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Help! My Prenatal Vitamins Make Me SICK!

Hello Moms!
I am about 12 weeks into my 3rd pregnancy...we are so excited and blessed! Besides being nauseous 24/7 - I feel great (lol). Anyway, my question is about prenatal vitamins. The ones I am currently taking (prescribed by my OB/Gyn) make me very sick to my stomach...I have tried taking them first thing in the morning, late morning, early afternoon, late afternonn, early evening, before bed, before eating, after eating, with juice, with lots of water, etc... - you name it, I've tried it - but I just can't seem to stomach them:( I am really not a complainer - but I just dread taking them everyday! I asked my OB if she could recommend another type that may be easier to tolerate - but she said every woman is different and handed me a new bag of samples to try. I was just wondering - before I randomly start trying the new samples - if anyone out there has had a similar problem and can recommend a prenatal vitamin that is easier to "stomach" or any other suggestions regarding "stomaching" prenatal vitamins that moms might have! I had similar problems with my vitamins during my other two pregnancies - but not this severe! Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated!!

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I had the same problem the first few months of my pregnancy, and my Dr. actually told me to try two Flinstone's chewables a day, just until I could stomach the normal prenatals. After I was feeling better, I could get back on track with the regular ones.

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I know this is late, but in case you are still looking for advice, my doc told me to take a couple flinstone vitamins or those gummy ones from costco. If you take 2-3 you get the exact same that is in the prescribed prenatals and they settle much easier!!

"Ethex" !! is a Rx vitamin. It gives me so much energy, it tastes sweet. I had no problem with this when it came to morning sickness. Ethex.

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I had the same problem the first few months of my pregnancy, and my Dr. actually told me to try two Flinstone's chewables a day, just until I could stomach the normal prenatals. After I was feeling better, I could get back on track with the regular ones.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom had the same problem when pregnant with my brother. She ended up being so sick she barely gained any weight and he was only 5 lbs at birth (and 21" - greased beanpole).
She thinks it was the iron in the pills. Sometime our stomach can be more sensative, especially when pregnant. Talk to the doctor and ask her if you can take something with lower iron. If you were taking vitamins before, take the bottle in to your doc and see if they're ok. My OB just made sure that they had enough folic acid (400 micrograms or .4 mg) and that I was getting enough calcium.

Have you tried them with milk? It could help balance out the iron if that's the problem.

I just take the Wal Mart brand generic prenatal vitamins. They aren't too big to swallow, and they don't taste like much either. :)

It's the extra iron they put in women's and prenatal vitamins that make me nauseated. Try vitamin with a lower dose of iron in it.

Congratulations! I was sick from weeks 6-16 and my doctor took me off pre-natals and put me on just folic acid. Around week 14, I moved to Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamins, which are food based and easier to digest instead of probably all of what your OB gave you--most of those are synthetic. I also took Nordic Naturals DHA fish oil) for the rest of my pregnancy and after for nursing. I also wore Sea-bands and ate ginger for nausea and those (particularly the bands) seemed to help a little bit. Hang in there!

OK skimmed through your current responses and did see this one mentioned,Buried Treasure: PreNatal Plus DHA complete. I was so sick with my first two girls that I couldn't keep water down, let along a prenatal vitamin. I wasn't able to take one at all with them. Third time is a charm they always say :o). My midwife found this through another midwife friend of her's. I have been on it since about 2 months in and have been able to take it everyday.

Not sure if it can be bought locally, but I know there are several distributors on line. It goes for about 24 dollars per bottle plus shipping. It takes 2 bottles to get through a month, but it is well worth it.

My energy level this go around has been night and day compared to my last 2 pregnancies. Hope this helps.


I am sorry to hear that your not feeling well, but i do share your pain. I was the same way and it took my mom to order me these vitaone vitamins from vitamark.com...they have enzymes in there that help balance it all out.
My friend takes whats called Nutraburst and she loves it.
The website to see that is www.Haleyshomebusiness.com
I hope this helps and gl.

