The best prenatal vitamins

  • Prenatal vitamins provide essential nutrients to encourage the conception and healthy development of a child.
  • We did extensive research, interviewed an OB-GYN, and personally tested the products in this guide to find the best prenatal vitamins you can buy.
  • The New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamins are our top pick because they contain all the nutrients you need and the ingredients are sourced from organic, whole foods.
  • You should always check with your doctor before starting any new vitamin regimen.

Taking a daily prenatal vitamin is essential for anyone who's expecting a baby. But more and more, doctors recommend that all women who are hoping to conceive soon or even just fall into the demographic of "childbearing age" should add a daily prenatal vitamin to their self-care routine. 

Not only are the specialized nutrients usually contained in prenatal vitamins (folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin A, B-complex, C, D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids) important for helping a baby develop properly in vitro, many also support the general health of a potential mom-to-be. 

Plus, one of the most important roles prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is to aid with neural tube development. Since this happens early on in a pregnancy — often before a woman even finds out she's pregnant — it makes sense to take these pills anytime in your life that it's possible you would want to carry a child. 

I read the current scientific literature, spoke with Dr. Sheryl A. Ross, MD, an OB-GYN and author of "She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period." about what we should look for and avoid in prenatal vitamins, and then tried out several brands for myself since I'm a mom already and am working on conceiving baby number-two to find the best options. 

Here are the best prenatal vitamins you can buy:

  • Best prenatal vitamins overall: New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamins
  • Best affordable prenatal vitamins: Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA Vitamins
  • Best prenatal vitamins for sensitive stomachs: Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamins
  • Best gummy prenatal vitamins: Vitafusion Prenatal Essential Multivitamins
  • Best organic prenatal vitamins: MyKind Prenatal Multivitamins

Prices and links are current as of 9/15/20.

The best prenatal vitamins overall

New Chapter prenatal multivitamins contain all of the nutrients you need, and the ingredients are sourced from organic, whole foods.

When you're hoping to conceive, are already pregnant, or are trying to stay healthy while making breastfeeding, ensuring that your body is functioning with all cylinders is crucial. And even if you make a herculean effort to eat healthy, it's common for your daily diet to fall short of optimal nutrient levels.

According to Dr. Ross, a complete prenatal vitamin can act as the perfect "insurance policy" that you and maybe your progeny are getting all the nutrients you need. So what should you look for in a multivitamin? "Women who are trying to get pregnant [or are pregnant] need additional folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin A, B-complex, C, D, zinc and omega-3-fish oil," Dr. Ross said. New Chapter's Perfect Prenatal Multivitamins fulfill all of those requirements and more while sourcing ingredients from organic, whole foods.

The New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin is one of Dr. Ross's favorite brands. Recently, I took these vitamins every day for a month, and here's what I loved: Even though I wasn't pregnant at the time — just trying to conceive — I am still particularly prone to nausea. Taking pills in the morning, taking pills on an empty stomach, or just about anything can trigger my nausea.

However, New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamins are taken in three small doses throughout the day, rather than one big pill all at once. I think breaking up the ingredients into smaller, more manageable doses really helped stave off my nausea. Of course, the fact that you need to remember to take them three times a day could be a drawback for some.

Be aware 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. That said, for most women, these specialized vitamins will be top of the heap.

Pros: High quality, specialized nutrition formulated from whole food sources

Cons: You have to take them three times per day, synthetic folate

The best affordable prenatal vitamins

Nature Made Prenatal Multi +DHA vitamins offer all the nutritional extras recommended in a multivitamin while keeping costs low.

Nature Made's Prenatal vitamins with DHA are a powerhouse of essential and specialized nutrients that comes in just one pill per day.

The pills are free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, yeast, or gluten. The vitamins meet recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists but are lower in calcium and vitamin D than some of the others on this list, so you may want to supplement if you don't already get enough. It's also important to note that Nature Made offers prenatal vitamins with and without added DHA — a particular omega-3 fatty acid that's helpful in pregnancy — and this review is for the kind with DHA.

