Best Prenatal Multivitamins Tested and Compared

During pregnancy, knowing which supplements are best for your body and your unborn can be rather confusing especially with so many websites claiming that you need to take dozens of different supplements. Here, we have reviewed the best picks for prenatal vitamins and gathered together the key facts so that you know what’s probably best for you.

Our Top 3 Picks

Rainbow Light Prenatal
  • Rainbow Light Prenatal
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 100mg of vitamin C
  • Price: See Here
New Chapter Prenatal
  • New Chapter Prenatal
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Organic ingredients
  • Price: See Here
Garden of Life Prenatal
  • Garden of Life Prenatal
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 180 capsules
  • Price: See Here

Prenatal multivitamins are an absolute must when you are trying to get pregnant, or when you have found out that you are pregnant. Since a lot of pregnancies are unplanned, it is recommended that all women who have the capability of getting pregnant and that are of childbearing age should be taking a prenatal vitamin. There are so many minerals, vitamins and nutrients that both you and your future child need to be happy and healthy. Some pregnant women may think that they don’t need to take a prenatal multivitamin every day because they eat a wide array of healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and meat. However, this is not the case. Even if you are on a healthy, all-natural diet, it is still essential to take prenatal multivitamins. This is because there are two critical nutrients present in most prenatal multivitamins that are not found in high amounts in the food that we typically eat: iron and folic acid.

10 Best Prenatal Multivitamins

 

1. Rainbow Light

A food based multivitamin that has been created to be as safe as possible and gentle on the stomach, something that is very important to look at especially during the early stages of pregnancy.

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Plant-Sourced Ingredients

All the ingredients used are natural and promote for a baby’s proper growth and supports the mother’s nutrition and becomes an energy with just one tablet to take per day. They use plant-sourced items like ginger juice, probiotics, and enzymes to help digestion as well as absorption to avoid any stomach upset. Rainbow Light also do not contain any ingredients soourced from animals (great for vegetarians and vegans), wheat, sugar, gluten, dairy/lactose, soy, shellfish, nuts or yeast and is free of artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and additives.

Features And Specifications

100mg of vitamin C
800mcg of folic acid
Uses natural ingredients

Price/Value

Considering each bottle contains 150 tablets to be taken once a day with or between meals meaning that this product should last approximately 3 months.

Decision Time

With Rainbow Light being brilliant value for money and considering it contains all of the vital nutrients needed during pregnancy, promoting for healthy foetal development and your health as well. This product is certainly one that should be considered very closely when looking at prenatal supplements.
Pros
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Contains non-constipating iron
  • Uses organic ingredients
  • Suitable for most dietary requirements
  • Gentle on the stomach
Cons
  • Large tablets that aren’t easy to swallow

2. New Chapter

New Chapter prenatal vitamins have been created in order to be 100% digestible due to the fermentation recipes, individual vitamins and minerals that have been cultured through whole-foods.

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Contains Probiotics And Non-Constipating Iron

These contain probiotics to promote for a healthy immune system and healthy foetal development. Not only this but it contains non-constipating iron to help avoid anaemia caused by pregnancy as it is important to avoid because iron helps oxygen in the bloodstream, providing an unborn with plenty of oxygen is essential.

Quality Ingredients

This prenatal multivitamin supplement tablet is committed to using organic, non-GMO ingredients to be more environmentally friendly and healthier for both mother and child.

Features And Specifications

Contains folate, iron and probiotics
Organic ingredients
Three tablets to be taken per day

Price/Value

Not the greatest value for money considering each bottle consists of 192 tablets to be taken 3 times a day meaning that it should last just over two months.

Decision Time

This is a brilliant product however considering there are cheaper alternatives on the market that have greater value for money, it certainly needs to be considered however the price is probably higher due to all of the ingredients being organic. It also contains probiotics and non-constipating iron to help towards healthy foetal development and your health during pregnancy.
Pros
  • Uses organic ingredients
  • Gentle on the stomach
  • Contains probiotics
  • Suitable for vegetarians and gluten intolerance
Cons
  • Separate prenatal and postnatal supplement tablets

3. Garden of Life

Garden of Life ensures to have considered your digestive support by including probiotics, ginger, vitamin D and zinc while also providing all of the essential nutrients to help with the development of your unborn.

