Subscribe to our newsletter

Chick Picks: Best Prenatal Vitamins

shares

If you are trying to get pregnant or newly pregnant, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your growing baby is to start taking a quality prenatal vitamin. In an ideal world, you should be able to get all of your nutritional needs during pregnancy from a well-balanced diet. Unfortunately, even with a relatively healthy diet, you may not be able to get all the extra nutritional requirements… Read More

If you are trying to get pregnant or newly pregnant, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your growing baby is to start taking a quality prenatal vitamin. In an ideal world, you should be able to get all of your nutritional needs during pregnancy from a well-balanced diet. Unfortunately, even with a relatively healthy diet, you may not be able to get all the extra nutritional requirements your body needs during pregnancy with food alone. A good prenatal vitamin can help you supplement your diet to meet those needs and help better nourish you and your baby.

During pregnancy, it is especially important to find a good prenatal vitamin that includes folate, calcium, iron, and vitamin D. And while it’s always recommended that pregnant mamas find and consistently take a good supplement, remember that prenatal vitamins will not help you avoid the risks from a completely unhealthy diet. And since the vast majority of U.S. adults do not eat a diet that fulfills their nutritional needs, supplementation with quality vitamins is highly recommended, especially for a pregnant woman.

What to Look For in a Prenatal Vitamin

These are the recommended guidelines for key vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists:

Calcium

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount

  • 1,300 milligrams for ages 14–18 years
  • 1,000 milligrams for ages 19–50 years

Why You and Your Baby Need It
Builds strong bones and teeth

Best Sources

  • pasteurized milk
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  • sardines
  • dark, leafy greens

Iron

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
27 milligrams

Why You and Your Baby Need It
Helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your baby

Best Sources

  • lean red meat
  • poultry
  • fish
  • dried beans and peas
  • iron-fortified cereals
  • prune juice

Vitamin A

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
770 micrograms

Why You and Your Baby Need It

  • Forms healthy skin and eyesight
  • Helps with bone growth

Best Sources

  • carrots
  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • sweet potatoes

Vitamin C

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
85 milligrams

Why You and Your Baby Need It

  • Promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones
  • Helps your body absorb iron

Best Sources

  • citrus fruit
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • strawberries

Vitamin D

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
600 international units

Why You and Your Baby Need It

  • Builds your baby’s bones and teeth
  • Helps promote healthy eyesight and skin

Best Sources

  • sunlight
  • fortified milk
  • fatty fish such as salmon

Vitamin B6

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
1.9 milligrams

Why You and Your Baby Need It

  • Helps form red blood cells
  • Helps your body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates

Best Sources

  • beef
  • liver
  • pork
  • ham
  • wholegrain cereals
  • bananas

Vitamin B12

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
2.6 micrograms

Why You and Your Baby Need It

  • Maintains nervous system
  • Needed to form red blood cells

Best Sources

  • meat
  • fish
  • poultry
  • milk (vegetarians should take a supplement)

Folic Acid

Daily Recommended Dietary Amount
600 micrograms

Why You and Your Baby Need It
Helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine

Best Sources

  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • orange juice
  • beans
  • fortified cereals
  • enriched bread and pasta
  • nuts

When choosing the right prenatal vitamin for you, be sure to look for these key nutrients and that you will receive the correct amount daily. If you notice that the vitamin you have chosen doesn’t contain the recommended daily amount of a certain nutrient, include foods that we have listed to your diet to increase your vitamin or mineral amount.

When to Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin and for How Long

It is never too early to start taking a good prenatal vitamin. Doctors recommend that, ideally, women start taking a prenatal vitamin a few months before conception. The reason for taking a prenatal vitamin early is neurological development is already occurring during the first month of pregnancy. The folate or folic acid in the vitamin can offer its full protective benefits during that time. But if it’s been a few months and you just found out that you’re pregnant and you haven’t been taking a prenatal vitamin, that’s okay. Just start taking one as soon as you possibly can. Once you have it, take it daily and continue taking it up until you give birth. However, if you decide to breastfeed your baby, continue taking your prenatal vitamin throughout your breastfeeding journey.

