How to Pick a Prenatal Vitamin – Prenatal Forms

Jan 6, 2021

“what’s the best prenatal?”

👆🏼the question that pops into my DMs almost daily. my answer is… THERE ISN’T ONE!!

okay… i know that’s not helpful, but hear me out

a prenatal is a SUPPLEMENT to your diet. with some exceptions (cough.. folate) dietary sources of nutrients are superior to popping a pill. ideally, everyone would meet their nutrient needs through real food, but this is usually not the case -> why we SUPPLEMENT

there is no perfect prenatal. not one on the market meets the requirements for every nutrient needed during pregnancy, in the ideal form and at the recommended daily amount.

so, how do you pick one? well.. that’s the tricky part. you should select the prenatal that meets the gaps in YOUR diet and also fits your lifestyle. so naturally, this is going to vary CONSIDERABLY from person to person (…why one of my biggest pet peeves is “influencers” recommending supplements)

on top of nutrient needs, there are various FORMS of prenatals. all of these forms are NOT equal.. you want to pick the form that is BEST for your situation.

below, i have highlighted some of the main pros and cons of some of the most popular prenatal forms and rated them across a “good better, best, okay” type of scale.

CAPSULE / TABLETS – recommended for most

+ most accessible and easily available option
+ many options to suit your needs
– might be hard for some to swallow
– require multiple pills per day
– pressed / powder tablets are not the ideal form for fat soluble vitamins

POWDER – recommended for some

+ ideal for those who have a hard time taking pills
+ good option for those experiencing nausea / stomach upset
– not as convenient
– fewer options and may not be as accessible

GUMMY – not generally recommended

+ ideal for those who will have a hard time taking a prenatal otherwise
+ easy to take and convenient
+ generally taste good
– can contain added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors
– added sugar may be problematic for those with certain pregnancy conditions

ONE A DAY FORMULAS – not recommended

+ convenient
– generally do not meet daily needs
– most contain low-quality, synthetic nutrients
– often pressed tightly, making it harder for the body to utilize
– many contain fillers, dyes and other unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients

if you can’t swallow pills, that is probably not YOUR best option… “but kara ann, can’t i crush it and add it to my smoothie?” well yes, but are you going to commit to doing that every day? you want to pick the form that will be convenient for you so you stay compliant with taking your prenatal daily (this is MORE important than it being “perfect”)

it’s about finding YOUR BEST option.

3 steps to picking YOUR Best prenatal:

  1. get as many nutrients as you can through whole foods
  2. select the FORM of the prenatal that works with your lifestyle and will allow you to be compliant in taking your vitamin each day
  3. now, review several prenatal options of the form that you selected and find the one that best fits the nutrient gaps in your diet

was this helpful? let me know in the comments! i do weekly prenatal reviews on instagram, so be sure to follow along there too!

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