Pregnancy + Parenthood

What Does “Pregnancy-Safe” Really Mean in the Vitamin and Supplement Aisle?

6 min read
Baby being held by pregnant mother.
Baby being held by pregnant mother.

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Pregnancy is a lot. At Ritual, many of us have been there. Among the many changes and unknowns that accompany conception—from crazy dreams, to wondering do I really need to sign up for preschool already?—is a question that leaves us frantically pulling up google throughout the day.

Ritual’s Founder & CEO, Kat Schneider, a mom of three, knew from the beginning that clarity and transparency around pregnancy safety was non-negotiable. So today we are proud to be a source of trustworthy information and safe products for pregnant women. Here, we’ve compiled a quick guide to pregnancy-safe products, from supplements to skincare.

First, the Importance of Pregnancy-Safe Products

Getting the right nutrition during conception, pregnancy, and postpartum is key for the health of you and your baby—but not all nutritional support is created equal. While there are some vitamins and minerals that are important to get enough of (iron and folate, for example) during pregnancy, other ingredients that may have worked for you in the past may no longer be safe to use once you’re pregnant.

In a twist that shocks no one, there is a glaring lack of official regulation around the term “pregnancy-safe” when it comes to products, leaving the burden on individuals to do their own research. As if pregnant women didn’t have enough going on.

In the same way that food marketing may add buzzy terms like “made with whole grains,” and “no added sugars” to make products to seem healthier, many supplement companies use buzzwords like “natural” — which doesn’t necessarily mean safe for your changing nutritional needs during pregnancy, or safe for your growing child.

What Makes Something “Pregnancy-Safe”?

So, how do you determine if something is actually safe to use during pregnancy? First, nothing beats a discussion with your trusted doctor, so start there.

But of course, licensed health-care providers can be hard to get ahold of, so here’s some tips for those mid-grocery-aisle-freak-out moments.

Some supplement labels may include the acronyms RDA and UL. You’ll want to take a look at these on the label.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) to represent the average daily dietary intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements for most people. UL, or Tolerable Upper Intake Levels represents the highest amount most people can take without experiencing potentially harmful effects. So while you may be needing more of certain nutrients to meet your and baby’s needs during pregnancy, more isn’t always better—and too-high doses of things like Vitamin A, for example, can be dangerous. (1) Just take the dosage you’ve discussed with your provider.

In addition to keeping an eye on the vitamins and supplements you take, you also need to look closely at the personal care products in your skincare routine—as many popular skincare ingredients like Retinol aren’t safe for pregnancy. (3) If you’re wondering, “How could something I put on my face reach my baby?” remember that our skin is our largest organ, and that anything we put on it is absorbed into our bloodstream.

Luckily, Ritual takes an inside-out approach to skincare with HyaCera™ that’s fully pregnancy-safe. But, more on that later.

How to Choose Pregnancy-Safe Supplements

Another tool in your search is looking for third-party certifications, such as the Pregnancy-Safe Certified seal developed by the Neurological Health Foundation to empower families to minimize their exposure to toxic chemicals that can be harmful to pregnant women and babies.2 Another third-party certification we rely on for our Essential Protein (including our Essential Protein Pregnancy & Postpartum, which is specifically formulated for pregnancy) is the Clean Label Project Certification, which awards brands with products that focus on purity and surpass the minimum regulation requirements required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Finally, ingredient transparency is absolutely crucial. As documented label-readers ourselves, we always clearly and concisely list each supplier and final place of manufacturing for all active and other ingredients, in easy-to-understand language because not all ingredients are created equal.

Ritual’s Pregnancy-Safe Products

We proudly carry a suite of products specifically formulated to help support the nutrient needs of pregnant people. And for all of our products, we work with leading scientists, researchers, and advisors to create clean, pregnancy-safe products that meet our highest standards for quality, and that support your changing needs during one of the most vulnerable stages of life.*

Natal Choline is a supplement with a form of Choline to support baby’s cognitive function when taken during pregnancy.*

• Natal Choline supports information processing speed for baby during infancy and sustained attention in early childhood when taken during pregnancy.*

• Btw: we included the same form and dose of high-potency Choline Chloride included in clinical research.

Essential Prenatal Multivitamin and Essential Postnatal Multivitamin are your daily multivitamin formulated with key nutrients needed during the prenatal and postnatal periods.*

• Both of these multis are made with a delayed-release capsule that’s designed to be gentle on the stomach.*

• And include methylated folate, choline, and vegan Omega 3-DHA to support fetal brain development.*

Essential Protein Pregnancy & Postpartum is a pregnancy-safe protein powder that supports new nutrient needs during pregnancy, postpartum, and lactation.*

• Each serving provides 20g of protein to help support mom’s increased demands during pregnancy and lactation.*

• Our pea protein powder supports bone health and lean muscle development.*

You can also check out our bundles for curated recommendations and pairings of our pregnancy products for all stages of pregnancy and beyond:

Trying & Planning Bundles
First to Third Trimester Bundles
Postpartum Bundles

Additionally, many of our non-pregnancy focused products are also pregnancy-safe and all meet our highest standards of safety testing.

Synbiotic+ is a pregnancy-safe pre-,pro-, and postbiotic.
HyaCera™ is a pregnancy-safe skincare product, evaluated in a safety study to be safe for use by pregnant and nursing women.
Omega-3 DHA & EPA is a pregnancy-safe fatty acid supplement.

Regardless of what brands you use during and after your pregnancy, we stand by the importance of making informed, evidence-based choices to support the health of you and your baby. As always, make sure to discuss new products with your healthcare provider. You are your own best advocate!


  1. American Pregnancy Association. Prenatal Vitamin Limits.

  2. Neurological Health Foundation. Pregnancy Safe.

  3. Bozzo P, Chua-Gocheco A, Einarson A. Safety of skin care products during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jun;57(6):665-7. PMID: 21673209; PMCID: PMC3114665.

Meet the Author

This article was written by our content specialist.

Annie Hulkower Bio Image

Annie Hulkower, Copywriter, Editor, and Creative Strategist

Annie is a copywriter, editor, and creative strategist. She works with startups, agencies, and major brands to tell impactful stories at the intersection of health, wellness, and advocacy.

Annie Hulkower Bio Image

Annie Hulkower, Copywriter, Editor, and Creative Strategist

Annie is a copywriter, editor, and creative strategist. She works with startups, agencies, and major brands to tell impactful stories at the intersection of health, wellness, and advocacy.


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