What brings you on the hunt for the best natural prenatal vitamins?
Are you hoping to conceive in the near future? Perhaps you are currently carrying human life or simply looking for better hair and nail growth. Maybe you’ve found that prenatal vitamins are just easier for your body to digest.
Whatever has brought you here, buckle up as we have all the best info when it comes to prenatal vitamins.
Let’s dig in.
Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary?
Drumroll… YES YES YES!
Consistent intake of a quality prenatal vitamin can be a game-changer when it comes to conception, gestation and delivery of your baby.
Now, of course, you should try your hardest to consume a whole-food balanced diet with moderate to high-quality protein, low in added sugar, and full of colorful fruits and vegetables.
This goes without saying. After all, your body most easily processes and metabolizes micronutrients from food vs. supplements. However, for most of us, this is just not realistic, especially 7 out of 7 days a week for months on end.
- Crazy work/life schedules
- Not addressing childhood trauma
- Working in an old building full of mold
- Exposure to toxins like smog
- Plug-in air fresheners
- Cigarette smoke,
- Poorly made, toxin-filled makeup and shampoo
- The list goes on and on…
Moral of the story: A toxic load is unavoidable.
A prenatal vitamin can offset the imbalance of vitamins and minerals that occurs from these stressors.
For example, the 400-800 mcg of folate found in a typical prenatal vitamin can reduce the risk of birth defects or congenital disabilities involving the brain and spine.
And why can’t you take a regular multivitamin in place of a prenatal? Answer: Most well-designed prenatal vitamins cater to the specific needs of gestation.
Additionally, women need less vitamin A during pregnancy, more vitamin D, and more folate than what is found in your average multivitamin. Choline is critical for brain development. Additional iodine is necessary for the production of mom and baby’s thyroid hormones. DHA from Omega 3 supports the development of the fetal brain and nervous system. A good prenatal vitamin company knows this and has covered the bases for you.[1,2,3,4]
And by the way, some of us eat really well, but we eat the same exact foods every day out of convenience. A prenatal vitamin can offset the imbalance that occurs over time.
As one of my favorite colleagues says, your #1 goal should be to “fertilize the garden” so your beautiful bundle can thrive on a nutritious feast from day one.
Long story short: Think of a well-made all-natural prenatal vitamin as an insurance policy. It is truly one of the most effective ways to optimize the human body for conception.
When to Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
“Ahh, I’m pregnant! When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?!”
I love this question because I don’t usually agree with the answer that is most commonly broadcasted.
In fact, not only are prenatal vitamins necessary during pregnancy, but prior to conception is even more of a critical window. At the very minimum, consider taking a professional grade prenatal vitamin three months before you plan on conceiving.
Some experts even recommend starting your prenatal one year before your desired conception date, as this is one of the best ways to prepare your body for one of life’s most intense and rewarding marathons.
So, when to start taking prenatal vitamins you ask? As soon as you can. And if you are trying to conceive as you read this article (you little multi-tasker, you!) then start today. Taking a prenatal at conception is better than taking no prenatal at all.
By the way, for our overachieving science geeks who have read about the benefits of probiotics during pregnancy, here are a few bonuses for you: The Best Probiotics for Your Health and be sure to also check out The Best Prebiotic foods to make the most of your gut health during this time. [5,6,7]
The Best Natural Prenatal Vitamins Are…
And now, for the moment you have all been waiting for, a list of the best natural prenatal vitamins. Please note these supplements and their manufacturers were chosen based on three categories:
- Composition: We want the best profile of vitamins and minerals in the appropriate doses.
- Quality: Here at FWDfuel, we do not stand for artificial sweeteners, fake food dyes, and funky fillers
- 3rd Party Testing: Anyone can say their vitamin is the best, but 3rd party certification can actually vouch for the claim.
Note: please be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any form of nutrition supplementation. It is essential to have a provider who knows your unique medical history, symptoms, possible medication interactions, etc.
(Usual disclaimer: FWDfuel Sports Nutrition is a participant in the Emerson Wellevate Associates program as well as the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)
THE BEST NATURAL PRENATAL VITAMINS
- Thorne Research Basic Prenatal sits here at the number one spot because it is a professional-grade prenatal vitamin, made with the most absorbable form of vitamins and minerals, thus making it easy for your tissue to soak up/utilize AND a serving is only 3 capsules/day.
