We have all heard that taking a prenatal vitamin every day will keep the baby doctor away. However, not every new mom knows prenatal vitamins should begin well before the baby is conceived and continue long after the child turns one.
One of the simplest things you can do to promote a healthy pregnancy is to start taking prenatal vitamins daily. When paired with a well-balanced diet, prenatal vitamins can help ensure you and your baby get the nutrients you need at every stage of pregnancy.
Sadly, many prenatal vitamins on the market include compounds that may irritate what is already a weak tummy or are not suited for a particular lifestyle, such as vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. As a result, we have selected some healthy and herbal brands of the best prenatal supplements to provide comfort to both your mind and stomach while also delivering the key nutrients required for the baby’s growth and the mother’s wellbeing.
So, below are some of the finest prenatal vitamins according to third-party verification, component content, and pill form. As always, talk to your doctor to determine which is the best prenatal vitamin for you.
5 Top Prenatal Vitamins in 2021:
- MegaFood (Baby & Me 2) – Best Overall & Editor’s Choice
- One A Day (Prenatal 1) – Most Advanced Multivitamin
- Pink Stork (Liquid Prenatal Vitamin) – Best Liquid Prenatal Vitamins
- Nature Made (Prenatal Multivitamin) – Best Vitamins with DHA
- Best Nest Wellness (Mama Bird) – Best Organic
Best Prenatal Vitamins 2021
#1. MegaFood (Baby & Me 2) – Best Overall & Editor’s Choice
MegaFood supplements are costly, but there is a reason for it. This company has received an independent certification mark from NSF International, a third party that ensures supplements fulfill world-class quality requirements.
MegaFood provides a wide variety of multivitamins for various reasons, and they are all manufactured from pure, organic product extracts and nutrients. MegaFood has all of your vitamin needs covered.
One primary reason these multivitamins made the top of our list is that MegaFood is a symbol of honesty in an industry riddled with deception. It is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, and it is devoid of herbicides and pesticides.
MegaFood products offer vitamins and minerals through whole foods supplied from reputable, high-quality farms. All of the producers they work with are committed to creating the healthy foods available.
It is crafted from real ingredients, like natural carrots and oranges, broccoli, and brown rice, which are combined with essential nutrients to provide constant nutritional potency. It includes choline and folate, both of which are good for embryonic brain development and growth. Food state iodine and B vitamins also help with fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism.
Since Baby & Me 2 is created with whole foods, it is significantly less inclined to make you nauseous than supplements prepared with separated vitamins. This is especially beneficial for pregnant moms who suffer from morning sickness.
MegaFood makes every effort to use only organically cultivated food sources in its multivitamins that are non-GMO and vegan. MegaFood has all of the essential vitamins, such as A, B, C, E, and K present in its formulation.
- Doctor Formulated
Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an award-winning pediatrician and women’s health care expert, created this product to address the unique needs of women during the fertilization and pregnancy phases.
- Organic ingredients
- Non-GMO and pesticide-free
- Third-party lab tested
- Contains a variety of different vitamins
- Can be a little expensive
MegaFood is popular among customers since it contains essential vitamins for both men and women. It is packed with vitamins that are beneficial to your health, and the brand strongly suggests it as one of the best prenatal supplements. There were no reports of stomach discomfort or other adverse response after consuming the chewable MegaFood supplements, and users describe it as the most delicate tasting vitamin they have ever tried.
#2. One A Day (Prenatal 1) – Most Advanced Multivitamin
One A Day is the most well-known name of vitamin supplements on the market, and it is a good option. It is not fancy, but it gets the job done at a reasonable price. Best of all, it has been verified by an independent lab to guarantee it includes exactly what it promises.
Its prenatal supplement comprises one choline tablet and one soft gel. It is a comprehensive multivitamin specifically designed with essential elements such as folic acid, DHA, and iron for females before, during, and after pregnancy to provide nutritional assistance. It also contains no sweeteners, flavors, wheat, or dairy.
Vitamins and minerals are used to supplement elements that are not obtained from the diet. They are often used to address vitamin and mineral imbalances caused by sickness, pregnancy, poor diet, digestive problems, certain medicines, and other illnesses.
The Women’s Prenatal 1 formula from One A Day provides essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, thiamin, niacin, B6, B12, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and other minerals. This multivitamin’s extra calcium and magnesium boost bone strength, providing additional assistance when women enter menopause.
- Muscle Health and Energy Levels
The B vitamins have critical functions in controlling metabolism and energy levels. The National Institutes of Health reports B12 is essential since it is necessary for average blood cell production. Anemia is caused by B12 deficiency, which causes tiredness, nausea, decreased appetite, and irritability, among other symptoms.
