A human’s body is a wondrous thing, especially during pregnancy. During your first trimester, you’ll start to form your baby’s bones, vital organs, limbs, eyes, and much more — all from seemingly nowhere. Though the miracle of birth is nothing short of, well, a miracle, your baby’s cells have to come from somewhere.
That somewhere is your own body, which automatically directs minerals and other essential nutrients to your growing baby as needed. Maintaining a healthy diet is key, but taking a prenatal vitamin can also help ensure your body has all the building blocks it needs to make a beautiful, healthy baby.
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What prenatal vitamins do you need?
When growing a baby, there are few essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to ensure proper development and make sure your body is running optimally. There are many prenatal vitamins you can buy, but they should all include the same general ingredients:
- Folate or folic acid
- Vitamin B6, B12, D, A, C and E
Most prenatal vitamin formulas include all of the above and more, but make sure to check the ingredient label. Below are five of the best prenatal vitamins for every budget. We update this list periodically.
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A good daily prenatal vitamin should contain the above nutrients, but it should also have at least 200 mg of DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid commonly found in fish. Some experts believe supplementing zinc and magnesium can reduce risks of complications during pregnancy. All of these ingredients can be found in Nature Made’s Prenatal Multi Plus DHA softgels, which you can buy at most grocery and drug stores at an affordable price.
Rainbow Light’s Prenatal Daily Duo pack consists of two pills, the brand’s Prenatal One multivitamin and Prenatal DHA Smart Essentials capsules. One pack contains a month’s supply of each, though you can also buy the multivitamins and DHA supplement separately. One common complaint is that the vitamin can be hard to swallow due to its size, so it might not be a good fit if you dislike taking pills.
Garden of Life
This prenatal multivitamin is a great all-around dietary supplement, containing all the recommended vitamins and minerals sourced from natural ingredients. It also has the distinction of being gluten-free, non-GMO, Kosher, and vegetarian. But as such, it does not contain DHA. You can get that from the Garden of Life Oceans Mom Prenatal DHA, a fish oil supplement sold separately.
If you have trouble swallowing pills, a gummy prenatal vitamin might be a good option for you. Smarty Pants’ prenatal gummy vitamin comes in four flavors, including lemon, strawberry, orange, and banana, and has most of the recommended vitamins and minerals, though in smaller amounts.
You’ll need to chew four gummies a day to get a full dose, which is why a bottle has 120 gummies, or enough doses for 30 days. Smarty Pants prenatal gummies have a small amount of DHA but no iron or calcium, so plan on getting those minerals elsewhere in your diet.
At the upper end of the price spectrum is the MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Multi. This prenatal supplement uses ingredients derived from natural sources, a fact that MegaFood claims makes it easier for the body to digest.
Like the Garden of Life multivitamin, the MegaFood Baby & Me 2 is a good option for those with dietary restrictions as it’s gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free; vegetarian; non-GMO; and Kosher. There’s no DHA in this one, but it can be paired with the MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal DHA and Choline supplement, sold separately.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.