Finding the right prenatal vitamins is one of the most important decisions an expecting parent can make during pregnancy. Not only do these vital supplements help ensure that not just mom but baby too gets all the nutrients and minerals needed for a healthy start to life, but they can also address any potential deficiencies in mom's diet. With so many brands on the market offering countless options, it can be hard to know what brand or formula will best support both you and your baby's health-- that's where this guide comes in! Read on for our top picks of the best prenatal vitamins to give your little one—and you—the perfect start for their amazing journey ahead.
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What Are Prenatal Vitamins?
Expecting mothers have likely heard of prenatal vitamins. However, what are they, precisely? Prenatal vitamins, or prenatals, are dietary supplements designed to meet the unique nutritional demands of pregnant women. The folic acid, iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients in these supplements can benefit both you and your developing baby. Prenatal supplements are a great way to make sure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you need during pregnancy, even if you're eating a healthy, well-rounded diet.
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Do You Need Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are an absolute necessity for pregnant women. These supplements are designed specifically to provide your body with the nutrients it needs during fetal development, so a regular multivitamin will not suffice. Prenatal vitamins ensure optimal levels of essential nutrients in the body to prevent depletion. Folic acid is essential for the development of the brain and spinal cord in the first trimester of pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body requires twice as much iron to support the growth of the placenta and fetus. In addition, many prenatal supplements contain vitamin D and calcium to aid in the robust development of your baby's bones and teeth during the third trimester.
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How to Select the Most Effective Prenatal Vitamins
Attempting to determine the best prenatal vitamin for you can feel overwhelming, given the variety of options available. But try not to worry; there is no "perfect" prenatal supplement, and as long as you keep a few key nutrients in mind, it may be a matter of trial and error to determine what's best for you.
Consider the following factors when making your choice:
- Nutrients and dietary needs: It is essential to choose a prenatal vitamin that contains the necessary nutrients and the recommended dosages to support a healthy pregnancy. Consult with your healthcare provider before making a decision so that you know what to look for and how much of each ingredient to target. When choosing a prenatal, you should also consider your personal dietary requirements. Pay close attention to ingredient lists, particularly if you have allergies, health conditions, or are vegan.
- The type of a pill: Vitamins are available in pill, soft-gel capsule, and candy form. For some pregnant women, swallowing and retaining a pill can be difficult, especially when morning sickness is present. If this is the case, try a soft-gel capsule or a vitamin candy. Gummy vitamins lack iron, so you may need to take an additional iron supplement.
- The suggested daily dosage: Some prenatal supplements require a daily dosage of one pill, while others have a daily dosage recommendation of four or six pills. This may factor into your decision if you dislike taking multiple pills per day.
- Budget: A more expensive prenatal vitamin is not necessarily of higher quality. Numerous inexpensive prenatals contain the same essential nutrients as their pricier counterparts.
- Optional subscription services: Many brands offer a monthly subscription service. Keep in mind that these subscription services are frequently more expensive than many prenatal vitamins sold over-the-counter.
When to Begin Taking Prenatal Vitamins
You should take these vitamins at least one month before conception and continue to take them throughout your pregnancy. Ideally, starting three months before conception would be best to give your body enough time to absorb the necessary nutrients. Even if you do not intend to become pregnant, taking prenatal vitamins daily is a great way to keep your overall health in check. The first month of pregnancy is critical for nervous system development, and folic acid provides the most protection. You can give yourself and your developing child the best possible start by maintaining a healthy vitamin intake.
Top Prenatal Vitamins
Nature Made Prenatal with Folic Acid + DHA
Choosing the right prenatal vitamin is vital for the health and development of both mom and baby. This is a great option for those looking for a high-quality, gluten free multivitamin. This supplement contains 19 key nutrients, including all eight B Vitamins and Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. The addition of 200 mg DHA, an essential Omega-3 for baby's brain and nervous system development, makes this supplement an even better choice for expectant mothers. Clinically proven absorption of Folic Acid and Iron ensures that both of these important nutrients are being properly utilized by the body. With no artificial flavors, you can feel good about taking this prenatal vitamin to support the health of you and your growing baby.
Garden of Life Prenatal Multivitamin
When it comes to choosing the best prenatal vitamins for you and your growing baby, these should be at the top of your list. These supplements offer a unique raw formula that includes all the natural cofactors and live probiotics and enzymes that come with raw foods. With over 100% DV of folate and 1,400 IU of whole food Vitamin D3, these vitamins promote healthy fetal development during preconception, pregnancy and lactation. Additionally, they provide energy support for moms with 100% daily value of vitamins B6 and B12, and 27mg stomach-friendly iron for blood and reproductive health. Not to mention, these vegetarian capsules can be easily opened and mixed with water or raw juice, making it convenient for any mom to take.
Pink Stork Total Prenatal
When it comes to prenatal vitamins, these are a top choice for many expecting mothers. This supplement contains 16 OBGYN-recommended nutrients and vitamins, including the natural form of folic acid, methylated folate, which helps support red blood cell formation and the development of your baby’s brain and spine. Plus, the addition of vegetarian DHA fatty acid, B-complex vitamins, and iron make Pink Stork Total Prenatal a comprehensive prenatal vitamin. What makes this supplement stand out even more is the fact that it contains the most bioavailable form of folate, allowing your body to absorb and utilize it most efficiently. Consider adding Pink Stork Total Prenatal to your daily pregnancy ritual for a full 30-day supply of small, easy-to-swallow capsules.
Do you have any other questions regarding caring for your infant? Visit our blog today!
Taking the Best Prenatal Vitamins
It is essential to ensure that during your pregnancy you are getting the right nutrients. The right prenatal vitamins can give you and your baby the best chance for a healthy and happy pregnancy. Researching different brands and discussing with an expert can help you determine which prenatal vitamin is right for you. During your pregnancy, using multivitamins do not replace eating a balanced diet full of nutritious fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains; they are just an added bonus to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs both from food sources and supplements. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach so start with small steps in order to help create healthy habits for a happier overall experience throughout your entire journey. If you have any questions about pregnancy health or nutrition tips consider talking with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian too. For more tips, tricks, and advice on how to care for your baby before birth, check out our blog!
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