What Are Prenatal Vitamins? | Which to Take Before Pregnancy
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Pre-Pregnancy Health and Planning
Should I change my lifestyle when I am planning a pregnancy?
What are prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are made for people who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. Folic acid is the most important vitamin for pre-pregnancy health.
What are prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are supplements that contain daily vitamins and minerals you need before and during your pregnancy.
Folic acid is the most important vitamin to take when planning a pregnancy. Folic acid is a B vitamin that cells in your body need for growing and developing. Taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day for at least 1 month before and during pregnancy can help lower the risk for problems with the baby’s brain and spine — called neural tube defects (NTDs). Some women, like those who have had a pregnancy affected by NTDs or with sickle cell disease, may need more folic acid. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the dose that is right for you.
Most nutrients should come from the foods you eat, but it’s also a good idea to take prenatal vitamins. Your nurse, doctor, or midwife can recommend the best vitamins for you, on top of folic acid.
When do I need to start taking prenatal vitamins?
Start taking folic acid at least 1 month before you start trying to get pregnant. The first few weeks of pregnancy are a really important time for fetal health and development. Taking folic acid and other prenatal vitamins can help reduce the risk of some birth defects. Keep taking prenatal vitamins throughout your entire pregnancy.
Do prenatal vitamins have side effects?
A lot of people wonder about about prenatal vitamins side effects. Some people get nauseated or constipated from taking prenatal vitamins. If this happens to you, talk with your doctor about changing brands or the types of vitamins you’re taking.
Prenatal vitamins come in tablets or capsules, so finding the kind that works best with your body can help ease side effects. Your doctor or midwife can help you find a prenatal vitamin that will work best for your body.
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A Dietitian’s Picks of the 11 Best Prenatal Vitamins of 2022
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Best prenatal vitamin subscription: Ritual Essential Prenatal Multivitamin
Best prenatal vitamin for vegetarians: MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Multi
Editor’s pick of the best prenatal vitamin: FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin
Best trimester-specific prenatal vitamin: Perelel Prenatal Packs
Best prenatal supplement powder: Needed Prenatal Multi
Best prenatal vitamin with DHA: Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA
Best gummy prenatal vitamin: SmartyPants Prenatal Formula
Best chewable prenatal vitamin: Seeking Health Prenatal Essentials Chewable
Best prenatal vitamin for morning sickness: New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
Best prenatal omega-3 supplement: Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA
Best prenatal choline supplement: Thorne Research Phosphatidyl Choline
Between morning sickness, fleeting cravings, and random aversions, getting good nutrition during pregnancy can be tough. Plus, even if you’re eating a balanced diet, the increased nutrient demands during pregnancy are difficult to meet with diet alone.
Enter: prenatal vitamins. They’re an easy way to fill any gaps and support both your body and your baby’s growth and development.
Whether you’re looking for something that will stay put when morning sickness hits or you just want something that tastes good, we rounded up 11 great options to consider.
When choosing the best prenatal vitamins, we considered the following factors:
Nutritional content: We included products that are specifically formulated to meet the nutritional demands of pregnancy.
Ingredients: We looked for supplements that are made from high quality ingredients and free of artificial additives and preservatives.
Testing: We included products that undergo testing for purity and potency, ideally by a third-party organization.
Reviews: The products listed below have mostly positive online reviews.
Vetting: All the supplements on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.
Why you should trust us
Every brand and product on our list has been vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:
adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
is manufactured in facilities that adhere to current good manufacturing practices established by the FDA
is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs
A note on price
General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($–$$$). One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.
Most of these vitamins are packaged to contain 30 servings — about a month’s worth. Some may be sold in 60- or 90-serving packages.
We based the price ratings on the approximate monthly cost for each product:
$ = under $30
$$ = $30–$40
$$$ = over $40
Best prenatal vitamin subscription
Ritual Essential Prenatal Multivitamin
Dosage: 2 capsules per day
Included nutrients: folate, biotin, choline, iron, iodine, magnesium, boron, omega-3 DHA, and vitamins B12, D3, E, and K
Created by women for women, Ritual Essential Prenatal Multivitamin provides 12 key nutrients to help support you and your baby before, during, and after pregnancy.
Specifically, the prenatal offers more than 100% of your daily needs for folate, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. It also includes docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 from algae, so it’s a suitable option for those following a vegan diet.
As a bonus, the lemon-scented capsules are designed to be easier on your stomach than some other supplements, so you can take them with or without food.
Just keep in mind that one serving provides only 10% of the recommended amount of choline, so it’s still important to include sources of choline, such as eggs, in your diet.
Additionally, while it does contain omega-3 DHA, it lacks eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), so it’s a good idea to take an additional EPA supplement.
Ritual vitamins are third-party tested for purity and accuracy.
What our tester says
I found Ritual’s Essential for Women Prenatal to be a great prenatal vitamin option. I appreciated the convenience of the subscription model and would recommend this supplement to people looking for a prenatal vitamin with traceable ingredients.
While I occasionally experienced the “fishy burps” that can come with taking a DHA supplement, overall I found the vitamin’s taste and smell to be quite neutral.
To round out my daily routine, I also took Ritual’s Essential Daily Protein Shake Pregnancy and Postpartum. I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet, so I chose this powder because it provides a complete amino acid profile along with an extra boost of choline for pregnancy.