- Eat a High-Quality Diet
Enough vitamin D is present in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, eggs, cheese, fortified milk, and yogurt. Whole grains, lean meats, dairy, nuts, and green leafy vegetables are high in B vitamins and magnesium. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are high in potassium, while dairy, leafy green vegetables, and fish are high in calcium.
- Includes a variety of vitamins and minerals
- Third-party lab tested
- May temporarily cause an upset stomach
These vitamins are a fantastic alternative for any woman who wants to ensure she gets adequate vitamins for her body but does not want to overdo it. It has aided many women by supplying them with the proper amount of vitamins and minerals. Some users complain of stomach discomfort, while others have the best experience with One A Day.
#3. Pink Stork (Liquid Prenatal Vitamin) – Best Liquid Prenatal Vitamins
If taking a tablet causes you to gag, a liquid prenatal supplement may be right for you. It can be consumed by itself, or it can be added to your drink. Because the taste is relatively strong on its own, some people like to combine it with juice.
It provides all of the essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy in a liquid you can put directly into your favorite drink.
Pink Stork’s Liquid Prenatal Vitamin delivers 100% or higher of the daily requirement of several essential nutrients. It is gluten-free, non-GMO, and devoid of animal products, and the brand also claims its 18mg of iron is non-constipating.
This exceptionally nutritious formula contains D vitamins to support bone health, 100% RDAs of vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins, and biotin, which promotes the wellbeing of skin cells, nails, and hair. Pink Stork Liquid Prenatal Vitamins also include iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are essential elements for a successful pregnancy.
In addition, these prenatal vitamins may encourage a healthy respiratory system and may be a powerful antioxidant to support a woman when trying to have a baby, throughout pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.
- Ease of Use
This prenatal supplement is straightforward to use, as only one tablespoon per day in the morning is required. You can consume the tablespoon on its own or mix it into your favorite beverage.
This beverage has a pleasant flavor at first but gradually gives way to a very harsh metallic taste. It is delightful and delicious, yet there is a distinct vitamin taste, which is caused by the iron in it. Moreover, if you get morning sickness, add this to your favorite drink for relief.
- Top-notch ingredients
- Tested by third-party labs
- Safe to consume
- May help with morning sickness
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- Has a metallic aftertaste
Users are in love with Pink Stork’s Liquid Prenatal Vitamin, as it is straightforward to use. This product earned a total rating of 9.37 out of 10 stars, and it has a delicious taste which got users attracted to it even more.
#4. Nature Made (Prenatal Multivitamin) – Best Vitamins with DHA
Nature Made is the brand that people trust for their daily vitamins, and it is available in nearly every grocery shop. This is why they have a large number of clients who purchase their health goods from them. Artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, yeast, and gluten are not included in the tablets.
Nature Made’s top-quality standards apply to all parts of its company, from obtaining ingredients via product manufacture, packing, and shipping, to product sale and after-service support.
Nature Made Prenatal Multivitamin + DHA has beneficial ingredients for both mother and child. The most significant part about this prenatal vitamin is its high concentration of DHA, a fatty acid essential for embryonic brain development.
It contains 200mg of DHA and essential vitamins and minerals for daily nutritional support throughout pregnancy, and it also includes folic acid and iron. It has been clinically proven to improve nutrient absorption, and it delivers a complete vitamin profile that includes all eight B vitamins, vitamin C, and fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K).
- High-Quality Ingredients
It contains 800mcg of folic acid, which is the recommended daily allowance. That is an excellent sum for both you and your child. It is also high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, biotin, B12, C, D, E, K, iron, and zinc.
- Easy to Use
Nature Made Prenatal Multivitamin + DHA are soft gels that are extremely simple to use. You just need to consume one soft gel each day with a meal. The soft gels are lengthy yet thin.
- Reasonable price
- Appealing packaging
- High-quality ingredients
- Several types of vitamins present
- Fishy smell
Over 80% of customers rate Nature Made vitamin and multivitamin products five stars. It is impressive for a business to have one or two products in this category, but it is astounding for a brand like Nature Made to have every product rated in this range.
#5. Best Nest Wellness (Mama Bird) – Best Organic
You have undoubtedly seen Mama Bird in a pharmacy or a supermarket. These are a fantastic, low-cost option for a woman who does not want to obtain a chemistry degree just to pick a vitamin.
Their Mama Bird Prenatal Multi+ offers a wide range of vegan-friendly nutrients in a handy caplet dosage. Vitamin D3, choline, zinc, iron, iodine, and calcium, as well as methylated versions of folate and B12, are present. It also contains a proprietary combination of digestive enzymes, probiotics, and pregnancy-safe botanicals to help reduce nausea symptoms.
