Caring for your baby is a blessing, but it’s a big responsibility, too. And, it’s a responsibility that should start before you even fall pregnant. But, this doesn’t mean that it should be scary. In fact, caring for your little one can be made very easy with prenatal vitamins.
That being said, not all prenatal vitamins are equally as effective. Though they might look impressive on the shelf, some variations of these supplements simply don’t have the goodness that you and your baby need.
You might, for example, want to focus on organic prenatal vitamins, or you might be after prenatal vitamins that promote hair growth. Alternatively, you might not be as concerned with any of the specifics of these vitamins, and you just want the best, all-round product available over the counter.
So, with a wide variety of products to choose from, how do you find the best prenatal vitamins on the market? We have a helpful buying guide that will give you some more knowledge on this type of vitamin and help you decide on the right product for you and your little one.
In the Post
- Best Prenatal Vitamins Buying Guide
- Top 10 Best Prenatal Vitamins (Guide And Reviews)
- 1. MegaFood Baby and Me (Best organic prenatal vitamins)
- 2. Rainbow Light Certified Prenatal Multivitamin
- 3. Pure Synergy PureNatal (Best for vegetarians)
- 4. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal(Best for hair growth)
- 5. One a Day Women’s Prenatal
- 6. Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA(Best prenatal vitamins with dha)
- 7. Zahler Prenatal + DHA
- 8. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
- 9. Nature’s Way Alive! Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
- To Wrap Up
Best Prenatal Vitamins Buying Guide
In the end, only you will know which products are best for you and your baby. However, this guide will help you decide exactly what you need in a product, whether that product will fit into your lifestyle, how much you need to budget for your vitamins, and when to start taking multivitamins.
Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins
As you may know, your diet is very important when it comes to keeping your unborn baby healthy. And, even though you might try to keep your diet well-balanced, you might be missing out on certain nutrients that are vital to helping your baby develop.
Prenatal vitamins help on this front by supplementing your diet with all of the goodness that your baby needs, and that you might be unintentionally missing.
How important is proper nutrition for an unborn baby? Very! Failure to give your baby the right vitamins could lead to growth problems later in life, as well as possible neurological issues, an underweight baby, and, in extreme cases, stillbirth. So, the problems associated with a malnourished baby are serious, to say the least.
With this in mind, you need a vitamin supplement that gives you and your little one everything that you both need to stay fit and healthy. But, what exactly does that entail? Let’s discuss that next.
What to Look for in a Vitamin Supplement
Essentially, you want a vitamin supplement to make up for all of the nutrients that you are lacking in your diet. So, ideally, a great vitamin tablet should have a wide variety of ingredients. But, of these, there are a few ingredients that are particularly important. These are:
As you may know, omega-3 fatty acids are very good for you. They’re excellent for the health of your eyes and brain, making them crucial to the development of your baby. But, the problem with these acids is that they typically come from fish, which contains fetus-harming mercury as well.
A great way to avoid this conundrum is to use prenatal DHA supplements, which contain crucial omega-3 without the harmful mercury. In addition to helping develop your baby’s brain and eyes, DHA can help prevent premature births.
Even when you’re not pregnant, iron is important for your red blood cells, immune system, muscles, bones, and cartilage. But, when you are pregnant, it is essential for a healthy baby and placenta. It also prevents premature delivery as well as anemia during pregnancy.
You need around 18 milligrams of protein when you’re not pregnant, but this goes up to 27 milligrams when you fall pregnant.
There are many foods that contain iron (like poultry, fish, red meat, and numerous green vegetables), but counting iron milligrams can cause more stress than you need during pregnancy. It is much easier to use a supplement that contains your required daily dose.
The fetal skeleton starts developing rapidly in the third trimester, which is a crucial stage. Your baby’s bones have to be strong to make it through the birthing process, so they will find the nutrients they need no matter what, even if that means sapping the calcium from your own bones.
To avoid this, you need around 1200 milligrams of calcium per day. You can get this through foodstuffs such as milk, sour cream, cheese, and butter.