— Catherine Conelly, Healthline Editor II
formulated to be easy to digest
free of gluten and major allergens
no artificial colors or fillers
provides only 10% of recommended choline needs
low in magnesium
lacks calcium, vitamin A, and many B vitamins
doesn’t contain omega-3 EPA
Shop now at Ritual
Best prenatal vitamin for vegetarians
MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Dietary Supplement
Dosage: 2 tablets per day
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, iron, iodine, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D3, E, and K
Formulated with organic, plant-based ingredients, this prenatal vitamin is designed to be easily digestible and can be taken on an empty stomach.
It also contains many key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, including iron, choline, folate, and vitamins B6, B12, and D3.
The supplement is also certified gluten-free and doesn’t contain soy or dairy products. However, while it is vegetarian-friendly, it isn’t suitable for vegans.
contains more than 50% of choline needs
third-party certified glyphosate residue-free
tested for 125+ herbicides and pesticides
lacks magnesium and omega-3 DHA and EPA
contains only 600 IU of vitamin D
Shop now at MegaFood
Editor’s pick of the best prenatal vitamin
FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin
Dosage: 8 capsules per day
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, potassium, inositol, betaine HCL, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D3, E, and K
FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin was designed by dietitian and fertility expert Ayla Barmmer.
It’s considered one of the highest quality prenatals on the market and is the top overall pick of both Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, and Healthline editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD.
Each serving covers 55% of recommended choline needs and provides 4,000 IU of vitamin D per dose. It also includes folate — or folic acid — in the form of methylfolate, which is a more absorbable form of the nutrient.
It doesn’t contain iron, but this may be a positive aspect for some because iron intake and needs differ from person to person during pregnancy. Also keep in mind that the product should be combined with a DHA and EPA supplement.
Each batch undergoes independent third-party testing for harmful contaminants, including heavy metals.
FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin is highly rated, with customers mentioning how easy it is to digest. Several also note that they’ve noticed increased energy levels since switching to this product.
certificate of analysis (COA) available upon request
high in choline, magnesium, and vitamin D
uses chelated minerals for optimal absorption
easy to digest
no artificial colors or fillers
doesn’t contain iron (though this may be a positive for some)
should be paired with an omega-3 supplement containing DHA and EPA
requires a dosage of 8 capsules per day
Shop now at FullWell
Best trimester-specific prenatal vitamin
Perelel Prenatal Packs
Dosage: 1 pack per day, with food
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, boron, omega-3 DHA, omega-3 EPA, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D3, E, and K. Some packs also contain probiotics and calcium.
Perelel is a subscription service that delivers prenatal supplements tailored to the trimester of pregnancy you’re currently in.
For example, the First Trimester Prenatal Support Pack contains extra folate, as well as added B6 and ginger to combat nausea.
The company was founded by an OB-GYN, and each product is free of artificial additives and third-party tested for accuracy and purity.
Just keep in mind that the First Trimester pack includes five capsules, which may be difficult to tolerate if you have morning sickness.
customized based on stage of pregnancy
contains DHA and EPA
provides only 22% of recommended choline needs
multiple capsules may be difficult to tolerate, especially during the first trimester
Get started now at Perelel
Best prenatal supplement powder
Needed Prenatal Multi
Dosage: 1 scoop (13. 2 grams) per day
Included nutrients: carbs, fat, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, sodium, potassium, mixed tocopherols, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D3, E, and K
Needed Prenatal Multi is an excellent prenatal multinutrient supplement that provides 4,000 IU of vitamin D and covers 88% of your choline needs during pregnancy. Women need 450 mg of choline per day during pregnancy (1).
The powder can be added to smoothies or lattes, so it’s a smart choice for people who can’t swallow pills or who get nauseated when taking multiple supplements per day. But it comes in a capsule form as well.
To use the powder, simply mix one scoop into your food or beverage of choice.
While the powder doesn’t include omega-3s, Needed also offers prenatal omega-3 capsules designed specifically for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
high in choline and vitamin D
option to subscribe or make a one-time purchase
powder form may be easier for some people to use
doesn’t contain iron (may be a positive for some)
one of the most expensive prenatals on the market
requires separate omega-3 supplement
Shop now at Needed
Best prenatal vitamin with DHA
Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA
Dosage: 1 softgel per day
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, omega-3 DHA, omega-3 EPA, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D3, E, and K
This liquid softgel multivitamin combines DHA with folate, iron, and other essential nutrients to help you meet the nutritional demands of pregnancy.
Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA is third-party tested by U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and has more than 33,000 mostly 5-star reviews online.
Plus, it’s one of the most affordable and easiest-to-find options on our list.
contains DHA and EPA
doesn’t contain choline
contains only 1,000 IU of vitamin D
Shop now at Amazon
Best gummy prenatal vitamin
SmartyPants Prenatal Formula
Dosage: 4 gummies per day
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, choline, iodine, zinc, selenium, sodium, inositol, omega-3 DHA, omega-3 EPA, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D3, E, K1, and K2
SmartyPants is a popular and easy-to-find supplement brand that offers a great option if you prefer gummy vitamins.
Specifically, the prenatal supplement features the omega-3s EPA and DHA, along with other important nutrients such as folate and B12.
Like most other gummies, this one doesn’t contain iron, which some people may prefer. Just be sure to ask your doctor for a recommendation for an iron supplement if needed.
