Trying to Decide Which Prenatal Vitamin To Take? Here's help!
Prenatal vitamins are multi-vitamins formulated specifically for the needs of pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your body needs extra vitamins and minerals to grow a healthy baby but also maintain your own healthy body. If you do not take in enough vitamins and minerals, the baby will use vitamins and minerals from your body, often leading to fatigue and common pregnancy discomforts. Taking prenatal vitamins helps your baby but also helps you to feel your best throughout pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins should not cause you to have adverse effects like stomach pain, constipation, or fatigue.
Synthetic-based prenatal vitamins are hard for the body to break down and absorb and often cause discomforts. For this reason, I recommend food-based prenatal vitamins. The serving size is usually larger (like 3 capsules vs. 1) but women usually report that they have more energy and feel better on these vitamins. A variety of brands are listed so you can find the right one for you. All are available at the lowest price online and most are available at stores like Sprouts, WholeFoods, Vitamin Shoppe, Sunflower Shoppe, etc. If you have any adverse effects that you think are from your prenatal vitamin consider switching to a different brand. If you have a difficult time swallowing pills, there are gummy and liquid options that are also high quality.
If you are evaluating other prenatal vitamin brands, I go by two guidelines before recommending a particular prenatal vitamin. First, I look at whether it has folic acid or folate. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is hard for most people to break down and use. If a person has the MTFHR mutation, high levels of folic acid can disrupt the use of other vitamins and minerals. Most people have the MTFHR gene (and it is expensive to test for) so I recommend supplements with folate only to everyone. The supplement facts may read folate, methylated folate, etc. Secondly, I look to see if it is food-based, as mentioned above. This makes the money spent more worthwhile for mom and baby. Ideally, women should begin taking prenatal vitamins 3 months before conception, continue throughout pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.
Garden of Life myKind Organic Prenatal Multi*
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal*
Honest Company Whole Food Based Prenatal*
Mega Food Baby & Me Pre and Postnatal Dietary Supplement (not Baby & Me 2)*
Emerald Labs Coenzymated Prenatal 1-Daily Multivitamin*
Garden of Life myKind Organic Prenatal Multi Gummies*
Young Living Master Formula, SuperCal, SuperB, OmegaGize and MultiGreens
Pink Stork Organic Prenatal Vitamin (use discount code “amcare20” on Pink Stork website for 20% discount on entire cart)*
Zahler Prenatal (contains DHA but needs additional supplementation)
Honest Company Prenatal Once Daily*
Thorne Research Basic Prenatal*
Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal*
Smarty Pants Prenatal Complete Gummies (available at Target, contains EPA/DHA but additional supplementation is still recommended)
Jarrow Preg-natal Tablets*
Liquid Health Prenatal Multi Organic Whole Food Nutrients*
Pink Stork Whole Food Prenatal Vitamin Spray (use discount code “amcare20” on Pink Stork website for 20% discount on entire cart)*
Pink Stork Foundation Liquid Prenatal Vitamin (use discount code “amcare20” on Pink Stork website for 20% discount on entire cart)*
Mom & Baby Pure Prenatal Liquid*
If your prenatal vitamin does not contain EPA/DHA (prenatals marked with an * do not), or you are struggling with feeling down or have a history of postpartum depression, you may want to consider supplementing with fish oil. Dietary EPA/DHA is required to build the growing baby’s brain and keep the maternal brain healthy throughout the childbearing year. During pregnancy, the dietary goal for omega-3 fatty acids is 650 mg, of which 300 is DHA. Studies show that 3000mg of EPA/DHA makes a difference in mood disorders. These doses are safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The following are some recommended brands. Note that some brands contain lower doses of EPA/DHA to the ratio of fish oil compared to others. If you are taking large doses of EPA/DHA, it may be worthwhile to buy a more expensive brand that contains more EPA/DHA per mg of fish oil so that you can take fewer pills:
EPA/DHA Balance or Max DHA by Jarrow
Omegagize by Young Living
Minami Prenatal Omega 3 or Minami Algae Omega 3 Vegan DHA by Garden of Life