My Prenatal Vitamins

by Ally- Life as I know it, 5:00 AM
I can remember going to the doctor last October and telling her were going to start trying to have a baby in January. She said "you're taking vitamins I hope." I told her I wasn't, whoops, and she said I better start now! So I went home that afternoon and started to research what to take and the best vitamins to take. Now let me just say, I'm in no way saying there's anything wrong with the vitamins you choose to take while you're pregnant. As long as you're taking something, you're baby will be just fine. I've heard of people taking Flintstone Vitamins because they're all they can keep down, and their baby turned out perfect. So take what works for you. 

Cost: $44 for a 2 month supply
When I take: 3 pills in the morning, with or without food
If you don't take anything else your whole pregnancy, make sure you take a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 mg of Folic Acid, or Folate, which is the natural form. This is really crucial the first few weeks you are pregnant, when the baby's organs and neural tube is being developed. Some neural tube defects are Spina Bifida, where the spine sticks out of the back, or anencephaly, where part of the skull is absent. This is why doctors recommend you take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid during your childbearing years because the neural tube is being developed in the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. There's even been studies out where you can reduce your baby's risk of autism and congenital heart defects by taking folic acid. 

I love the Garden of Life Vitamin Brand because their vitamins are made from whole foods rather than being synthetic. These vitamins have everything you need for your whole pregnancy and they're very easy on the stomach. You do have to take 3 pills a day and I choose to take mine in the morning all together. I buy mine from Amazon and use their subscription plan so I get the vitamins sent in the mail every few months plus I get them at a discount.

Cost: $49 for a 2 month supply
When I take it: 2 pills first thing in the morning, with or without food
Doctors recommend you take DHA while you're pregnant. DHA is an Omega-3 Fatty Acid and it's optimal for brain and eye development. I had a co worker who just had a baby rave about this butter oil/cod liver oil for a DHA supplement when I told her we were going to start trying. I really like that not only are the vitamins full of all natural omega-3's but they also have a ton of natural Vitamin D and A. Some people have issues with DHA pills tasting fishy and these do not at all. You take 2 a day and they're in a soft non-gelatin capsule form so they're easy to swallow. You can take these pills even if you're not pregnant, they're great for inflammation and some people even say they keep sickness away. I like to think they're helping me build a healthy baby! These pills are not cheap and there's only one brand that carries them. To me the money is not an issue because I know I'm giving my baby, and myself, a high quality vitamin. You can read about the benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil Here.

Cost: $27 one month supply
When I take it: 2 capsules with lunch and 2 capsules with dinner. In order for calcium to be readily absorbed it needs to be taken at 2 separate times and apart from your prenatal vitamin.
I choose to take a calcium supplement because I don't consume a lot of dairy. As we all know calcium is needed for bone development and if your baby doesn't get enough they'll take it from you and increase your risk of osteoporosis.  These vitamins also have magnesium in them which is necessary for calcium absorption. Luckily magnesium is also needed in pregnancy. Deficiency in magnesium can lead to poor fetal growth, preeclampsia, and even fetal death. It's hard to get magnesium from food sources so a supplement is needed. Information on increasing your calcium during pregnancy.

Cost: $15 for a 6+ month supply
When I take it: 1 drop first thing in the morning, with or without food
I wrote a whole post on the benefits of Vitamin D so I'm not going to go over all that again but Vitamin D is also so important when you're pregnant. It's been known to decrease your risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes. Most people, something like 80% of the population, have a deficiency in Vitamin D. Unfortunately vitamin companies aren't helping the fact and are only adding 400 IU of Vitamin D in their supplements. That's just not enough. They're now saying pregnant women should be getting 4000 IU a day. It's amazing how much better you feel when your Vitamin D level is up too. I take about 5000-6000 IU a day between the 2000 IU from these liquid drops, 1600 in my Calcium/Magnesium pills, 1400 IU in the prenatal vitamins, plus around 1000 IU in the cod liver oil pills. They say you can take up to 10,000 IU a day and be fine. To me Vitamin D is a necessity especially now that I'm pregnant. I prefer these liquid drops because they're easy, just put one drop in your mouth a day, and they are absorbed faster. You can read more about High Doses of Vitamin D in Pregnancy Here.

Cost: $29 for a 1-3 month supply, depending on how many you take
When I take it: 1 pill first thing in the morning on an empty stomach
Probiotics are needed during pregnancy because babies are born with sterile guts and they get their beneficial bacteria from their mom's when passing through the birth canal and being breastfed. Probiotics help you too by preventing constipation and preventing illness. They're even known to reduce the risk of Group B Strep. The recommended dose is to take 1 pill a day at first then increase to 3 pills. There's also probiotics in my prenatal and calcium pills so I choose to only take 1 additional probiotic a day. 

Now I know what you're thinking, I spend a lot of money on vitamins, and I do. But to me taking a high quality vitamin is important since it's pretty much the only control I have during pregnancy. I get a lot of my vitamins through Amazon's Subscribe and Save Program so that helps to save some money. 

I'd love to hear of any supplements you took while being pregnant and what worked and what didn't work. Let me know if you have any questions about any of these pills!

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  1. Wow I don't think I'd ever remember to take all of these! haha. I took Target brand prenatals once a day and they included DHA and double the recommended dose of folic acid. I agree though, its definitely a good thing to start on prenatals before trying!

  2. I'm so happy that you did this post - totally takes the guess work out of it for me when that time comes!! And I have stronger nails to look forward to as well LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. This is an awesome post!! Definitely saving for the future - thanks for doing all of the research for all of us! :) Hope things are going well!!

  4. Love this... definitely saving it too!

  5. My doctor said I have to start taking them a couple months before we hope to conceive! Something about folic acid I think?

  6. Great research! I definitely didn't do all of those when I was pregnant, I couldn't ever remember, pregnancy brain.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

  7. Saving this for the future. I already take a prenatal, but I think I'll switch to garden of life when I actually decide to go off the pill, it sounds really good!

  8. so are you saying that I should maybe look into another type of vitamin besides my gummy ones? hahahahaha

  9. I had no idea that you needed to take them BEFORE either until I told my doctor maybe next year was time for kids and she told me to start with them early - definitely saving this for the future!

  10. Love all this info and the Garden of Life brand is wonderful!!! I will say that my midwife strongly urged me to take all my vitamins separately with meals (like the calcium) because it breaks down and helps your body take it in easier. It also helps a TON with energy and constipation...
    Congrats on the little babe! So excited for you!!!

  11. Dang that's a lot of vitamins!! I took prenatal vitamins for awhile but not because I was trying, just because I heard they had a lot of great benefits. I'll definitely remember these for when I need to start taking them!


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