The WeNatal startup launches prenatal care for men and women
WeNatal, a new supplement company, recently announced the launch of a prenatal supplement system designed for both women and men.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the general fertility rate in the United States in 2020 was 55.8 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, down 4% from the 2019 rate (58.3 ), another record for the country. From 2014 to 2020, it has decreased by an average of 2% per year.
Although men are half the equation, male health and sperm quality have historically not been addressed in preconception. WeNatal said that with fertility rates and healthy pregnancy outcomes at historic lows, society wants to transform prenatal care with a couples-centered approach.
From me to us
“Culturally and historically, women carry the burden of fertility and infertility, but we wanted to move the conversation from ME to WE – that’s why WeNatal was born. Men aren’t part of the mainstream conversation, but they account for about 40-50% of infertility and pregnancy health,”said WeNatal co-founder Ronit Menashe.
When Menashe and her co-founder both suffered their own pregnancy losses, they said that’s when it became clear that their husbands’ health was being ignored.
“Ronit and I have been best friends for over 15 years. After miscarrying within a week of each other, we both started digging into research, not just wanting to accept that ‘miscarriages happen all the time. We were amazed to find many studies on the importance of sperm health and realized that we completely ignore the health of our husbands. We learned how easy it is to improve sperm and first set out to make the best male prenatal supplement we could, but when we started looking at which ones we wanted to take ourselves, we also realized that women’s prenatal,” said WeNatal co-founder Vida Delrahim. “We saw a huge gap in the market and an opportunity to create the next generation of prenatals for him AND for her.”
The WeNatal formula was developed by a team of functional medicine physicians, nutritionists, and fertility experts, including physician and author Dr. Mark Hyman, functional medicine and ancestral health educator Chris Kresser, and nutritionist holistic and famous, Kelly LeVeque.
According to the company, WeNatal for Him provides comprehensive, evidence-based levels of vitamins and minerals, including: Selenium, Vitamin A, C, D, E, CoQ10, and NAC. The formulation aims to support the maintenance of healthy sperm count, shape and motility; help increase testosterone levels and sperm production; and promote immune system function and overall reproductive health.
“WeNatal for Him is essentially a blend of high-dose antioxidants. Sperm is damaged by oxidative stress, and studies looking at antioxidants and sperm quality show that nutrients like L-carnitine, vitamins C and E , N-Acetylcysteine, Zinc and Coenzyme Q10 improve their partner’s chances of conception by more than 4 times and 5 times more likely to have a live birth than men who don’t take D at all ‘antioxidants’,explained Menashe.
She added that WeNatal for Her includes clinically proven levels of nutrients, including methylated B vitamins, 550 mg of choline, 4,000 IU of vitamin D, vitamins A, C, E, selenium, iron and copper. These ingredients aim to promote egg quality and overall reproductive health; support healthy development and a healthy birth for mom and baby; and provide nutritional support from preconception through breastfeeding.
“Many prenatals use the synthetic form of folate known as folic acid, which is not absorbable by 40% of pregnant women due to genetic variations (MTHFR) – Folate and other B vitamins must be methylated so that everyone can absorb them. Vitamins such as folate are not only essential for preventing birth defects, but also aid pregnancy by restoring ovulation and improving egg quality,”said Menashe.
She explained that when they finalized the formula, they increased the dose of vitamin D from 3,000 IU to 4,000 IU since new research showed that 4,000 IU is more effective in the prenatal period. “Vitamin D helps reduce the risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, low birth weight, preterm labor and postpartum depression.”
The formula also contains additional iron and choline. “Iron needs double during pregnancy to help produce more blood to provide oxygen to the baby. Vida and I were low on iron and had to take an extra supplement on top of our prenatals, so we wanted to make it easier to task of mothers, said Menashe. “Research shows that at least 450mg/day [of choline] is needed during pregnancy and 550 mg/day during lactation, which led to the decision to add the 550 mg. Our prenatal is the only one on the market that contains 550 mg of choline.”
Delrahim said NutraIngredients-USAthe response was very positive. “Some of the feedback we’ve received speaks to how inclusive our options are and how they support all types of families. (for him, for her, and bundles that include him + him, her + her, and him + her). The couples share how much they enjoy being each other’s responsible partner and doing it together. Women are so grateful to get the nutrient density of 8 pills in just 3 capsules a day and men are thrilled to be able to do more to optimize the health of their future children and also feel more energized and focused on WeNatal.
Delrahim said the company’s mission is to reinvent gender paradigms around pregnancy. “Co-parenting has to start at the beginning. We believe we are better, stronger and healthier together.”