In an ideal world, you want the nine months of your pregnancy to be nutritious, natural, and balanced. Before you ever saw a positive result on your pregnancy test, you likely dreamed of all the ways you would nourish your baby in utero. Perhaps you created a Pinterest board full of kale smoothies, grilled salmon, and fresh whole grain bread recipes. But then, the first trimester of your pregnancy hits, and you find yourself in bed binging Gilmore Girls and subsisting on everything from bagels to milkshakes. That is why quality prenatal supplements are so important during pregnancy! They fill in the gaps for all the foods you do not or can not eat while growing a tiny human.
There are a wealth of prenatal vitamins on the market – some better than others. Keep reading for a list of what to look for in a good prenatal vitamin, as well as some of the best choices on the market today.
What to Look for in a Prenatal Vitamin
A healthy pregnancy calls for specific nutrition, all of which can be supplemented with quality prenatal vitamins. No matter how healthy your diet, don’t skip a prenatal vitamin, as it can safeguard against deficiency and birth defects – truly a gift of science and modern medicine.
Taking 400-600 mcg of folic acid should top the list of ingredients in your prenatal supplement regimen, as folate-deficiency is a common pregnancy concern. Low folate could potentially lead to neural tube defects in your baby, as well as anencephaly, heart defects, and malformations of the limbs and extremities.
Iron-deficient anemia is a common issue in pregnancy, and can leave you feeling depleted and exhausted, which is why a quality prenatal vitamin will contain roughly 30 mg of iron to keep you healthy and energetic.
Many women don’t get enough iodine in their diet, which is why prenatal vitamins generally contain 150 mcg of to give baby’s developing brain and thyroid a boost.
This nutrient is found in most prenatal supplements and 2 mg daily can help with healthy fetal development, as well as the reduction of nausea.
Not all prenatal vitamins contain DHA, and if you aren’t getting enough of it in your diet, through pregnancy-safe fatty fish, talk to your doctor about a daily omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement containing 200-300 mg of DHA.
Your prenatal vitamin should include 1,000 mg of calcium to help with fetal development, no matter how much you are getting through milk, yogurt, or leafy greens.
Taking 400 IU daily of vitamin D helps ensure healthy development of your baby’s teeth and bones.
There is some debate as to including vitamin A in prenatal vitamins, which is why many companies now use beta carotene, a safer source of vitamin A for pregnant women.
Best Prenatal Vitamin Brands
Pure Encapsulations offers high quality, pure, and vegetarian supplements and prenatal vitamins designed to deliver the nutritional support you need to live your best life.
Garden of Life
Garden of Life, a recognized leader and innovator of whole food nutritional supplements, believes that optimal health should be a given, not a luxury. This is why they offer quality supplements and prenatal vitamins to support you through pregnancy as well as every stage of your life.
New Chapter offers whole food supplements and prenatal vitamins to support you with targeted nutrition for your specific stage of life.
In addition to prenatal vitamins, it’s important to get the proper nutrition through a healthy meal plan during each trimester of your pregnancy. You can read more about that here.
What’s your go-to source for prenatal vitamins? Share your tips and favorites in the comments section below.
Photo by John Looy on Unsplash