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Suitable For All Dietary Requirements

A prenatal supplement tablet that uses raw vitamins, making it suitable for vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free with no binders or filters. Each tablet is made of a comprehensive, whole-food multi-nutrient formula that has been specifically formulated to meet the unique requirements the body needs during pre-conception, pregnancy and when breastfeeding to help support healthy foetal development and a healthy mother. Considering that Garden of Life use whole food, this means that they also contain no synthetic binders, fillers, artificial flavours, sweeteners, colours or additives that are commonly used in tablets.

Features And Specifications

Contains folate
Specifically formulated from whole foods
180 capsules

Price/Value

Not the greatest value for money, with each packet consisting of up to 180 capsules to be taken 3 times a day.

Decision Time

Though Garden of Life isn’t the greatest value for money, it is free from all synthetic binders, fillers, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and preservatives that could cause harm to a developing foetus. Its ingredients are all natural, allowing for the very best nutrients for your body and the development of your unborn.
Pros
  • Suitable for all dietary requirements
  • No synthetic binders, fillers, artificial flavours, sweeteners, colours or additives
  • Contains iron and probiotics
  • Supports healthy digestive system
Cons
  • Contains herbs that mimic estrogen
  • Strong smell of herbs, not good if suffering with morning sickness

4. Nature Made with DHA

Nature Made claims that it’s prenatal multivitamin and DHA is formulated to provide essential nutrients that both mother and baby need. By containing omega 3 to promote healthy foetal brain and eye development and adequate folic acid to reduce the risk of the child developing a brain or spinal cord birth defect.

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Contains No Artificial Colours Or Preservatives

This prenatal multivitamin and DHA tablet contains no artificial colours or preservatives; it also contains no yeast, starch or gluten, making it suitable for more dietary requirements and promoting the health of both mother and child. This is further emphasised by the commitment made by Nature Made towards your health as they claim to be dedicated to supporting the health of their customers with high quality supplement tablets.

Features And Specifications

90 softgel capsules
Contains folic acid, omega 3, calcium, vitamin D, zinc and iron
One tablet a day
Ideal for expectant mothers and women trying to get pregnant

Price/Value

Fairly good value for money providing enough capsules to last two months with plenty of nutrients to support healthy foetal development and the health of the mother.

Decision Time

Considering these capsules contain no artificial colours or preservatives and contain all of the vital nutrients needed to support healthy foetal development and your health, these are certainly a multivitamin to consider when looking prenatal multivitamins. Especially when looking at the value for money, these are probably one of the best you could consider in regards to multivitamins.

Pros
  • Good value for money
  • Contains no artificial colours or preservatives
  • Contains folic acid, omega 3, calcium, vitamin D, zinc and iron
  • Supports mother’s cellular energy production, bone health and healthy nervous and immune systems
  • Supports strong nails and healthy hair
Cons
  • Large tablets that aren’t easy to swallow
  • Not the nicest smell

5 Vitafusion

Each serving of these tasty gummies made with an assortment of flavours includes essential vitamins and minerals including an excellent source of folic acid and 50mg of omega 3 DHA.

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Great Tasting

Using natural flavours to produce a great tasting gummy multivitamin that supports a healthy immune system during your pregnancy by containing vitamin C. The assorted flavours may vary depending on which you order and all flavours are created through natural means.

Features And Specifications

50mg of omega 3 DHA
Contains folic acid
90 delicious gummies
Natural flavours used

Price/Value

Brilliant value for money containing enough capsules to last approximately a month and a half, to be taken twice daily.

Decision Time

Considering the brilliant value for money Vitafusion prenatal gummy vitamins are and that they provide all of the essential nutrients needed before and during university. These are easy to take with an assortment of naturally flavoured gummies, something that could be considered important especially when regarding morning sickness.
Pros
  • Natural flavours used in ingredients
  • Contains folic acid, omega 3 and vitamin D
  • Gummies that are easy to take
Cons
  • Not as nice tasting as others on the market

6. One A Day

These are filled with precious ingredients; Omega 3 can help towards the healthy development of an unborn child’s brain, eye and nerve development so this is something that should definitely be considered when pregnant and breastfeeding. Calcium and vitamin D support the development of healthy bones but also contribute towards supporting the mother’s bones while pregnant and breastfeeding. This multivitamin contains all three of these amazing nutrients to promote healthy foetal development.