Hi, I'm about 8 months along in my second pregnancy. I had the same problem during my first, so this time they suggested taking 2 Flintstone vitamins daily. (the chewable ones) If you want to take the gummy ones, just realize that you would have to take more, since for some reason they don't have the same amount of vitamins and minerals in them. It has been great, no problems this time at all.

I can say I know exactly how you feel! What I'm about to say, Im sure people will disagree with, but hey. I have 2 children and with both preganacies I had that issue. I tried and tried and they just made me feel worse. Ultimately, I ended up not taking them. My doctors, different one for each child, weren't thrilled but allowed it. I felt much much better. I think I ended up taking store bought folic acid with one of them. Both of my children were born very healthy and still are. I am fine too. Its a consideration for you if they make you that sick. Good Luck to you and your new baby.

I just took 2 chewable kid vitamins (after I checked to make sure they contained folic acid and iron). Good luck!

I was the same way with both my girls. I ended up taking 2 flintsones vitamins per day and that worked out just fine. Hopefully this helps!

I took mine with milk. It keeps some of the vitamin from absorbing, but at least it stayed down. :) If you do OTC, read the label. Some of them you have to take 2. GL and congratulations!


I have the same problem. Prenatal vitamins make me sick all 9 months. My doctor had the silliest solution. But a friend of mine confirmed the effectiveness for me. A study was actually done at the Mayo Clinic on these particular vitamins and they were found to be equally effective!!! Sit down now! I take two Flinstone Chewables w/Iron per day! I am not anemic and more and feel better. It really works. I am due 1st week in January!!! congratualtions on your new addition.

I agree with Michelle W. Ditch the samples and/or prescribed vitamins, and buy OTC. I had two different OB docs for both of my pregnancies and neither of them recommended or prescribed a specific prenatal vitamin. My second OB (my favorite) actually suggested any OTC would be fine. Also, I found that a few saltine crackers first thing in the morning really helped during the early stages of pregnancy. Hang in there and congrats on #3!

"Ethex" !! is a Rx vitamin. It gives me so much energy, it tastes sweet. I had no problem with this when it came to morning sickness. Ethex.

I had the same reaction with my first. Make sure you always take them on a full stomach, always. Ask if you can have liquid form and mix with juice too. That helped me a ton, I mixed with oj in the morning AFTER I ate breakfast. I still felt queasy but it stayed down and I didn't feel awful.

I say forget the ones prescribed and buy something OTC. I think the best one is Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin. They are all natural, and you only have to take one a day, and you can take them any time of day - they are gentle on the stomach. I buy them on drugstore.com (on sale right now), but you can also get them at most natural food stores. They are worth it!

Talk to your doctor about getting a low iron prenatal. I was throwing up for the first three weeks I started taking vitamins, and my doctor checked the iron in my blood. Sure enough, I was getting too much. After she prescribed me a low iron prenatal, my nausea decreased dramatically. It's definitively worth a shot, and like someone mentioned, take the vitamins with milk. Good luck.

I have a friend who swears by her vitamins. It's never made her sick. She had the same problem. It includes a prenatal multi-vtiamim, prenatal calcium, and a prenatal omega 3. If you want some more info let me know! In fact, it gave her so much energy she never stopped taking them. She has a 14 month old and they are trying for a second! Hope this helped. If you want more information my phone is ###-###-#### and my email is ____@____.com.

my ob/gyn told me to take One A Day vitamins. I had a problem stomaching the ones they prescribed too...but not these ones..plus they were coated...so i didnt have to taste the nasty pill...he also told me they have some specifically for women, but the regular one a days have everything you need as long as your already taking care of yourself. hope you find something that works

I had this with my first pregnancy. My DR told me to stop taking them if they made me feel bad and I did. I just made sure to eat lots of fruits and veggies and get my folic acid from other sources. My daughter is happy, healthy with no side effects. Don't make yourself miserable!
Good luck!

My sister-in-law had the same problem, so she started taking her kid's chewable vitamins instead! She took two of them a day. Check wiht your Dr. and get his OK for that first though.

