Is it necessary for me to take prenatal vitamins? Which are the best? The finest prenatal vitamins for mom and baby are listed here.
You are well aware that a proper diet is essential throughout pregnancy.
That’s why your shopping cart is a rainbow, and you’re trying your best to prepare meals that include all of the food categories. But, let’s be honest: it’s difficult to tell if you’re receiving all of the vitamins and minerals you and your kid require.
Prenatal vitamins can help with this. They are not intended to replace a well-balanced diet, but rather to supplement it, ensuring that you get enough of the important nutrients you require throughout pregnancy.
Dr. Cordelia Nwankwo, a board-certified ob-gyn in Washington, D.C., spoke with us about the importance of prenatal vitamins and how to find the proper ones for you.
In this essay, we will:
- Best Prenatal Vitamins According to Babylist
- Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary?
- How Soon Should I Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
- How Should I Select Prenatal Vitamins?
Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary?
“Prenatal vitamins are vital before and during pregnancy to assist your body handle the demands of pregnancy and aid in the growth of your kid,” explains Dr. Nwankwo. “The cornerstone of your nutritional vitamins should be a well-balanced diet.” Your body can absorb more from your diet than it can from supplements. Your prenatal care, on the other hand, will assist fill in the gaps.”
When you’re pregnant, a standard multivitamin isn’t going to cut it. Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins that are particularly developed to provide extra nutrients at various stages of your baby’s growth. They include folic acid, for example, which is essential for a baby’s brain development in the early stages. Many also include vitamin D and calcium, which aid in the development of strong bones and teeth during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Furthermore, prenatal vitamins assist ensure that you have enough minerals, such as iron, to not only provide for the baby but also to keep your own body from being depleted.
How Soon Should I Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
You should begin taking prenatal vitamins at least a month, preferably three months, before conception and continue to take them throughout your pregnancy, from four weeks pregnant to the time labor and birth begin.
In fact, it’s typically recommended to take a prenatal vitamin every day if there’s even a remote chance of becoming pregnant, even if you’re not intending on it. This is because important brain development occurs during the first month of pregnancy, when folic acid would provide the most protection. (If you’re trying to conceive and suspect you’re pregnant, see our guide to the best pregnancy tests.)
“I recommend beginning prenatal vitamins as soon as you think about attempting to conceive.” “Three months before conception is ideal,” Dr. Nwankwo explains.
If you intend to breastfeed, Dr. Nwankwo advises that you continue to take your prenatal vitamins for at least six months, if not the whole pregnancy.
There’s no reason to be concerned if you’re already pregnant and haven’t been taking prenatal vitamins. Simply begin as soon as possible.
How Should I Select Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are widely accessible over the counter, and a prescription is rarely required. (Note: Check with your insurance provider to see whether prenatal vitamins are covered.) If so, you’ll almost certainly require a prescription from your doctor.)
Don’t be bothered about which option to select. “There isn’t much of a difference between over-the-counter and prescription prenatal, and both are appropriate,” Dr. Nwankwo affirms.
“Sometimes, prescription prenatal may have unique formulations, such as a stool softener added to aid with constipation or more iron.” The tablets might potentially be smaller and simpler to swallow. “However, it isn’t required,” she says. “It also doesn’t matter if you take a pill or a gummy; just make sure it has the proper quantity of vitamins.”
Because particular vitamin components are not controlled by the FDA, each vitamin may differ in the types and amounts of nutrients it contains. If the vitamin you chose does not contain the complete recommended daily quantity of a nutrient, be sure you consume foods rich in that nutrient.
When searching for prenatal vitamins, seek the following four key nutrients (as recommended by Dr. Nwankwo and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):
- 600 mcg folic acid (Aids in neural tube development and may help avoid neural tube abnormalities such as Spina Bifida.)
- Iron: 27 mg (Aids in preventing anemia, which can impair oxygen transport to the fetus via red blood cells. Keep in mind that most gummies lack iron.)
- Calcium: 1,000 mg (Improves bone health). Most prenatal vitamins do not include this much calcium, so talk to your doctor about taking a separate calcium supplement if you don’t receive enough from your diet.)
- 600 IU of vitamin D (Helps support healthy bone development and your immune system.)
The following vitamins are also important during pregnancy, and you may not obtain enough of them from your diet alone. These are also beneficial to include in your prenatals:
- 770 mcg vitamin A (Note: Beta-carotene or other carotenoids are the healthiest forms of Vitamin A.)
- 85 mg vitamin C
- 1.9 mg vitamin B6
- 2.6 mg vitamin B12
- 450 mg choline
If you can discover a prenatal vitamin that also contains omega-3 fatty acids, consider that a plus. There is significant evidence that omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA), a lipid found in some types of fish, may play a vital role in your baby’s brain and nervous system development. The March of Dimes suggests that you consume 200 mg of DHA every day, either through food or supplementation.
Which Prenatal Vitamins Are the Most Beneficial?
