3 Tips before you choose the best prenatal vitamins

Before you start to choose the best breast pump, during the pregnancy period, you will have to know which is the best prenatal vitamins, you should learn some tips before you pick up prenatal supplement in the market or GNC store.

1, You should know the information in the product label.

For example, FDA required each of the nutrient supplement should have DV (Daily Value) marked for each of the vitamins and minerals in the multi-vitamins product. But as we know, the DV was established in 1968, it’s totally outdated comparing the current RDAs.

best prenatal vitaminsLet’s take the vitamin A as example, for the 4-8 aged children, the DV is 5,000 IU, but actually the UL(Upper Intake Level – which means the highest dose of daily intake that is likely show no harm or risk of side effects to the health of most the people) value established in 2001 is only 3,000 IU. It’s really dangerous when you want to know whether the vitamins or minerals are over dose for you or your family member.

So please read some files about the RDA, you may learn RDI (it’s based on the older standard RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance from 1968) for each of the common vitamins or minerals.

Especially, before you choose the best prenatal vitamins, you may need to know that some over dose vitamins, like vitamin A, vitamin D or iodine will cause some problem potentially may hurt the pregnant women and infants.

2, the UL of the nutrients vary according to people’s age and gender, just like the RDAs. So for the health person you don’t need to take over dose vitamins or minerals. Unless you get the profession advise from a doctor’s for certain conditions. For example, a pregnant woman may need extra iron if she’s with anemia caused by iron deficiency.

3, Some measurement you need to know about:

1 gram= 1,000 mg (milligram)

1 mg=1,000 mcg (micrograms or μg)

But for some vitamins or minerals, you will find it is marked in IU – International Units that is measured by its activity not by weight. E.g. Vitamin D and vitamin E.

Maybe the above tips are still not enough for you make the final decision to choose the best prenatal vitamins. But I still hope you can feel more confident when you’re reading a supplement label before the vitamin shelf.

The Best Calcium is from Food

We know how to choose the best calcium supplement for the people in different ages. But we suggest for those are deficient from calcium is looking for this essential on food base.

So you may come out a question:

Is it safer to intake calcium from nature foods than from calcium supplement?

Why shall we restrict the amount from calcium supplement?

In general, it is associated with a higher risk of kidney stones if you’re taking too much calcium from supplement. A study reviewed for postmenopausal women who have a history of kidney stones, with CT scans for that taking calcium supplement daily 439 mg averagely, found that the stones grew at a rate of 7.8 mm every month in average, comparing with those not taking calcium supplement are 4.49 mm. However, the study found that vitamin D supplements showed no added risk, on contrary, it has protective effect, as the stones grew at only 3.3 mm in one month.

Also it may increase the occurrence of heart attack both in women and men, prostate cancer rate in men. Compared to a daily intake dose 500 mg – 1,000 mg, a study found that those take 1,500 mg daily combined with the sources from food and supplement may increase prostate cancer risk, especially for advanced prostate cancer.

The researchers suggested that either too much or too little calcium from food will increase the occurrence risk of prostate cancer, but it would be protective if intake adequate dosage. For example, for 51- 70 aged men the AI (adequate intake) is 1,000 mg per day, it’s 1,200 mg per day for age 71 or older. Don’t worry, this dose amount is quite easy to obtain from your daily servings, e.g. dairy (a cup of milk provides calcium about 300 mg) and some vegetables: cooked soybeans and spinach provides about 250 mg per cup, 1/4 firm block tofu provides 160 mg calcium. Other nuts, meat, some certain range of fruit, you can also obtain smaller amount of calcium.

Here you can refer the article for the best calcium supplement.

Natural Remedies for Pregnant Women

It is a big challenge for a woman when she’s in pregnancy. Her body system need to sustain two humans that causes a tremendous impact to her blood vessels, bone structure of the body and internal biochemistry. While a group of small cells will grow up to a full size infant. So for many years, people try to find some natural remedies to support pregnant women’s health and body function with conventional ways or new technology.

Some researches proved that some natural treatments shows promise for the condition improvement to pregnancy. We will list some common treatments here with scientific evidence support, for example, nausea in pregnancy. But some following natural treatments had not been tested widely with solid research evidence, while the dose of some vitamins and minerals had recommendation from authority, such as FDA. So please get professional advice from nutritionist or your OB first before you take any action.

natural remedies

  •  Nausea

It’s very common in the first trimester of pregnancy. That effect the normal life and nutrient intake but it is vexatious if plans to have drug therapy, as the fetus is quite vulnerable at the first trimester. So we’re glad to see some natural treatments here are more welcomed as a safe alternative.