Keep in mind that a serving of 4 gummies contains 6 grams, or 1 1/2 teaspoons, of added sugar. Therefore, the supplement might not be the best choice for people trying to manage their blood sugar levels, such as those with gestational diabetes.
contains EPA and DHA
easy to eat
high in added sugar (6 grams per serving)
low in choline
lacks certain nutrients, such as magnesium
Shop now at Amazon
Best chewable prenatal vitaminSeeking Health Prenatal Essentials Chewable
Type: chewable tablets
Dosage: 2 tablets per day
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, betaine anhydrous, milk thistle extract, coenzyme Q10, zeaxanthin, boron, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D3, E, and K
Seeking Health Prenatal Essentials Chewables provide nutrients to support pregnancy in a chewable form. They’re a great option if you have trouble swallowing pills.
They also contain zero added sugars and are free of gluten, artificial colors and flavors, and common allergens such as peanuts and soy.
free of major allergens
easy to consume
lacks choline and omega-3 EPA and DHA
Shop now at Seeking Health
Best prenatal vitamin for morning sickness
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
Dosage: 3 tablets per day
Included nutrients: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D3, E, and K
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin contains 100% of your daily iron needs but is designed to be gentle on your stomach.
The supplement also contains ginger, which may help ease queasiness.
This product is made from all non-GMO ingredients and is both kosher and vegetarian-friendly.
added ginger may be helpful for nausea
doesn’t contain choline
lacks omega-3 DHA and EPA
requires 3 pills per day
Shop now at Amazon
Best prenatal omega-3 supplement
Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA
Dosage: 2 softgels per day
Included nutrients: EPA, DHA, other omega-3s, and vitamin D3
If your prenatal vitamin doesn’t cover your omega-3 needs during pregnancy, then you’ll want to purchase a separate omega-3 supplement like this one from Nordic Naturals.
During pregnancy, it’s recommended that women take in optimal amounts of omega-3 fats, including DHA. Omega-3s are essential for fetal brain and neuron development (4, 5).
Even though current recommendations state that pregnant women should increase their daily DHA intake by 200 mg, some experts suggest that higher amounts may be necessary to maintain optimal blood levels of omega-3s during pregnancy (5).
Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA provides 480 mg of DHA along with 205 mg of EPA, another omega-3 fat that’s essential to fetal development. The supplement also contains a small amount of vitamin D, another critical nutrient during pregnancy.
Keep in mind that this supplement isn’t vegan-friendly. However, Nordic Naturals offers a vegan prenatal DHA made with algal oil.
Nordic Naturals products are third-party tested for purity and potency, and customers can request a COA for all Nordic Naturals supplements on the company’s website.
contains DHA and EPA
includes 400 IU of vitamin D
not appropriate for vegans
Shop now at Amazon
Best prenatal choline supplement
Thorne Research Phosphatidyl Choline
Dosage: 1 gelcap 2–3 times per day
Included nutrients: choline
Choline is a nutrient that’s incredibly important during pregnancy and breastfeeding because it’s essential to fetal growth and development. However, many prenatal vitamins are missing or low in this key nutrient (1, 6).
If your prenatal contains a small amount of choline or none at all, consider taking a choline supplement such as this one from Thorne Research.
Thorne Research Phosphatidyl Choline covers 93% of choline needs during pregnancy in the form of phosphatidyl choline, the type of choline found in foods.
Thorne’s manufacturing facilities are third-party audited by NSF International, an organization that independently tests supplements for quality and potency and inspects manufacturing facilities.
Thorne also has an “A” rating from the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), a regulatory agency run by the Australian Department of Health. Thorne products undergo four rounds of testing at in-house laboratories.
covers 93% of choline needs during pregnancy
certified by NSF and TGA
not appropriate for vegans
needs to be taken multiple times per day
Shop now at Amazon
Having trouble deciding which prenatal is right for you? Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:
Choline (% of the DV)
Vitamin D3 (% of the DV)
general pre- and postnatal health
MegaFood Baby & Me 2
Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA
people on a tight budget
yes, DHA and EPA
people who prefer a powder supplement
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal
people with morning sickness
Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA
people who need additional omega-3s
yes, DHA and EPA
Perelel Prenatal Packs*
yes, DHA and EPA
Ritual Essential Prenatal
bridging nutrient gaps in an otherwise balanced diet
Seeking Health Chewable
people who prefer chewable tablets
people who prefer gummy vitamins
yes, DHA and EPA
Thorne Research Phosphatidyl Choline
people who need additional choline
*First Trimester pack includes an additional folate supplement, which offers 278% of the DV for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Still searching for the right vitamins and supplements?
Let us help. We compile evidence-driven reviews and brand comparisons of top vitamins and supplements so you can meet your health goals.
During pregnancy, your needs for vitamins, minerals, and trace elements increase significantly in order to support your health and the health and growth of the developing fetus (7).
For example, folate needs increase by 50% and iron needs increase by 150% (8, 9).
These and many other nutrients are essential for fetal and placental growth and the general health of the pregnant person, which is why they’re needed in larger amounts during pregnancy.
Taking a prenatal vitamin that contains all the nutrients needed to support a healthy pregnancy can help reduce the risk of deficiencies and ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to keep yourself and your baby healthy.
In fact, most experts recommend taking a prenatal supplement for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant to ensure adequate stores of key nutrients, such as folate.
Other nutrients to look for in a prenatal vitamin include iodine, vitamin D, choline, B vitamins, and calcium. It can also be a good idea to choose a product with omega-3 fatty acids (7).
If you have pregnancy complications or other health concerns, your doctor might recommend a prescription prenatal supplement. Otherwise, you can find over-the-counter supplements at your local pharmacy or online.