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Postnatal and Prenatal Multivitamin

It is also designed to be taken after birth as well as during pregnancy to provide your body with additional nutrients to help in the production of milk.

Features And Specifications

800 mcg of folic acid
Supports mum and baby before, during and after pregnancy
60 prenatal DHA/EPA liquid gels and 60 prenatal multivitamin tablets

Price/Value

The product is reasonably good value for money compared to some others on the market however you only receive enough capsules to last for 60 days though on the box it makes it appear as though you’re getting 120 for your money.

Decision Time

Though the EPA is low at 23mg when it is recommended that pregnant women consume 200mg a day, these are still a supplement to consider taking considering they not only contain the typical vitamins that are in prenatal supplement tablets, they contain other crucial vitamins that are often overlooked such as omega 3 and calcium.
Pros
  • Contains omega 3, vitamin D and calcium
  • Provides 100% of recommended daily value of folic acid
  • Supports mum and baby before, during and after pregnancy
  • Contains iron
Cons
  • Tablets can be difficult to swallow due to morning sickness
  • Low EPA at 23mg
  • Enough capsules for 60 days

7. Thorne Research

A complete dietary supplement for pregnant and breastfeeding women that has been formulated to be easily absorbed with bioavailable nutrients to reduce risk of stomach upset.

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Includes Iron

Even though iron isn’t a necessary nutrient when pregnant, Thorne Research basic prenatal could help avoid anaemia caused by pregnancy, allowing for ultimate health of both mother and unborn child. It uses well-absorbed iron picolinate so that it’s easier on the stomach and avoids constipation.

Does Not Contain Artificial Colours, Flavours Or Sweeteners

Unlike many supplement tablets, these do not contain any artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Not only this but it also does not contain dairy, soy, corn, egg, peanuts, yeast, sugar, magnesium stearate, binders, coatings or disintegrants and it does not contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) all things that should be considered when looking at prenatal multivitamin tablets.

Features And Specifications

A complete dietary supplement for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Easily absorbed
Includes iron and folate
Does not contain artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners

Price/Value

With 90 capsules per bottle to be taken up to three times a day, it’s not the best value for money as, depending on the advice of your health practitioner, it may only last a month.

Decision Time

Despite having a foul taste and the capsules being fairly large, this product is something to certainly consider especially if you’re struggling with pregnancy induced anaemia as it provides you with iron as well as the nutrients needed for healthy foetal development.
Pros
  • Gluten and Dairy free
  • Contains iron and folate
  • Does not contain artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners
  • Easily absorbed
Cons
  • Large capsules which are difficult to swallow
  • Three capsules a day
  • Terrible taste

8. Mother’s Select

Mother’s Select prenatal multivitamin ensures to provide all the nutrients needed for healthy foetal growth and works well as a supplement for preconception, pregnancy and lactation.

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Free From Common Allergens

The tablets are easy to swallow which is important especially in regards to morning sickness but not only that, they are allergy friendly remaining free from wheat, diary, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and soy.

Features And Specifications

800mcg of Folate
Suitable for all dietary requirements
0 fillers or chemicals
Contains no gelatin

Price/Value

Reasonably good value for money with each bottle providing 60 capsules to be taken one to two times a day, meaning that they should last between a month and two months.

Decision Time

When deciding what multivitamin supplement tablets to take when pregnant or breastfeeding, it can be very difficult. Considering that Mother’s Select are allergy free, easy to swallow and include Omega 3 to promote healthy brain, eye and nerve development in foetal growth and afterwards, these are certainly a supplement to consider.
Pros
  • Suitable for all dietary requirements
  • Contains Omega 3
  • Easy to swallow cpasules
  • No fillers or chemicals
Cons
  • Not the greatest taste or smell
  • Contains vitamin A

9. MegaFood Baby & Me

MegaFood believes that health starts with real food and thus, ensure that each nutrient in their prenatal and postnatal support supplements are made from real, whole foods that are 100% organic to make sure that you and your unborn get the best nutrients available.