Option 1, Vitamin B6

According to a large trial in 1995, covered 342 women in pregnancy, received vitamin B6 in 30 mg or placebo daily, researcher found that the vitamin B6 help reduce the severity of nausea, but vomiting frequency were not relieved significantly. The result was based on the recording from the subjects for their symptoms about the severity grades of nausea and vomiting frequency in the morning, compared with placebo group.

Here we know the dose 30 mg of the vitamin B6 is quite safe for pregnant women, normally we can find the vitamin B6 in the prenatal vitamins.

If you’re interested in finding the best prenatal vitamins, you can refer it by click here.

Option 2, Ginger

It was recommended from ancient in several countries to use ginger as nausea cure, now many physicians will suggest to use it as well. A double-blind, placebo controlled trial in 2001, which involved 70 pregnant women, the effectiveness of using ginger (250 mg ginger powder, and three times per day for a period of four days) for nausea in the morning was evaluated. It was proved the ginger reduce the rate of sickness and vomiting significantly, and without any side effects found after compared the ginger group and placebo group.

Some other double-blind, placebo controlled studies had the same conclusion, maybe ginger has the effectiveness for the morning sickness was equivalent to vitamin B6, somehow, it’s found a better result than vitamin B6 in one trial!

Other Options

Several studies proved that the acupuncture point, P6, showed a promise for the treatment of nausea in the morning. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study also stated that acupressure has shown good effectiveness to relieve the sickness symptoms.

natural remedies

Some other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and vitamin C are sometimes suggested for sickness. Lack of iron, somehow will make it worse for the morning nausea. Also it was used for anemia treatment. So the next illness will be…

  • Anemia

During pregnancy, it is very common symptom for women, possibly it caused by the deficiency of iron. But if you take the iron supplement, maybe it will upset your stomach as iron supplement somehow is hard for on the stomach which may aggravating morning nausea. There was a research showed that a very low dose of iron, about 20 mg per day had an almost equivalent effectiveness as a high dose, such as 40 mg or even more, 80 mg per day. So it suggest that a lower dose, even less than the amount in some prenatal vitamins, 20 mg would be recommended which will definitely cause less side effects to women’s gastrointestinal system.

Another study showed the co-work of intake iron and folate is better than taking iron alone for the treatment of anemia for pregnant women. Even they’re not appear to be deficient of folate.

If pregnant women don’t have anemia symptom, please do not take exceed dose of iron which may be do harm to the to-be-mom and fetus.

  • Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are also common experienced by pregnant women, sometimes. A well-controlled double-blind study found that magnesium intake was more effective than placebo group which totally involved 73 women.

Calcium, also has been used for cure leg distress, but so far only little evidence can support calcium’s effectiveness.

To know the best calcium/magnesium for pregnant women, you can refer it by click here.

  • Hemorrhoid

Hemorrhoid is a kind of varicose veins in external or internal of anus.

A study with double-blind control which enrolled 97 pregnant women, showed that the intake of oxerutins, 1,000 mg per day, had a better result than placebo group after analysis of bleeding, inflammation and pain of hemorrhoid.

  • Constipation

It is still not clear for the reason of women’s constipation when they’re conceived. It does bother them from time to time. For the most reliable suggestion about the natural treatment, is to take fiber supplements, such as psyllium seed. It seems much safe for pregnant women, so it is normally recommended by professional obstetrician.

Another high-fiber seed, flaxseed somehow contains some substances estrogen-like, had a potential risk of harm to fetus.





pregnancy symptoms

constipation remedies

natural remedies

Recommendation for best fish oil for pregnancy

You will get professional recommendation from obstetric doctor or pharmacist to take prenatal fish oil or DHA product when you’re in pregnancy besides the prenatal vitamins. The fish oil contains DHA, EPA and other fatty acids nutrients which will help either the brain/retina development for fetus, or it will provide the nutrient for the pregnant women’s cognitive ability. Most of the time, pregnant women feel like to always forget things in their daily life. There are some conclusions from a research in London that there will be brain atrophy when women are in pregnancy, because the fetus consumes phospholipids from mother during the development for brain and nerve system. It seems that mother’s brain cells become smaller other than the reduction of total quantity. There are other benefits when taking prenatal fish oil: less postpartum depression; decrease the premature birth rate; less fetal/infant death; less egg allergy and eczema tendency for babies. But which one is the best fish oil (DHA) in the market for pregnant woman?

What criteria it is for the best fish oil (DHA) for pregnancy?