Hi L.,
Try the other vit. your ob gave you. Every woman is different and you just have to find one that works for you. I had the same problem and tried a different vit., it helped my naseau probably 50% better. Try the new vitamins!
Good luck,

Seeing that you already have 29 responses, I am sure you have already been told this but I am on my way out, I don't have time to read them all....With my daughter, my doctor told me upfront that they could make me sick so he said to take them at night before going to bed. That way, I would be laying down to be able to rest after having taken them.

So sorry you're going through this.
I was so sick with my DD that I could barely eat anything. I think I survived the first 6 months on Chicken Noodle Soup, mashed potatoes and jello because it was all I could stomach.
My prenatals made me sick everytime so my Midwife reccomended Flintstone vitamins as well.
I could actually get those down and they worked great.
If your not real big on the idea of trading the prenatals for kiddie vitamins then try taking them with a spoonful of peanut butter. She had me try that too... and while it helped a little, it wasn't enough to keep it down.
Good luck and I hope you feel better soon. The morning sickness is the worst!

I had the same issue with mine. In fact - I wouldn't throw up UNTIL I took a prenatal! I switched to "Prenate Elite" and was fine (although it made me burp a weird taste!) I only took my prenatals every other day or two and all is well with all four of my little ones. Good luck!

I had to ask my dr. for prenatals w/ low iron. It was to much iron that made me sick. Good luck to you.

My first set of prenatal vitameins gave me hives so bad I ended up in the hospital. Turns out it was the food dye that did it. Pregnancy, especially the early stages, make you super sensitive. As a result, I just felt poopy. I switched to ones that didn't have any dyes and felt 100x's better. I used and still use nature made.
Hope this helps!

I know this is late, but in case you are still looking for advice, my doc told me to take a couple flinstone vitamins or those gummy ones from costco. If you take 2-3 you get the exact same that is in the prescribed prenatals and they settle much easier!!

L. - best of luck with this pregnancy! I am 30 weeks pregnant with my 4th child, and had the exact same problem. A friend of mine who gets extreme nausea with each child suggested that I look at Flinstones Complete Chewable Children's Vitamin (the "Complete" has Iron added). I know it sounds a little silly, but I was able to stomach these and they had the 400mcg of Folic acid as well as the Iron, which is what I was told needed to be the focus for the vitamins anyway. I spoke with my OBGYN and he was fine with it.

As for the DHA (something that I didn't have with my other 3 kids), they recommended finding it from other sources - i.e. flaxseed, fish oil, etc. I found it in many eggs as well.

I have a sensitive stomach also. I ended up taking Citrical Prenatal Vitamins. They have a thick coating & I think that helps. I also took mine last thing at night before I went to bed & that seemed to help me. Good luck!

the only ones i was able to stomach were Melaleuca's Prenatal Pack. every pregnancy got progressively worse for me with the nausea and vomiting...i even lost weight my first trimester. these vitamins were very easy on my stomach, and they have a wonderful absorption rate that no other vitamins can compete with. if you are interested in them and don't know a melaleuca rep,, let me know! good luck with your pregnancy!

Take two Flinstones vitamins. My doctor perscribed these and they have the same vitamins as prenatals only they don't make you feel sick. Hope you get feeling better soon.

I was really happy with Rainbow Light also. (www.rainbowlight.com)

I think with the Complete line you have to take 6/day. That got old for me after a while (I also have to take additional folic acid for a clotting disorder)... when I learned they also have the Prenatal One (1/day) I switched. But with your tummy issues, splitting the dosage up might help.

Best of luck!

I have trouble swallowing pills, plus the prenatals that I COULD manage to swallow all had way too much iron for my system (which caused other tummy issues we won't talk about, ugh), so when I called the nurse in the OB ward at the hospital she told me to take two kids flintstones vitamins instead - one in the morning and one at night. Worked great for me and I would plan to do this again if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again! Good luck!

