The Best Prenatal Vitamins in 2022 to Support Your Pregnancy Journey
A prenatal vitamin is an important part of any pregnancy journey, with GPs and midwives advising pregnant women to take one daily. This type of vitamin is not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet, but it can help you and your baby get the extra nutrients needed for proper growth and development.
The prenatal vitamins are each specially formulated for the different stages of pregnancy. Some work best before pregnancy while trying to conceive, while others are designed to support expectant mothers through those all-important first 12 weeks. For anyone still trying to conceive, it is recommended to start taking prenatal vitamins three months before expecting to get pregnant.
The NHS also recommends anyone who is pregnant or trying to become pregnant to take a folic acid supplement. It is advisable to take folic acid daily throughout pregnancy. This is very important as it can help prevent major birth defects of the brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida) of the fetus.
The daily folic acid recommendation of 400 micrograms is said to reduce the likelihood of these potential problems in a baby’s development in the first few weeks. Additionally, the NHS also recommends a daily dose of vitamin D. Ideally, pregnant women need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day and should consider taking it between September and March when there is less sun exposure.
To help you find the best prenatal vitamins for you, ask your GP to recommend their top picks or prescribe them for you. We’ve also put together a list of the best prenatal vitamins you can choose from, along with a brief guide on what you should look for when buying them.
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Best Prenatal Vitamins: At a Glance
How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamins for You
Whether your pregnancy is uncomplicated or you have pregnancy complications, prenatal vitamins can help you on your journey. Ask your doctor for advice on prescribed prenatal supplements or choose tried and tested over-the-counter prenatal vitamins from our list below. It’s worth noting that a well-balanced prenatal vitamin should include all of the ingredients needed to support a healthy pregnancy, which we’ve explained in more detail below.
What types of nutrients should I look for in prenatal vitamins?
Here are some of the most important ingredients to look for in a good prenatal vitamin:
B vitamins: Most prenatal supplements contain some or all of the eight B vitamins needed during pregnancy. The most important when it comes to supporting a healthy pregnancy are B12, B9 (folate) and B6. Folate, in particular, helps the body form healthy red blood cells and reduces the risk of birth defects.
Choline: Choline is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in placental and fetal development. A good prenatal vitamin should include it in some form, as it can help the baby’s spinal cord and brain development and potentially protect against neural tube defects.
DHA and EPA: These are fatty acids that are important for your baby’s brain development. Some women opt for a DHA and EPA supplement in the form of a fish oil or algae oil supplement.
Vitamin D: The NHS recommends taking a daily vitamin D supplement during pregnancy. You will need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day.
Vitamin A and C: Vitamin A supports the development of the baby’s eyes and organs, while vitamin C can help maintain the health of the fetus and the mother. Taking these vitamins is linked to a reduction in pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and premature labor. However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warns that “Too much vitamin A can harm the development of your baby’s nervous system. During pregnancy, avoid any supplement containing more than 700 micrograms (µg) of vitamin A and do not eat foods such as liver, liver products (pâté) or fish liver oils which may contain this vitamin at high levels.
Minerals: Minerals are another important ingredient to look for in prenatal vitamins. Some of them include magnesium, calcium, zinc and iodine. Your doctor may also recommend that you take iron, although these requirements vary from person to person, so only take iron after consulting your doctor.
Along with making sure your prenatal vitamin provides you with all the essential nutrients to support a healthy pregnancy, it’s also important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Supplements can only support a healthy lifestyle and cannot provide everything your body needs during pregnancy.
What factors should I consider when looking for a prenatal vitamin?
When choosing the best prenatal vitamin for you, the most important thing is that it contains a comprehensive list of all the nutrients needed to meet the demands of pregnancy. Look for supplements made with good quality ingredients without too many fillers and that don’t contain artificial additives. Another crucial factor is to ensure that the supplement you choose is approved by your GP or midwife before you start taking it.
Take a look at our picks for the best prenatal vitamins to help support your pregnancy journey. It is important to note that all of these supplements should be taken as part of a healthy lifestyle and are not a substitute for a varied diet.
