Caution: always consult your doctor first for advice on what is the best prenatal vitamin!
The prenatal vitamins reviewed in this article hit the basics, but your doctor may recommend additional vitamin supplements depending on your pregnancy or personal needs.
For prenatal vitamins, we looked for vitamins that contain at least 400 mcg of folic acid—that’s what the government recommends for pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant. Why folic acid? The Center for Disease Control explains:
All women of reproductive age should get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day, in addition to consuming food with folate from a varied diet, to help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs are major birth defects of the baby’s brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida).
We asked pregnant women which were the easiest to take—and which were easiest on their stomach. Prenatal vitamins come three varieties: hard pills, softgels and gummies. The latter two are most popular, so we focused our research there.
For the best budget-friendly softgel prenatal vitamin, we think Nature Made’s softgels are the best bet. They contained 800 mcg of folic acid—which is fantastic. They also contained 200 mcg DHA, iron and calcium, which are the basics the government recommends in a prenatal vitamin. (As for DHA, we believe 300 mcg DHA is more optimal). Here’s more:
What We Liked
• Just need to take one a day.
• Easy to swallow. Yes, these are large pills, but the softgel makes it easier to swallow.
• 800 mcg of folic acid!
• 200 mcg of DHA.
• Contains iron and calcium.
• Affordable. These pills are less than half the cost of other softgel prenatal vitamins we tested.
What Needs Work
• Fishy smell. The DHA in these bills is derived from fish oil—and some of testers thought they had a bit of a fishy smell. This was a minority opinion, however!