Mama Bird Postnatal Multivitamin contains Methylfolate, a better quality, more bioavailable type of folic acid. Mama Bird Prenatal Multi+, on the other hand, is readily absorbed and digested since it is methylated. Each pill includes 600mcg of folic acid, which is 100% pure.
Although it contains a wide range of nutrients, choline, vitamin D3, and calcium are relatively low. There is also no vitamin K2 or DHA in it. They do, however, provide a supplementary vegan DHA vitamin at a discounted price that you may add to your order.
- Quality Ingredients
These pills include a high concentration of vitamin A, B12, vitamin D3, choline, zinc, iron, iodine, calcium, Thiamin-B1, and vitamin D. All of these vitamins, in the proper amount, are critical for a healthy mom and baby.
If you take the Mama Bird prenatal vitamins pill, you will not receive a strong flavor like many other vitamins. They certainly taste like a vitamin when they sit on your tongue for a few seconds. However, there is no discernible flavor. They do not taste nice, but they also do not taste awful.
- Thoroughly researched
- Easy to digest
- Produced with a range of vitamins
- Pleasant scent
Users enjoy Mama Bird Prenatal Multi+ because it is an excellent prenatal vitamin with the added benefit of probiotics. It works best when combined with an Omega-3 vitamin. If you have heightened sensitivity to tastes and odors, the traditional vitamin flavor may not be the best option; instead, try a soft gel.
Things We Considered While Listing the Best Prenatal Vitamins for Pregnancy
Several prenatal vitamins and nutrients are available, which can be confusing if you do not know what to search for. Although you hope you can claim all prenatal vitamins are made equal, this is not the case.
So, we will inform you about which key vitamins and other nutrients you should seek in a prenatal vitamin.
- Folic Acid
Folic acid, commonly known as folate, is a B vitamin essential for a healthy pregnancy. You can also choose modified folate instead of folic acid. It aids the body in forming healthy new red blood cells and white blood cells and can help lower the chance of some birth abnormalities. Overall, it is the most crucial vitamin to take while planning a pregnancy.
Most females are iron deficient already before pregnancy. With high iron demands throughout pregnancy, it is not unusual for several pregnant women to have some amount of iron deficiency anemia. For such reasons, selecting an iron-fortified prenatal can assist in meeting iron demands throughout pregnancy and, ideally, preventing iron deficiency anemia.
If the woman does not get enough calcium during pregnancy, it will be removed from her bone reserves to feed her baby. So, it is critical to consume enough calcium and other bone-building minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium. The daily suggested dose is 1,000mg, and the best method to use it in your diet is with dark leafy greens, which are good bone-building foods since they are high in calcium, vitamin K, and magnesium.
Choline is among the most critical nutrients for your baby’s brain development, but it may or not be present in your prenatal vitamin. Pregnant women should take 450mg of choline per day, which food or supplements can still achieve.
Eggs, milk, soy, chicken, beef, and peanuts are some of the most frequent dietary sources of choline. One egg has about 150mg of choline. If you do not think you will be able to fulfill your choline nutrient requirements via diet alone, consider taking a prenatal or extra choline supplement.
- Other Essential Nutrients
Vitamin D, DHA, zinc, iodine, and vitamins C, B, K, and E are all essential elements to look for in a prenatal supplement. Iron aids in the rise of blood volume during pregnancy, whereas DHA aids in the growth of the baby’s brain. When searching for a prenatal supplement, try your best to get all of these essential nutrients, and you may need to mix supplements, which is perfectly acceptable.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Best Prenatal Supplements
When purchasing a prenatal supplement, the most crucial factor to examine is whether it contains all of the vital nutrients and minerals required for a healthy pregnancy. As a result, we assessed how complete each company’s formula was and made sure they included at least folate or folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D.
- Lab Testing
Since the FDA does not control vitamins, the accuracy of substances promoted by firms may vary. One of the few ways to ensure the vitamins you have purchased are precisely what you have paid for is to see if the company does third-party testing. A third-party verification assurance shows that a firm is prepared to have other labs examine the contents and doses in its goods.
- Type of Pill
For women, pregnancy may be one of the most hormonally tricky experiences. During this time, taste receptors might become noticeably hypersensitive, and tolerance to consuming anything can be very low.
As a result, we examined the type of pill — whether tablet, capsule, or gummy — as well as the number of them you will need to take daily. It is crucial to remember that some vitamins, such as gummies, do not always include all of the vital elements required during pregnancy, which means you will need to take extra supplements.
