Taking a daily prenatal vitamin during pregnancy is essential. It’s one of the easiest ways to do something positive for your growing baby.
Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, you may be missing important nutrients. A prenatal vitamin will fill in those gaps. It will also help support your baby’s growth and development. Popping that daily pill can even help prevent neural tube defects and anemia.
Your doctor may recommend a few options for what kind of prenatal you’ll need. If you have pregnancy complications or other health concerns, your doctor might recommend a prescription prenatal. Otherwise, over-the-counter vitamins are available at the pharmacy.
While there are many brands available, you’ll want to choose a prenatal vitamin that includes:
- folic acid
- vitamins D, C, A, and E
When Should I Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin?
The best time to begin taking prenatal vitamins is before you conceive. A baby’s neural tube, which will develop into both the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy. That could happen before you even realize you’re pregnant.
If you aren’t already popping that daily pill, start taking a prenatal as soon as you find out you’re expecting. You’ll continue taking your prenatal vitamin every day during your pregnancy.
Your doctor might also recommend you continue to take prenatal vitamins after delivery, especially if you decide to breast-feed.
Which Prenatal Vitamin Is Right for Me?
If your doctor is leaving the decision in your hands, you’ll have several options to choose from.
Here are 12 top rated brands to consider.
1. Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal
Packed with probiotics, ginger, and zinc, this prenatal vitamin is intended to support the immune systems of both mama and baby. It’s a raw, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free option.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $38
2. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
This probiotic is formulated with organic herbs, cultured whole food vitamins, and minerals. It’s made with all non-GMO ingredients. It also provides 100 percent of your daily iron value.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $44
3. Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA
This liquid soft gel multivitamin combines DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, with folic acid, iron, and other essential nutrients. With this option, there’s no need to take a supplement for omega-3s.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $50
4. One a Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamin
With this option, you’ll get 100 percent of the daily recommended value of folic acid. You’ll also get omega-3 DHA and iron. This liquid gel and multivitamin tablet duo supports both mom and baby before, during, and after pregnancy.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $23
5. MegaFood Baby & Me Herb Free Prenatal Vitamin
Formulated with organic, plant-based ingredients, this prenatal vitamin is designed to be easily digestible and can be taken on an empty stomach.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $36
6. New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal Vitamin
This whole fish oil supplement is a good source of whole omegas, vitamin D-3, and antioxidants. It contains oil from 100 percent sustainably caught wild Alaskan salmon. It’s also non-GMO project verified and gluten-free.
Amazon rating: not yet rated. $98
7. Garden of Life 3 Oceans Mom, Prenatal DHA
Another good source for getting over 100 percent of the recommended DHA levels for pregnancy. It’s strawberry flavored.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $13
8. Enfamil Expecta Prenatal Dietary Supplement
A complete multivitamin and DHA supplement from a mercury-free, non-fish source. This prenatal vitamin has 100 percent of the recommended daily value of folic acid.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $12.33
9. SmartyPants Prenatal Gummy Multivitamin
A prenatal vitamin featuring the omega-3s EPA and DHA. Unfortunately, this chewable gummy does not contain iron. Ask your doctor for a recommendation for an iron supplement.
Amazon rating: 4 stars. $23
10. Spectrum Essentials Prenatal DHA
With 200 mg of non-fish oil DHA per serving, this prenatal vitamin is made with all-natural ingredients to support your baby’s developing brain and vision. It’s a good choice for mamas-to-be worried about the risk of ocean-borne contaminants.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $14
11. BEST Nest Wellness Prenatal Vitamin
A gentle, easy-to-swallow tablet, this multivitamin is food-based and made with an organic blend.
Amazon rating: 5 stars. $62
12. Garden of Life Minami Nutrition MorDHA Essential
Each pill contains 600 mg of total omega-3s. You can feel good knowing you’ll only need one of these lemon-flavored soft gels each day. It’s also an environmentally conscious brand with a small environmental footprint.
Amazon rating: 5 stars. $14
You may find that you feel mildly nauseated after taking a prenatal vitamin. Try taking it with food, or before you go to bed if that’s the case.
Constipation can also be an issue, especially if you’re taking a prenatal vitamin with high amounts of iron. Be sure to drink lots of water and include fiber in your diet. You’ll also want to get regular exercise, and ask your doctor to recommend a pregnancy-safe stool softener.
If none of these steps help, ask your doctor for an alternate prenatal vitamin recommendation.