  1. You can tell the fish original source, fish type from product label. In order to avoid the pollution circumstance, PCBs, heavy metals (e.g. mercury), we need to know where the fish are caught from. It is safer if the fish is smaller (e.g. salmon, sardine), as dioxins trend to accumulate on the food chain. So now, we have new resource from krill, calamari, even from Algae, a kind of marine plant.
  2. If it is purified or any 3rd party research institute to ensure its quality and freshness.
  3. Is it easy to swallow and no fishy burp or aftertaste? Some flavors are added to fish oil to make the capsule smells better. An enteric coat softgel delivers the fish oil in small intestine to avoid fishy burp.
  4. Is the dosage enough? Although there is no DV (Daily Value) of EPA/DHA established by FDA or USDA, an editorial suggests to take 200mg DHA per day for pregnant women and the benefits of higher dosage intakes is still not clear. A research in Mexico shows that 400mg prenatal DHA will reduce the risk of a cold the infant might catch. A higher dosage with 800mg DHA/100mg EPA study in England concluded that there will be a lower risk of premature birth and a lower occurrence of egg allergy in infants.
  5. There are three forms of fish oil: Triglyceride, Ethyl Ester and Re-esterified forms. We should choose fish oil in Triglyceride or Re-esterified forms other than in Ethyl Ester form, which means more effective absorption in body.

We list following prenatal DHA, these products are the most popular sellers in market, and we will compare them to find out the best fish oil (DHA) for pregnancy.

best fish oil for pregnancyNo. 3 New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal, 90 Softgels

  • 100% pure wild Alaskan salmon
  • No 3rd party test; Non GMO verified
  • Small softgel, easy to swallow; partial feedback for fishy aftertaste
  • 220mg DHA, 180mg EPA, and other omega 5,6,7,8,9, with 2 soft gels, twice daily
  • Form not listed


No. 2 Nordic Naturals – Prenatal DHA – Unflavored – 500 mg 180 – Softgelbest fish oil for pregnancy

  • Fish oil in deep sea, processed in Norway, using anchovies and sardines
  • 3rd party test to ensure freshness and purity
  • Smaller pills for easy swallow, unflavored gel
  • 450mg DHA, 90mg EPA daily serve with 2 softgels
  • in Triglyceride form


No. 1 GNC Women’s Prenatal DHA, Softgels, 30 eabest fish oil for pregnancy

  • Plant source DHA, from marine Algae oil, Schizochytrium
  • GNC triple strength fish oil serial products passed through Consumerlab fish oil testing, but this product was not included
  • Normal size; enteric coated soft gel ensure it break down and absorb in small intestine
  • 300mg DHA, one soft gel per day
  • Not listed, normally DHA/EPA from Algae oil is in triglyceride form

GNC Women’s Prenatal DHA is the best prenatal DHA product we recommended here. It is safe for its algae source, and enteric coating technology reduces the unpleasant aftertaste. A report about fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, and Calamari Oil) from Consumerlab initiated on 8/10/2012, ten omega-3 products from GNC were verified and passed the testing, including GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil + Resveratrol, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil + Vitamin D-3, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Sport, GNC Ultra Omega Krill Oil, etc. So GNC is a reliable brand in supplement, especially in omega-3 production.

How to choose the best prenatal vitamins?

This article is about to find out the best prenatal vitamins you can choose.

We get benefits from the prenatal multivitamins supplement with sufficient nutrition for both maternal and fetus. Pregnant woman will suffer from nutrient deficiency, e.g. lack of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, folate, zinc and iron may lead to fetal defects. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, we need more nutrient than our normal time and it is suggested by health care professional to take prenatal vitamins three months early when you have conception plan.

It is able to soothe your stomach and reduce the vomit and nausea symptom that the mom-to-be will be possibly experiencing in the morning during pregnancy. The symptom often begins in the first trimester, mostly caused by a kind of hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is generated when in pregnancy, especially the nutrition deficient women in vitamin B6.

Here are some tips for your reference when you’re facing hundreds of prenatal products on the market:

  •  Are the ingredients safe for you?

Most of the time, we should choose the nutrition sourcing from natural fruit/vegetable. Natural source means more biological activity than the supplement from synthetics, and fewer side effects than synthetics do. Sometimes if the product has a Non GMO label, it gives us more confidence when we take it.

  • Is the dosage perfect for you?

The institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of the Sciences has some recommendation for the pregnancy women. You can refer to the RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) and ULs (Upper Tolerable intake levels) for each nutrient from here. Meanwhile we shall watch carefully for the daily life when you are pregnant. Is the calcium dosage enough for you even after you consume some milk but still feel contraction in your legs?