While many products are available, you’ll want to choose a prenatal supplement that includes all the vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy pregnancy.
Important nutrients in a prenatal vitamin
When shopping for a prenatal, there are a few things that you should look for.
A well-rounded prenatal should include a variety of nutrients that are in high demand during pregnancy, such as:
B vitamins: Your body needs eight different B vitamins. During pregnancy, your needs for these nutrients increase. Most prenatal supplements include all eight B vitamins, but some include only a few. At a minimum, a prenatal should include B12, folate, and B6 (7).
Choline: Choline needs increase significantly during pregnancy because choline plays an important role in placental and fetal development and the health of the pregnant person. Research suggests up to 95% of pregnant women don’t consume enough choline. A well-designed prenatal should cover at least some of your choline needs (1).
DHA andEPA: You need more of these fatty acids during pregnancy because they’re important for fetal brain development. Some prenatals contain them, but most don’t. Most pregnant people take a separate DHA and EPA supplement, like a fish oil or algal oil supplement (4, 5).
Vitamin D: Although the current recommended vitamin D intake during pregnancy is 600 IU — the same as for people who aren’t pregnant — needs during pregnancy are estimated to be much higher, at about 4,000 IU per day. Most prenatals contain much less, so you may need an extra vitamin D supplement (10, 11, 12).
Minerals, including magnesium, iodine, and zinc: Needs for certain minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iodine, increase during pregnancy, so a good prenatal will cover some of these. Keep in mind that supplemental iron needs can vary from person to person, so iron should ideally be supplemented separately based on iron levels (7, 13).
Vitamins A and C: Vitamin A is necessary for fetal eye and organ development, immune system function, and more. Vitamin C is necessary for fetal and maternal health, and maintaining optimal levels could help reduce your risk of complications such as preeclampsia and preterm birth (14, 15).
These are just some of the nutrients that are in higher demand during pregnancy. A well-rounded prenatal will provide the additional nutrients your body needs during pregnancy, but it should be used as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, a balanced diet.
In addition to taking a prenatal supplement, following a nutrient-rich diet that provides the appropriate amount of calories and micronutrients that are in high demand during pregnancy can support your health and decrease the risk of certain pregnancy-related complications.
Nutrients often missing in prenatal supplements
Most prenatals contain all or most of the micronutrients needed during pregnancy.
However, many prenatals fall short in a few areas, which is why it’s important to do your research before purchasing a prenatal supplement.
In particular, prenatal supplements are often lacking in these nutrients that are important during pregnancy (1, 5, 10, 16):
omega-3 DHA and EPA
Since each pregnancy is unique, your doctor or a registered dietitian may suggest a specific prenatal supplement based on your health needs.
Keep in mind
While prenatal supplements can certainly help fill gaps in your diet, they’re not a one-way ticket to superhuman health throughout your pregnancy.
It’s important to read nutrition labels and balance your intake of vitamins and minerals with a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet.
A dietitian who specializes in nutrition during pregnancy can help you design a diet based on your preferences and specific health needs.
Why are prenatal vitamins important?
During pregnancy, the need for micronutrients increases significantly. Health experts recommend taking a prenatal supplement before, during, and after pregnancy in order to meet your nutrient needs.
When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?
Experts recommend taking a prenatal supplement containing folate for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant.
Supplementing with folate — which is found in prenatal vitamins — before conception significantly reduces the chances of neural tube irregularities such as spina bifida (7).
A baby’s neural tube, which will develop into both the brain and the spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy. That could happen before you even realize you’re pregnant.
If you aren’t already taking a daily prenatal vitamin, start taking one as soon as you find out you’re expecting. You’ll continue taking your prenatal vitamin every day during your pregnancy.
Experts also recommend continuing to take a prenatal supplement after you give birth.
This is because your body needs extra nutrients to support healing after delivery and requires more nutrients during breastfeeding. In fact, needs for many nutrients are even higher during breastfeeding than during pregnancy.
Do prenatal vitamins have any side effects?
Some people may feel nauseated after taking prenatal vitamins. If you’re having difficulty tolerating your prenatal, your doctor may recommend a different form of prenatal nutrients, such as a powder or chewable supplement.
Taking your prenatal vitamins with food or in the evening may be helpful if you’re experiencing bouts of morning sickness.
You may also experience constipation, especially if you’re taking a prenatal vitamin with large amounts of iron.
Be sure to drink lots of water and increase the fiber in your diet. You’ll also want to get regular exercise. Ask your doctor for advice if constipation becomes an issue.
Is it OK to take prenatal vitamins if you are not pregnant?
Yes, it’s OK to take prenatal supplements if you’re not pregnant. In fact, experts recommend taking prenatal supplements for at least 3 months before becoming pregnant.
They also recommend continuing to take a prenatal supplement after you’ve given birth, though there are several products on the market specifically designed for the postnatal period.
Do prenatal vitamins help you get pregnant?
Research shows that prenatal supplements have a beneficial impact on fertility, including increasing the chance of becoming pregnant and decreasing the time it takes to become pregnant (17).
What’s more, nutrient deficiencies can impact your ability to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy.
For example, deficiencies in vitamin D, vitamin B12, and folate can impact your ability to become pregnant (17, 18, 19, 20).
Additionally, supplementing with a well-rounded prenatal that includes methylated folate and B12 may improve the effectiveness of assisted reproductive technology treatment (21).
Are prenatal vitamins FDA-approved?
While it sets strict standards for the labeling of supplements, the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements the same way that it does medications (22).