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Made For you

Each tablet is especially designed to meet the unique requirements of the body during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy and while breastfeeding women have a greater need for vitamin B6, and are at risk of biotin deficiency. The supplements also contain their Nurturing Prenatal Blend which uses herbs to support strength, balance and mood during pregnancy.

Prenatal For Sensitive Stomachs

Often during pregnancy, it can be difficult to take prenatal multivitamins regularly due to nausea and fatigue. Baby & Me can be taken at any time throughout the day, even on an empty stomach.

Features And Specifications

800mcg of folic acid
Tablets can be taken at any time of day
Organic ingredients used
Uses real food as ingredients

Price/Value

Due to each ingredient being organically produced, MegaFood Baby & Me is not the greatest value for money however it does provide all of the needed nutrients during pregnancy in a safe and organic way. Especially with the product suggesting to take 4 tablets a day and only providing 120 tablets per bottle, meaning that the supplements would last approximately one month.

Decision Time

MegaFood Baby & Me are a brilliant quality product with all of the nutrients from within the prenatal multivitamin tablets being made from organic ingredients. It is also free of gluten, dairy, soy, pesticides, herbicides, corn and wheat meaning that it is suitable for most dietary requirements.
Pros
  • Organic ingredients used
  • Helps elevate mood during pregnancy
  • Contains folic acid
  • Tolerable by those suffering from morning sickness
Cons
  • Not the best value for money
  • Four tablets a day

10. Happy Healthy Smart

Often iron is an added vitamin that isn’t needed for the growth of your little one or for your own health and is put in many multivitamins when it isn’t really needed and will just make you constipated. Happy Healthy Smart focuses on the multivitamins you actually need rather than making you constipated.

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Anti-Nausea

Happy Healthy Smart prides itself knowing that the prenatal multivitamins they sell do not cause nausea and are easy to take even with morning sickness unlike many other tablets that are available on the market.

Contains Folic Acid

One of the most important supplements to take during pregnancy is folic acid as it helps reduce the risk that an infant will develop a neural tube defect while developing in the womb and also helps support the placenta. Each tablet of Happy Healthy Smart Prenatal Supplements contains 800mcg of folic acid, ensuring to provide plenty of folic acid for foetal development.

Features And Specifications

800mcg of folic acid
Tablets are easy to take with morning sickness
Contains Iodine
One daily tablet

Price/Value

Happy Healthy Smart are quite good value for money, providing 60 easily digestible tablets per bottle which should last two months.

Decision Time

Happy Healthy Smart are a good quality product that provide the crucial vitamins needed for foetal development while not containing the vitamins that are in other prenatal supplement tablets that are not needed such as iron which only causes constipation and often is not needed for foetal development.
Pros
  • Contains a large amount of folic acid
  • Anti-nausea
  • Will not cause constipation
  • Helps with fingernail growth
  • Easily digestible tablets
Cons
  • The DHA and prenatal vitamins are sold separately
  • Not suitable for all dietary requirements

Benefits

do you need prenatal multivitamins

Iron Benefits

If you do not take a prenatal multivitamin, then you are at a much higher risk for developing iron-deficiency anemia. Once you become pregnant, your body needs a much higher concentration of this mineral then when you are not. This means that once you get pregnant, eating healthy foods is no longer sufficient enough to get the proper amount of iron that your body needs. Having iron-deficiency anemia during your pregnancy increases your risk of having a baby that is of a low birth weight, experiencing a delivery that is preterm, and infant mortality.

Folic Acid Benefits

folic acid and pregnancy

Vitamin B, or folic acid is an important vitamin to consume when you are trying to get pregnant, and early on in your pregnancy. This is because folic acid reduces the developing fetus’s risk of developing anencephaly, spina bifida, or other defects of the neural tube. Folic acid can decrease the chance of these developing in your child by as much as 70%. Besides neural tube defects, folic acid may also decrease the chance of your baby developing a heart defect, or cleft palate/lip. Preeclampsia occurrences can also be lowered if prenatal multivitamins are taken early in pregnancy. The synthetic version of folic acid that is found in prenatal multivitamins is much easier for the body to absorb than the natural version found in the food that you eat. Taking a prenatal multivitamin will help keep you and your child as healthy as you can both possibly be.

