Finding out you’re pregnant is an amazing experience! Along with the gush of joy, comes new worries, whether this is your first baby or your seventh. Are we ready? Is the house ready? Oh my gosh, I ate Chick-fil-a four times this week, this baby is doomed to fast food addiction!
Breathe, mama. We’ve got you. This line up of the best prenatal vitamins and how to choose them will check one worry off your list, so you can get back to picking that perfect crib set. And hey, if you don’t go for that premium linen set that costs as much as a 60-hour paycheck, no one else did, either. No shame.
Why do I need prenatal vitamins?
You probably try to eat at least reasonably well, already. You look out for weird additives and foreign words on ingredient lists, try to only grab a bite to eat from the drive-through on busy nights, and you drink plenty of water. You’ve already poured over all the dos and don’ts of pregnancy diets, and you’re prepared to stay away from swordfish like it’s the plague. So what’s the difference if you take supplements or not?
While getting all of your nutrition from your food would be ideal, it can be tough to eat enough of everything you need while pregnant. A good pregnancy supplement is a boost for you and your baby.
For example, to form their brain, babies need ready access to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, and choline. A study done on the effects of choline on the long-term neural development of babies showed a significant improvement in cognitive function for the life of the child. To achieve this effect, two times the current daily recommended amount of choline was needed. When you’re in your third trimester, it can be hard to get it full meals, let alone ones with twice the usual serving of meat!
What should I look for in the ingredients list?
The difference between a natural prenatal and a lab-created one is how the ingredients are sourced. A natural brand will tell you something like: “vitamin A from carrots.” A synthetic version will simply list vitamin A.
This doesn’t mean that some scientists in a lab extract vitamin A from carrots and put it into a capsule, either. In general, the whole food is dehydrated, so you get the full benefit of everything it contains.
To be positive that you have the best prenatal vitamin for you, you need to ensure you choose one that has everything you and baby need. Remember, this is to help your body, too. Using a quality multi-vitamin can help alleviate fatigue during pregnancy because your body doesn’t have to deplete its stores to grow the baby.
The primary nutrients we talk about for pregnancy support are folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, calcium, and iron. You’ll also notice a bountiful list of others, like vitamins C, D, and E, zinc, and iodine. Depending on your prenatal, it may tout herbal support for things like morning sickness.
Are these really that good for me and my baby?
While not all vitamin brands are created equal, we’ve put the research in to help you avoid the ones we wouldn’t use ourselves or recommend to our sisters. Yes, it is entirely possible to find junky prenatals on the market, just like there can be a big difference between the produce at your local farmer’s market versus the Walmart down the road. It’s about sourcing the ones that really do support your body’s health naturally.
The five prenatal vitamins reviewed below truly are good for you and your baby, because they’re real food, for real people. You aren’t a robot, and you don’t want to feed your baby unknown junk. These supplements simply give your body increased reserves to grow that sweet baby as well as possible.
Pink Stork makes an entire line of women’s health supplements, born from the founder’s struggles with her own health during her pregnancies. She was able to help her body heal using high-quality, natural ingredients and channeled that into Pink Stork.
The Premium prenatal used to be totally organic. Unfortunately, due to a necessary change in manufacturing, it now uses as many organic products as possible. It is a whole food prenatal, which, as we’ve discussed, provides more complete nutrition for you and baby.
The blend of probiotics, enzymes, and morning sickness aiding herbs is a nice feature. You will need to use a separate DHA source if you choose the Pink Storm vitamin.
- 30 day supply per bottle
- Food-based ingredients
- Morning sickness and digestive support
- No DHA in this formula
Eu Natural prides itself on delivering exactly what their name implies: 100% natural ingredients. They maintain a standard to provide prenatals that are free of major allergens like gluten, dairy, and soy. Even better, each purchase generates a donation by Eu Natural to give one year of vitamins to children and women who can’t afford the quality of food needed for optimum nutrition.
Glow is packed full of all the usual goodies you want in a prenatal. Where it sets itself apart is the inclusion of DHA from a kind of algae that is 6x more bioavailable than that of fish oil. For vegetarian mamas, this is music to the ears.
- All-natural ingredients
- Helps children and moms in need
- The smell may be off-putting for sensitive noses
Formulated by Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, a celebrated integrative physician, MegaFood’s Baby & Me 2 is a variation of their much-loved Baby & Me prenatal. The main difference is that Baby & Me 2 uses no herbs. It also contains no calcium or magnesium.
What Baby & Me 2 does offer is a fruit and vegetable-based pregnancy supplement. You can be assured of the quality of the product, as it undergoes lab testing. It is also dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free. That is a nice trait for mamas with allergies.
- Doctor created formula
- Food sourced vitamins
- Not a complete source of minerals
This vitamin from Actif is a good option if you’re hoping to eliminate synthetic ingredients from your diet. 100% natural, organic foods provide a wide array of micro and macronutrients, with names you can pronounce. You’ll also get your daily probiotic in using Actif, one less thing to remember when pregnancy brain strikes.
These vitamins have a reputation for being gentle on queasy tummies suffering from morning sickness. This is a lifesaver for ensuring proper nutrition during the early weeks when eating can be unappealing. The secret is the ginger and peppermint that it contains, both known for their calming effect on nausea.
- All-in-one nutritional supplement
- 90 day supply available in one bottle
- Some customers experience quality control issues
One-a-Day is a huge player in the multi-vitamin industry. Using their two-pill system will certainly hit all the nutritional checkmarks during your pregnancy.
If your primary concern is making sure you get omega-3s and folate, One-a-Day isn’t a bad choice. It’s easy to find and inexpensive. However, if you worry about where your vitamins are sourced, it will not be the right match for you. One-a-Day doesn’t list which foods or sources its vitamins are derived from. This is a good indicator of synthetic ingredients.
- Provides all necessary nutrients
- Very affordable for all budgets
- Synthetic ingredients
- Fishy tasting burps
Winner: Pink Stork
Pink Stork takes the win for several reasons. They have a focus on helping women feel their best, naturally, before, during, and after pregnancy. The products are the result of a real mom’s fight for healthy babies and pregnancies, they’ve been tried by fire.
The fact that most of the ingredients are organic is fantastic. Most of us worry about the effects of herbicides and pesticides on our little ones and us, Pink Stork recognizes that and answers the call.
The Premium Prenatal addresses more of the critical areas we care about when growing bundles of joy. The morning sickness herbal blend is a life-saver, and not having to take 4,000 pills per day is too. Add a great company ethos, and you’ve got the complete package.