But, again, counting milligrams can be stressful. It is far easier to take vitamins that cover at least a portion of your daily requirements, making it easy to make up the difference.
Also known as folate or vitamin B9, folic acid is a highly important nutrient both in conception and in the development of your baby. Folic acid is very valuable in the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
The neural tube starts to develop in week 3 of your pregnancy, which is often before you even know that you are pregnant. This tube becomes your baby’s spinal cord and brain, meaning that it is very important to give the neural tube all of the nourishment it needs. Because of this, it is a good idea to start taking folic acid while you are still trying to conceive.
When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
Given that folic acid is important during the early phase of your pregnancy, you can get this and other nutrients by starting to take prenatal vitamins quite a while before you fall pregnant.
Owing to the nutritional value of these supplements, it is advisable to start taking them around 3 months before you start trying to conceive. This is because of a maturing period of the human egg, which takes roughly 3 months.
If you think you are already pregnant, start taking prenatal multivitamins as soon as you can.
Can Prenatal Vitamins Help My Hair Grow?
Many pregnant women find that, while they are carrying, their hair and nails grow faster and appear stronger. Because many pregnant mothers take prenatal vitamins, this is often seen to be the reason for this hair growth. This also leads a lot of women who aren’t pregnant to think about taking prenatal vitamins for the benefits to their hair and nails.
However, there isn’t conclusive evidence that points to these vitamin supplements being solely responsible for hair strength and growth. Many doctors attribute hair growth during pregnancy to the increase in hormones in a woman’s body while she is carrying. And, even then, it might not be increased hair growth so much as decreased hair shedding.
That being said, the nutrients contained in prenatal vitamins can certainly help keep your hair strong and healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and calcium are among the vitamins that help with hair growth, making prenatal vitamins great products to help keep your hair in excellent condition.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
The great thing about prenatal vitamins is that they are pretty affordable, and their price ranges to suit all budgets. You can expect to pay just a little over $10 at the lower end of the price range and around $40 at the upper end.
Also, the differences between products are not huge. So, you don’t have to feel that you are missing out on important ingredients if you don’t opt for the more expensive products. It is simply a case of finding the right product for your needs, and the one that suits your body the best.
Top 10 Best Prenatal Vitamins (Guide And Reviews)
1. MegaFood Baby and Me (Best organic prenatal vitamins)
MegaFood’s Baby and Me supplement is an organic prenatal vitamin. Its ‘fresh from the farm’ ingredients give you loads of benefits without the worry that you are consuming any unhealthy chemicals.
The biggest draw when it comes to this product is that it uses real foods like brown rice and broccoli to give you your recommended daily dose of vitamin E and folate, which help support lactation.
Baby and Me also uses herbs and organic ginger to help balance out your mood during your pregnancy. This blend also helps keep nausea at bay, which is excellent if you suffer from morning sickness.
Speaking of ‘morning’ sickness, we all know that this isn’t just confined to the mornings. Nausea can strike at any time. Understanding this, Baby and Me vitamins are formulated so that you can take them at any time – even on an empty stomach. So, you can use this supplement’s anti-nausea effects to fight your morning sickness when it happens, even if that is at different times from day to day.
As far as nutrients go, Baby and Me delivers the full required daily dose of nutrients like iron and folic acid.
While the tablets are quite large, measuring almost an inch in length, you don’t have to take them all at once. You can break up your doses over the course of the day, or break up the tablets themselves and put them in a smoothie.
2. Rainbow Light Certified Prenatal Multivitamin
Rainbow Light offers a pure, nutrient-rich multivitamin made with organic fruits and vegetables. It is ideal for vegetarians and is also free from gluten and dairy products.
Rainbow Light takes a scientific approach to its products, creating these multivitamins out of carefully selected organic fruits and vegetables, as well as other botanicals. This supplement aims to help the development of your little one as well as invigorate your body, and it achieves that feat quite well.
