Top 9 Prenatal Multivitamins for Expectant Mothers in the U.S.


Prenatal vitamins contain a range of essential nutrients that support the healthy growth and development of a fetus. They can fill the nutritional gaps that expectant mothers might have in their diets. But with so many products on the market, how do you pick the right prenatal vitamin for you? What ingredients should you look out for? This article will introduce 9 prenatal multi-vitamins and provide a guide to help you make an informed choice.

High-dose comprehensive prenatal vitamins

FullWell’s prenatal vitamins include methylated forms of vitamin B12 and folic acid for optimal absorption. They also offer 4000 IU of vitamin D and 300 mg of choline, aiding in preventing nutritional deficiencies and complications like gestational diabetes.

This vitamin does not contain iron or Omega-3 fatty acids. FullWell suggests that the needs for these components vary during pregnancy, so it’s recommended to supplement separately based on individual needs. It’s recommended to purchase a prenatal vitamin + fish oil bundle for complete nutritional support for pregnant women.

268 Reviews

*30 capsules; available for subscription delivery; original/lemon flavors; recommended dose is 8 capsules daily.
Recommended prenatal vitamin + fish oil bundle
All prices & info in this article are as of writing

FullWell’s prenatal vitamins were developed by nutritionists with expertise in functional nutrition, targeting the unique nutritional demands of women during pregnancy and lactation. The product has undergone third-party testing to ensure purity and efficacy.

Customer reviews indicate that this vitamin is easily digestible and can notably boost energy levels. Capsules can be opened and mixed into shakes or oatmeal, making it convenient to consume.

However, this prenatal vitamin is on the pricier side, especially when combined with the brand’s Omega-3 supplement. If you also need a DHA supplement, consider the Nordic Naturals prenatal DHA recommended by the American Pregnancy Association.

10,200 reviews
*90/180 capsules; recommended dose is 2 capsules daily.
Omega-3 830 mg; EPA 205 mg; DHA 480 mg;
Vitamin D3: 400 IU.
Third-party tested; non-GMO verified by Igen.


  • Purity and efficacy tested by third parties, Certificate of Analysis (COA) available.
  • Contains choline, magnesium, and vitamin D.
  • Uses chelated minerals to enhance absorption.
  • Easily digestible.
  • No artificial colors or fillers.
  • Some users mentioned that this vitamin significantly boosted their energy levels during lactation.


  • Recommended to be used with an Omega-3 supplement containing DHA and EPA, which costs extra.
  • Doesn’t contain iron. This might be an advantage for some.
  • The recommended dose is 8 capsules daily, more than most similar products. However, this can be beneficial for those requiring higher nutrient supplementation.
  • Pricey.
Ingredients Content per serving
(8 capsules)
Daily intake %
Vitamin A 1500 micrograms 115%
Vitamin C 275 mg 229%
Vitamin D3 100 micrograms 667%
Vitamin E 100 mg 526%
Thiamine 5 mg 357%
Riboflavin 10 mg 625%
Niacin 25 mg NE 139%
Vitamin B6 20 mg 1,000%
Folic acid 1,360 micrograms DFE
800 micrograms
Vitamin B12 150 micrograms 5,357%
Biotin 500 micrograms 1,429%
Pantothenic acid 150 mg 2,143%
Choline 300 mg 55%
Calcium 400 mg 31%
Iodine 250 micrograms 86%
Magnesium 300 mg 75%
Zinc 20 mg 154%
Selenium 200 micrograms 286%
Copper 750 micrograms 58%
Manganese 5 mg 192%
Chromium 120 micrograms 267%
Molybdenum 100 micrograms 200%
Potassium 100 mg 2%
Inositol 150 mg
Betheine hydrochloride* 150 mg
Vitamin K2 100 micrograms
*Betaine HCL: Increases the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which helps in better breakdown of proteins in food and promotes the absorption of nutrients.
– No daily recommended value (DV%)

Best value comprehensive prenatal vitamin

Megafood Baby & Me 2 prenatal multi-vitamin is made from food, nourishing yeast, and added nutrients. It delivers 23 key nutrients, including iron, folic acid, choline, and various vitamins, ensuring comprehensive nutritional support during pregnancy. It also specifically adds organic oranges and broccoli to boost its nutritional value.

210 Reviews

*60/120 tablets; recommended dose is 2 tablets daily.
Also available at iHerb

This prenatal vitamin has multiple certifications, ensuring it’s free from harmful substances and pesticide residues. It’s a trustworthy, high-quality supplement. It also holds a B Corp certification, signifying its positive impact socially and environmentally. Its gluten-free and non-GMO features make it a top choice for eco-conscious women.