Side Effects

Since prenatal multivitamins are filled with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, there is a very low chance of experiencing unwanted side effects. Some minor side effects that you may experience include headache, unpleasant taste in the mouth, and upset stomach. Some other slightly less common side effects are vomiting or nausea, diarrhea, constipation or stools that are dark and/or green. Make sure that you seek medical help immediately if you happen to experience any of these rare, life-threatening side effects: tightness in your chest, breathing difficulty, stools that are bloody or tarry, cramping and pain in the stomach, hives, itchiness, rash, or facial swelling. If you take more prenatal vitamins that what is recommended, you also run the risk of experiencing a variety of different medical conditions.

prenatal multivitamins side effects

To help lower your risk of experiencing any side effects, follow these steps while you are taking a prenatal multivitamin. Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you have any allergies before starting a new prenatal vitamin regimen. Some ingredients in prenatal vitamins, like soy, can cause those who have an allergy to experience a reaction upon ingestion. If you have iron overload disorder, discuss with your pharmacist or doctor before you start taking a prenatal multivitamin. If you have had any of the following conditions, discuss them with your pharmacist or doctor before you start taking prenatal vitamins: problems with the liver or stomach, colitis, ulcers, or alcohol addiction problems. Those who have pernicious anemia (or deficiency of vitamin B12) also need to be wary of taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid in it. It is also important to know that prenatal multivitamins can be passed into breast milk, so it is important to discuss breastfeeding with your doctor.

Usage Recommendations

It is possible to take too many prenatal vitamins, so it is important to understand how many you should be taking per day, and when. Do not take a variety of different prenatal multivitamins, and instead pick one brand and stick with it. It is also important not to include other supplements in your daily routine when you are taking a prenatal multivitamin. For example, do not take an iron supplement with a prenatal multivitamin. This is because you do not want to overdose on any one vitamin or mineral.

Here are some common minerals, vitamins and nutrients that are found in a prenatal multivitamin, and how much of each should be in every pill:

  • Folic acid (400 micrograms)
  • Vitamin D (400 IU)
  • Vitamin C (70 micrograms)
  • Calcium (200 milligrams)
  • Riboflavin (around 2 milligrams)
  • Thiamine (around 3 milligrams)
  • Vitamin B12 (around 6 micrograms)
  • Niacin (20 milligrams)
  • Iron (17 milligrams)
  • Iodine (150 micrograms)

It is ideal to begin a prenatal multivitamin supplement a couple of months before you want to try and get pregnant. Since many pregnancies are unplanned, it is said that all women who are of childbearing age should be taking a prenatal multivitamin, even if they do not plan to have a child in the foreseeable future. The specific prenatal multivitamin that you pick will indicate on the package how many pills you should be taking a day and when. Some multivitamins should be taken multiple time in a day, while some may only need to be taken once a day. Some multivitamins may have specific instructions on how to take them as well. For example, some may need to be taken on an empty stomach, while some may need to be taken with food. It is very important to read up on your specific prenatal multivitamin and follow the instructions that it gives you as closely as possible.

FAQs

Q) Why should I take a prenatal multivitamin?

A) When you are expecting a child, you need a larger quantity of many vitamins and minerals; both for the mother, and the baby. This is because the woman’s body is using its nutritional and fat stores to the baby to help ensure that it has all of the basic building blocks it needs to grow big and healthy. A prenatal multivitamin fills in possible nutritional gaps that may exist in the expectant mother’s diet. They also include a variety of other nutrients that may not be abundantly present in food that we eat, such as iron and folic acid, that are needed to prevent birth defects and anemia. If a woman’s body does not have enough folic acid in it before and immediately following conception, then there is a much higher risk of her baby developing a defect of the neural tube. Not having enough iron in the woman’s system can mean that she might develop anemia, which can cause preterm labors, low birth weights, and a higher chance of infant mortality.

Q) Who should be taking it?

