15 Best Prenatal Vitamins To Take Before Your Baby Comes

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Best prenatal vitamins
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Whether you're pregnant or not, or are trying to become pregnant, we all know taking prenatal vitamins is very important. Of course, depending on what our body is experiencing, different types of vitamins matter, and taking the best prenatal vitamins is an essential part of planning a family.

Obviously, plenty of rest and a well-balanced diet matters too, but this is great reinforcement, making sure you and your baby get all the nutrients you need during pregnancy. Each vitamin has a different makeup, but many include more folic acid and iron, as well as things like vitamin D and calcium.

"Your prenatal vitamin should definitely contain folic acid, which helps prevent defects of the brain and spinal cord, as well as iron, which supports the baby's development as well as helps prevent anemia in the mother," advises OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry, co-host of The Doctors

But what makes up a good prenatal vitamin? Besides iron and folic acid, your prenatal should contain calcium and vitamin D, which help bone development. Vitamins C, A, E, zinc, iodine and copper are also beneficial.

According to gynecologist Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, “There are several components to a good prenatal vitamin. And first I'd like to emphasize that OB/GYNs strongly encourage our patients to be taking a vitamin with extra folic acid before they conceive (take it while trying to conceive; we know that babies conceived while their moms are on extra folic acid have a significantly reduced risk of neural tube defects and probably other birth defects as well)." 

If you want to pick up an over-the-counter vitamin, one such as the vitafusion brand has 800 micrograms of folic acid (and we're looking for at least 400 micrograms, so you're good here).

However, you also want a vitamin with omega-3s. Dr. Landry cautions that your prenatal vitamin is important, but it is not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. "Another ingredient to look for is omega-3 fatty acids, which may help promote brain development. These are also available as a separate supplement," she says.

So, what are the best prenatal vitamins on the market to take during your pregnancy?

RELATED: 5 Foods To Eat When You're Pregnant That Increase Your Baby's IQ

1. DrFormulas Prenatal Vitamins

These vitamins contain DHA, folate/folic acid/methylfolate, and iron. Other prenatal vitamins don't contain any essential fatty acids, such as the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are important for the development of the baby's brain, nerves, and eye tissue.

(DrFormulas, $27.57)

2. Nature’s Bounty Essential Prenatal Gummies

Nature’s Bounty Essential Prenatal Gummies are the most delicious way to support your health before, during and after pregnancy. The delicious, mixed berry-flavored gummies contain 13 key nutrients, including 100 percent daily value of iodine and folic acid, and 51 mg of omega-3s EPA and DHA per 2 gummy serving.

(Amazon)

3. Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA

This has 480 mg of DHA per serving, which is great for maintaining cellular fluidity, and supporting normal memory, cognition, and emotional well-being. The DHA is derived from sustainably-sourced fish, anchovies and sardines, making it a high-quality non-GMO supplement, and a great way to add omegas to your supplement routine during pregnancy.

(Amazon)

4. Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal

This is a specially formulated women's multivitamin made from nutritious raw whole foods. This vitamin supports blood and heart health with iron, vitamin C, E, and B-Complex, plus Folate for healthy neural tube development.

(Amazon)

5. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin

This vitamin is fermented to transform vitamins and minerals into whole foods your body can easily absorb. It sustains 100 percent complete prenatal nutrition throughout your day with 13 vitamins, 10 minerals and 21 pregnancy safe herbs and botanicals. It also has 100 percent daily value of iron, B Vitamins D3, C, A, and zinc.

(Amazon)

6. One a Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamin

This two pill formula contains folic acid, omega-3 DHA, calcium, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, Biotin, iodine, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, and zinc. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that can help support healthy fetal brain and eye development during pregnancy. "A prenatal I like to recommend is One A Day Women's Prenatal Multivitamins, but pregnant women should talk with their healthcare provider about their own specific nutritional needs before deciding," says Dr. Landry.

(Amazon)

7. New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal Vitamin

This whole fish oil delivers 935 mg of omegas including prenatal DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids, plus naturally occurring vitamin D3 and astaxanthin. Omega fatty acids support healthy fetal development during pregnancy, and DHA taken while nursing augments breastmilk to help build baby’s healthy brain and eye tissue.

(Amazon)

RELATED: 5 Supplements You Really Need To Take Daily

8. Enfamil Expecta Prenatal Dietary Supplement

Complete dietary supplements help support you and your baby's needs before conception, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. It includes Vitamin D, choline and DHA, as well as folic acid to help support brain and central nervous system development. It's also a mercury-free, non-fish source of DHA, proven chemically the same as normal fish sources.

(Amazon)

9. Honest Whole-Food Based Prenatal

Premium quality non-GMO vitamins and minerals, and a beneficial blend of organic fruits and veggies, help support healthy pregnancy and fetal development. Targeted levels of nutrients like folic acid (utilizing the highly bioavailable form of folic acid, L-Methylfolate), vitamin D3, iron, choline and B vitamins. Whole-food blend of fruits and veggies, including digestive enzymes, help to support healthy digestion.

(Amazon)

10. Rainbow Light Prenatal Petite Mini-Tab Multivitamin

This gentle prenatal blend includes magnesium and potassium to ease discomfort, plus high potency vitamin B complex for energy, cell growth, stress and immune support. There’s also 800 micrograms of folic acid, which promotes healthy brain and spinal development.

(Amazon)

11. Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA

Nature Made Prenatal Multi + 200mg DHA provides key vitamins and minerals for daily nutritional support during pregnancy, such as folic acid and iron, as well as 200 mg of DHA omega-3 fatty acid in one convenient, easy to swallow softgel. It's clinically proven to ensure absorption of key nutrients and provides a full vitamin profile including all 8 B vitamins as well as fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, C, D, E, and K).

(Amazon)

12. MegaFood Baby & Me

This blend supports strength, balance, and mood during pregnancy, as well as helping nurture your developing child. It includes B vitamins and iron, encouraging energy levels and red blood cell production when you need them most.

(Amazon)

13. Ritual Prenatal Vitamins

These prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients that include vegan omega-3s, DHA, and choline, and MTHF, the most bioavailable form of folate. These vitamins are also delayed-release, which results in better absorption and less nausea.

(Ritual, $35/month)

14. SmartyPants Prenatal Gummy Multivitamin

This is a chewable prenatal vitamin formulated with premium ingredients to help women obtain the specific nutrient levels ideal for a healthy pregnancy. It contains 15 essential ingredients including folate (methylfolate) to support normal early fetal development, iodine for nervous system and normal brain development during pregnancy, and vitamin D3 for bone and immune health.

(Amazon)

15. Spectrum Essentials Prenatal DHA

Spectrum Essentials Prenatal DHA softgels are created for pregnant and nursing women who want to pass on the benefits of DHA to their baby. These unique capsules help support a baby’s developing brain and vision, and are made without fish oil.

(Amazon)

RELATED: The Beauty Routine That Got Me Through 9 Months of Pregnancy

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.

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