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The Best Prenatal Vitamins to Buy in 2022
1. Vitabiotics Pregnacare Before Conception: The best prenatal vitamin before pregnancy
Price: £9 (30 tablets) | Shop now at Superdrug
To help maximize the chances of conception, this highly rated and popular prenatal vitamin from Vitabiotics provides micronutrients including inositol, l-arginine, n-acetyl cysteine and selenium. It’s free of preservatives, gluten, gelatin, artificial colors, salt, and yeast, so it shouldn’t cause bloating.
With ingredients including vitamin B12 and 400 micrograms of folic acid, this multivitamin has the exact levels recommended by the NHS for women trying to conceive. Many women who have taken this supplement have praised it for helping them get pregnant during their first trial cycle.
Key Specs – Type: Tablet; Dosage: One per day; Dietetic: Gluten free; made on site that can handle nuts
Shop now at Superdrug
2. Proceive Trimester 1: The Best First Trimester Prenatal Vitamin
Price: £20 (60 capsules) | Shop now at Holland & Barrett
This supplement from Proceive is designed to support you and your baby through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The supplement comes in capsule form and contains 29 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, including the most important folic acid. It also provides calcium and vitamin D support to help maintain normal bone development.
The main reason why this supplement is ideal for this first trimester is that the formula focuses on supporting hormonal balance, cell division (the period of rapid growth) and energy (the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are notoriously exhausting). Vitamin B1, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B2 included are all key players in reducing fatigue and fatigue and boosting those energy levels.
Key Specs – Type: Capsule; Dosage: Two per day; Dietetic: Suitable for vegans and vegetarians; from week 13, switch to Proceive Pregnancy Trimester 2
Shop now at Holland & Barrett
3. Proceive Conception & Pregnancy: The Best Prenatal Vitamin for Conception and Pregnancy
Price: £20 (60 capsules) | Shop now at Boots
Many women have praised these vitamins for helping to reduce dreaded pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, and that they are also easier to swallow because they come in capsule form. Each dose contains the daily requirement of Omega 3 with DHA. DHA contributes to the normal development of the baby’s brain and eyesight.
Moreover, this prenatal supplement also helps in the proper functioning of the baby’s heart. It is one of the only supplements on our list that helps women before, during and after pregnancy and can be with you throughout pregnancy.
Key Specs – Type: capsules; Dosage: Two capsules once a day; Dietetic: Contains fish oil
Shop now at Boots
4. Solgar Prenatal Nutrient: Best Prenatal Vitamin for Pregnancy and Nursing
Price: £10 (60 tablets) | Buy now from Lloyds Pharmacy
Yet another excellent prenatal vitamin that is suitable before, during and after pregnancy, Solgar Prenatal Nutrient can support your body not only while you are trying to conceive, but also during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
This supplement includes vitamin B3, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E, all of which can help reduce fatigue and protect cells from oxidative stress. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any other medicines, be sure to consult your GP before taking them.
Key Specs – Type: Tablet; Dosage: Two per day; Dietetic: Kosher, vegan, free of gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors
Buy now from Lloyds Pharmacy
5. Pregnacare Him & Her Conception: Best prenatal vitamins for couples
Price: £20 (60 tablets) | Shop now at Boots
You might think prenatal vitamins are just for women, but that’s not the case. To increase the chances of conceiving, both future parents should take a good supplement. With two blister packs in the box – one for women and one for men – these micronutrient tablets contain all the vitamins and minerals you need to help increase the likelihood of a healthy conception.
The tablet for her includes 400 micrograms of folic acid to help support healthy fetal development and vitamin B12 to support reproductive health and conception. The tablet for him is formulated with zinc to support the male reproductive system. It also includes selenium to aid in sperm formation and motility.
Key Specs – Type: Tablet; Dosage: One per day (pink bulb for women, purple bulb for men); Dietetic: Contains soy
Shop now at Boots