  • Is the nutrition formula reasonable?

For example, for the best absorption of calcium to keep the bone healthy, we’d like to see there are the magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K ingredients listed in the formula at the same time.

  • Does the formula contain a complete nutrition ingredient?

You can find the folate (folic acid) in each of prenatal product, as we know that the folic acid intake before and during the early pregnancy will prevent fetus from spina bifida. But one of the most important nutrients is missing from some brand products, iodine. Iodine deficiency is a major cause of intellectual disability for children; research has shown that the mothers with low iodine intake will possibly lead to an autistic child. In U.S. there are one-third of conceptional women are minimally in short of iodine. So the American Academy of Pediatrics had a statement announced in May 2014, suggesting pregnant women to take 150 mcg iodine containing prenatal vitamins.

  • Easy to swallow, easy to break apart in stomach without nausea

Disintegration, it means the supplement ingredient will be more efficiently absorbed by your body. And your stomach will not feel any discomfort when you swallow it if all ingredients are coming from natural food or herb.

We recommend the following prenatal vitamins for your consideration

These prenatal vitamins have the natural organic ingredients, not only that the vitamins and minerals are included in their formula, but also there are additional herb, vegetable and fruit extract enriched to provide a healthy metabolism for pregnant women.

  1. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin, 192 Tablets; New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin Trimester , 270 Tablets (same formula with 192 tablets)
  2. MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin Tablets 120 tablets
  3. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw
    Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Capsules
  4. Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Organic Tablets
Product Ingredient Non GMO Easy to
1.New Chapter Perfect Prenatal
Multivitaminbest prenatl vitamins
Folate: 600 mcgCalcium:
from Algae 75 mgIodine:
90 mcg
Herb; Organic vegetable food
Probiotics Contains Fermented soy and fermented wheat
2.MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitaminmegafood_prenatal_vitamins Natural Folate: from broccoli 800 mcg Calcium: 75 mg Iodine: 150 mcg Organic Herb; Organic fruit Digestive Enzymes Soy Free
3.Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw
Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Capsulesbest prenatal vitamins
Folate:800 mcgCalcium:
125 mgIodine:
150 mcg
RAW Organic Fruit
& Vegetable Blend;RAW Organic Sprout
Ginger;Probiotics;Enzymes Contains (Fermented) soy
4.Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180
Organic Tablets
best prenatal vitamins
Natural Folate: from organic lemon 800 mcg Calcium: from organic wrightia tinctoria 5 mg Iodine from organic Kelp: 150 mcg USDA organic certificated;Non GMO verified Organic ginger; organic peppermint to soothing
No soy,
no corn

Although New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin is the best seller in Amazon Prenatal Vitamins department, we here found that other two products MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin and Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Organic Tablets are more preferred products than it. Both of them don’t contain any soy ingredient that someone may suffer from soy allergy.

Finally, which is the best prenatal vitamins within above two products?

So from the daily cost consideration, we recommend that:

Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin

is the best prenatal vitamins as it provides a complete nutrient with a lower cost than MegaFood’s.

The data in above table indicates that, the multivitamins vary in their ingredients. It is not so easy to precisely to compare two products. Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin has less calcium (5 mg per day) than MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin (75 mg daily). You may have other calcium supplement intake while you take this prenatal multivitamins.

For the best fish oil for pregnancy, you may refer here;

For the best calcium supplement, you can learn from here.

We don’t recommend following prenatal multivitamins though they’re very popular among some people.

Product Reject Reason
Rainbow Light Prenatal Petite Mini, 180-Count use folic acid, synthetics source
Rainbow Light, Prenatal One Multivitamin, 90 Tablets use folic acid, synthetics source; no iodine
Light Complete Prenatal System Food Based Tablets 180 tablets
use folic acid, synthetics source
Nature Made
Prenatal Multi + Dha, 200mg, 150 Softgels
use folic acid, synthetics source; no iodine; It contains artificial colors red 40, yellow 6, blue 1, as you
know red 40 will lead to an ADHD or Attention Deficit Disorder for children
Twinlab Pre-Natal Care, Multi Vitamin Caps, 120 Capsules use folic acid, synthetics source

If you’re taking some medicine or before surgery, please consult your obstetric doctor or pharmacist before you take the prenatal product.

Hope this article about the best prenatal vitamins may help you somehow; we’ll be appreciated if you can share it with your friends by pressing the share button below.

What’s new for the best prenatal vitamins in 2016?

Click here to know the detail!