Some users report a fishy taste or odor with these pills, but I've been taking them every day for the last three months and haven't experienced any of the "fish burps." The pills are large, but they're gel-coated for easier swallowing. The DHA in these vitamins do come from fish oil, so that's one potential reason for the odor and flavor that some users notice.

Pros: All the essential and specialized nutrients you need for your child-bearing years, all-in-one inexpensive multivitamin

Cons: Not vegetarian, some users report a fishy odor

The best prenatal vitamins for sensitive stomachs

Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamins are specially formulated to be extra gentle on your sensitive stomach, which is a major plus for many pregnant women.

According to Dr. Ross, "Since prenatal vitamins have more iron and higher doses of other vitamins and mineral gastrointestinal side effects are common. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation are common side effects of prenatal vitamins." If you've had any of these side effects, check out Rainbow Light vitamins.

In addition to delivering the nutrients recommended for pregnancy in one daily pill, Rainbow Light is designed for those who have sensitive systems, like the stomach, gut, and skin. Rainbow Light's recipe does not include any of the eight major food allergens identified by the FDA, like eggs, wheat, or soy. 

Like I said, nausea is definitely a top-tier issue for me, and I didn't detect any uptick in instances of upset stomach from taking this popular prenatal option. I found its flavor pretty inoffensive for a multivitamin that's not loaded with a ton of sugar or artificial flavor.

As a consummate pill taker, I didn't have a problem with the larger pill size. But if you do, cutting in half and swallowing them as two smaller pills should be fine, since there's no special time-release coating on these.

I also like how these prenatal multivitamins go beyond just the regular vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy and include health-boosting extras like probiotics.

Pros: Free of the eight major food allergens, may be gentle on sensitive stomachs

Cons: Large-size pill may be difficult to swallow

The best gummy prenatal multivitamins

Vitafusion's PreNatal gummy multivitamins deliver good nutrition while being easy on the taste buds and wallet.

These tasty prenatal multivitamin gummies are from Vitafusion, a brand that comes highly recommended by Dr. Hall.

If you don't want to spend your days choking back huge pills, these gummy prenatal vitamins are a viable option. For some people, gummy vitamins turn a chore into something to look forward to.

Vitafusion PreNatal gummy multivitamins are a good choice because they deliver the right levels of recommended nutrients like folic acid, vitamins A, C, and D, as well as those all-important omega-3 DHA fatty acids. 

They also include a similar number of calories and sugar as regular candy, though, so don't assume their health benefits extend to all areas of your diet. They also aren't vegetarian or vegan. But if a gummy option helps you remember and want to take your vitamins? Go for it.

Some may be concerned that this multivitamin doesn't contain any iron, which is an essential nutrient. However, Vitafusion omitted iron from this multivitamin because iron supplements can trigger nausea, constipation, and stomach upset. If you do decide to go the Vitafusion route, you will want to consult your obstetrician to ensure you're getting the appropriate amount of iron through your diet or other supplements.

Pros: Great taste, inexpensive, good for those who have difficulty swallowing pills

Cons: Not vegetarian or sugar-free, doesn't contain iron

The best organic prenatal vitamins

MyKind Organics Prenatal Multivitamins are a great option if you're looking for a multivitamin that is certified organic, GMO-free, and vegan.

These are definitely not the cheapest prenatal vitamins on our list at just over a dollar a day. Nor are they the easiest to swallow. You have to take three large pills per day, and that may feel like too much for some people. But if you're looking for an organic, GMO-free, vegan option, the MyKind Organics Prenatal Multivitamins from Garden of Life checks off all three boxes.

Garden of Life prides itself on using carefully sourced ingredients, and these multivitamins are USDA certified organic and non-GMO project verified. 

I find that these vitamins don't cause the kind of stomach upset many other varieties caused. Since the dose comes in three pills instead of one, you can spread the three pills out across the day in case you're a bit sensitive. That's what I did, and I felt great while taking these. After testing so many brands, I'm planning to go back on the MyKind Organics Prenatal Multivitamins next.

Pros: USDA certified organic, non-GMO project verified

Cons: Pricey, can be difficult to swallow

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