Side Effects of Prenatal Supplements
Even if something is healthy for you does not imply you can take it without experiencing any adverse effects. While you are pregnant, your body may be more sensitive, which might mean specific components in a multivitamin would not agree with you. However, virtually all side effects are not hazardous but rather unpleasant.
Some of the most frequent adverse effects include:
- Appetite Loss
Pregnant women may not be as hungry as usual during the first three months of pregnancy due to morning sickness. However, their lack of eating might also be due to a vitamin deficiency. Prenatal vitamins may reduce your appetite, especially if you are nauseated.
- Strangely Colored Stool
Iron is proving to be a double-edged blade once more. Yes, you need it to stay healthy during pregnancy, but it could also create some complications. Iron is most likely to blame if you have green or very dark stool. You must, however, consult with your doctor to be sure.
Constipation is a common complaint among expectant mothers, and your vitamin’s iron content might be exacerbating the problem.
Many factors, including odors, food, and even prenatal medications, can make pregnant women nauseated. If you get a queasy sensation after you take your vitamin, consider switching brands to something that does not contain as much iron, or consider taking your vitamin with meals to see if it helps.
Other side effects can include:
- Appetite/hunger stimulation
Over-the-Counter vs. Prescription Prenatal Vitamins
You can purchase prenatal vitamins over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. Some individuals choose to obtain their other prenatal vitamins through a prescription since it improves the probability the multivitamins are of excellent quality. If you have dietary requirements, medications can provide a vitamin specifically for you.
If you opt to buy your vitamin supplements over the counter, make sure to read the labeling, so you realize how many specific vitamins and minerals you are getting. Look for a prenatal multivitamin that includes folic acid, iron, calcium, and Omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA) as a rule of thumb.
Many dietary and multivitamin supplements offered in supermarkets and health food shops are not exposed to the same level of oversight and inspection as prescribed prenatal vitamins. If you decide to buy it over-the-counter, be sure you understand what you are getting. It is always preferable to purchase well-known products from reliable retailers.
What Is the Distinction Between Prenatal Vitamins and Multivitamins?
Some common vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, B vitamins, and zinc, may be found in both prenatal vitamins and women’s multivitamins. Prenatals, on the other hand, may contain ingredients such as folic acid, iodine, and DHA recommended by experts for pregnant or intending to become pregnant women. Furthermore, some prenatal vitamins cut out the iron to be gentler on your tummy, which is beneficial if you feel nauseated.
Each women’s multivitamin on the market has a unique composition with varying quantities of a range of components. So, if you are unsure about which prenatal vitamin and multivitamin is best for you, consult your doctor. Then, examine the labeling of your everyday multivitamin and prenatal vitamins, and select the one that provides the vitamins your doctor advises.
FAQs: Prenatal Supplements
Q. When Should One Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
Check with your doctor regarding starting prenatal vitamins as quickly as you discontinue birth control. Because the first several weeks of pregnancy are essential for fetus growth and wellbeing, it is a good idea to begin taking folic acid at least 30 days before you start trying to conceive. You should take prenatal vitamins for the duration of your pregnancy.
Q. What Time of Day Should Prenatal Vitamins Be Taken?
Take your multivitamin whenever it is convenient for you — just remember to do so regularly. If you get morning sickness, take it later in the day or after a meal. You can also take it immediately before going to bed if that is more convenient for you.
Q. What Advantages Do Prenatal Vitamins Provide?
Prenatal vitamins are essential whether or not you eat a healthy diet. During pregnancy, your demands grow, and it is critical to stay well-nourished to maintain your health and the wellbeing of your baby. Of course, supplements are designed to enhance a healthy diet, so it is still vital to eat mindfully and as healthily as you possibly can throughout pregnancy.
Q. Is It Safe to Use Prenatal Vitamins Throughout Pregnancy?
Prenatal vitamins are generally considered to be safe. However, one must always seek doctors to provide medical advice before beginning a new supplement regimen. Some pills may contain additives such as herbs or botanicals that are not suitable for everyone. However, keep in mind that short ingredient lists are likely to be the best during pregnancy.
Q. Is It Possible to Consume More Folic Acid Than Is Recommended?
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that any excess you ingest will be excreted. In principle, this means that exceeding the RDAs for folic acid is not harmful. A high level of folic acid, on the other hand, might hide B12 deficiency by masking its symptoms, which can be progressively detrimental in the long term. As a result, health organizations such as the World Health Organization advise against exceeding the recommended folic acid upper intake limit of 1000mcg per day.
