Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or postpartum, prenatal vitamins are chock-full of all the amazing sh*t your body needs to take care of a tiny baby. Like all vitamins and supplements, though, not all prenatals are created equal. Having the recommended amount of vitamin D, DHA, and folate can make the difference between a vitamin being okay versus really f*cking great. Regardless of which prenatal vitamin you choose, taking any supplement should be first discussed with your OB/GYN—as should trying to get pregnant in general.
According to Web MD, you’ll want to look for prenatal vitamins with the following:
- 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid
- 400 IU of vitamin D
- 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) of calcium
- 70 mg of vitamin C
- 3 mg of thiamine
- 2 mg of riboflavin
- 20 mg of niacin
- 6 mcg of vitamin B12
- 10 mg of vitamin E
- 15 mg of zinc
- 17 mg of iron
- 150 micrograms of iodine
To help you wade through this wide world of not-Flintstones gummies, we’ve rounded up the best of the best when it comes to poppable prenatal vitamins.
Ritual Essential Prenatal
Ritual’s prenatal vitamins are a bit of a standout because they don’t contain calcium, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing here. Calcium and iron can compete to be absorbed by your body, according to Women’s Health magazine, so Ritual contains the iron you need for baby (and baby-makin’) and allows you to get calcium from foods you’re eating. Plus, chugging a glass of milk is probably easier for most of us than chewing a steak, so it’s a win-win, honestly. Ritual also contains 1,000 mcg of folate and 300 mg of DHA.
MegaFood Baby & Me 2
Crunchy hipsters, this is the prenatal vitamin for you. All of the vitamins, minerals, and supplements in MegaFood are paired with organic foods to ensure maximum absorption. In addition to having all (and for some, more than) the recommended values of vitamins and minerals (including 600 mcg of folate), MegaFood also contains mood-stabilizing choline, which, as someone who’s been pregnant can attest, is f*cking necessary. Like Ritual, MegaFood also leaves the calcium out, so be sure to supplement if you choose this vitamin. These prenatals call for two pills per day, which can help with your morning sickness since you’re spacing out the dose.
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins
Struggling with nausea? This is the prenatal for you. New Chapter is formulated with organic ginger, which helps A LOT when it comes to feeling super sh*tty in the morning while pregnant, but it also helps that New Chapter spaces out your dosage to three pills each day, so you aren’t slamming your body with iron and nutrients at 7am and risking feeling dizzy. New Chapter also contains 100% of the folic acid and iron you’ll need each day. One thing to be aware of, though, according to Business Insider, is that “the source of this vitamin’s folate could be misleading. Folate is generally the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9, while folic acid is often synthetic. Rarely, some women can be sensitive to the synthetic form, and if that’s you, New Chapter might not be your pick.”
Nature Made Prenatal + DHA
These were my personal go-to before, during, and after pregnancy. This has double the recommended amount of folic acid (800 mcg) and also has DHA, which is a super important supplement for a fetus’s brain and eye development. My kid’s eyes and brain seem tip-top atm, so I assume taking this sh*t worked. You can also get 150 soft gels on Amazon Prime for a little over $20, so this is a great option for the thrifty shoppers out there.
Vitafusion PreNatal Gummie Multivitamins
If you’re not into swallowing a giant pill in the morning, or, like, any time, get you some gummies. The Vitafusion PreNatal Gummies taste great, have all the necessary nutrients (600 mcg of folate), and are easy on your stomach. An important note for these, though, is that they don’t contain iron. Why? Because iron can be the main trigger for nausea, especially when you’re pregnant. So, if you go with these tasty vitamins, make sure you’re getting an iron supplement, too.
Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamins
With a name like that, how could you NOT want these prenatal vitamins? It sounds like a Care Bear’s sponsored supplement. If you’re too young for that reference, get out. Anyway, the Rainbow prenatals are fabulous because they don’t contain any of the eight major allergens (soy, peanuts, fish etc.) and they have probiotics. Why does that matter? Because pregnancy, for many of us, means constipation, weird skin, nausea, and other uncool side effects, so having something with skin, mood, and tummy boosters along with the necessary supplements for you and baby is ideal. These contain 600 mcg of folate plus 32 mg of a probiotic blend.