This multivitamin contains numerous minerals, vitamins, prebiotics, and antioxidants which are derived from healthy, whole foods. This blend is great for helping your liver and digestive system stay healthy. It also helps boost your natural energy levels and keep you in a generally good mood.
Aiming at keeping you in excellent health and away from harmful chemicals, this product is free from a variety of additives. It contains no sweeteners, artificial flavoring, or artificial coloring.
Furthermore, Rainbow Light’s multivitamin contains no fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, nuts, soy, or gluten, making it ideal for vegetarians or people with allergies.
You are required to take this multivitamin four times a day with food, but they are easy-to-swallow capsules, so taking them shouldn’t cause you too much stress.
3. Pure Synergy PureNatal (Best for vegetarians)
Pure Synergy’s prenatal vitamin is made from organic fruits and vegetables, making it ideal for vegetarians. Made with whole foods, this product is perfect for the pre-conception, pregnancy, and breastfeeding stages.
PureNatal is full of excellent ingredients which care for you and your baby. Among these are folate, iron, vitamin D3, K2, A, and E. These are sourced from whole foods such as ginger, sprouts, berries, and red raspberry leaf extract.
The organic vegetables and fruits used to make this product are activated with particular probiotics and enzymes. This makes them highly bioavailable, which means that your body draws a large amount of the ingredients from each dose and very little goes to waste.
The formulation of ingredients also means that these multivitamins are gentle on your stomach, which is great if you are struggling with nausea. And, to make life easier in this department, these supplements do not have to be taken with food, so you can take them between meals if that helps with your morning sickness.
This product is perfect for vegetarians and is also free from gluten and dairy. Its ingredients are also certified organic and completely non-GMO.
4. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal(Best for hair growth)
Garden of Life’s Raw Prenatal is a multivitamin made from raw whole foods. This is an excellent, vegetarian-friendly supplement that also contains many of the vitamins needed for hair growth.
Raw Prenatal is another multivitamin designed to keep you healthy during the whole reproductive cycle, from pre-conception, through pregnancy, to lactation.
The product bears the ‘Raw’ tag because it is created without the processes which are often used in the manufacturing of tablets. This means that each capsule is created away from intense heat and contains no fillers, binders, artificial flavoring, colors, or sweeteners.
All of the ingredients are derived from raw, whole foods. That means that you get all of the goodness of natural fruits and vegetables, which is great for both you and your baby. You also benefit from probiotics, which aid in digestion, and morning-sickness-tackling ginger.
These vegetarian capsules are easy on the stomach and can be taken with or without food, which definitely makes them easy to fit into your lifestyle. Plus, you only have to take them three times a day instead of four, which is the case with certain other products.
This multivitamin also contains many of the vitamins that you need for hair growth. The most important of these is possibly zinc, with vitamin B-Complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, and iron also playing a part in healthy hair growth.
5. One a Day Women’s Prenatal
One a Day’s multivitamin is a complete multivitamin that offers everything your body needs to properly develop your baby, and that you only have to take once a day. It also has many of the vitamins that you need to promote hair growth.
One a Day Women’s Prenatal is designed to give women everything they need in their diets before, during, and after pregnancy.
This product contains folic acid for spinal cord and brain development both during pre-pregnancy and in the early weeks of pregnancy. It also contains Iodine and other important ingredients for proper development during pregnancy.
Unlike numerous other prenatal multivitamins, however, One a Day’s product contains Omega-3 DHA. This is highly important post-pregnancy and is passed to your baby via breastmilk. This helps with the development of a healthy brain and eyes.
Omega-3 is also good for reducing the inflammation which can lead to hair loss, making this a good product to promote the thickness of your hair. In addition to Omega-3, this multivitamin contains vitamin C, zinc, iron, and vitamin D, all of which aid in thick, healthy hair.
6. Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA(Best prenatal vitamins with dha)
Nature Made’s multivitamin is a softgel capsule that you only need to take once per day. In addition to containing large amounts of all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, it contains DHA.
