What To Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin

Prenatal vitamins are very important for you and your baby. Women should start taking a prenatal vitamin before pregnancy to get the most benefit.

There are so many choices available for women looking for a “good” prenatal vitamin. Many women believe a prescription vitamin is the best option; however, over-the-counter (OTC) prenatal vitamins can be a very cost-effective alternative to consider.

Choosing a Prenatal Vitamin

When shopping for a prenatal vitamin, here are a few things to look for. Your OTC prenatal vitamin should include a minimum of:

  • Iodine 150mcg
  • Iron 25-65mg
  • Folate 0.6mg
  • Vitamin A (no more than 5000mg)
  • Calcium 200-250mg if your diet includes dairy or 1000-2000mg if you don’t eat dairy

In addition to a prenatal vitamin, we would like to suggest you take these supplements:

  • Vitamin D3 1000-2000IU per day
  • DHA (fish oil) 200mg per day (some prenatal vitamins have DHA, so an additional supplement may not be needed)

Recommended OTC Prenatal Vitamins

  • One-A-Day Prenatal with DHA
  • GNC Prenatal Formula with Iron
  • Centrum Specialist Prenatal with DHA
  • Rainbow Light “Complete Prenatal System” or “Prenatal One Multivitamin”
  • BrainStrong Prenatal with DHA

Many women would like a chewable vitamin. “Gummy” vitamins usually won’t cut it; they don’t have enough of the iron, iodine, and other things you need. Chewable vitamins (like Children’s Flintstones Complete) can often be used; however, you should take 2 per day during pregnancy. Before taking a gummy or children’s formula, check the label and make sure it contains the necessary vitamins and minerals listed above.

One final note: Vitamins are very important, but a healthy, balanced diet is a must too! Eat wholesome, fresh foods whenever possible. And plan to eat between 40-60 grams of protein per day.

Quick Facts
  • Essential prenatal vitamins

  • OTC options available

  • Balanced diet recommended
OB/GYN Doctors