17 answers

Does It Really Matter What Kind of Prenatals You Take?

While ttc, I bought some walmart brand prenatals that were inexpensive. I figured they were fine since they have the folic acid in them that I need. At my first ob appt. yesterday (I'm 5 1/2 weeks along), they gave me 3 different kinds of samples for prescription ones and told me tell them which one I liked best at my next appt so that they can give me a script.
Are these vitamins better to take or does it matter? If they are the same quality, I'd rather save the money, but if they are better, then I want to do what's best by my baby. I don't remember what I took with my last baby who is now almost 3.

What can I do next?

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It doesn't make a difference. Lots of the vitamin/pharma companies have 'gimmicks' to make theirs 'better' like the dha which, admittedly, is good for baby, but they get plenty of that in their formula after they are born, and get just as much benefit from that, if not more. They just switch up the formulas because every pregnant woman tolerates them differently- for example, when I was pregnant, all of the prenatals had a funny smell to them that was so intolerable that I couldn't take them at all. If I smell them NOW, I can't smell a thing! But then, just to put them in my mouth made me gag. I took flintstones vitamins and the doctor said that was absolutely fine, and both of my daughters were close to nine pounds, and healthy as can be.

I say take whatever is cheaper. I also like to ask for samples- they are free, can't beat that.

What made a difference for me was, one upset my stomach more than another. The first one they tried me on was a 1 a day pill I swear was sized for a horse. It was HUGE! I was fine at first, but then it really started making my already acid stomach so much worse. So I tried another which was a smaller twice a day pill, and my stomach liked it so much better.

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I think as long as your dr. clears your OTC vitamins, you will be fine. He/she may feel that you are missing something "special" and the OTC ones wouldn't be the best ones to choose. However, if your pregnancy is "normal," I'll bet the dr. will think that it is fine. I couldn't take the prescription ones that my dr. prescribed for me (made me extremely nauseous) but I could take the GNC ones. He looked at the bottle and told me that they were basically identical (and cheaper).

Good luck and congrats!

1 mom found this helpful

HI B.,

Any kind of vitamin you buy at Walmart is dangerous. Yes, dangerous! They create free radicals and that causes disease, such as cancers. That is my knowledge as a nutritional counselor. You do need a pharmaceutical grade vitamin. Vitamins that the doctor prescribes are not always the best, but always better than Walmart, Sam's Walgreens, etc.

There are three major delivery systems for vitamins. Gluconate and Sulfate are the dangerous ones. The Walmart type vitamins use this. Chelate is the best within the mainstream pharmaceutical grade. Ask your doctor. If he doesn't know then you need to research.

PM and I can send you a link to the best prenatal that I have found. It has an advanced delivery system that absorbs like whole foods. (I've tried to post it on a public message before but it gets removed.) It's absorbable, high quality and has all that is needed in a pregnancy. There is also a high quality Omega that targets brain and eye development as well. These are inexpensive compared to prescription and some over the counter.

Congratulations on your little one!

M.

I took the prescription prenatals, but I know people made so nauseous by their prenatal vitamins, that they were advised to take a daily Flintstone!
I'd take what you were given, and ask your OB at your next appt.

It doesn't make a difference. Lots of the vitamin/pharma companies have 'gimmicks' to make theirs 'better' like the dha which, admittedly, is good for baby, but they get plenty of that in their formula after they are born, and get just as much benefit from that, if not more. They just switch up the formulas because every pregnant woman tolerates them differently- for example, when I was pregnant, all of the prenatals had a funny smell to them that was so intolerable that I couldn't take them at all. If I smell them NOW, I can't smell a thing! But then, just to put them in my mouth made me gag. I took flintstones vitamins and the doctor said that was absolutely fine, and both of my daughters were close to nine pounds, and healthy as can be.

I say take whatever is cheaper. I also like to ask for samples- they are free, can't beat that.

I took the Wal-Mart Brand also. Your Dr is just giving you a choice. At your next appt just be sure and tell her that you are sticking with your OTC brand and that will be that.

When I was pregnant with my son 3 years ago, I started off taking a pre-natal from a natural food/supplement store. About 3 months in, I noticed (silly me) that I was supposed to be taking 3 (!!) of those horse pills 2 times a day!! I had been taking one (I know, very foolish not to read the instructions) and thinking I was doing good things for my baby!! I switched over to the Trader Joe's Prenatal, which was 1x/day and didn't make me as sick to my stomach as the other one. I've been using the TJ's for the past year and still am in my 2nd pregnancy.

My doc was more concerned about the folic acid and never wrote me a perscription - maybe talk with your doc to see why they want you to get a perscription prenatal intsead of an OTC one. I think early on the folic acid is most important but it takes a lot to grow a person! :) Good luck!

I don't think it matters. I was given samples as well, but after I used them up I bought Target brand vitamins and they worked just fine.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but YES, it DOES matter.

Most OTC prenatal vitamins are NOT FDA approved. There's no standard of balance in levels of vitamins. Many, many, many pharmacies nationwide offer free prenatal vitamins. I'd check with some of your grocery store pharmacies to see if any offer free prescription prenatal vitamins. I still use these as my daily vitamin because they're high quality, FDA approved, and FREE.

For us, locally, it's Marsh Pharmacy, but here's the link to see if anyone local to you offers something similar: http://marsh.net/hl_index.html#prenat_vid

I used only prescription grade with both pregnancies per the advice of my OB/GYN. I also worked in the pharmaceutical industry at the time and was able to ask many physicians (plus the 7 OB's in the practice I go to), and all agreed that an Rx is preferable over an OTC, but anything is better than none.

If you can get an Rx for free vs. paying for an OTC, I'd recommend it strongly. Just because the list of ingredients is the same doesn't mean the ratios are, and it doesn't mean they're all the same grade of ingredients.

Good luck!

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