and helps the mother maintain healthy blood pressure and muscle tone for a healthy delivery.
This mineral is essential for the thyroid gland to make thyroxine and related hormones, which regulate the pace of development of the brain and other organs. The daily iodine requirement jumps during pregnancy and lactation. The World Health Organization sets a high priority on supplementation with iodine all the way through pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.
This mineral is essential for some 100 enzymes and other proteins important for your life processes. Zinc promotes healthy development of the brain, spinal cord, eyes, thymus gland, the intestinal tract, skin and other organs. It is essential for all the baby’s growth and development, and by the third trimester the mother’s needs may be twice those of non-pregnant women. Breast milk levels are sensitive to the mother’s zinc status, and often decline as breastfeeding progresses, making supplementation absolutely crucial.
In addition to balancing the benefits of iodine, selenium is required by at least 25 proteins, including “front-line” antioxidant defense enzymes, key enzymes for regulating gene activity and others involved in thyroid hormone production. Selenium proteins have diverse importance for the developing brain. Good selenium status in the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to good immune response at age 6 months and to good language and motor development at 1 year of age.
Manganese is required by SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2)—a major antioxidant enzyme—which is critically positioned within the energy-generating mitochondria to minimize their generation of oxygen free radicals (oxygen atoms on the hunt for an electron). SOD2 provides this crucial protection for the baby’s brain and body both before and after birth.
This is another mineral essential for life. You and your baby need it to use blood sugar for energy. This formula provides the picolinate form of chromium, known to be highly safe and effective.
Molybdenum enzymes help neutralize sulfites and bisulfites, potentially toxic substances that are commonly sprayed onto foods and used widely as food preservatives. Adequate molybdenum status helps the mother maintain her defenses against potentially toxic foodborne and environmental challenges.
As an “electrolyte” this mineral is important for maintaining healthy charge balance in the blood and within our cells. It also works in balance with sodium to help the mother maintain healthy blood pressure, very important for a healthy pregnancy.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ, Ubiquinone)
CoQ is a conditionally essential nutrient, meaning some of us can’t make enough of it. CoQ is fundamentally required for the mitochondria, which generate at least 90% of the energy produced in all your and your baby’s cells. CoQ is also a potent antioxidant that helps protect all your and your baby’s tissues against free radicals. Good CoQ status during pregnancy is associated with healthy birth outcome. Its levels in milk decline as lactation continues, making supplementation essential. Few prenatal supplements provide CoQ.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
The retina at the back of the eye is responsible for sending electrical signals into the brain that create vision. It needs these carotenoid nutrients to protect against harmful free radicals generated by light, as well as to support its intense electrical activity. Recent research indicates that lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in the brain, where they most likely facilitate key brain functions. Adequate intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin support healthy vision development.
This mineral supports healthy brain function, as well as the utilization of vitamin D and magnesium.
|Serving Size 4 Capsules
Servings Per Container 30
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate)||4000 IU||80%|
|Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)||500 mg||833%|
|Vitamin D (as D3, cholecalciferol)||2000 IU||500%|
|Vitamin E (as d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate)||30 IU||100%|
|Vitamin K (as K2, menaquinone-7, MK-7)||80 mcg||100%|
|Thiamin (Vitamin B1) (as thiamin HCI)||50 mg||3333%|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||50 mg||2941%|
|Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)||50 mg||250%|
|Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCI and
|Folate (as Quatrefolic® methylfolate,
5-methyltetrahydrofolate, glucosamine salt)
|Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin)||500 mcg||8333%|
|Biotin (as d-biotin)||500 mcg||167%|
|Pantothenic acid (as d-calcium pantothenate)||75 mg||750%|
|Calcium (as pantothenate, citrate)||50 mg||5%|
|Iodine (as potassium iodide)||150 mcg||100%|
|Magnesium (as malate, citrate, and glycinate)||60 mg||15%|
|Zinc (as glycinate)||30 mg||200%|
|Selenium (as high-selenium yeast)||105 mcg||150%|
|Manganese (as glycinate)||2 mg||100%|
|Chromium (as picolinate)||500 mcg||417%|
|Molybdenum (as sodium molybdate)||75 mcg||100%|
|Potassium (as citrate)||70 mg||2%|
|Choline (as bitartrate)||275 mg||†|
|Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone)||50 mg||†|
|Mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E)||30 mg||†|
|Lutein, carotenoid||3 mg||†|
|Zeaxanthin, carotenoid||300 mcg||†|
|Boron (as glycinate)||1.5 mg||†|
|†Daily Value (DV) not established.|
Vegetable cellulose (capsule), microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate.
This product is free from milk/dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs, corn, sugars or artificial coloring or flavoring.
SUGGESTED USE:Take 4 capsules daily after meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
We strongly urge you to complement Smart Prenatal with brainMD’s Omega-3 Power, which supplies the high intakes of EPA and DHA that the mother and baby need. Adequate EPA and DHA during pregnancy and breastfeeding are indispensable for the long-term optimal development of the baby’s brain, eyes, heart, blood vessels and other organs. We’ve bundled up these two products at a lower price here: https://www.brainmdhealth.com/bundle-of-joy.