This means that the FDA doesn’t oversee the actual production and ingredients of prenatal vitamins.
This is why it’s best to choose a product that has been third-party tested to ensure that your prenatal vitamin contains the types and amounts of ingredients that it claims to on the label.
Are prescribed prenatals better than store-bought ones?
While prescription prenatals are available, they aren’t necessarily better than prenatal vitamins that you can purchase over the counter.
In fact, there are several high quality prenatal supplements that don’t require a prescription. However, one of the benefits of having a prescription prenatal is that your insurance may cover some or all of the cost.
Regardless of whether you opt for an over-the-counter or prescribed prenatal, what’s most important is that you choose a supplement that’s formulated to meet the unique nutritional demands of pregnancy.
Taking a prenatal supplement is recommended for all pregnant people. A well-rounded prenatal supplement can help you meet your nutrient needs before, during, and after pregnancy.
The prenatal products listed above are trusted by experts and can help ensure you’re getting the recommended amount of nutrients to keep you and your little one healthy.
Best prenatal vitamins for 1st and 2nd trimester
Best prenatal vitamins for 1st and 2nd trimester - Rating
Publication date: 07/26/2018
THERE ARE CONTRAINDICATIONS. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS. CONSULT A SPECIALIST BEFORE USEVitamin AVitamin DVitamin EVitamin B-vitaminsFor pregnant and lactating womenImmuneCalciumMagnesiumOmega-3NauseaStrengthening immunityZinc
Why should pregnant women take vitamins?
What vitamins should pregnant women take?
What vitamins do pregnant women need?
The best vitamins for pregnant women: expert reviews
Why should pregnant women drink vitamins?
According to the book "Vitamania" by science journalist Katherine Price, the era of the popularity of vitamin supplements began in 1940. Its origin was facilitated by a number of discoveries of various substances - in high concentration they could treat scurvy and a number of other dangerous conditions. Taking advantage of the situation, the pharmaceutical business immediately began to massively launch vitamin complexes and various supplements for sale. Vitamins for pregnant women are especially useful - they allow you to saturate the body and improve the physiological state of a woman.
Let's see what prenatal vitamins are for. Many women believe that vitamins must be taken:
when carrying a child
However, experts are not so unambiguous. Some doctors are sure that the body will independently determine the lack of substances and take them from the diet of a woman, others argue that a lack of vitamins can adversely affect the formation of the embryo.
It is better to stick to the golden mean:
Visit a gynecologist and consult with him, find out which vitamins pregnant women should take.
Pass blood tests for hormonal status and the presence of all necessary trace elements in the body.
Based on the results of the tests, the doctor will determine which vitamins the pregnant woman needs and will prescribe accordingly.
Many women take vitamins on their own, even before pregnancy. This is a completely acceptable tactic, vitamin complexes are harmless in most cases. But with an excess of substances, negative consequences are possible. In particular, if a woman has accumulated a lot of iron, she will feel worse:
increased concentration of platelets in the blood
What vitamins should pregnant women take?
It is better to consult a specialist and get tested. Laboratory tests will determine the lack of certain elements, on the basis of which the doctor will make recommendations.
Vitamins are essential during pregnancy. The peculiarity of this condition is the formation of a new organism inside the woman. For its development, microelements and nutrients are taken from the main organism - from the mother. At some point, there will be a shortage of elements, which will lead to a deterioration in well-being:
Lack of vitamin D and calcium will lead to brittle nails, hair, destruction of tooth enamel.
Lack of magnesium and potassium will lead to convulsions, night awakenings due to spasm of the calf muscles.
Lack of thiamine (vitamins of group B) leads to a violation of the mental state, in acute cases, psychosis is possible.
Vitamins are also important during lactation - if a woman took them during pregnancy, it is better to continue taking useful trace elements during lactation.
What vitamins do pregnant women need?
Let's find out which vitamins are best for pregnant women in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters separately.
Prenatal vitamins. 1st trimester
Folic acid or vitamin B9. Promotes the full development of the cardiovascular and nervous systems of the fetus. With its lack, miscarriages are possible.
Iodine. It is necessary to ensure the normal functioning of the thyroid gland of a woman. Its deficiency leads to mental disorders of the fetus and mother, to disorders of the endocrine system.
Vitamins B. Contribute to the full development of the embryo. In particular, B12 is needed for the absorption of folic acid, it prevents anemia.
Zinc. Its absence leads to underdevelopment of the systems and organs of the fetus, as well as to loss of hair and teeth in the mother.
Calcium. It is necessary for the formation of the skeletal system of the child, as well as to prevent problems with bone tissues, teeth and nails in the mother.
Vitamin A. Its use is recommended under medical supervision. An overabundance of the vitamin leads to malformations.
Rutin. Strengthens the vascular system, avoids swelling in the second and third trimester. The additive contributes to the elasticity of the capillary walls, reducing stagnation in the venous channels.
Lutein. Allows a pregnant woman to avoid potential retinal problems and maintain her vision. Also, the supplement has a positive effect on the intellectual development of the child.
If you are interested in the question of which prenatal vitamins to take in the first trimester, contact your gynecologist and ask them to refer you to the appropriate tests.
All products Folic acid
All products Calcium-D3 Nycomed
All products Iodine
All products Lutein
Vitamins for pregnant women. 2nd and 3rd trimester
So, what vitamins for pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester will help maintain the health and improve the development of the child?
