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Between morning sickness, fleeting cravings, and random aversions, getting good nutrition during pregnancy can be rough. Even if you’re eating a balanced diet, it’s still possible to miss some essential nutrients.
Enter prenatal vitamins. They’re an easy way to fill any gaps and support both your body and your baby’s growth and development.
The best time to begin taking prenatal vitamins is before you conceive. The folate in a prenatal vitamin taken before conception significantly reduces the chances of neural tube irregularities like spina bifida.
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 taking a daily prenatal vitamin, start taking one 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 breastfeed.
If you have pregnancy complications or other health concerns, your doctor might recommend a prescription prenatal supplement. Otherwise, over-the-counter vitamins are available at the pharmacy or online.
While there are many brands available, you’ll want to choose a prenatal vitamin that includes:
- folate (folic acid), which helps prevent neural tube irregularities, like spina bifida
- iron, which delivers oxygen to the baby and helps prevent anemia
- calcium, which helps with bone health
- vitamins D, C, A, and E
- zinc, which helps boost the immune system
- vitamin B12, which may prevent birth defects and support healthy bone development
Most pregnant people don’t get enough choline, so it’s important to include choline-rich foods like egg yolks in your diet or take a supplement that contains this vital nutrient.
Choline is important for your health and is essential for fetal brain development and placental function.
Some supplements also contain DHA, which is important for your baby’s brain tissue growth and function — especially during the third trimester.
If your multivitamin doesn’t have DHA in it, ask your doctor for DHA supplement recommendations.
Since each pregnancy is unique, your doctor can tell you what exact dose of vitamins and minerals to look for.
- Best prenatal vitamin subscription from Ritual: Ritual Essential Prenatals
- Best prenatal vitamin subscription from Care/of: Care/of Baby Love Prenatal Multivitamin
- Best prenatal vitamin subscription from Persona: Persona Prenatal Supplements
- Best prenatal vitamins for vegetarians from MegaFood: MegaFood Baby & Me Pre- and Postnatal Dietary Supplement
- Best prenatal vitamins for vegetarians from Garden of Life: Garden of Life Code RAW Prenatals
- Best organic prenatal vitamin: Best Nest Wellness Mama Bird Prenatal Multi+ for a Healthy Pregnancy
- Best prenatal vitamins with DHA from Nature Made: Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA
- Best prenatal vitamins with DHA from Zahler: Zahler Mighty Mini Prenatal + DHA
- Best prenatal gummy: SmartyPants Prenatal Formula
- Best prenatal chewable: Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Chewables
- Best vegan prenatal gummies: Garden of Life MyKind Organics Prenatal Multis
- Best prenatal vitamins for morning sickness from New Chapter: New Chapter Perfect HPrenatal Multivitamins
- Best prenatal vitamins for morning sickness from Actif Organic: Actif Organic Prenatal Vitamins
Whether you’re looking for something that’ll stay put when morning sickness hits or you just want something that tastes good, here are 13 great options to consider.
We chose these because they contain the essentials that you need while pregnant, and they’re highly rated in online reviews.
Most of these vitamins are packaged to contain 30 servings — about a month’s worth. Some may be sold in 60- or 90-serving packages. We based the price ratings on the approximate monthly cost for each product:
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$40
- $$$ = over $40
Best prenatal vitamin subscriptions
With this option, you’ll get over 100 percent of your daily needs for folate, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. With Ritual Essential Prenatal vitamins, you’ll also get DHA, iron, and choline. These vegan-friendly capsules help support you and baby before, during, and after pregnancy.
Vitamins A, C, and D3 are the headliners of this twice-daily prenatal multivitamin from subscription-based Care/of. The formula also contains iron, choline, and folate — although the choline and iron levels are lower than some other options on this list. You’ll want to be sure to make up for those gaps in your diet with additional supplements, or iron- and choline-rich foods.
These prenatal vitamins are vegetarian, non-GMO, gluten-free, and fermented with organic yeast to encourage easy digestion. Plus, with Care/of you can customize your monthly subscription to add additional supplements, like probiotics or calcium.
Persona Prenatal Supplements contain all eight B vitamins, including folic acid and iron — all of which help support nutritional needs for mom and baby. These vitamins also contain ginger, an ingredient the brand says helps with morning sickness and nausea.
Best prenatal vitamins for vegetarians
Formulated with organic, plant-based ingredients, this prenatal vitamin is designed to be easily digestible and can be taken on an empty stomach. It contains many key ingredients, including, iron, vitamins B12, B6, D3, choline, and methylated folate (which is the active form of folic acid).
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 that gives you 100 percent of your daily iron needs.
Best organic prenatal vitamin
A gentle, easy-to-swallow tablet, this multivitamin is food-based and made with an organic herbal blend. It contains choline, which may be overlooked in your diet, especially if you’re vegan.
Best prenatal vitamins with DHA
This liquid softgel multivitamin combines DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, with folate, iron, and other essential nutrients. The added DHA helps you meet your needs for this essential fatty acid.
Zahler Mighty Mini Prenatal + DHA contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate. It also provides DHA from algal oil, which is suitable for vegetarians.
This supplement is missing choline — an important nutrient for fetal brain development — and calcium. If you choose this option, be sure to increase your intake of calcium- and choline-rich foods, or take supplements of these nutrients separately.
Your doctor can give you more specific advice if you have concerns about meeting your nutrient needs.
Best prenatal gummy
This prenatal gummy vitamin features the omega-3s EPA and DHA. It also contains methylfolate — an easy-to-absorb form of folate — as well as choline. Unfortunately, like most gummies, this option doesn’t contain iron. Ask your doctor for a recommendation for an iron supplement.
Keep in mind that the serving size of four gummies contains 6 grams — or 1 1/2 teaspoons — of added sugar. These may not be the best choice for those with blood sugar management issues, like gestational diabetes.
Best prenatal chewable
Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Chewables provide nutrients to support pregnancy in a chewable form, making them perfect if you have trouble swallowing pills. They also contain zero added sugars, so they’re a good choice for those with blood sugar management issues, like gestational diabetes.
Best vegan prenatal gummies
These vegan, kosher gummies are organic and sweetened with fruit juice. Similar to the other gummies listed here, they don’t contain iron — and you may want to talk with your doctor if you have concerns about sugar content.
Best prenatal vitamins for morning sickness
These probiotic multivitamins contain 100 percent of your daily iron needs, but they’re gentle on the stomach. With added probiotics and ginger, they may help ease any queasiness. They’re also made with all non-GMO ingredients, and are both kosher and vegetarian.
These vitamins contain your daily dose of iron. They also provide DHA plus probiotics and digestive enzymes, which may help soothe digestive issues.
You may find that you feel a little nauseous after taking a prenatal vitamin. If that’s the case, try taking it with food or before you go to bed.
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 increase fiber in your diet. You’ll also want to get regular exercise. Ask your doctor to recommend a pregnancy-safe stool softener.
If none of these steps help, ask your doctor for a different prenatal vitamin recommendation. Finding one that works for you will help ensure the best possible health for you and your little one.
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Jessica Timmons has been a freelance writer since 2007. She writes, edits, and consults for a great group of steady accounts and the occasional one-off project, all while juggling the busy lives of her four kids with her ever-accommodating husband. She loves weightlifting, really great lattes, and family time.