Since as many as 50% of all pregnancies that occur are unplanned, it is recommended that all women who have the capability of becoming pregnant, and who are of childbearing age, should be taking a prenatal multivitamin regularly. This is because having a low amount of folic acid in a woman’s system immediately before and after conception is the main cause of a baby developing neural tube defects. Since a woman may find out that she is pregnant long after this, her baby may have already developed a condition that is easily preventable. That being said, if you are actively trying to conceive a child, make sure that you start a prenatal multivitamin regimen at least 2-3 months before you conceive.

Q) Are there any side effects?

It is very rare to experience an unwanted side effects when using a prenatal vitamin, as it is entirely made up of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. However, some people have experienced side effects upon consumption. Most common side effects of taking a prenatal vitamin include experiencing a stomach ache, having a bad taste in your mouth after taking it, and nausea. Less commonly, some people may experience digestive system issues, such as diarrhea, dark stools, and constipation. Finally, as with any health supplement there is the chance you may experience an allergic reactions. Seek medical help right away if you experience any of the signs of an allergic reaction after taking a prenatal multivitamin. These signs include breathing difficulty, hives, facial swelling, or rash.

Q) Can I take prenatal vitamins if I am not pregnant?

multivitamins

Since it is recommended that all women who have the ability to become pregnant take prenatal multivitamins, even if they’re not planning on it, it is safe for you to take prenatal multivitamins even if you are not expecting a child. However, your intentions for taking them may be misguided. It has been said that prenatal vitamins help the hair and the fingernails grow stronger and longer at a more rapid pace. These are mostly unfounded claims. Therefore, if you want to take a prenatal vitamin just for aesthetic reasons, it is most likely more appropriate to be taking a women’s daily multivitamin, or some other all-natural beauty vitamin available on the market.

Q) How often should I take it?

Every prenatal multivitamin supplement on the market will list its usage recommendations on its package. Some prenatal multivitamins need to be taken multiple times a day, and some need to be taken only once a day. Therefore, it is important to carefully read the directions for use on your prenatal multivitamin package and determine how often you should be taking it.

Q) Can I take too many prenatal multivitamins?

Yes, it is possible to ingest too many prenatal multivitamins at one time. This is because too much of anything, even vitamins and minerals, can be a bad thing. Overdosing on nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are present in a prenatal multivitamin can be harmful to both you, and your baby. For instance, if you take too much vitamin A, you may cause birth defects in your developing child. Therefore, read the directions on your prenatal multivitamin package and determine exactly how many pills you should be taking every day, and when to keep you and your child safe.

Q) Are there nutrients not found in a prenatal vitamin that I should also be consuming?

Yes, although prenatal multivitamins are filled with many important minerals and nutrients that both the expectant mother and her child need during her pregnancy, they do not have all of the nutrients that are needed. For example, omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in brain functions, and in helping the child’s brain develop normally. Therefore, omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be necessary during your pregnancy. Vitamin D is another common nutrient that is missing from many prenatal multivitamins. Milk that is low-fat is an excellent source of Vitamin D, and is an easy way for you to be getting the nutrients you need during your pregnancy. As with all health supplements, make sure that you discuss with your doctor before taking any supplements, whether you are pregnant, or not.

Q) Do these require a prescription?

While there are some varieties of prenatal multivitamins that require a prescription from a doctor, there are many that are available over-the-counter, and online. However, it is important to discuss prenatal multivitamins with your doctor before you begin your regimen, even if you can purchase them without a prescription.

Q) Should I take prenatal multivitamins throughout my entire pregnancy?prenatal vitamins

Yes, it is recommended that prenatal multivitamins be taken throughout the completion of a pregnancy. If you plan on breastfeeding, then it is recommended that you continue to use prenatal multivitamins until you stop, to give your baby valuable nutrients.

Decision Time

When considering some of the best prenatal multivitamins, it’s very important to know what nutrients your body needs and what your unborn needs, the same accounts for when breastfeeding. Nutrients such as iron are useful for avoiding anaemia caused by pregnancy but it’s not essential towards foetal development or your health however nutrients such as omega 3 and folic acid/folate can be crucial towards healthy foetal development. Calcium is another nutrient to consider as it assists in keeping you healthy while you’re pregnant and keeps your bones strong.