Prenatal Multi + DHA is a multivitamin designed to provide important nutrients for women who are trying to fall pregnant or who are already pregnant. Unlike some prenatal multivitamins, this product contains DHA, which is crucial for brain and eye development.
The addition of DHA means that you don’t need to take numerous multivitamins each day. And, to make your life even more convenient, Nature Made only requires you to take one capsule per day.
The capsules are of a slightly large size. However, being softgel capsules, they are fairly easy to swallow. Taking them with a glass of water during mealtime means that they go down without any hassle.
These capsules contain no synthetic dyes or artificial colors. They are also free from yeast, starch, and gluten, making them pretty easy on your digestive system. They do, however, contain soy, which is something to consider. But, given what we now know about soy, you may not be concerned with this ingredient.
7. Zahler Prenatal + DHA
Zahler’s multivitamin is specially formulated to look after both you and your developing baby. It includes no less than 25 different nutrients and vitamins as well as crucial DHA.
Another DHA-containing product, Prenatal + DHA means that you only need this one supplement to boost your health and help the development of your growing baby.
You have to take two capsules per day, but the fact that they are soft gels means that they go down easily. And, unlike some DHA-containing supplements on the market, these capsules don’t have a fishy smell or aftertaste.
While Zahler’s multivitamins are not considered organic, they do put a lot of effort into the sourcing of their products. Much care is taken with regards to optimal nutritional doses and absorption ratios. This makes the bioavailability of these multivitamins very high.
Also, many of the minerals are in salt or acid form, making these multivitamins gentle on your stomach. This is ideal if you are still battling with nausea.
Lastly, while Zahler states that all of its ingredients come from natural sources, the capsule is made from gelatin, which is an animal product. So, if you are a vegetarian, this won’t suit your lifestyle.
8. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
New Chapter’s multivitamin is a vegetarian-friendly tablet made with organic whole foods. While it doesn’t contain DHA, its ingredients give you your complete daily value of important nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin D3, vitamin C as well as B vitamins.
The blend of organic vegetables and herbs in this multivitamin means that it is very easy on the stomach, allowing you to take it on an empty stomach and experience no nausea. That being said, you do need to take this multivitamin 3 times a day, so it is easier to take it during meal times.
New Chapter’s prenatal vitamin uses whole foods such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and sprouts to help care for your red blood cells, immune system, and heart.
This product is made with organic fruits and vegetables and is GMO-free. In addition, it contains no synthetic fillers, sugars, gluten, or animal gelatin, making it a great product for vegetarians.
Considering that it contains so many organic ingredients and stays away from so many synthetic products, it is difficult to believe that this multivitamin is so effective. But, it is one of the best over-the-counter products available.
9. Nature’s Way Alive! Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
Alive! offers an excellent, chewable multivitamin that is free of a lot of unnecessary additives and is made from fruits and vegetables. In addition to being tasty and easy to take, it is comprehensive in that it contains DHA.
Given that they are chewable and pleasant-tasting, these multivitamins are easy to take.This is a good thing considering that you need to take them three times a day. But, before you let that put you off them, consider that these gummies do contain DHA, so these are the only vitamins you need to take daily.
The DHA contained in these gummies is actually sourced from plants, making them fit for vegetarians. Also, they don’t contain any dairy products, eggs, or gelatin and have no artificial flavoring or preservatives, not to mention yeast, soy or wheat.
With 75 gummies in a bottle, it doesn’t quite last you a month. But, with the price being one of the most reasonable on the market, this is not a huge downside.
To Wrap Up
Not all prenatal multivitamins do exactly the same thing, so you are able to look for a particular outcome when taking dietary supplements during your pregnancy. But, whether you want an organic product, a product that contains DHA, a product that helps strengthen your hair, or just a great over-the-counter prenatal vitamin, the right product is out there.
Hopefully, this buying guide will help you find the perfect multivitamin for you and your baby, and will help give both of you the nutrients you need while keeping you feeling great.