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How To Deal With Queasiness From Prenatal Multivitamins

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.

Pregnancy-related queasiness: 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 multivitamin that makes you feel worse, right?

The good news is that 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 how multivitamins might be bothering your stomach in the first place. (Spoiler—the kind of multivitamin you choose matters.)

You might already know that while it’s tricky for doctors to pinpoint the exact cause of stomach irritation in individual pregnant women, since there are usually a few different contributing factors. But when it comes to vitamin-related stomach irritation, the cause might be a bit easier to predict.

Whether you’re pregnant or not, if you’re getting queasy after taking your vitamins, the capsule design could be a factor. Some multivitamins 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 capsule was a non-negotiable for our multivitamins, including our Essential Prenatal. The way it works is simple: Instead of dissolving earlier in more sensitive areas, our capsule is designed to dissolve later, in the less sensitive areas of your stomach and small intestine. Ultimately, many of our customers find that this is easier on the stomach.*

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, Ritual’s Senior Director of Scientific Affairs. “It is also suggested that aromas like citrus can soothe stomach irritation during pregnancy. That’s why we included a citrus scent in our Essential Prenatal.”*

Feeling iffy? Here’s how to deal.

Even if we can help take stomach irritation from your multivitamin 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 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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Meet our Experts

This article features advice from members of our science team.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.