Chick Picks: Best Prenatal Vitamins

We know that not all vitamins are created equal so we have gathered the best prenatal vitamins for you. Not every vitamin is ideal for every woman, especially if she suffers from morning sickness, nausea or random aversions. After speaking with OBGYNs, midwives, a dietician, and doing research of our own, here are the best prenatal vitamins available on the market. Read more to determine which one is the right one for you and, of course, discuss with your healthcare provider before taking.

Thorne Basic Prenatal

Thorne Basic Prenatal

Buy Here

A gentle and effective multi-vitamin formulated to nourish mom and support baby’s development, from pre-conception through nursing. This prenatal vitamin has been was recommended as a good choice by all of our experts. It’s made without the additives and coatings found in mainstream prenatal supplements. It’s also made with the purest possible ingredients without gluten or other major allergens (eggs, tree nuts, peanuts). Thorne’s Basic Prenatal also contains no dairy, soy, yeast, fish, or shellfish.

 

Another reason why care providers suggest this vitamin is it contains 1,000 micrograms of folate. This amount ensures women are receiving enough folate throughout their pregnancy. Folate or folic acid helps with the development of the fetus’s organs and tissues and helps form the neural tube. It also helps prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida).

 

We particularly like that Thorne’s facility is (National Sanitation Foundation) NSF- and cGMP-compliant (Current Good Manufacturing Practices). They rigorously test for 760 contaminants to verify the identity, potency, and purity of each ingredient listed on their product labels.

Rainbow Light Prenatal One

Rainbow Light Prenatal One

Buy Here

This once-daily multivitamin is Non-GMO Project Verified and delivers clinically researched ingredients in potencies that meet or exceed daily values of key nutrients for prenatal care. Folate, calcium, choline, and a gentle on the stomach, non-constipating form of iron nourish mom’s health and baby’s development.

Expecting women go from needing 18 milligrams of iron per day to 27 milligrams of iron when they become pregnant. Iron supports the increased blood volume needed for the mother and baby as well as aiding in the healthy growth of the child. Rainbow Light’s prenatal vitamin contains 27 milligrams of iron per tablet which can help the expectant mother avoid developing iron-deficiency anemia.

We particularly love that this prenatal vitamin only requires women to take a single tablet per day, unlike many other prenatals.

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

Buy Here

Derived from sustainable microalgae, this vegan Prenatal DHA formula helps support mothers before, during, and after pregnancy. Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA supports a healthy pregnancy and optimal brain and visual development in babies.

Some prenatal vitamins contain DHA while others don’t. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the main essential omega 3 fatty acids, which is important for your baby’s cognitive and visual function and overall brain development. Ask your doctor or midwife if you should take an additional omega-3 supplement like this one.

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA uses a plant-based source of DHA, perfect for vegetarians and vegans. It is also Non-GMO and hexane-free. They are also third-party tested, surpassing the strictest international standards for purity and freshness. This is a great prenatal supplement free of environmental toxins, including heavy metals, that provides 480 milligrams of DHA and 205 milligrams of EPA per serving. Just be sure to take this prenatal supplement in addition to your daily prenatal multivitamin.

New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

Buy Here

Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin is expertly formulated with whole-food fermented vitamins and minerals to support the healthy development of your baby. It includes B Vitamins for natural energy production, folate for development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord, and iron for your own red blood cell production and the transportation of oxygen to your baby during pregnancy. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal also delivers probiotics and a clinical dose of organic Ginger to soothe nausea related to pregnancy. They’re also made with all organic, certified non-GMO ingredients, and are vegetarian, sugar-free, gluten-free, and Kosher.

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal

Buy Here

Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal is a comprehensive whole food multi-nutrient formula, specifically formulated to meet the unique needs of women during pre-conception, pregnancy, and lactation. Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal contains over 20 powdered organically grown fruits and vegetables with supporting antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrient cofactors. It contains an impressive 800 mcg of folate and it has vitamin B6 and ginger, which the two can help ease nausea related to pregnancy. It’s a raw, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free prenatal vitamin that gives expectant women 100% of their daily iron needs.