- Contains zero added fillers found in the most common prenatal vitamins
- Includes iron, calcium, and magnesium.
- Orthomolecular Prenatal Complete with DHA was my preferred multivitamin during pregnancy. I remember I would just rip off a packet, throw it in my purse and head out the door, hoping to avoid dry heaving in public that day.
The formulation is very comprehensive. I found it to be easy to digest, it included fish oil, and it came in daily snap-off packs where each capsule was individually packaged – perfect for those on the go and those experiencing hormonal shifts, seemingly on the hour.
This was a game-changer for me because some days I felt so sick I could not even swallow 1 capsule, and on the days that I felt well, I had to space out all of the capsules in order to not feel nauseous. The pill pop-out packaging makes it easy to see what you’ve taken for the day. Great for avoiding waste as well.
- The perfect packaging for “baby brain” because although you might have left your tea on the top of the car and driven away, you don’t have to think twice about what vitamins you need to take.
- Easy to see how many capsules you have taken/ yet to take for the day
- Full Circle Prenatal makes the list as it is one of the few prenatal multivitamins on the market that was created by a functionally trained registered dietitian who specialties in women’s health.
This is one of the few all-natural prenatal vitamins on the market that actually has the right profile of nutrients, in evidence-based dosages, and in the best form for absorption. Many women have reported zero nausea from this prenatal because the nutrients are spread across 8 capsules each day.
- Full Circle Prenatal contains active, non-synthetic folate and vitamin B12
- Contains more vitamin D and choline
- Includes chelated minerals that provide superior absorption and extra glycine to help meet the demands of pregnancy.
- Full Circle Prenatal also goes above and beyond current guidelines, exceeding standards for heavy metals and other contaminants.
- Baby and Me Multivitamin by Innate Response is the favorite of moms to be with digestive issues. This food-based multivitamin was formulated by one of the most well-known physicians in the Integrative and Functional space and is easier to digest than most prenatals.
- Contains FoodState Iron, a form of iron that is typically better tolerated and therefore does not result in constipation or nausea.
- Requires only 2 capsules/day!
Please note, Baby and Me does not contain calcium or magnesium. Therefore, this prenatal is best suited for those who suffer from digestive issues but are able to eat a fairly well-balanced diet.
- Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder is the savior for those who feel too ill to swallow capsules or are on the hunt for prenatal vitamins without iron. Seeking Health’s prenatal protein powder is also excellent if you don’t have much of an appetite and want to consume the most nutrient-dense calories as humanly possible. This powder is non-GMO and vegan.
- Easy to digest
- Does not contain additional iron (only naturally occurring) as some women do not need extra during pregnancy
- Contains red raspberry leaf to support circulation and uterine health
- Includes two forms of vitamin A (beta-carotene and retinyl palmitate, to help support those who have trouble converting “provitamin A”)
- Contains B12 to further support fetal development.
- Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal is the winner for our “run to the grocery store,” high-quality, Garden of Life Prenatal Vitamin. This awesome, food-based prenatal vitamin can be purchased at your typical health food or grocery store and can also be added to the list for easy digestibility.
- Readily available in stores
- Contains a special digestive blend of probiotics and enzymes
- Made from 20+ organically grown powdered fruits and vegetables yet still contains 27mg iron and 800mcg folate.
- Baby Love Prenatal Multivitamin by Love wellness is our final top pick- As a Love Wellness Health Advisor, I can say that brilliant minds were behind the creation of this prenatal. Sure, one can argue that Love Wellness vitamins are not the third party certified; however, I am a big fan of Baby Love as its formulation is so unique.
- Only prenatal at this time that includes a full-spectrum of 25+ vitamins and minerals for baseline nutritional needs in addition to specific nutraceutical ingredients that support immunity and relief from morning sickness.
- Also comes with a separate Omega 3 fish oil, a blend of 300 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA.
And if you are looking for a specific prenatal such as the best prenatal gummies or all natural prenatal vitamins, then stay tuned as I will be placing many of the vitamins listed above in particular categories below!