Tocopherol or vitamin E. It is a natural antioxidant, takes part in tissue respiration. Its lack leads to the development of painful sensations in the muscles, to weakness and even to miscarriages.
Cholecalciferol or vitamin D3. It is produced under ultraviolet light, so a pregnant woman should often walk under the sun. Improves the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
Retinol or Vitamin A. Beneficial effect on general nutrition and development of the embryo. With a lack of this vitamin, a child is born with a lack of weight, and anemia can be diagnosed in the mother.
Otherwise, you should also take the prenatal vitamins described above for the 1st trimester during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
All products Retinol acetate
All products Retinol palmitate
All products Vitamin E
The best vitamins for pregnant women: expert reviews
pay attention to the recommendations of gynecologists. You should look at the complexes of minerals and vitamin supplements designed specifically for women who are carrying a child.
So, what vitamins are needed for pregnant women? Experts often recommend:
Multi-Tabs Perinatal. The complex consists of vitamins and dietary supplements, especially for pregnant women. The composition does not contain sugar, preservatives and chemical dyes. The composition is carefully selected, the complex itself is as natural as possible.
Elevit Pronatal. The composition of the drug includes a high content of folic acid, magnesium, calcium and iron. But there is no iodine in the complex.
Femibion NatalCare I. Can be used before and during pregnancy. Contributes to the proper development of the fetus, improves metabolism and enhances the functions of the immune system.
All items Elevit Pronatal
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The best vitamins for pregnant women, top 10 rating of good vitamins
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Pregnancy is happiness and joy for any woman. They carefully prepare for it, they are waiting for it, during the entire period of bearing a child they try not to expose themselves to unnecessary stress, physical exertion, and so on. Literally from the first weeks, doctors insist on taking special vitamin complexes, even if the diet of the expectant mother is completely balanced and rich in nutrients, all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
It's no secret that during pregnancy the female body needs a lot of useful compounds that are required for the active development of the unborn baby. Today, a wide selection of such drugs is on sale, so it is quite easy to get confused in the assortment. We decided to make this problem as easy as possible for our readers and rank the best vitamins for pregnant women. However, it must be remembered that pregnancy is a very complex and responsible process, any improper intervention in which can lead to disastrous consequences. In this regard, before you start taking any drugs, you will definitely have to consult with a specialist who has an expectant mother.
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How to choose the right vitamins for pregnant women?
During pregnancy, the female body consumes about 30-40% more iodine, B vitamins and zinc, about 50% more calcium, which is required for the formation of the bones of the child, the need for folic acid also increases, you need twice as much iron . If you do not make up for the lack of such substances, then there is a risk of abnormal development of the fetus or even miscarriage. For example, if during the first trimester the baby does not have enough vitamins and minerals, then some anomalies may occur in his development, and quite serious ones.
Avitaminosis leads to failures in the nervous, cardiovascular and other systems of the body, forms defects in many organs. An excessive amount of vitamins in the second and third trimester also cannot be called useful, as this leads to improper development of the brain, makes the bones too hard, which is why the birth itself will be very painful, severe complications are likely.
It is unlikely that it will be possible to provide the body of a pregnant woman with the necessary amount of vitamins and microelements only through a balanced diet, therefore, they resort to special complexes. The preparation must contain folic acid, which is responsible for cell renewal, takes an active part in the process of placenta formation. B vitamins ensure normal metabolism in the child's body, help to fully absorb nutrients, and also ensure the normal development of the immune and endocrine systems. The proteins that make up some vitamins of this group stimulate the production of amino acids, reduce the manifestation of toxicosis, relieve sleep problems, irritability, and so on.
Vitamin E is necessary to ensure the permeability of cell membranes so that they are fully saturated with oxygen. With its deficiency, the expectant mother develops weakness, muscle pains appear, in the most severe cases, there are even miscarriages. Vitamin complexes should also contain various useful trace elements - iodine, zinc, calcium, iron, and so on.
When we chose the preparations for our ranking of the best prenatal vitamins, we mainly paid attention to the diversity of the product composition. In addition, the ratio of price and quality, feedback from users and specialists were taken into account. We hope that after you carefully study this review, you will be able to choose the most suitable product.
4. Multi-tabs Perinatal
This is not so much a vitamin complex as a complete biologically active supplement, which was developed taking into account the main characteristics of the female body during pregnancy. With its help, it is possible to ensure the full supply of the required vitamins and minerals, which will positively affect the condition of the mother and the development of the child. The drug is recommended for use in the process of preconception preparation of a woman for conception. It helps to prevent and compensate for the lack of useful elements in a timely manner, not only during the first trimester, but also during lactation. The additive acts as a prophylactic that prevents abnormal development of the fetus, does not allow the occurrence of pathologies, anomalies associated with a lack of vitamins. It has everything you need to ensure the normal course of pregnancy during the early stages. In addition to vitamins and trace elements, it contains the following substances: sucrose, starch, citric acid, water, citrate and sodium aluminosilicate. The shell is made from microcrystalline cellulose with the addition of magnesium, silicon and gelatin.
The composition of the drug does not contain chemical dyes, preservatives and sugar. Vitamin A present here takes an active part in the formation of the skeleton, allows the child's body to develop its own immunity, is indispensable in the process of formation of epithelial tissues.
Carefully balanced composition;
May be used in preparation for pregnancy and during breastfeeding;
Actively participates in the formation of all organs, skeleton and tissues;
Completely natural composition without dyes and preservatives;
No side effects.
The packaging does not last long.