MegaFood Baby & Me 2

MegaFood Baby & Me 2

Buy Here

MegaFood® Baby & Me 2 combines optimal levels of iron, methylated folate and B12, B6, vitamin D, and choline for healthy mood balance for moms-to-be. Their products are made with organic, plant-based ingredients, and they are certified glyphosate-, GMO-, soy-, gluten-, and dairy-free. They have also been tested for over 125 pesticides and herbicides. We love that it contains probiotics, prebiotic fiber, and ginger root to aid nausea and vomiting.

It does not contain the recommended calcium, magnesium, or iron amount. If those are areas of concern for you, eat plenty of iron and calcium-rich foods. You may also want to try MegaFood®Bone Health and MegaFood®Blood Builder.

Forté Prenatal+

Forté Prenatal+

Buy Here

This physician formulated supplement is a high-quality prenatal supplement designed to provide the specific nutritional needs of the mother and baby. Forté Elements Prenatal+ has 24 unique hand-chosen ingredients for pregnant mothers. It includes DHA / EPA; Vitamin A, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K1, Biotin, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, Magnesium, Choline, Phosphorous, Fish Oil, Boron, Vanadium, and Quatrefolic Acid, a unique carrier for folates and folic acid that enhances absorption. It offers full nutritional support from head to toe.

We like how their capsules are smaller which makes them easier to swallow, and that they come pre-packed so you never miss the full nutritional support that you and baby need. However, there are 4 tablets and 1 soft gel in each packet, which can be a lot for some women.

Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula

Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula

Buy Here

Normally we don’t recommend gummies for a vitamin since they contain added sugar, however, we understand that severely nauseous women aren’t able to swallow a large vitamin tablet or capsule and keep them down. We’ve looked at the gummy options and we’ve found that the Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula contains the best ingredients out of the gummies. They include sustainable, non-GMO ingredients in the easiest forms for your body to use. They are also free of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, synthetic colors, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and the top eight allergens. Their flavors are lemon, orange, and strawberry-banana. Smarty Pants Prenatal contains premium ingredients, including Omega-3 fish oil (EPA and DHA), folate as methylfolate, iodine, Vitamin D3, all eight B vitamins, choline, and more.

Unfortunately, like most gummies, this option doesn’t contain iron and is also lacking calcium. Ask your doctor for a recommendation for an iron and calcium supplement. And if you have been advised to watch your sugar intake during pregnancy, this probably isn’t the best option because one serving (four gummies) contains 6 grams of added sugar.

Eu Natural GLOW

EU Naturals GLOW

Buy Here

A potent prenatal vitamin formula, GLOW combines 25 vital nutrients like Folate, Ginger, Zinc, Iron, and AquaCelle™ Algal DHA, a clinically studied form of Omega 3 that is up to 6x more bioavailable than standard fish oil. Their easy-to-swallow soft capsules are 100% vegetarian, and they are completely free of fillers, binders, and artificial ingredients. They are also free of gluten, wheat, and dairy. We love that they offer a 90-day 100% money-back guarantee, that they are made in the USA, and that every bottle you purchase buys a year’s worth of vitamins for a child in need.

How to Take Prenatal Vitamins

Always follow the instructions provided on the vitamin bottle to gain the maximum benefits. Some recommend taking the vitamins with food and others recommend taking with water on an empty stomach. If you are feeling nauseous from your prenatal vitamin, we suggest taking them before bed rather than in the morning.

Talk to your doctor or midwife about which prenatal vitamin might be your best option. While most women can find a prenatal vitamin that is easy to digest, some women do have some side effects. Some common side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or upset stomach. Often these side effects are temporary but talk to your doctor or midwife if you experience any.

This article contains affiliate links. These opinions are our own; however, if you buy something we may earn a small commission, which helps us keep our content free to our readers. To see more of our recommended products, check out our Chick Picks Shop here. It’s our carefully curated shop of products we love and recommend! ❤️