If Your Prenatal Vitamins Are Making You Nauseous, Here's How to Deal

3 min read

Morning sickness is annoying enough, so here's how to choose a prenatal multivitamin that won't upset your stomach.
Morning sickness is annoying enough, so here's how to choose a prenatal multivitamin that won't upset your stomach.

Essential Takeaways

  • No one enjoys normal pregnancy-related morning sickness—and as far as we’re concerned, your prenatal multivitamin shouldn’t have to contribute to the discomfort.
  • Fortunately, there are certain things you can look for in a prenatal vitamin to help you out—as well as a few science-backed tips for soothing your stomach.

Pregnancy-related morning sickness: It’s not fun, to say the least. So we can probably agree that when you’re battling an iffy stomach while you’re pregnant, the last thing you want to deal with is a prenatal vitamin that makes you feel worse, right?

While avoiding vitamin-related nausea can’t necessarily be a sure thing, there are certain things you can look for in a prenatal multivitamin that might be able to offer some help—as well as some strategies that can at least help you manage stomach irritation throughout your pregnancy.

But first: Here’s why your vitamins might be bothering your stomach in the first place.

You might already know that while it’s tricky for doctors to pinpoint the exact cause of morning sickness in individual pregnant women (since there are usually a few different contributing factors), increased hormone levels and reduced blood sugar levels are often suspected as the main culprits during your first trimester of pregnancy. (Most pregnant women begin to experience morning sickness before 9 weeks of pregnancy, and for many, symptoms begin to subside by the end of the first trimester, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.) (1) The good news? When it comes to vitamin-related stomach irritation, the cause might be a bit easier to predict.

Easier on the stomach

Our prenatal vitamins are housed in an innovative delayed-release capsule.

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Whether you’re pregnant or not, if you’re getting nauseous after taking your vitamins, the capsule design could be a factor. Many capsules tend to break down and empty their contents in earlier and more sensitive areas of the stomach, which means that your nutrients could be exposed to harsh stomach acids. This can cause gas or make your stomach feel a little iffy.

A delayed-release capsule can make all the difference.

That’s why a delayed-release no-nausea designed capsule was a non-negotiable for our multivitamins, including our Essential Prenatal. The way it works is simple: Instead of emptying its contents earlier in the more sensitive areas, our capsule is designed to dissolve later, in the less sensitive, more absorptive areas of your gut—and that can be easier on your stomach, too.*

Something else that might be a big factor? Scent and taste. “Taste and smell sensitivity are also heightened in pregnancy, and that may be associated with nausea,” says Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, and Ritual’s Director of Scientific Affairs. “It is also suggested that aromas like citrus can soothe nausea during pregnancy. That’s why we included citrus scent in our Essential Prenatal.”

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Feeling sick? Here’s how to deal.

Even if we can help take vitamin-related nausea out of the equation, unfortunately there still may be pregnancy-related morning sickness to deal with. But we can offer some pointers to help you manage it. For starters, make sure you’re staying hydrated and sticking with a relatively healthy diet—that’s a no-brainer. If you tend to be sensitive to vitamins—especially during the early phases of your pregnancy—taking your prenatal before bedtime can help with any gas or irritation. We also recommend taking them on an empty stomach, which can help prevent the capsule from dissolving too early.

Finally, Sharafi recommends eating small, frequent meals of bland foods or chewing on ginger, both of which have been linked with some stomach relief.

And of course, if you’re feeling really rough, consulting with your ob-gyn is never a bad idea.

Learning how to deal with multivitamin-related stomach irritation is helpful, sure—but do you know what to look for in your prenatal in the first place? Learn more about Ritual's Essential Prenatal, which contains 12 nutrients for your body and baby, before and during pregnancy.

References: Morning Sickness: Nausea and Pregnancy. (n.d.). Retrieved from