It’s advised to take 2 tablets daily on an empty stomach. While most user feedback is positive, some users mentioned the tablets are a bit large and hard to swallow. Others commented on an unfavorable taste and smell.


  • Contains 23 key nutrients for comprehensive nutrition.
  • Meets over 50% of choline needs.
  • Third-party tested and verified to be glyphosate-residue free.
  • Tested for over 125+ pesticides and herbicides.
  • B Corp certified, indicating a positive impact on society and the environment.
  • Certified non-GMO.
  • Gluten-free, making it suitable for those with specific dietary needs.
  • Can be taken on an empty stomach.


  • Does not contain calcium and magnesium.
  • Lacks Omega-3 DHA and EPA.
  • Not suitable for vegans.
  • Not third-party tested for purity and potency.
  • Tablet size is relatively large, making it potentially hard to swallow.
  • Some users have mentioned an undesirable taste and smell.
Ingredients Content per serving
(2 pieces)
Daily intake %
Vitamin A 750 micrograms RAE 58%
Vitamin C 100 mg 83%
Vitamin D3 15 micrograms 100%
Vitamin E 20 mg 105%
Vitamin K 60 micrograms 67%
Thiamine 1.5 mg 107%
Riboflavin 1.7 mg 106%
Nicotinamide 20 mg NE 111%
Vitamin B6 8 mg 400%
Folic acid 1,020 micrograms DFE 170%
Vitamin B12 8 micrograms 286%
Biotin 300 micrograms 857%
Pantothenic acid 10 mg 143%
Choline 300 mg 55%
Iron 18 mg 67%
Iodine 150 micrograms 52%
Zinc 15 mg 115%
Selenium 50 micrograms 71%
Copper 0.2 micrograms 15%
Manganese 1 mg 38%
GTF Chrome 50 micrograms 111%
Molybdenum 10 micrograms 20%
Vitamin K2 30 micrograms
– No daily recommended value (DV%)

Prenatal tailored to each stage of pregnancy

Perelel takes a unique approach by designing prenatal supplements tailored to the specific needs of each trimester (every 3 months). Each trimester’s supplements come in convenient pouches, grounded in core essential nutrients and Omega-3, with varying formulas: the first trimester includes additional folic acid and vitamins like B6 and ginger to help ease nausea; the second trimester boosts calcium and magnesium to support the baby’s skeletal development; and the third trimester introduces probiotics.

*30-day supply; available for subscription delivery; recommended 1 pouch daily; each trimester lasts 3 months

Perelel’s products are non-GMO and free from dairy and gluten. However, since the Omega-3 is sourced from high-quality fish oil, these vitamins aren’t suited for vegetarians. Each pouch contains 5 pills, so if you’re not a fan of taking many pills, this might not be your best pick. Additionally, Perelel does come at a premium price.


  • Offers over 117% of the daily recommended intake of folic acid.
  • Core formula contains choline, beneficial for fetal brain development.
  • Adapts to the varying nutritional needs throughout pregnancy.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.
  • Free from dyes or synthetic fillers.
  • Third-party tested.


  • Requires taking 5 pills at a time.
  • Priced on the higher side.
Ingredients Content per serving
(1 bag)
Daily intake %
Basic nutrients
Vitamin A 520 micrograms 38%
Vitamin C 50 mg 42%
Vitamin D 50 micrograms
Vitamin E 10 mg 53%
Vitamin B1 3 mg 214%
Vitamin B2 3 mg 188%
Vitamin B3 15 mg 83%
Vitamin B6 3 mg 150%
Folic acid 700 micrograms DFE 117%
Vitamin B12 10 micrograms 357%
Vitamin B5 6 mg 86%
Choline 120 mg 22%
Iron 15 mg 56%
Iodine 150 micrograms 52%
Magnesium 30 mg 8%
Zinc 25 mg 192%
Selenium 50 micrograms 71%
Copper 1 mg 77%
Chromium 30 micrograms 67%
Vitamin K 30 micrograms
Boron 1 mg
Omega-3 fatty acids 375 mg
DHA 250 mg
EPA 100 mg
First trimester
Folic acid 1,000 micrograms DFE 167%
Vitamin B6 25 mg 1250%
Ginger root extract 300 micrograms
Second trimester
Calcium 200 mg 15%
Magnesium 200 mg 50%
Third trimester
Calcium 100 mg 8%
Magnesium 100 mg 25%
Probiotics 5 billion colony forming units
– No daily recommended value (DV%)

Prenatal to help alleviate morning sickness

New Chapter Advanced Perfect Prenatal Vitamins not only meet 100% of the daily recommended amounts of iron and folic acid for expectant moms, but they also boast a specially fermented iron that enhances absorption and avoids constipation issues often associated with iron supplements. Taking 3 tablets a day ensures the intake of adequate folic acid, iron, zinc, and a range of vitamins. Plus, this vitamin comes with added ginger and peppermint to help combat the discomfort of early pregnancy nausea.

