Best Over The Counter Prenatal Vitamins


Whether you are hoping to conceive or are currently pregnant, prenatal vitamins are a must.

Even the healthiest of women can benefit from a prenatal vitamin, as during a pregnancy women need more of specific nutrients that they may not be getting from their daily diet.

Though these prenatal vitamins are essential to both baby and mom health, one look at the vitamin isle might be enough to make you panic.

With hundreds of different brands, types and ingredients choosing a prenatal vitamin can be tough, which is why we did the hard work for you!

Below are the best prenatal vitamins on the market.

What is the difference between multivitamins and prenatal vitamins?

While a traditional multivitamin does contain the same essential nutrients that most prenatal vitamins do, what they don’t contain is the proper amount. Pregnant women or women who are looking to conceive need to increase their intake of certain nutrients, of which prenatal vitamins have the correct amount.

When looking for a prenatal vitamin, be sure that it includes 100% of your need for:

Folic Acid – Also known as B-9, folic acid is essential for a healthy baby. This vitamin is essential in protecting the neural tube, which turns into the spinal cord and brain as the baby grows.

Consuming enough folic acid ensures that the baby will be free of any birth defects. Aim for roughly 800 to 1,000 mg of folic acid a day.

Iron – It isn’t uncommon for a woman to be anemic prior to pregnancy. Many women have admitted to not getting enough iron in their daily diet, however once you conceive it is essential to fulfill your daily needs as well as your baby’s.

Iron helps the body to transport oxygen and also helps prevent a low birth weight in your baby. Taking a multivitamin with added iron will also ensure that you will not become anemic during pregnancy, which is very common. Aim for at least 25 mg of iron a day.

Calcium – Calcium helps your body to remain strong during pregnancy, however it also is needed to help build your baby’s bones and teeth as well as develop a healthy heart and blood clotting.

If you are not getting enough calcium daily then the body will begin to take calcium from your own bones to give to your baby, which can lead to brittle bones and many other unhealthy side effects.

Ensure that you are getting at leadt 1300 mg of calcium a day for not only your baby’s health but also your own.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is needed in order for the body to absorb calcium, which makes it just as essential. Eating and drinking foods that contain vitamin D is a lot easier now that most are fortified with the vitamin, however if your prenatal vitamin contains it than it is one less worry off your plate.

DHA – DHA is important for the brain and vision development of your baby. Though you can get plenty of DHA from foods such as leafy greens, flaxseeds, chia seeds, berries and hemp seeds, most prenatal vitamins also contain the 200 mg daily amount that is suggested by doctors.

Best Prenatal Vitamins

1. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Prenatal RAW

Garden of Life’s prenatal vitamins are a top of the line vitamin that are completely vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Made from all natural ingredients that come from fruits and vegetables, Garden of Life Vitamin Code contains folate instead of folic acid, which is a more digestible form of vitamin B-9.

Unlike other prenatal vitamins that can leave you feeling queasy, Garden of Life Vitamin Code is easy on the stomach.

These vitamins can also be blended into a smoothie as well if you have issues swallowing pills, though reviewers have stated that these pills are much easier to swallow than others.

The downside to these pills is their lack of calcium, so you may need to supplement with extra calcium if you are finding that you aren’t consuming enough in your diet as well.

It is also important to note that this prenatal vitamin does not contain DHA and will need to be supplemented.

The Garden of Life Vitamin Code Prenatal RAW vitamins received a 4.5 out of a 5 star rating on Amazon.com and has 1,641 reviews and comments.

2. Nature Made Prenatal Vitamin with DHA

The Nature Made Prenatal Vitamin is a one a day soft gel that combines both a multivitamin with 150 mg of DHA, or omega-3 fish oil. Nature Made is a very popular and common name brand that most women feel comfortable with and can also be found at almost any store.

Though these pills only need to be taken once a day, women have commented that they can be difficult to swallow due to size. Due to the inclusion of fish oil these prenatal vitamins also have a slight smell to them that can be nauseating, so be sure to always take these vitamins on a full stomach to help combat any side effects.

The Nature Made Prenatal Vitamin with DHA receieved a 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.com and has 1,105 comments and reviews.

3. One A Day Women’s Prenatal

The One A Day vitamin brand is very common and extremely popular amongst reviewers. In fact, once pregnant this will most likely be the brand of prenatal vitamin that your doctor suggests you buy.

The packaging of the One A Day Women’s Prenatal vitamins can be confusing at first. This vitamin comes with another package of vitamins which are DHA supplements, which means you are getting 60 vitamins each, or 120 total. Some women have commented that they felt mislead by the packaging to think that there were 120 prenatal vitamins, which there are not.

The One A Day Women’s Prenatal only needs to be taken once a day, however with the DHA being a separate pill you will need to remember to take one of each.

The One A Day Women’s Prenatal vitamin receieved a 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.com and has 338 comments and reviews.

Final Words

Prenatal vitamins are essential to the health of the mother as well as the baby. Even the healthiest of women should be taking prenatal vitamins when trying to conceive or when pregnant, and the above list is a good place to start.

Rachel Skinner
 

Rachel Skinner has been a health and fitness writer since 2006. Rachel Skinner is a huge advocate of healthy living and when she's not writing for her health blog, you will probably find her at the gym!

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