3. Elevit Pronatal
High in iron, calcium, magnesium and folic acid. It is well compatible with other drugs for pregnant women, for example, Magne B6. Together with this tool, the complex allows you to prevent the tone of the uterus, due to which in most cases a miscarriage occurs. The composition does not contain iodine, so the supplement can be taken by women with an allergic reaction to this substance. If iodine does not cause such an effect, then iodine-containing preparations, in particular, Iodomarin, can be drunk along with such vitamins - there will be no problems in this case.
During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes a serious restructuring, including the hormonal background, resulting in problems such as hair loss. Many pregnant women who have given preference to this drug note that the loss has been significantly reduced, and in some cases it has completely reduced to zero. Unfortunately, there are side effects associated with this supplement: constipation may occur. This happens if too many vitamins have accumulated in the female body. You can restore bowel function by eating debilitating foods - dried fruits, apples, figs, beets.
Easy to take;
The side effects of this drug are kept to a minimum;
Improves the condition of nails, reduces hair loss;
A positive effect in the form of an increase in mood and an improvement in well-being is observed already in the second week of taking the remedy.
Not everyone likes the taste of the drug;
There are side effects and some contraindications.
2. Femibion Natalcare I
The composition of this drug helps to prevent the development of most defects in the unborn child. It is advisable to start drinking these products approximately 8-12 weeks before the intended conception, at the same time, a woman needs to change her diet and completely abandon bad habits. The composition contains many vitamins, the drug is also rich in iodine, it is used exclusively in the first trimester. Specialists prescribe it if the mother's diet is unbalanced and does not contain the required amount of useful elements, it also helps prevent the development of beriberi in early pregnancy and with severe toxicosis. A well-chosen composition of the product ensures the normalization of carbohydrate and fat metabolism, helps to form the cellular structures of a number of erythroids, establish energy metabolism and increase immunity.
Literally one to two weeks after the start of taking the drug, the positive effects of this drug appear - the condition of the skin improves, iron is better absorbed. The supplement does not allow early termination of pregnancy, minimizes the risk of premature birth. The composition contains thiamine, which is actively involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, riboflavin is responsible for the production of red blood cells and the normal functioning of the reproductive system in the female body. Panthenolic acid provides improved immunity through the production of antibodies. Biotin is responsible for the condition of the skin.
Formula rich but not overloaded with vitamins;
Tablets are small and easy to take;
Absorbed very quickly by the body;
Restore the condition of the skin;
Reduce the risk of preterm birth and miscarriage.
You will have to take iron supplements.
Femibion Natalcare I
1. One A Day Women's Prenatal
At the top of this part of our review of the best vitamins for pregnant women is a highly effective supplement that provides quality support for both mother and baby. It helps to saturate the female body with the necessary amount of vitamins even at the stage of preparation for conception, as well as reduce the manifestations of toxicosis and many other negative consequences associated with the first trimester. It is permissible to take the drug after childbirth - during lactation. The complex perfectly balances all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is produced in the form of small capsules with liquid contents, due to which the drug is absorbed very quickly.
Products help to develop normally all parts of the brain and organs of vision. Folic acid also actively contributes to the correct and proportional growth of the unborn child. The composition contains iron, with the help of which the necessary amount of oxygen is delivered to the fetus. Omega-3 fatty acid is also present here - it is responsible for the formation of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, and has a positive effect on the baby's cardiovascular system.
It contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals, a number of trace elements, such as calcium and iron;
Can be used in preparation for pregnancy and during breastfeeding;
Well absorbed by the body;
The positive effect is quickly noticeable.
It is problematic to find in free sale.
One A Day Women’s Prenatal
4. Doppelherz V.I.P.
Rich vitamin and mineral complex, suitable for pregnant and lactating women. Due to such a drug, it is possible to ensure the full formation of the body of the unborn child, its active development, to prevent the occurrence of intrauterine disorders, and also to ensure normal weight gain. Thanks to the supplement, it is possible to significantly strengthen the immunity of a pregnant woman, make her resistant to colds, viral, infectious and fungal diseases. The complex prevents the development of anemia, normalizes the work of all systems and organs. It increases vitality, makes you feel better, relieves mood swings and the effects of toxicosis. It is used during the second trimester of pregnancy, as well as during lactation.
In some cases, individual intolerance to certain components of the dietary supplement occurs: if such a reaction occurs, then it is advisable to refuse to take the drug. The composition contains vitamin A, which has a positive effect on the condition of bone tissue, the development of the brain and optic nerve in a child. Vitamin D3 in combination with calcium and potassium strengthens the heart muscle, prevents the development of various heart diseases, including heart disease. Omega-3 is responsible for the normal functioning of the nervous system. The mineral complex takes part in metabolism, preserves the healthy appearance and beauty of the expectant mother, prevents hair loss, relieves the tone of the uterus.
Acceptable drug cost;
Contains a full complement of additional vitamins and trace elements;
Approved for use while breastfeeding;
Stops hair loss and improves general well-being.
Contains several artificially synthesized substances;
There are cases of individual intolerance to the components.
3. Minisun Mama Complex
One of the newest vitamin and mineral complexes, it was developed by a well-known Finnish company that has been offering its products to pregnant women for many years. It is prescribed in preparation for pregnancy, during the second and third trimesters. If there are not enough nutritional compounds useful for the baby in breast milk, then you will have to take this drug during lactation. The composition has a high content of folic acid, which will be very useful for women who become pregnant in the autumn-winter period, since at this time there is a severe lack of vitamins and sunlight. This can cause rickets already in infancy, cause deformities and defects of the spinal column. Without folic acid, it is unlikely that a healthy cardiovascular system will be formed.
