If you find pregnancy as confusing as it is exciting, you’re definitely not alone. Even if you’re getting plenty of insight from your doc, you probably still have questions about all the changes happening in your body, the development of your baby, and what to expect down the line. We get it—it’s a lot!
But we also think that one thing you should never have to question is your prenatal multivitamin. In fact, the right one should take a lot of the guesswork out of supporting pregnancy nutritional needs. That’s one less thing to worry about during this chaotic time.
So what nutrients are key in a prenatal multivitamin? We’ve done the research—keep reading to see what we found.
But first, a quick refresher on why you need a prenatal multivitamin in the first place.
Scientists and ob-gyns alike agree that a prenatal is a must for a few reasons: namely, that while it’s technically possible to get all the nutrients needed through diet alone, it can be difficult to actually do so—making it that much more important to help fill nutritional gaps with a prenatal multivitamin.
That said, we advise starting a prenatal multivitamin even when just thinking about getting pregnant—to get specific, three months before pregnancy is a good timeline to shoot for.*
The nutrients you should look for in a prenatal multivitamin, and why:
Folate. Because it aids with many different important processes in the body, folate is a must-have for pregnant and non-pregnant people alike. But when expecting, a growing baby needs it too—it’s crucial for supporting neural tube development, as well as DNA synthesis.*
Many prenatal multivitamins use folic acid, which is a synthetic form of folate: It needs the help of enzymes to convert to 5-MTHF, which is a bioavailable form for the body to efficiently utilize. But the caveat is that up to one-third of women have genetic variations that make it difficult to efficiently carry out this extra step. That’s why we suggest looking for a multivitamin with ready-to-use 5-MTHF, like our Essential Prenatal multivitamin.*
Omega-3. Did you know that DHA is an important component of the human brain? Of the three different omega-3 fatty acids, we like to zero-in on DHA, specifically since it’s such a supporter of brain, heart, and eye health. DHA is found in foods like salmon, shellfish, and tuna, so if you’re vegetarian, that can be a problem. Our advice? Look for a prenatal that sources its Omega-3 with DHA from algae.*