68 Reviews

*Available in 48/96/192/270 tablet counts, or via subscription; recommended 3 tablets daily
Also available on iHerb
Postnatal formula also available

All ingredients hail from certified organic vegetables and herbs. The product strictly adheres to the purity standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The majority of users rave about it, with many testifying to its effectiveness in alleviating morning sickness symptoms.

That said, we’ve noticed feedback from users pointing out varying side effects and concerns over its synthetic compounds. Still, the product rocks a stellar 4.8-star rating on iHerb, showcasing its widespread popularity and high user satisfaction.


  • Effective against morning sickness.
  • Contains organic ingredients.
  • Certified gluten-free by NSF.
  • Free from added sugars, artificial colors, flavors, and animal gelatin.
  • Complies with FDA purity standards.


  • Doesn’t contain choline.
  • Lacks Omega-3 DHA and EPA.
  • Some users reported side effects.
  • Synthetic compounds are under scrutiny.
  • Not third-party tested for purity and potency.
Ingredients Content per serving
(3 pieces)
Daily intake %
Vitamin A 1,300 micrograms 100%
Vitamin C 75 mg 63%
Vitamin D3 25 micrograms
(1,000 IU)
Vitamin E 20.9 mg 110%
Vitamin K 90 micrograms 98%
Thiamine 1.4 mg 100%
Riboflavin 1.6 mg 100%
Niacin 18 mg 100%
Vitamin B6 5 mg 250%
Folic acid 600 micrograms DFE 100%
Vitamin B12 3 micrograms 107%
Biotin 35 micrograms 100%
Pantothenic acid 7 mg 100%
Calcium 75 mg 6%
Iron 27 mg 100%
Iodine 150 micrograms 52%
Magnesium 15 mg 4%
Zinc 6.5 mg 50%
Selenium 70 micrograms 100%
Copper 0.65 mg 50%
Manganese 2.6 mg 100%
Chromium 45 micrograms 100%
Molybdenum 20 micrograms 40%
Herbal mixture (1)225 mg
Breast Health Support Blend (2)100 mg
Ginger (rhizome) extract 62 mg
Organic Turmeric 38.2 mg
(1) Organic brown rice from fermentation medium, organic oats, organic prunes, organic blueberries, organic blackberries, organic flame raisins, organic raspberry, organic dandelion, organic rose hips, organic lavender, organic lemon balm, organic mint, organic clove.
(2) Organic Cauliflower, organic cabbage, organic mustard greens .
No daily recommended value (DV%).

Allergy-friendly prenatal vitamins

SmartyPants Prenatal Gummy Vitamins are specifically crafted for women preparing for pregnancy. These vitamins offer a range of crucial nutrients such as zinc, choline, vitamins B6, C, D3, K2, and Omega-3s EPA and DHA. They’re also specially boosted with folic acid and vitamin B12. Plus, they steer clear of common allergens like dairy, eggs, soy, gluten, wheat, and peanuts, reducing potential allergy concerns.

383 Reviews

*Comes in a bottle of 120; assorted flavors; recommended 4 gummies daily

The SmartyPants Prenatal Gummies come in a variety of flavors. They’re certified by NSF and the Clean Label Project, ensuring the purity of the ingredients and their non-GMO status.

Feedback on SmartyPants Prenatal Gummies is mostly positive, though some users have noted shortcomings. For instance, these vitamins don’t have iron or calcium, so you’d need to look elsewhere for those supplements.

Also, while the gummy format is easy on the palate, each serving packs in 6 grams of added sugars, which might not be ideal for those monitoring their blood sugar. If you have specific dietary needs or diabetes, a doctor’s advice should be sought before taking these.


  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Free from common allergens, making it suitable for most folks.
  • Earns multiple certifications, ensuring product purity and safety.


