Which prenatal vitamins should I take?
I hear this question from clients, friends, and social media followers all the time. To simplify the challenge of selecting, I’ve put together a list of the best prenatal vitamins for you to select from.
What qualifies a prenatal vitamin to make this list?
- It must be manufactured by a reputable company.
- It must contain the active forms of folate and B12.
- The added ingredients must be minimal.
- It must be free of gluten, dairy, and soy.
There are a lot of prenatal vitamins out there. Everyone from Wal-mart to Whole Foods to Thrive Market carries a selection of options. With so many of these options containing poor-quality vitamins or added ingredients, it is hard to know which is the best.
Today, I’m sharing my top-6 picks (and an honorable mention) to help make the navigating a little easier.
Disclaimer: Now, before I share these options, let me encourage you not to feel shame or guilt for taking a low-quality prenatal. With my first pregnancy, I selected the 365 gummies for their affordable price tag and delightful taste. At the time, I knew nothing about vitamins and I’m happy to share that I have a healthy son despite.
With that, let’s get to it.
#1 Seeking Health – Optimal Prenatal
Formulated by Dr. Ben Lynch, an expert on methylation and nutrigenomics, this is the most comprehensive prenatal vitamin on the market. It contains the most bioavailable form of each vitamin and mineral and surpasses the recommended daily amount for each.
What I don’t like about this supplement: Contains corn byproducts.
Diet Approved: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Allergen-Free / non-GMO, free of artificial colors and artificial flavors
Available Forms: Capsule, Chewable, Protein Powder
Buy it here: Optimal Prenatal*
#2 Ancient Nutrition – Ancient Multi Prenatal
A complete prenatal vitamin developed by Dr. Axe. This impressive vitamin includes nutrient-dense bone broth, liver, and roe with many of its vitamins created through fermentation. It is the only Paleo- and Keto-friendly options on this list.
What I don’t like about this supplement: Lacks choline. Any easy solution? Eat eggs.
Buy it here: Ancient Multi Prenatal*
#3 MegaFood – Baby & Me 2
One of the more well known real-food prenatal supplements on in the market, this is the only option of the three I recommend that includes iron. Physician formulated, this prenatal vitamin has an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. You’ll receive the recommended daily amount for all of the hard-hitting vitamins and minerals your baby needs to thrive.
Diet Approved: Vegetarian, Kosher, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free / non-GMO, glyphosate-free, pesticide/herbicide-free, sustainably sourced
What I don’t like about this supplement: It comes as a compacted vitamin, which can be hard to digest.
Buy it here: Baby & Me 2*
#4 designs for health – Prenatal Pro
A practitioner-grade supplement, this prenatal was formulated by a team of researchers and functional medicine physicians. One of the more robust vitamins listed, you can be confident that your baby has all the necessary vitamins and minerals to thrive. Featuring eco-friendly packaging.
Diet Approved: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free / non-GMO
Buy it here: Prenatal Pro*
#5 Nutri-Rich – Prenatal Multi
Designed with bioavailability in mind, this prenatal vitamin offers DHA and gently absorbed calcium and iron. You can trace the origin of each ingredient back to the source on their website and feel confident in the high-quality purity. Formulated by Registered Dieticians and Biochemists.
Diet Approved: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free / non-GMO, No Artificial Additives, 3rd Party Tested, Sugar-Free
What I don’t like about this supplement: Contains Annato Powder to dye the supplement.
Buy it here: Prenatal Multi*
#6 Thorne – Basic Prenatal
This is a robust supplement developed through research and hefty quality control. Thorne is an all-around impressive company boasting partnerships with experts from organizations such as Mayo Clinic. You can be confident in the high-level formulation of this product.
Diet Approved: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free / non-GMO, and free of artificial preservatives, banned substances, and stearates.
What I don’t like about this supplement: Does not contain Choline. Again, eat your eggs.
Buy it here: Basic Prenatal*
Honorable Mention: Garden of Life mykind Organics – Prenatal Once Daily
Why is this supplement an honorable mention? This is a star prenatal vitamin among vegans, but I am not impressed with the long list of filler ingredients. That said, none of the others on my list are certified Vegan and this is adequate for something who is avoiding all animal products.
A food-based supplement, this “is the first dual-certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified available on the market.” A hearty emphasis on plant-based nutrition, this prenatal vitamin will provide the recommended daily amount for the majority of vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy.
What I don’t like about this supplement: Excessive fillers, compacted vitamin form, does not contain choline.
Diet Approved: Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-Free
Buy it here: Prenatal Once Daily*
A Quick Word on Choline
This superstar of a vitamin comes from the B Vitamin family, though it’s possible you’ve never heard of it. Choline has only been recognized as a necessary vitamin since the late ’80s. Don’t let that keep you from prioritizing it, though. Researchers have found choline to be just as important as folate in preventing neural tube defects! While many prenatal vitamins still lack this important baby-making nutrient, you can acquire it by incorporating eggs into your daily routine. Other animal products and some plant-foods contain choline, as well, but in significantly lower amounts. So, be mindful of your intake and consider supplementing if you adhere to a plant-based or egg-free diet.
Other supplements I recommend taking:
If only we could pop a prenatal and call it a day. There are several other supplements I recommend in addition to the ones above. Take one or all of these alongside your prenatal to support your body as you navigate the transitions of pregnancy.
Such a powerful hormone (yes, Vitamin D is actually a hormone!) for so many functions within the body – including flu prevention! For those living 100 degrees or more above the equator, it is nearly impossible to obtain enough Vitamin D from the sun. Some people also carry genetic SNPs that make it difficult to absorb what little Vitamin D is available. Because of this, I recommend that everyone supplements Vitamin D.
5000-10000 iu/day is adequate for most people. If you are interested in a precise dose, consider having your Vitamin D levels checked. You can purchase an at-home test through EverlyWell. (Get 20% off with my link*.)
60-70% of the population is deficient in magnesium. This is thanks to soil deterioration, low produce consumption, and deteriorating nutrients in produce at most grocery stores. Some interesting theories surrounding magnesium even link a deficiency to morning sickness in women. I’ve found it to be especially useful in my pregnancy journeys and suggest taking a supplement through the first trimester** in addition to whatever your prenatal provides.
**Magnesium can delay and lengthen labor. Discontinue supplementation during the third trimester.
The first trimester is notorious for bloating, gas, and digestive upset thanks to elevated levels of progesterone. A digestive enzyme (along with avoiding gassy foods) can help minimize the amount of discomfort you experience.
The Now Supplements Super Enzyme* is a comprehensive option that my family and clients utilize.
Your baby’s microbiome is seeded at birth with the microbes from your vagina and colon. Having the right populations of microbes is an important step to set your baby up for life! A probiotic can also relieve some symptoms of morning sickness, improve digestion, influence insulin production, and more.
Food-based probiotics are the best choice. (Think traditionally crafted yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, etc.) For a supplement, I recommend the Ancient Nutrition SBO Probiotic Supplement*.
*Affiliate Link – you will not be charged extra when purchasing through this link. A small portion of the purchase supports Blissberry Wellness.