Which Prenatal Vitamin is Right for You?

I am a planner. Whenever I can plan ahead, I do.


If I have planned to do something and you switch it up on me all of a sudden, it takes me a minute to adjust.


Now if I know I’m going to be in a situation where I can’t really plan for anything, and I can plan for that, I’m good. In that case, I’m TOTALLY spontaneous and go with the flow. After all, I’ve planned to do that. ๐Ÿ™‚


My most recent thing to plan for is babies! Since this is such a monstrous change, I am of course trying to plan ahead for all that I can foresee at this point – starting with making sure this oven is ready for a bun.


Which brings me to prenatal vitamins. I’ve read that you should start taking them at least 4 weeks prior to getting preggers.


Why do we need them? Because even if you are super duper healthy, you probably don’t get all the nutrients your body needs through your regular diet. And we want baby to get everything it needs to develop and be healthy. At least I do.


But holy crap! Could there be more of them to choose from?


Apparently the FDA doesn’t regulate what goes into vitamin and mineral supplements, so there are no standards and they are all different. What a pain!!


My gyno says to take whatever as long as it has DHA. DHA is a fatty acid important for brain, nerve and eye tissue development and it usually comes in a separate pill. However I google pretty much everything. Just to make sure.


Here is what WebMD, The Cleveland Clinic and The Mayo Clinic recommend you look for in a prenatal vitamin:


Can’t these people make up their minds! I’m trying to be prepared here!


Oh well, the vitamins on top are the ones they pretty much agree on, so I’d start there.


Another thing to look for is the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) seal. This means the vitamin should dissolve quickly enough for your body to absorb the nutrients. Otherwise it could be wasted effort. Great!


A lot of women also find that these things make them nauseous. Truth be told, taking just about kind of vitamin can make me nauseous, which is why I take them at night when I know I’ve eaten.


Story time!
I started taking vitamins a few years ago after my mom told me I should be taking all kinds of stuff – mainly calcium (Which I stopped taking shortly after I started, but anywho). Initially I was taking them in the morning, before I had eaten anything. Shortly after taking them I’d drive to work. I would get so nauseous while driving that I almost pulled over every time thinking I would actually vomit all over myself. I never did though, just in case you were wondering. But I didn’t realize what the problem was initially. My first thought was, oh crap, I’m preggers. It took me a few days to realize it was the vitamins. So now I take all vitamins at night. No more problems. I’ve never taken a prenatal, so who knows? Maybe they’ll make me nauseous even at night too. We’ll see.


Anyways it’s a lot of work comparing all these horse pills, and if you’re like me you want the best one you can get! So I thought I’d put a few together for you to compare.


There are many more than I have here and none of them really seem perfect. But these are some that were suggested by other mommys-to-be on thebump.com. As well as a few others I included.


And here is a great breakdown of what the different components of vitamins are for from Trader Joes.



Flintstones Complete Gummies
60 gummies (2 gummies serving)
$6.99 at local CVS
150 gummies (2 gummies serving)
$17.29 at local CVS

Lots of women seem to recommend this on thebump.com forum

Vitamin A – 2,000 IU
Vitamin C – 20 mg
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 18 IU
Vitamin B6 – 1 mg
Folic Acid – 200 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 3 mcg
Biotin – 75 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 5 mg
Iodine – 30 mcg
Zinc – 2.5 mg
Choline – 38 mg



New Chapter Organics – Perfect prenatal
Gluten Free, 100% Vegetarian
90 tablets (3 tablet serving)
$44.50 + shipping on Amazon.com

Vitamin A – 5,000 IU
Vitamin C – 60 mg
Vitamin D3 – 1,000 IU
Vitamin E – 30 IU
Vitamin K1 – 70 mcg
Vitamin K2 – 10 mcg
Thiamin – 4 mg
Riboflavin – 5 mg
Niacin – 20 mg
Vitamin B6 – 5 mg
Folate – 600 mg
Vitamin B12 – 30 mcg
Biotin – 300 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 10 mg
Calcium – 75 mg
Iron – 18 mg
Iodine – 90 mcg
Magnesium – 15 mg
Zinc – 7.5 mg
Selenium – 50 mcg
Copper – 750 mcg
Manganese – 2 mg
Chromium – 100 mcg
Molybdenum – 20 mcg
Mixed Carotenoids – 3 mg
Prenatal Herbal Blend – 300 mg
Breast Support Blend – 100 mg



Stuart Prenatal
100 tablets (1 tablet serving)
$29.99 on Drugstore.com

Vitamin A – 4,000 IU
Vitamin C – 120 mg
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 30 IU
Tiamin – 1.8 mg
Riboflavin – 1.7 mg
Niacin – 20 mg
Vitamin B6 – 2.6 mg
Folic Acid – 800 mg
Vitamin B12 – 8 mcg
Calcium – 200 mg
Iron – 28 mg
Zinc – 25 mg



Centrum Prenatal
(comes with separate DHA pill)
28 of each pill (1 pill serving)
$22.99 at local CVS

Breakdown not listed on website.