  • Lacks iron and calcium, which may require additional supplementation.
  • Contains added sugars, not ideal for those watching their blood sugar.
  • Choline content is on the lower side.
Ingredients Content per serving
(4 gummies)
Daily intake %
Calories 40
Cholesterol <5 mg <1%
Total carbohydrates 9 grams 3% †
sugar 6 grams
Vitamin A 520 micrograms 40%
Vitamin C 48 mg 40%
Vitamin D 30 micrograms
Vitamin E 14.3 mg 75%
Vitamin K 24 micrograms 27%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.14 mg 10%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.16 mg 10%
Niacin (vitamin B3) 18 mg 100%
Vitamin B6 2 mg 100%
Folic acid 600 micrograms DFE 100%
Vitamin B12 4.7 micrograms 168%
Biotin 17.5 micrograms 50%
Choline 55 mg 10%
Iodine 290 micrograms 100%
Zinc 3.9 mg 30%
Selenium 14 micrograms 20%
Sodium 25 mg 1%
Fish oil 455 mg
Omega-3 fatty acids 132 mg
EPA and DHA 114 mg
Inositol 5 mg
Vitamin K2 16 micrograms
– No daily recommended value (DV%)
† Percent daily recommendation based on a 2000 calorie diet

Prenatal vitamins with added iron and DHA

The HUM Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Combo is crafted by OB/GYNs and registered dieticians, featuring choline, methylated folate, and 350mg DHA from algae oil. A standout feature of these vitamins is that the DHA is separately packaged from the vitamins, eliminating any potential fishy taste that can arise when plant-based algae is mixed with other vitamins and minerals.

53 Reviews

*30-day supply; recommended daily dose: 1 vitamin capsule+ 1 DHA softgel

200mg of DHA can support the development of a baby’s eyes, brain, and nervous system. While we can get DHA from foods, like about 1,240mg from a three-ounce serving of salmon, solely relying on food sources can be challenging. This supplement makes hitting that daily mark a lot easier.

Unlike many other options out there, it ensures you’re getting enough iron, covering 100% of your daily iron needs. However, a note to consider is that it doesn’t include calcium. This is because calcium and iron can interfere with each other’s absorption.

HUM’s Prenatal Vitamin + DHA combo is endorsed by OB/GYNs and registered dieticians, and it’s third-party tested, including for heavy metals, ensuring its purity and quality. Additionally, it’s free of artificial colors, sweeteners, fragrances, and preservatives, ensuring a clean and safe formula.


  • Formulated by OB/GYNs and registered dieticians.
  • Contains choline, DHA, and methylated folate.
  • Separately packaged vegetarian-friendly DHA pills with no fishy taste.
  • Meets 100% daily iron requirements.
  • Gluten-free and no artificial flavors.
  • Third-party tested.
  • Certified by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).


  • Low vitamin D content.
  • Doesn’t contain calcium.
  • Some users have commented on disliking the taste of the vitamins.
  • The daily dosage might not cover all nutritional needs, so check ingredient amounts before purchasing.
Ingredients Content per serving
(2 pieces)
Daily intake %
Vitamin A 650 micrograms 50%
Vitamin C 80 mg 67%
Vitamin D3 15 micrograms 100%
Vitamin E 9.5 mg 50%
Vitamin K
-Vitamin K1
-Vitamin K2
45 micrograms
22.5 micrograms
22.5 micrograms
Vitamin B1/Thiamine 1.4 mg 100%
Vitamin B2/riboflavin 1.6 mg 100%
Vitamin B3/Niacin 18 mg 100%
Vitamin B6 2 mg 100%
Folic acid 800 micrograms DFE 134%
Vitamin B12 8 micrograms 286%
Biotin 35 micrograms 100%
Iron 27 mg 100%
Iodine 145 micrograms 50%
Magnesium 50 mg 13%
Zinc 13 mg 100%
Selenium 70 micrograms 100%
Manganese 2.6 mg 100%
Chromium 45 micrograms 100%
Molybdenum 50 micrograms 100%
Choline 82.5 mg 15%
Boron 1 mg
Seaweed oil
660 mg
350 mg
– No daily recommended value (DV%)

Budget-friendly prenatal with a high dose of folate

Folate is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. One A Day’s prenatal vitamins pack 800 micrograms of folate, covering 222% of the daily recommended value. Additionally, they come with calcium, iron, DHA, and EPA to comprehensively support the development of a baby’s brain, eyes, nervous system, and bones. Free of gluten and dairy and devoid of artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup, these vitamins come at an affordable price point, at just $0.35 per softgel.