Iron, together with vitamin D, prevents the development of anemia, which is a fairly common complication during pregnancy. Magnesium takes part in about three hundred metabolic reactions. It can help relax muscles and improve blood flow. Largely due to these characteristics, preparations containing magnesium, including this composition, are prescribed to women who are at risk of abortion. In addition, the product formula includes the necessary daily dose of iodine.
A very high-quality drug, which is quite affordable;
The positive effect is noticeable within a few days after the start of treatment;
Small tablets easy to swallow;
Often prescribed for nursing mothers.
Does not contain Omega-3 fatty acid, so you will have to take additional drugs.
Minisan Mom Complex
2. Vitrum Prenatal Forte
Produced in the form of tablets coated with a special shell - there may be 30 or 100 pieces in a package. There is a huge amount of useful elements and minerals. Together they have a positive effect on the body of a pregnant woman. In particular, active substances reduce the likelihood of congenital pathologies. It greatly increases the immunity of the expectant mother, which also helps to protect the fragile child's body from the development of various diseases. With the help of this dietary supplement, it is possible to correctly form all vital systems and organs. Often, the drug is prescribed to women who are even in the first trimester, because it is able to alleviate the effects of toxicosis - the expectant mother will feel less sick in the morning, she will be able to get rid of dizziness and pressure drops.
If you drink the complex during the feeding period, the amount of breast milk will increase significantly, moreover, it will be fully saturated with nutrients, vitamins and minerals so necessary for the child in the first months of his life. Take one tablet per day, preferably in the morning during or after a meal. The duration of the course of vitamins should be determined only by the attending physician, taking into account the individual characteristics of the woman. In most cases, it will take no more than two months to take the drug. Some side effects may occur, such as decreased visual acuity or increased sweating.
It is possible to quickly achieve a positive effect;
Take just one tablet per day for up to two months;
Given in any trimester of pregnancy;
It is allowed to drink vitamins during lactation.
Minor side effects may occur.
Vitrum Prenatal Forte
1. Femibion Natalcare II
The composition of this biologically active complex is designed in such a way that the body of the expectant mother receives absolutely all the necessary substances required to feed her and the child developing in her. Women taking these vitamins, starting from the second trimester, almost never face such problems in appearance as brittle nails, split or falling hair, flaky skin. They keep an attractive, healthy and blooming appearance throughout pregnancy and give birth to absolutely full-term and full-weight babies. The composition contains components that positively affect not only the health and development of the child, but also help his mother maintain the state of her own body. It contains less folic acid compared to Femibion I, but there is ascorbic acid, vitamin PPP, panthenolic acid with calcium content.
The excipients used here are maltodextrin, corn starch, titanium dioxide, magnesium salts based on fatty acids, glycerin and hydroxypropyl cellulose. The active substance methylfoline is a type of folate, the compound is easily absorbed by the body and maintains folate levels within acceptable limits. Doctors prescribe this drug starting from the 13th week of pregnancy, side effects associated with taking this complex were not detected during testing.
Small tablets are easy to take;
There are all the necessary useful substances not only for the child, but also for the mother herself;
It is allowed to drink the complex during feeding;
Often found in pharmacies.
Except for the high cost was not found.
Femibion Natalcare II
2. Complivit Trimester 3
An original combined multivitamin preparation containing macro- and microelements, one tablet contains a perfectly balanced composition that helps to bear and give birth to a healthy child without harming a woman's own body. The complex was developed specifically taking into account the fact that in recent years the need for certain compounds has changed to a large extent. Here you can find a significant dose of retinol, which is responsible for the growth and subsequent strength of the bone skeleton, it helps to further ensure the normal development of the reproductive function of the child, and has a positive effect on the retina of the eye. Lutein protects the baby's eyes from damage by ultraviolet rays of natural light, protects the retina and cornea from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Vitamin E significantly slows down the oxidative reactions of free radicals and unsaturated fatty acids. It does not allow the formation of peroxides in the body, which can adversely affect cell membranes. With the help of these vitamins, it significantly reduces the risk of arterial hypertension in a woman in the last stages of pregnancy. The complex saturates the nerve cells so that they quickly conduct impulses through themselves. Riboflavin provides a stable regulation of redox processes, takes part in the respiration of tissues, the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, the production of hemoglobin and erythropoietin.
Available in almost every pharmacy;
Everything you need is here, the manufacturer has not added anything extra here.
Nausea often occurs as a side effect.
Complivit Trimestrum 3
1. Alphabet Mom's health
The product contains enough nutritional compounds, with the help of the complex it is possible to compensate for the lack of nutrients in the female body in late pregnancy. The positive qualities and balance of the composition are noted by many leading gynecologists and obstetricians. Often, the drug is prescribed even at the stages of preparation for the pregnancy itself and in the early stages, when it becomes necessary to combat toxicosis, vitamin deficiency and problems associated with hair loss, premature aging. Vitamins are available in the form of small tablets of various colors - pink, blue and white or cream. A tablet of each color is drunk one per day, they differ significantly from each other in their composition.
Pink contains vitamins C and B1, beta-carotene, folic acid and trace elements - iron and copper. In combination, they do not allow premature birth and abortion. Blue contains vitamins B6 and B2, E, beta-carotene and nicotinamide, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iodine.