Pregnancy + Parenthood

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.

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Morning sickness: It’s not fun, to say the least. So we can probably agree that when battling an iffy stomach while pregnant, the last thing someone wants to deal with is a prenatal multivitamin that makes them feel worse, right?

The good news is that there are certain things to look for in a prenatal multivitamin that might be able to offer some comfort—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 the stomach in the first place. (Spoiler—the kind of multivitamin you choose matters.)

You might already know that it’s tricky for doctors to pinpoint the exact cause of stomach irritation in individual pregnant people, 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. (You guessed it: It may have something to do with the multivitamin.)

Whether pregnant or not, if someone is getting queasy after taking 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 nutrients could be exposed to harsh stomach acids. This can cause gas or make the stomach feel a little iffy.*

A delayed-release capsule can help.

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 the 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 stomach irritation,” 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 a multivitamin out of the equation, unfortunately there still may be normal pregnancy-related morning sickness to deal with. But we can offer some pointers to help manage it—for starters, staying hydrated and sticking with a relatively healthy diet (that’s a no-brainer). If tending to be sensitive to vitamins—especially during the early phases of your pregnancy—taking a prenatal before bedtime can help with any gas or irritation. We also recommend taking them on an empty stomach, which can help with the capsule 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 relief.

And of course, if feeling really rough, consulting with an ob-gyn is never a bad idea.

This content was created for informational use only, to provide education around this life stage. Dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

*References: Morning Sickness… (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, VP of 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, VP of 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.

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