237 Reviews

*Available in 30/60 count; recommended dose: 1 per day

One thing to note is that these vitamins contain fish ingredients, which might be an issue for those committed to a plant-based diet. Moreover, they lack choline, an essential nutrient for supporting fetal brain and spinal cord development. We suggest carefully considering the ingredients and your own nutritional needs when opting for this product.


  • Offers over twice the daily recommended amount of folate.
  • Gluten-free and dairy-free.
  • No artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Budget-friendly.


  • Contains fish ingredients, not suitable for vegans.
  • Lacks choline.
Ingredients Content per serving
(1 softgel)
Daily intake %
Total fat 0.5g <1%
Cholesterol 5 mg 2%
Vitamin A 650 micrograms 50%
Vitamin C 85 mg 71%
Vitamin D 15 micrograms
(600 IU)
Vitamin E 19 mg 100%
Thiamine (B1) 1.4 mg 100%
Riboflavin (B2) 1.6 mg 100%
Niacin 18 mg 100%
Vitamin B6 2 mg 100%
Folic acid 1,330 micrograms DFE 222%
Vitamin B12 2.8 micrograms 100%
Biotin 35 micrograms 100%
Pantothenic acid 7 mg 100%
Calcium 150 mg 12%
Iron 27 mg 100%
Iodine 150 micrograms 52%
Magnesium 40 mg 10%
Zinc 13 mg 100%
Copper 1.3 mg 100%
Omega-3 fatty acids 235 mg
DHA 200 mg
EPA 35 mg
– No daily recommended value (DV%)

Best prenatal vitamins for vegans

Ritual Essential’s prenatal vitamins are crafted especially for vegans and soon-to-be moms who prioritize natural ingredients. What sets it apart is its ingredient transparency and unique design.

Every component of this vitamin is traceable. It delivers over 100% of daily needs for folate, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, along with Omega-3 DHA sourced from algae. With its vegan-friendly formula and non-GMO certification, vegans can take it with confidence. Additionally, it’s free of gluten and major allergens.

Moreover, the capsules are specifically designed for delayed-release into the small intestine, aiding in better nutrient absorption.


*Pack of 60; available in citrus/mint flavors; recommended dose: 2 per day
Postnatal formula also available

It’s worth noting that these prenatal vitamins provide only 10% of the daily choline requirement. Choline is a vital nutrient for fetal health and development, so it’s essential to include choline-rich foods, like eggs, in your diet.

Also, the content of magnesium, a crucial mineral, is on the lower side, and it lacks vitamins A, C, and B6. To ensure you’re meeting daily requirements, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet rich in these nutrients.


  • Third-party tested for purity and potency.
  • Designed for easy digestion.
  • Contains vegan DHA and is non-GMO verified.
  • Free from gluten and major allergens.
  • No artificial colors or fillers.


  • Only meets 10% of the recommended choline intake.
  • Low in magnesium.
  • Lacks vitamins A, C, and B6.
  • Some users reported a fishy aftertaste.
Ingredients Content per serving
(2 capsules)
Daily intake %
Vitamin D3 50 micrograms
Vitamin E 7 mg 37%
Folic acid 1,000 micrograms DFE 167%
Vitamin B12 8 micrograms 286%
Biotin 150 micrograms 429%
Choline 55 mg 10%
Iron 18 mg 67%
Iodine 150 micrograms 52%
Magnesium 32 mg 8%
Boron 0.7 mg
Omega-3 DHA 350 mg
Vitamin K2 90 micrograms
– No daily recommended value (DV%)
*Other ingredients: Stomach acid-resistant outer vegan capsule (hypromellose, gellan gum), inner vegan capsule (hypromellose), silica, cellulose, L-leucine

Unique food-based prenatal nutrition bar

Tend’s prenatal supplement stands out in its category. If you’re not a fan of pills or are skeptical about synthetic vitamins, Tend’s prenatal nutrition bar is a fantastic alternative.

Made from organic, non-GMO fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, Tend is an edible prenatal vitamin bar. It not only provides similar vitamin and mineral content as its competitors but also includes choline and DHA. Moreover, Tend has added ginger and mint to its bars, which can help alleviate morning sickness and nausea. The compact size of these bars makes them super portable. Just like the popular protein bars, you can munch on them as a snack.

64 Reviews

*Pack of 28; monthly subscription available; recommended dose: 1 bar daily.
Available in flavors: Lemon Berry, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Berry Strawberry, as well as a mixed flavor pack.

