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Best Prenatal Vitamins Of 2024

We review top-rated prenatal vitamins to help hopeful parents and parents-to-be find the best fit.

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By Forbes Health Brand Group

Paid Program

Updated: May 30, 2023, 6:11pm

Before filling registries with baby bottles, breast pumps and pacifiers, every parent-to-be should be thinking about nutrition. Prenatal vitamins are an easy way to ensure that hopeful parents—and their babies—get the nutrients needed for healthy conception, fetal development and postpartum recovery.

The options in the prenatal market can seem endless and ingredients vary greatly among the many brands. To help narrow the field, start your search with our top-rated prenatal picks for 2024. Each offers research-backed formulations designed to support both parents-to-be and their babies throughout every stage.

Top Prenatal Vitamin Picks of 2024

1

Beli-Bundle-Circle-Large.webp

Beli Bundle – Save on Prenatal Vitamins for Him & Her

9.9

Excellent

On Beli’s Website

2

Beli-women-circle-300.webp

Beli Prenatal Vitamins for Women

9.9

Excellent

On Beli’s Website

3

Beli-circle-men.webp

Beli Prenatal Vitamins for Men

9.9

Excellent

On Beli’s Website

4

Ritual-prenatals.webp

Ritual Essential Prenatal Multivitamins for Women

9.9

Excellent

On Beli’s Website

5

Birdandbe-prenatal.webp

Bird&Be Prenatal Essentials for Females

9.9

Excellent

On Beli’s Website

What Are Prenatal Vitamins and How Do They Work?

A prenatal vitamin is a supplement designed to provide nutrients and minerals needed for a healthy pregnancy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes taking a prenatal vitamin and eating nutritious foods should provide a person with all the vitamins and minerals they need during pregnancy.

A prenatal vitamin is important for pregnant people, as the growing fetus requires certain nutrients that can be hard to get through diet alone.

“Fetal development is rapid and requires a lot of metabolism—it’s dependent on the proper amount of amino acids and nutrients,” says Forbes Health Advisory Board member and OB-GYN James Grifo, M.D., Ph.D., the program director at NYU Langone Fertility Center in New York City and chief executive physician at Inception Fertility.

ACOG recommends pregnant people consume certain amounts of calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, iron to help red blood cells deliver oxygen to the fetus, iodine and choline to aid in brain development and folic acid to help prevent birth defects. Additionally, it recommends vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D, which provide benefits that range from promoting healthy skin and eyesight to the formation of red blood cells. While many of these nutrients can be obtained through a healthy diet, a prenatal vitamin provides the extra assurance your daily nutrition needs are met, no matter what’s on the menu.

Getting the recommended amount of certain nutrients—especially folic acid—can be hard to do, even if you eat a healthy diet. For example, ACOG recommends pregnant people consume 600 micrograms of folic acid daily during pregnancy to help prevent brain and spinal birth defects. While some folic acid can be derived from foods like fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables, ACOG recommends supplementing with a prenatal vitamin to make sure you’re getting the recommended amount.

Can Prenatal Vitamins Help You Get Pregnant?

While there isn’t much evidence to support that taking a standard prenatal vitamin can help you get pregnant, it’s often recommended that you start taking prenatal vitamins if you are trying to conceive. This is because certain amounts of folic acid—a nutrient found in most prenatal vitamins—is necessary to prevent neural tube defects. Typically, the neural tube is formed in the first month of pregnancy; a time in which you might not even realize you’re pregnant.

Fertility-Boosting Formulas Can Aid in Concepton

Some prenatal vitamins, such as Beli for Women and Beli for Men, are formulated with nutrients that research shows might support fertility and healthy conception. Beli for Women also delivers nutrition that supports every stage of fetal development and a healthy postpartum recovery.

Beli-Bundle-Circle-Large.webp

Bird&Be Prenatal Essentials for Females

Increase chances of conceiving & kick-start a healthy pregnancy

On Beli’s Website

Should You Take a Prenatal Vitamin Before Conceiving?

Prenatal vitamins aren’t just for pregnant people—they’re for people trying to get pregnant, too. The ACOG recommends taking a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month before becoming pregnant.

“Begin taking prenatal vitamins when you start trying—don’t wait until you’re pregnant,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. “I encourage all my patients to take folic acid supplementation before they conceive—at least 400 micrograms per day—as we know that women on folic acid supplementation can significantly reduce the risk of certain birth defects like spina bifida.”

Which Nutrients Are Found in Prenatal Vitamins?

The nutrients provided by a prenatal vitamin vary. Typically, they include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • Choline
  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Iodine

When comparing ingredient lists, talk to your doctor or midwife about which prenatal vitamin is a good fit for you. Generally speaking, folic acid is a key nutrient. Many prenatal vitamins contain around 800 micrograms of folic acid, and OB-GYNs typically recommend taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms.

DHA—an omega-3 fatty acid—is also often recommended, as it may help with fetal brain development. Many prenatal vitamins include DHA. You can add a separate DHA supplement to your routine, too.

Health Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins ensure your body receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to support a growing fetus. As your body is undergoing such significant changes, good nutrition is more critical than ever.

For example, the ACOG recommends 27 milligrams of iron daily (as this helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to the fetus), 220 milligrams of iodine daily (which is necessary for healthy brain development) and 450 milligrams of choline daily (to support the development of the fetus’ brain and spinal cord). Other important nutrients include vitamin D for growing your baby’s bones and teeth, vitamin B6 and B12 for helping form red blood cells and folic acid (600 micrograms daily) for supporting the growth and development of the fetus and placenta.

A prenatal vitamin can fill nutrient gaps, giving your body all the added vitamins and minerals it needs.

Why Are Prenatal Vitamins Important?

The nutrients found in many prenatal vitamins are extremely important for your pregnancy, and if you aren’t getting those nutrients through diet alone, it makes taking a prenatal vitamin very important. The ACOG states, “eating healthy foods and taking a prenatal vitamin every day should supply all the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.”

Keep in mind, though, that taking more prenatal vitamins cannot make up for nutrient deficiencies, as too much of certain nutrients can actually be harmful (for example, excessive amounts of vitamin A can cause birth defects).

Risks of Not Taking Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy

If you don’t receive the recommended daily amount of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, it could be harmful to the health of you and your baby. For example, getting the recommended amount of folic acid during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects, which are serious abnormalities of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. Plus, taking a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy lowers your risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

How to Pick the Best Prenatal Vitamin for You

When deciding on a prenatal vitamin, speak with your OB-GYN, who can provide you recommendations based on your specific needs (for example, if you’ve previously had a baby with a neural tube defect, they may recommend a prenatal with a higher amount of folic acid). Additionally, check for third-party testing from agencies like U.S. Pharmacopeia, who can provide assurance of the content and quality of the ingredients in your prenatal vitamin.

Other factors to keep in mind may include:

  • Cost
  • The vitamins and nutrients in the prenatal (and their amounts)
  • Format (pill size, pill type)
  • Whether the prenatal causes nausea or other side effects

Be sure to speak with your OB-GYN about which prenatal vitamin might be a good fit for you.

Beli-Bundle-Circle-Large.webp

Bird&Be Prenatal Essentials for Females

Increase chances of conceiving & kick-start a healthy pregnancy

On Beli’s Website

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