How do you choose the best prenatal vitamins?

Real talk: how difficult can it really be to choose a prenatal vitamin? Aren’t they, like, all basically the same? Nope. Prenatal vitamins vary, making your selection process a bit confusing. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, getting the right nutritional support is vital for a healthy baby and a healthy you. And choosing the right-for-you prenatal vitamin is part of that nutritional support.

While variety can be the spice of life, it can also be the source of stress when it comes to choosing the best prenatal vitamin. Take a breath, mama, we got you! These are the best key points to consider when it comes to finding a prenatal vitamin that you feel comfortable with (Keep your doc on speed dial to soothe even more stress).

Look closely at the ingredient list

When choosing a prenatal vitamin, keep the old adage “assuming makes an ass out of you and me” in mind and don’t assume they are all made equal! The “prenatal vitamin” label does not mean that every option contains the same or even a sufficient level of nutrient or mineral. Turn that bottle around and scope out the amount of each vitamin and mineral. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, here are some of the recommended amounts:

  • Folic acid: 600 mcg
  • Calcium: 1,000 mg
  • Vitamin D: 600 IU
  • Iron: 27 mg

Other vitamins and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and zinc are recommended for healthy development; talk to your healthcare provider about the best sources and amounts for your nutritional needs.

Quality of ingredients

Getting your nutrients from healthy foods is the ideal goal, with prenatal vitamins as a safeguard to any deficiencies that could disrupt healthy development. Quality ingredients found in prenatal vitamins is another key point to consider when making your choice. Look for independent certification, such as NSF International, which tells you that a quality-control organization outside of the business making and selling the prenatal vitamin has verified the product by meeting strict safety standards.

The source of the vitamins and minerals contained in prenatal vitamins may be something of interest to you. Some prenatal vitamins use synthetic forms while others offer food-based, plant-based and even organic food sources. 

Do pills make you nauseous?

Prenatal vitamins can exacerbate that pesky pregnancy symptom we all know and love: nausea. If you can’t keep a pill down—which is the whole point of taking a prenatal vitamin—you have options! Liquid or gummy vitamins may offer relief from nausea, and multiple brands offer these forms of prenatal vitamins.

The best prenatal vitamin supports your unique pregnancy needs. After meeting with a healthcare provider to understand what you need to grow a healthy baby, take time to read the nutritional label and look for independent quality and safety certification. Not all pregnancies are the same and neither are the many prenatal vitamins. With a little attention to detail, you can find a prenatal vitamin that fits you just right.

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