Tend’s prenatal nutrition bars undergo third-party testing, with each batch being tested to ensure accurate nutrient levels. They also ensure the product’s ingredients are within FDA’s recommended levels for heavy metals, microbes, and glyphosate.

Depending on the flavor, each bar contains 3-8 grams of dietary fiber, 2-5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of added sugar. Primary ingredients include cashew butter, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, apple, and more.

This product comes with a higher price tag. Each box contains 28 bars, with a recommended intake of one bar daily. At the time of this writing, the subscription price is $99 per month, which is about $3.54 per bar. If bought individually, a box is priced at $139, or roughly $4.96 per bar. While it’s a bit on the pricier side, considering its tastiness, convenience, and well-thought-out formulation, it’s still a product worth considering.


  • Contains 25 essential nutrients from whole foods.
  • Formulated to help with nausea.
  • No artificial additives or fillers.
  • Third-party tested.


  • Pricey.

The nutritional contents of various flavors are basically similar, but there will be slight differences due to different ingredients used.

For example, the lemon berry flavor contains 130 mg of vitamin C, accounting for 110% of the recommended daily value, while the chocolate sea salt flavor contains 125 mg of vitamin C, accounting for 100% of the recommended daily value. Similarly, the Lemon Berry flavor has 340 milligrams of calcium, which is 25 percent of the recommended daily value, slightly less than the Chocolate Sea Salt flavor, which has 360 milligrams of calcium, which is 30 percent of the recommended daily value.

The following table uses chocolate sea salt flavor as an example:

Ingredients Content per serving
(1 piece each)
Daily intake %
Dietary fiber 6g 24%
Vitamin A 1,260 micrograms 100%
Vitamin C 125 mg 100%
Vitamin D 4000IU 670%
Vitamin E 14.3 mg 75%
Vitamin K 170 micrograms 190%
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 1.7 mg 120%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 1.8 mg 120%
Niacin (vitamin B3) 23 mg 130%
Vitamin B6 2.4 mg 120%
Folic acid 600 micrograms DFE 100%
Vitamin B12 2.2 micrograms 80%
Vitamin B5 7 micrograms 100%
Biotin 45 mg 120%
Iodine 135 micrograms 50%
Calcium360 mg30%
Sodium 2 mg
Magnesium 50 mg 15%
Zinc 10 mg 80%
Selenium 50 micrograms 70%
Copper 900 micrograms 70%
Manganese 2 mg 80%
Chromium 30 micrograms 70%
Molybdenum 41 micrograms 80%
Choline 110 mg 25%
DHA 300 mg
– No daily recommended value (DV%)

Frequently asked questions about prenatal vitamins

Why are prenatal vitamins important?

During pregnancy, women need more folic acid and iron than usual:

  • Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, which are serious abnormalities of the fetal brain and spine. Ideally, it’s best to start taking extra folic acid at least 3 months before pregnancy.
  • Iron supports the development of both the placenta and the fetus. It assists the body in making blood, providing oxygen to the fetus. Additionally, iron can prevent anemia, a condition where the number of healthy red blood cells in the blood is reduced.

Which prenatal vitamin is the best?

Aside from checking the content of folic acid and iron, go for prenatal vitamins containing calcium and vitamin D, which support your baby’s teeth and bone development. Additionally, prenatal vitamins that include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and iodine are beneficial.

Depending on individual needs, a doctor might suggest higher doses of certain nutrients. For example, if you’ve had a baby with a neural tube defect, a doctor might recommend taking a supplement with a higher dose of folic acid, like 4 milligrams (4000 micrograms), before and during your next pregnancy.

In general, you should avoid taking prenatal vitamins or multivitamins that exceed the daily recommended doses. Too much of some vitamin types, like vitamin A, can be harmful to your baby.

Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids, naturally found in fish, promote brain development in babies. If you don’t consume fish or foods rich in Omega-3s, your doctor might suggest taking an Omega-3 supplement in addition to prenatal vitamins.

When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?

Ideally, you should start taking prenatal vitamins before becoming pregnant. In fact, it’s a good idea for women planning to conceive to regularly take prenatal vitamins. The baby’s neural tube starts to develop in the first month of pregnancy, often before you even realize you’re pregnant.

Are there side effects to prenatal vitamins?

The iron in prenatal vitamins can cause constipation. To prevent this, consider the following:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Incorporate more fiber into your diet.
  • Engage in regular, moderate exercise, if your doctor approves.
  • Discuss with your doctor the possibility of using a stool softener.
Angela Liu

Love reading, love running, love binge-watching shows, love vegetarian food.

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