If you are looking for prenatal vitamins, you’re either pregnant or planning to be pregnant--and that’s super exciting! I guess there is the off chance that you’re just looking for a great vitamin to help grow your hair and nails longer quicker, but I’m guessing if you’re delving into this article, you’re pregnant, or gonna be--and, again, that’s super exciting!
There are about a billion prenatal vitamins out there to choose from, but if you’ve done any research prior to reading this article or talked to your OBGYN, you’ve been told getting a multivitamin prenatal variety is mission number one!
Fit Pregnancy, in fact, says that, if you can, you should start taking prenatal vitamins three months before you begin trying to get pregnant. If you are already pregnant (positive test!), you should start taking an otc prenatal vitamin (OTC) with 600 micrograms of folic acid right away.
Here's a Comparison Table on the Best Prenatal Vitamins
Number of Tablets
Probiotics + Wholefoods + Folate + Iron + Vitamin D3 + B Vitamins + Organic Non-GMO Ingredients
Folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, zinc, and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA
Folic Acid, DHA, Iron and Calcium
OptiGRO with DHA, lutein, and Vitamin E
Folate and Vegan D3 Vitamin
What Should I Look For?
For pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant moms, there are three super important nutrients you should look for in the perfect prenatal vitamin, including folic acid, iron and calcium. Folic acid helps prevent neural-tube defects, iron is important for the delivery of oxygen to the baby and helps prevent you from getting anemia; and calcium helps with baby bone growth and prevents mommy bone loss.
Also, you should only use over the counter prenatal vitamins that have a USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) seal or NSF International certification (both organizations that monitor supplement quality).
Whatever prenatal vitamin you pick from the list of the best over the counter prenatal vitamins listed below, you should take the bottle to your obstetrician to make sure that all the ingredients listed are safe for you and baby.
Do I need more than just a prenatal multivitamin?
Some multivitamins are low in calcium. Pregnant women need 1,000 milligrams per day and a lot of supplements contain only 150 to 250 milligrams, so you might have to take an additional calcium tablet to meet your needs.
Additionally, you could likely be deficient in vitamin D. 200 IU is enough for your daily dose in any supplement, but you can also meet this need by getting five to 30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen (at least twice a week). So, don that swimsuit and embrace that baby body (even if you feel like a whale). Doctor’s orders!
You’ll also need DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that is ESSENTIAL to fetal brain development. I hate taking vitamins and prenatal ones are usually pretty large, so I made sure to take one with DHA included. If the one you pick doesn’t have it, you can take fish oil in addition to your multivitamin.
Which brands do you suggest?
There may not be such a thing as the best OTC prenatal vitamin, more it’s just the best prenatal vitamin for you, below are a few of the best prenatal vitamins we suggest!
These vitamins are exceptionally easy on a sensitive stomach because they are 100% digestible (which means that everything in them is able to be digested by the body) because they are fermented with probiotics and certified organic whole foods (like kale, broccoli and cauliflower).
In layperson’s terms…no nausea. This multivitamin also has several B vitamins that will help boost energy and vitamin A and Zinc that are great for immune support. The supplement is Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegetarian, Kosher, Gluten Free, Sugar Free and has no synthetic fillers (it’s all natural). This supplement does not have DHA, so to get that, you’ll need to add another supplement.
This is what I took because I loved that it had everything I needed in one, large (but manageable...it’s slightly taller than a penny) liquid softgel that combines the main stuff you need from a prenatal multivitamin with 200 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
These have no artificial colors, no yeast, no starch, no gluten and no preservatives and there are 90 in the bottle. This brand is the first vitamin brand in the US to earn the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) verification, which proves that they meet federally-recognized, public standards of quality.
This is a well-trusted brand that makes a complete prenatal multivitamin that helps mommies meet their nutritional needs before, during and after pregnancy.
It does have those essential nutrients we mentioned above: folic acid, DHA and calcium...and it’s all in one pill, so you don’t have to take multiple supplements. And there are no artificial sweeteners, flavors and the supplements don’t contain any wheat or dairy.
Yep, this is the company that makes your soon-to-be baby’s formula. They’re well-versed in what both moms and babies need when it comes to nutrients and utilize an exclusive blend --that they dub OptiGro--of DHA (for fetal brain and eye development), lutein (for eye health) and Vitamin E, plus 22 other vitamins and minerals.
During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, take one tablet and one softgel daily with food--two pills.
One bottle of these organic gummy vitamins contains nine organic whole fruits in every bottle (though it will take you 30 days to consume them and you have to do it four gummies at a time).
Even though these are gummies, they aren’t candy and don’t contain any synthetic ingredients, corn starch or artificial flavors/colors. They have a berry flavor and are made with pectin from organic apples and orange peels. Tastes good and are good for you. Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Vegan, Gluten Free and Kosher.
A prenatal multivitamin that either contains all the folic acid, calcium and DHA you need (or is supplemented with additional vitamins) is a non-negotiable….even if you have morning sickness and are throwing up. One thing that helped me in keeping my vitamins down was taking them at night, because by the time I got nauseous (if I did), I was already asleep and could handle it much better than if I took it in the morning and had to white-knuckle my way through the day.
So, I hope at least one of the “best prenatal vitamins” listed above will help you on (or start) your pregnancy journey!