Pro Tip: You can find most of these products on Amazon; however, our insider secret and the place where we buy our supplements are on Wellevate. Wellevate offers professional-grade supplement brands, all screened for quality and processing standards, sold at the very best prices.
FWDfuel readers will receive 20% off all orders and free shipping over $49. Unfortunately, we cannot provide direct links to products with Wellevate, but a quick search is all you need to find great products at an amazing price. (Please refresh your browser after searching if you have an issue)
If you want to learn more or would like to see exactly how to create an account and use Wellevate, check out our video for more info here:
Prenatal Gummies with Iron
On the hunt for prenatal gummy vitamins with iron?
Surprise!! Nothing of quality exists!!! Why? It would taste like death in gummy form, plus, it would be near impossible for the manufacturer to include a high enough dose, primarily to accommodate the second half of pregnancy when iron needs are exponentially higher.
The Best Natural Prenatal Vitamins Are…
So, what exactly do we mean when we say “best natural prenatal vitamins?”
Well, it’s not surprising that you are confused because there really is not a formal definition for “natural prenatal vitamin.” Plus, we know pills don’t come from trees, so essentially, all-natural vitamins are processed, and the only true way to obtain natural vitamins is through your food.
When the phrase “all-natural vitamin” is used, it refers to a vitamin that is not made from synthetic ingredients or foreign additives. This type of vitamin is typically derived entirely from plant material.
A natural vitamin can also be made in your body through the process of digestion, or it can be a product like vitamin B that begins naturally with fermentation but then eventually is processed to completion.
Lastly, although it sounds magical to take an all-natural prenatal vitamin, it’s difficult to remove any vitamin from its natural source. Not to mention, it’s expensive and it reduces the potency of that particular nutrient, so the manufacturer will have to synthesize the vitamin regardless in order to achieve full potency.
Anyway, I digress. Here are two of the best “natural” prenatal vitamins:
- Garden of Life Mykind Organics Prenatal Daily Whole Food Vitamins is my top pick for all-natural prenatal vitamins. The Mykind Prenatal is made from USDA organic whole foods, it is entirely plant-based and Non-GMO Project Verified.
A few fun facts: It contains ginger and lemon peel to help fight nausea, and is only 1 capsule a day!!! This is a record for a prenatal vitamin.
However, please note that some of the nutrients are not as high in terms of dosage compared to your average prenatal vitamin. For example the one daily capsule only includes 18mg iron and 600 mg folate.
- Baby and Me Multivitamin by Innate Response is making the list again as it is a food-based, professional-grade prenatal vitamin that only requires two capsules/day. Baby and Me contains choline and methylated B vitamins in addition to iron. Although, it is still very important to keep iron-rich foods in your diet as this prenatal only contains 18mg.
Prenatal Vitamins Without Iron
Has your doctor suggested a prenatal vitamin without iron for you? Perhaps you’ve dug into the research yourself and found that iron competes with calcium absorption. Therefore, some women who eat an iron-rich diet do not necessarily benefit from additional iron supplementation.
No problem, many of the best prenatal multivitamins on the market do not contain iron.
Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder is the top pick for those looking to avoid additional iron supplementation during pregnancy. Seeking Health also makes a prenatal in capsule form if you do not care for protein powder.
Full Circle Prenatal is the second pick for an iron-free prenatal vitamin. Created by a functional dietitian, this prenatal is one of the most research-based prenatal vitamins on the market. Full Circle Prenatal contains all essential nutrients for pregnancy, such as Vitamin D and choline, while still remaining iron-free.
Prenatal Vitamins with Folate
Maybe your doctor has requested that you look for a prenatal vitamin with folate. This is so important as proper folate intake is critical in order to prevent neural tube defects in that sweet baby. The good news however, is that adequate folate (400-800 mcg) can be found in every reputable prenatal vitamin on the market!
Be sure to glance back at the top of this article for the best prenatal vitamins with folate.
By the way, folate is the more absorbable form of folic acid (vitamin B9).
