We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

Prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. The best vitamins to take during pregnancy depend on individual needs.

Prenatal vitamins can help to ensure that the body receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to support a healthy pregnancy. They assist the growth and development of the fetus, and help prevent nutritional deficiencies in the fetus and the pregnant person.

Many prenatal vitamins provide a combination of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin plays a vital role in preventing neural tube abnormalities (NTAs), such as:
    • spina bifida, in which the spine does not develop properly
    • anencephaly, in which the baby is born without parts of its brain and skull
    • encephalocele, in which the membrane containing part of the brain protrudes from a hole in the skull
  • Vitamin B9 or “folic acid”: This vitamin also helps to prevent NTAs. Medical experts recommend taking a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid before pregnancy and at least during the first trimester. A 2019 study shows a direct link between continued folic acid supplementation during pregnancy and healthy infant cognitive development.
  • Iron: This mineral is important for helping to prevent fatigue and anemia during pregnancy. A doctor may prescribe iron supplements for pregnant people who are anemic or expecting twins.
  • Calcium: This mineral is important for developing healthy bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin regulates levels of calcium and phosphate, ensuring healthy teeth, bones, and muscles.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin helps to protect body cells from damage.

Learn more about what to look for in a prenatal vitamin here.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high-quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Was this helpful?

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The following table compares the prenatal vitamins listed above:

PriceQuantityFormDaily dosePrice per dose
Megafood$29.99/$55.9930/60tablets2 tablets$0.49/ $0.46
Nurish by Nature Made$16.6730softgels1 sofgel$0.56
Ritual$3960capsules2 capsules$0.70
tablets3 tablets$0.57
Vitafusion$12.4990gummies2 gummies$0.25
Smarty Pants$26.78120gummies4 gummies$1.80
Nature’s Bounty$32.9960gummies3 gummies$1.65
Nordic Naturals$28.9590softgels2 softgels$0.58
Nature Made$25.2460softgels1 softgels$0.25
Garden of Life$29.99 30tablets1 tablet$0.99

Nutrient Comparison

Comparing the nutrients in each product can be a useful way of deciding which prenatal best suits a person’s needs.

According to one review, folic acid and iron are two of the most important nutrients that help promote healthy pregnancy.

% DV of vitamin B12% DV of calcium% DV of folate% of DV of iron% DV of vitamin C% DV of vitamin D
Nurish by Nature Made186%86%222%100%71%167%
Care/of93% 17%100%67%17%167%
Smarty Pants168%0%100%0%40%200%
Nature’s Bounty100%0%100%0%33%100%
Nordic Naturals 0%0%0%0%0%67%
Nature Made186%86%222%100%71%167%
Garden of Life107%0%100%67%100%125%

A person should receive professional advice before buying prenatal vitamins. According to a 2016 study, the top 25 over-the-counter prenatal vitamins in the US did not contain the daily required amount of choline. A healthcare professional can describe what a supplement should contain to ensure that each person meets their nutrient recommendations during pregnancy.

A person should also see their doctor if they experience side effects while taking a supplement. A common side effect of prenatal supplements is constipation. Some prenatal vitamins contain non-constipating iron to counteract this.

Other potential side effects of supplements include:

The following are common questions and answers about prenatal vitamins:

What is the most effective prenatal vitamin?

The best brand of prenatal vitamins depends on the individual’s needs.

For example, a person with existing health conditions or a restricted diet may have specific dietary requirements.

Additionally, a person should be able to take their vitamins easily. Gummies and soft gels might be easier for those who have trouble swallowing large pills.

A pregnant person should ask their healthcare provider to recommend appropriate choices.

What prenatal vitamins do OBGYNs recommend?

It is common for doctors to recommend taking a prenatal vitamin, but not a specific brand of prenatal vitamin, unless the person has specific nutritional needs.

This is because although most prenatal vitamins contain three vital nutrients (iron, iodine, and folic acid), different prenatal vitamins will contain different amounts of other nutrients. Variations in nutrient content make different brands of prenatal vitamins more suitable for some people than others.

A doctor can recommend a specific type of prenatal vitamin based on individual needs.

What pregnancy vitamins do doctors prescribe?

Doctors do not, in general, recommend specific brands of pregnancy vitamins. However, important nutrients include:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin K
  • thiamine (vitamin B1)
  • vitamin B6
  • folate (vitamin B9)

What are the best prenatal vitamins for recurrent miscarriages?

According to research, taking any vitamins before or during pregnancy does not decrease the risk of miscarriage. However, there is evidence that multivitamins with iron and folate can decrease the risk of stillbirth.

Prenatal vitamins can support a healthy pregnancy and fetal development. A person can ask their doctor about options that may be best suited to their individual needs.

When choosing a supplement, a person should consider various factors, including pregnancy symptoms, dietary preferences, and food allergies or sensitivities. People should also consider whether they would prefer to take vitamins in the form of gummies, soft gels, or tablets.

Anyone who experiences side effects while taking prenatal vitamins should notify their doctor immediately.