Vitamin A – 2,500 IU
Vitamin C – 90 mg
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 35 IU
Vitamin K – 30 mcg
Thiamin – 1.4 mg
Riboflavin – 1. 4mg
Niacin – 18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 1.9 mcg
Folic Acid – 800 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 2.6 mcg
Biotin – 30 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 6 mg
Calcium – 250 mg
Iron – 27 mg
Phosphorus – 20 mg
Iodine – 220 mcg
Magnesium – 50 mg
Zinc – 11 mg
Selenium – 30 mcg
Copper – 0.9 mg
Manganese – 2 mg
Chromium – 30 mcg
Molybdenum – 50 mcg
Chloride – 72 mg
Potassium – 80 mg

MY OTHER RECIPES

DHA pill

DHA – 200 mg
EPA – 15 mg



Women’s One-A-Day Prenatal
(comes with separate DHA pill)
30 of each pill (1 pill serving)
$19.99 at CVS

Vitamin A – 4,000 IU
Vitamin C – 60 mg
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 30 IU
Thiamin – 1.7 mg
Riboflavin – 2 mg
Niacin – 20 mg
Vitamin B6 – 2.5 mg
Folic Acid – 800 mg
Vitamin B12 – 8 mcg
Biotin – 300 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 10 mg
Calcium – 300 mg
Iron – 28 mg
Iodine – 150 mcg
Magnesium – 50 mg
Zinc – 15 mg
Copper – 2 mg

DHA pill

EPA – 240 mg
DHA – 200 mg


Trader Joe’s

Recommended by a number of mommies on thebump.com, but the breakdown is not listed on the website that I could find.



CVS brand Women’s Prenatal + DHA
30 prenatal tablets and 30 softgels of DHA
$14.99

Breakdown not listed on CVS website, found in local CVS

Vitamin A – 4,000 IU
Vitamin C – 60 mg
Vitamin D3 – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 30 IU
Thiamin – 1.7 mg
Riboflavin – 2 mg
Niacin – 20 mg
Vitamin B6 – 2.5 mg
Folic Acid – 975 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 8 mcg
Biotin – 300 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 10 mg
Calcium – 300 mg
Iron – 28 mg
Iodine – 150 mcg
Magnesium – 50 mg
Zinc – 15 mg
Copper – 2 mg


CVS Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
90 gummies (2 gummie serving)
$10.49 at local CVS

Not listed on CVS website, found in local CVS

Vitamin A – 3,600 IU
Vitamin C – 30 mg
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 15 IU
Niacin – 20 mg
Vitamin B6 – 2.5 mg
Folic Acid – 800 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 8 mcg
Zinc – 3.8 mg
Choline – 10 mg
Fish oil – 227 mg
DHA – 50 mg
EPA – 10 mg
Total Omega 3 Fatty Acids – 70 mg


Did not see on thebump.com, but thought I’d include:



Nature Made Prenatal multi + DHA liquid softgel
Has the USP Seal!
150 softgels (1 softgel serving)
$19.99 at Costco.com
90 Softgels
$20.92 + shipping on Amazon.com

Vitamin A – 4,000 IU
Vitamin C – 100 mg
Vitamin D3 – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 11 IU
Thiamin – 1.5 mg
Riboflavin – 1.7 mg
Niacin – 18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 2.6 mg
Folic Acid – 800 mg
Vitamin B12 – 4 mcg
Calcium – 150 mg
Iron – 27 mg
Zinc – 25 mg

DHA – 200 mg
EPA – 28 mg



GNC Women’s Prenatal Formula with DHA
90 softgels (serving is 3 softgels)
$19.99

Magnesium – 200 mg
Iron – 18 mg
Vitamin A – 4,500 IU
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 30 IU
Thiamin – 1.4 mg
Riboflavin – 1.6 mg
Niacin – 18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 10 mg
Vitamin C – 120 mg
Pantothenic Acid – 7 mg
Calcium – 600 mg
Zinc – 15 mg
Copper – 1.3 mg
Iodine – 290 mcg
Folic Acid – 1000 mg
Vitamin B12 – 8 mcg
Biotin – 35 mcg

Selenium – 70 mcg
Manganese – 2.6 mg
Chromium – 45 mcg
DHA – 500 mg
Choline – 550 mcg



Nature’s Plus Source of Life Prenatal tablets
90 tablets (serving is 2 tablets)
$12.31 on Vitacost.com
180 tablets
$26.94 + shipping on Amazon.com

Vitamin A – 10,000 IU
Vitamin C – 150 mg
Vitamin D – 100 IU
Vitamin E – 100 IU
Thiamin – 10 mg
Riboflavin – 10 mg
Niacin – 40 mg
Vitamin B6 – 5 mg
Folate – 800 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 40 mcg
Biotin – 800 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 25 mg
Calcium – 400 mg
Iron – 18 mg
Phosphorus – 200 mg
Iodine – 150 mcg
Magnesium – 200 mg
Zinc – 15 mg
Manganese – 6 mg
Potassium – 10 mg
Bromelain – 50 mg
Papain – 50 mg
Choline – 5 mg
Inositol – 5 mg
PABA – 5 mg
Priobiotic Blend – 100 million cells



Walgreens Prenatal Multivitamin/Multimineral
240 tablets (1 tablet serving)
$21.99

Vitamin A – 4,000 IU
Vitamin C – 120 mg
Vitamin D – 400 IU
Vitamin E – 30 IU
Thiamin – 1.8 mg
Riboflavin – 1.7 mg
Niacin – 20 mg
Vitamin B6 – 2.6 mg
Folic Acid – 800 mcg
Vitamin B12 – 8 mcg
Calcium – 200 mg
Iron – 28 mc
Zinc – 25 mg


One thing you’ll notice about some of these is that they have folate instead of folic acid.


What is the difference between folic acid and folate?


Here’s what I could find:

Folic acid is the synthetic form of Folate. Some say that folic acid it is better absorbed and more efficiently utilized in the body. Others say the opposite and that folic acid is used by many because it’s cheaper. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t actually tell you which is better. Below are a couple links if you want to know more, but the best resource is probably your doctor.


Say folate is better:
HealthyBabyCode.com
BodyEcology.com


Say folic acid is better:
March of Dimes
TheHealthyBelly.com


I hope that helps! It’s a lot to take in, I know!

If there is a vitamin that isn’t listed and you think it should be, let me know! I’ll take a look and try to add it.

Good luck with your vitamin hunt and baby making/baking! ๐Ÿ™‚