Life stage: Prenatal
First, a primer on prenatals: A prenatal multivitamin can be a great way to prepare your body and support nutrient needs, both before and during pregnancy. As a general rule, we recommend taking a prenatal vitamin when you’re thinking, trying, and when it’s time—yes, even if you’re not yet pregnant. (We’ve got plenty of tips to help you narrow down your selection, from considering bioavailability to researching the supply chain.)
In terms of nutrition, we recommend looking for 12 key nutrients: folate (we use a bioavailable form of folate, 5-MTHF, instead of folic acid), choline, omega-3, vitamin B12, iodine, biotin, vitamin D3, boron, iron, vitamin E, vitamin K2, and magnesium. These nutrients, when present together, are designed to support neural tube development, brain health, red blood cell formation, and bone health—and you can find them all in Essential Prenatal.*
Life stage: Postnatal
Making the switch from a prenatal to a postnatal? There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, starting with the fact that the postpartum period can be even more nutritionally demanding than pregnancy itself—especially for those who plan on breastfeeding. A quality postnatal that takes these specific changes into account can help support the nutritional needs of new moms; as such, we recommend switching to a postnatal right after giving birth, and continuing to take it for at least six months postpartum (and potentially longer, if still breastfeeding).*
Keep an eye out for the following 15 key nutrients (all of which are present in Essential Postnatal): vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, biotin, choline, iodine, iron, boron, omega-3 DHA, and vitamin K2. Note that some of these nutrients are consistent with most women’s nutritional needs, regardless of whether or not they’re expecting or lactating, while others are added to support specific nutrient demands associated with the postpartum period. Either way, you can rest assured that Essential Prenatal was created to address those demands, along with providing support for normal immune function, lactation, brain health, and bone health.*
What about kids and teens?
Speaking of pregnancy, we’d be remiss not to mention our kids and teens multivitamin line-up: Essential for Kids 4+, Essential for Him, and Essential for Her. Formulated in the same way as our other multivitamins—that is, with key nutrients to help fill gaps in the diet—and featuring a delicious citrus-berry gummy (for kids) and minty-fresh capsule (for teens), they make taking vitamins a breeze. (As for what to look for in a kids gummy multivitamin, we’ve got you covered.)
†As a health company that adheres to standardized nutrition research—which is often reliant on assigned sex at birth—we face some unique challenges regarding our gender-specific messaging. Our decision to use gendered terms is, unfortunately, a result of these limitations in nutrition research. In cases where complying with the binary distinction is necessary for scientific accuracy purposes, we want to make it very clear that we recognize a person’s gender identity might differ from their assigned sex.
- FoodData Central Search Results. Non-Fat Yogurt Nutrition. Retrieved from USDA
- FoodData Central Search Results. Chia Seeds Nutrition. Retrieved from USDA
- "Office of Dietary Supplements - Calcium." NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 2019. Usual Nutrient Intake from Food and Beverages, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2013-2016