One A Day Women’s Prenatal 1 Multivitamin
We have all heard about the atrocious things that happen to your body (and mind) once you get pregnant. Your bones ache as they move to accommodate the human
tapeworm inside of you. Your hair falls out. You break out into zits from your back to your butt all the way up to your forehead. You’re moody. You’re emotional. You eat everything and can’t stop. This little miracle takes over your whole body and, like a terrible tenant, leaves it in way rougher shape than he or she found it. They didn’t even have to pay a security deposit, which is so rude.
But what about all the good “symptoms” of pregnancy? Did you know you may actually lose weight? Your skin could glow like never before? In an effort to be Polly Positive, here are some of the effects you may be lucky enough to experience during your pregnancy.
1. Glowing Skin
Sure, some women will get crazy acne (and, sadly, if you’re one of those betches that experience a surge in zits around period time, you’re more likely to deal with the same situation during pregnancy). But some lucky women will experience the best skin of their lives during pregnancy, complete with that “glow” everyone talks about.
Here’s the deal. Because of all the hormones coursing through your bod during pregnancy, cell turnover happens a lot faster. As a result, it’s easier for you to shed old, crappy, dull, dead skin and show off new, radiant skin. Plus, more blood (and, therefore, blood flow) to all parts of your body means you can ditch your bronzer and blush for a bit as you’ll have a rounder face and slight flush most of the time.
2. Amazingly Thick Hair
YASSSS QUEEEEN. See, pregnancy is good for something. Thanks to that burst of hormones, your hair will get thicker, shinier, and grow a lot faster during pregnancy. My hairdresser is already tired of seeing me after just a few months (I have bangs, and they’re in my eyes every four weeks).
According to Self, “Thanks to your pregnancy hormones, your hair follicles stay in the anagen, or active, stage of the hair cycle for longer, which results in a fuller head of hair because there is much less shedding.” YAY. Because everything is going out of whack in your body, too, you may notice that your scalp is slightly more oily. The good news is that this will cause your hair to look fuller and shinier. Of course, at the end of your pregnancy, your hair will return to normal, so expect some intense shedding.
3. Tons Of Energy
The first trimester will most likely leave you drained, sick, and feeling like a big, wet pile of sh*t. But once that second trimester hits, you’ll have a surge in energy, your sick feelings will (likely) subside, and you will feel like a normal human being once again. It isn’t necessarily that you have way more energy, but that you’re indulging in actually having any energy at all, since the first trimester can leave you so fatigued.
If you are one of the lucky ones to experience the amazing surge, take advantage of it. Head to yoga, go for long walks, and start tackling putting the nursery together. Come the third trimester, you’ll just want to channel your spirit animal: a slug.
4. Big Boobs
Yes, being pregnant means your boobs are going to get bigger. First, because hormones like estrogen and progesterone are surging through your system, and secondly, because they’ll be busy filling up with milk for the baby. Initially, I wasn’t psyched about the change, but I have to say that seeing my giant tits in my bathing suit this year definitely helped distract from my growing gut.
Although you may not change in actual bra size, most women have a pretty noticeable change in terms of fuller, more tender breasts, and bigger nips. Don’t be scared, though, if you aren’t a huge fan of your new gazungas. Your boobs will deflate to their pre-pregnancy size (or a bit bigger) about six weeks postpartum.
5. Fuller Lips
Just call me Angelina, everybody. Thanks to your body literally doubling its amount of blood during pregnancy (gotta keep that baby squishy or whatever), a lot of that extra fluid is going to make its way to your face and lips. For you, that means brighter red or pink kissers, and no need for lip pumping creams and balms for a few months. Yay!
Images: Ryan Franco / Unsplash; Giphy (5)