Best Prenatal Gummies (Without Iron)
It hurts my soul a little to be recommending a prenatal gummie. However, as someone who repeatedly puked and was nauseous 24/7 for 17 weeks straight, I certainly understand the desire.
I promise, I am not trying to hate on these delicious bite-sized treats, but the root problem here is that it’s not possible for a gummy multivitamin or prenatal gummies to include the necessary nutrients to support optimal health for mom and baby. Plus, more companies than not tend to add unnecessary fillers and additives to make the product look and taste more appealing.
Although, I will say the silver lining is that because prenatal gummies tend to be so easy and fun to ingest, compliance usually doubles.
At the end of the day, your “all-natural prenatal gummie” is not going to provide the entire panel of nutrients that you need, BUT as long as it is not laced with added sugar and food dye, a few extra vitamins and minerals each day is better than no vitamins and minerals, especially if your diet is not well balanced!
So, here it is, the best prenatal gummies:
- SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Daily Gummy Multivitamin is one of my favorites because it is one of the few that contains added omega 3 and choline for a baby’s brain development and does not include fake food dyes or artificial sweeteners. Another bonus: this is a 3rd party tested multivitamin.
- Garden of Life Mykind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin is a fan favorite across the board due to its excellent taste and pure ingredients. In fact, the pectin used to make this organic prenatal gummie is made from apple and organic orange peels.
This all-natural prenatal multivitamin boasts 9 whole fruits per jar and is completely vegan. For those interested in certifications, the Mykind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin is Certified USDA organic and non-GMO project verified, certified vegan, certified gluten-free and kosher, no artificial flavors or colorings.
- Rainbow Lite Prenatal Precious Gems Gummies Organic Superfood Blend is a vegan, prenatal gummie sold at most grocery stores. While some women complain about the taste, even more so tout the fact that these were most tolerable during their first trimester when they were sick.
However, this is one of my lowest ranked prenatal gummies as it does not contain iron or DHA and the form of folate is mostly folic acid. This is not ideal as folate is the most absorbable form.
Best Chewable Prenatal Vitamins
Are you searching for chewable prenatal vitamins? All of the gummies above will fit the bill!
Best Prenatal Vitamins with DHA
Let’s be honest for a minute here. Life is busy, and mom/mom-to-be brain is real. Do you really want to have to haul around a separate container of fish oil in addition to your prenatal multivitamin?
I don’t think so.
Therefore, having Omega 3/ DHA included in your prenatal vitamin is critical for you and your baby. We know the importance of Omega 3 when it comes to a baby’s brain development, so let’s make it happen.
Orthomolecular Prenatal Complete with DHA is an excellent prenatal with DHA built right into it. If you remember, this was my favorite prenatal of all time because it contained individual packets for each day, and 1 tablet of DHA is included in each packet. In addition to 580 mg daily DHA, this little beauty also contains iodine, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and methylated folate. Perfection!
Alright, and now for those of you who dry heave at the thought of swallowing capsules of fish oil, I would suggest: SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Daily Gummy Multivitamin. These gummies are some of the best prenatal vitamins with DHA. While 114 mg of EPA and DHA is not quite near the target of ~500 mg (minimum 200 mg), it’s a helpful supplement in addition to the incorporation of flaxseed, walnuts, and fatty fish into your weekly regimen.
Last but not least, if you don’t mind carrying around an extra bottle of Omega 3 in addition to your prenatal, I would strongly suggest Nordic Natural’s DHA Extra Strawberry. These contain 960 mg DHA, they are so tiny and easy to swallow, AND they taste like strawberries!! Total game changer. We buy them off Wellevate to get the best price.
And there we have it, my friends, a list of the best prenatal vitamins on the market.
Please keep in mind that quality supplementation will never replace a poorly constructed diet.
If you find that specific health issues are hindering you from eating properly during pregnancy, consult the expertise of a functionally trained registered dietitian.
A dietitian can help you focus on the best anti-inflammatory foods, test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and also teach certain eating regimens such as a heavily supervised elimination diet to help alleviate symptoms associated with gastrointestinal imbalance or autoimmune disease during pregnancy.
At the end of the day, I hope you are able to find something that works for you and most importantly, helps to nourish your baby!