Vitamins are available in a variety of formats, including pills, soft-gel capsules, and gummies. Swallowing and holding down a medication might be challenging for some people, especially if they are nauseated from morning sickness. If this is the case, consider a soft-gel capsule or a gummy vitamin. Remember that gummy vitamins do not include iron, so you may need to supplement with iron.
Prenatal Vitamins That Work
“The greatest prenatal is the one you’re going to take regularly,” Dr. Nwankwo explains.
Here are some of the most common options to think about while choosing the finest prenatal vitamin for you.
Best Prenatal Vitamin on a Budget
Nature Made prenatal vitamins are an excellent deal if you’re on a tight budget. Not to mention that you can definitely get them at your neighborhood drugstore. They meet your daily requirements for folic acid, iron, and vitamin D, as well as other critical vitamins.
The Nature Made prenatals even have the full required quantity of DHA (which is fantastic if you don’t consume fish on a daily basis). The added benefit? Each day, you simply need to take one soft gel capsule.
The calcium content of these Nature Made vitamins is low, at just 150 mg. If you don’t receive enough calcium through your diet and exercise, you may need to take a calcium supplement.
Prenatal Gummy Vitamins That Work
Okay, let’s be honest: for some soon-to-be parents, keeping anything down can be a significant issue. Some people, however, claim that vitamin gummies work.
Smarty Pants gummy vitamins are available in three flavors: lemon, orange, and strawberry-banana, and include no artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup. To acquire the quantity of folic acid and vitamin D recommended for pregnant women, you’ll need to eat six per day. You’ll also receive a little DHA (48 mg).
You won’t obtain iron from any gummy vitamin, and this one lacks calcium as well. Ask your doctor if you need to take an extra supplement to receive the iron and calcium you need throughout pregnancy.
Best DHA Prenatal Vitamins
This prenatal is a wonderful supplement if you want to increase your DHA consumption throughout your pregnancy. With 480 mg of DHA per serving, it exceeds the daily omega-3 dietary guidelines for baby’s brain development.
It’s also devoid of environmental pollutants, including heavy metals, and has acquired the NSF International stamp of approval (a third party that tests supplements for quality and safety).
This is not a prenatal multivitamin; rather, it is a DHA supplement. Though it contains 400 I.U. of vitamin D3 in addition to the DHA, if you need iron, folic acid, or other vitamins and minerals, you should take it in addition to your usual prenatal.
Natural Prenatal Vitamins That Work
Sure, MegaFood vitamins are expensive, but there’s a reason for that. NSF International, a third party that confirms supplements fulfill high quality and safety criteria, has granted this brand an independent stamp of certification.
Unlike other products that employ less expensive but more difficult-to-absorb substances, Baby & Me 2 is packed with “food state” nutrients—that is, they are naturally derived from foods (many of which are organic), making them easier for your body to utilise. By taking the prescribed two tablets each day, you obtain the ideal quantity of vitamin D and more than enough folic acid.
When pregnant, you need 27 to 30 mg of iron per day, however Baby & Me 2 only has 18 mg. Also, because this supplement lacks calcium, you’ll need to make sure you’re consuming lots of iron- and calcium-rich foods.
- Another Way to Get Ready for a Baby
With Babylist, you may add any item from any retailer to ONE registry. Begin your registration today and receive a Hello Baby Box full of free (wonderful!) items.
Best Iron-Fortified Prenatal Vitamins
A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but the Honest Co. coats their once-a-day prenatal with natural vanilla to make them easier to take. Digestive enzymes derived from pineapple, papaya, and kiwi, as well as ginger and B6, aid with tablet absorption insensitive stomachs.
These prenatals are high in vitamin D, iron, folic acid, and spirulina. They include a lot of organic nutrients and may even be consumed on an empty stomach.
With just 200 mg of calcium per day, these vitamins also fall short of the daily calcium requirement for pregnancy. However, if you drink milk or consume yogurt on a daily basis, this may not be an issue for you.
Best Folate/Folic Acid Prenatal Vitamins
If you’re concerned about the origins of your food, you’ll like these vitamins. Ritual defines not just the specific form of their vitamins and minerals (since there may be more than one alternative), but also where each resource is derived.
These prenatals are high in folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) from Italy, DHA from Canada, and vitamin D3 from the United Kingdom, among other vitamins and minerals. For those with sensitive stomachs, the two capsules per day are designed not to dissolve until they reach a part of your digestive tract that is less prone to cause nausea.
These supplements are deficient in calcium, and while they include 18 mg of iron, they do not exceed the daily need. Instead, you’ll need to concentrate on receiving lots of those essential nutrients through your food. And the cost is for a monthly subscription.
Best Prenatal Vitamins in Liquid Form
If you have trouble swallowing pills and don’t like gummies, liquid prenatal vitamins may be a suitable option. (Though they do have a flavor that not everyone loves.) The Pink Stork liquid contains 100 percent or more of the daily recommendation for many important nutrients. It is gluten-free, non-GMO, and devoid of animal products. Plus, it claims its 18 mg of iron are non-constipating. It could be worth a go!
You may need a calcium supplement since this liquid only contains 20 mg of the nutrient. It is also available in traditional capsule form.