Q. How to Consume Prenatal Vitamins?
If taking prenatal vitamins in tablet form causes stomach distress, you can try liquid supplements or chewables. However, because gummies may be deficient in iron, additional supplementation is recommended.
It is recommended to take your prenatal vitamins with a full glass of water, and you should take them with a meal for maximum absorption. If you are experiencing nausea or constipation, see your doctor.
Q. Can You Take Multivitamins When Pregnant and Prenatal Vitamins When You Are Not?
Consider a prenatal vitamin to be a multivitamin that has been specially designed with certain ingredients to assist womens’ nutritional needs before and throughout pregnancy. The choice between multivitamins and prenatal vitamins comes down to whatever nutrients your doctor advises you to take right now.
If they advise you to increase your folate intake or to take a supplement containing extra folate or folic acid, examine the labels of your multivitamin and prenatal vitamins to ensure you are getting the right quantities.
Consult your primary care physician about your plans to become pregnant, as well as any other food or health problems you may have. They can assist you in locating the best supplement for you, regardless of the brand name on the packaging.
Q. How Does One Determine Which Vitamin Is Required?
Throughout pregnancy, all vitamins are essential for your health and the wellbeing of your developing child. But specifically, iodine, iron, folic acid, DHA, calcium, and vitamin D are crucial.
When you are in excellent health overall, a decent over-the-counter multivitamin will be just enough to ensure you do not acquire any hazardous imbalances during pregnancy. Nevertheless, if you have a history of dietary deficits or have particular nutritional requirements, you should pay extra attention.
Q. When Should One Discontinue Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
Although they are referred to as “prenatal” vitamins, there are some reasons to continue consuming them after giving birth. Although you are nursing, you are growing a baby on the exterior even if you are not creating the baby inside you.
If you are nursing, continue to take your prenatal vitamins, as your body will use the additional nutrients to provide milk for your child. This way, you will be able to replenish any stockpiles that were depleted during your pregnancy.
It is suggested that you discontinue taking them once you have finished nursing and return to a regular vitamin. Taking them for longer may seem like a great idea, but the high amounts of vitamin levels may cause more damage than benefit or could contribute to overdose.
However, if you are actively attempting to have another child, this is the exception. You should consult your doctor, but you may typically continue with your vitamin regimen if you want to conceive again.
Q. Are Prenatal Vitamins FDA Approved?
Because prenatal vitamins are classified as nutritional supplements, the FDA does not examine or certify their safety. The organization advises consumers to consult with their healthcare professionals about whether they should take a prenatal vitamin.
The National Institutes of Health also mentions that quality assurance is available through independent groups such as ConsumerLab.com, NSF International, and the United States Pharmacopeia. So, look for companies with seals of these groups, as they show the item has passed rigorous quality testing.
Q. Is It Necessary for Healthy Vegans and Vegetarians to Take a Prenatal Vitamin?
This is dependent on the elements of your diet. Prenatal vitamins are not required. However, most individuals profit from them since your nutrient demands vary. Your nutrition intake might be much more irregular throughout pregnancy, particularly in the initial stages.
Q. Is the FSA Covering Prenatal Vitamins?
Yes, they are typically FSA-qualified since they are a known method of addressing any possible deficits in pregnant moms and prevent birth defects.
Suppose you are given a specific vitamin to address a more pressing nutritional need. In that case, you will almost certainly require a note of medical necessity from your doctor if you desire FSA reimbursement. This should not be an issue because these vitamins are known to treat, cure, reduce, or prevent illness.
Q. Can a Prenatal Vitamin Assist with Hair Growth?
The belief is that because they are so high in nutrients, they may be utilized as a type of beauty hack to give you bright healthy skin and thick, glossy hair. Is this, however, correct?
In the near term, sure. A prenatal vitamin can provide a “boost” to women already low in iron or calcium. But, the fact is that this increase is a little more than a typical iron or calcium pill can provide.
As a result, they can do more damage than benefit for women who are not pregnant or attempting to conceive and do not have any nutritional deficits. Consuming a prenatal now and then will not create any difficulties, but they do not suit your regular beauty regimen.
Prenatal vitamins might enhance egg quality and increase fertility. There are many things to learn and decisions to make as a pregnant woman, but choosing high-quality prenatal vitamins to aid your nourishment and your child’s growth should be at the top of your list. Our overall recommendation would be MegaFood’s Baby & Me 2.
The best prenatal supplements will not replace a well-balanced diet, but they can provide you with peace of mind in realizing that both you and your baby are getting all they need for proper growth and development.
So, you should evaluate what you usually eat and where your diet may fall short when deciding which prenatal supplement to purchase. If you are still not sure which prenatal vitamin is right for you, see your doctor.