The prescription ones make me totally ill, the over-the-counter ones don't if I take them right before going to sleep at night. My husband is a Pharmacist and so we researched what the recommended amounts of vitamins and stuff were and found that most store brands have everything you need. Target & Kroger are the two I've used. The new prescriptions have DHA in them. There haven't been any real studies done yet to show that it's necessary, nor is their any evidence that babies get it from the mother to begin with anyway. Plus the OTC pills are WAY cheaper! Give it a try, or you can always ask your Pharmacist for any recommendations.

i had the same problem and ended up taking a children's vitamin instead along with a folic acid supplement. better than nothing!

Congrats L.! I get sick from pre natal vitamins too. I finally found out why...the IRON in them. I found a Stomach Sensative vitamin at my local health food store that is lower on iron and I didn't have any problems after that! Okay I just looked, it's call "Prenatal Multi by Nature's Way" It saids stomach gentle on the bottle. Good Luck!

Hi L.,
When I was pregnant I took a double dose of Juice Plus+. It is a whole food supplement with the dehydrated juice of 17 fruits and veggies. It never made me sick because it is real food. One the other hand, the isolated vitamins are manufactured so the body has a hard time accepting them.

My kids were very healthy, weighing in at 9 and 8 lbs. The deliveries were enjoyable because my body was fully nourished and my bag of water was intact until the babies crowned, which made labor more comfortable for me.

Juice Plus+ is a highly studied supplement, so you can read the research for yourself. You could google it to find a distributor near you or contact me for more help or questions.

Good luck in your pregnancy!

Ugh I remember those days, one of the prenatals that I loved was citrical (or something like that) It didnt make me sick. I just remember the taste of the other vitamins and they reminded me of them every time I burped it was awful. Citrical actually reminded me of the sticks in the lick a maids they were actually really good. If it is the iron in the vitamin making you ill I would do what the other moms are recommending with the childrens and a folic acid supplement (also the captian crunch peaunut butter crunch cereal contains a good amount of folic acid, one of my cravings with my son) take these until the nausea subsides then try a prenatal with the iron because eventually you will need the extra iron. Good luck!!!

I had the same problem. Ask for a vitamin that does not contain Iron because that is what is making you sick. I personally liked Natachew. Good luck

Ask your Doctor about cutting them in half. Take one in the morning after breakfast and one after dinner so your tummy is full.

I was sick with hyperemesis my entire pregnancy and never could take the vitamins and my baby came out just fine!

HI L.,

I had this problem with my first pregnancy. I hated throwing up but did every day for the first four months. Whenever I took the prenatal vitamins it was worse. I asked my doctor, who I loved by the way, and she told me to take 2 childrens vitamins (Flinstones) a day and that would do the same thing as my prenatal vitamins would. They did not taste bad and I didn't throw them up!

Good luck!


I used the whole foods brand of prenatals and I didn't have any problems with them. They are quite smelly (as are most prenatals) but that was my only complaint about them. I hope they work for you or you find some other one that does!

Hello...I had the same problem, at the begining, with my first. I found the Prima Care One was the only one that did not upset my stomach. I took them through both babies. They are a purple gel type capsule...I would ask your Dr. for a sample. Hopefully, these will work for you too.

I bought the Rainbow Light Prenatal One Natural Vitamins at Whole Foods. They are much more gentle on the stomach than the others I tried.

Also, when I was was pregnant, I would take the vitamin at night with a glass of chocolate milk and maybe a small snack. It helped give the vitamin something to digest with and I even think doing that consistently helped me from waking up hungry, as so many pregnant women do.

I also had trouble with my OTC prenatal vitamins. I was taking prenatals prior to becoming pregnant and continued after we found out about the baby and became intolerant of the vitamins part way into the pregnancy. I talked to my doctor and he okay'd me not taking the prenatals as long as I was getting enough folic acid. I took two children's vitamins (gummy bears from CostCo) daily that had no iron. My prenatals had 150% of the daily iron needed which if you're eating meat or fortified cereals, etc., you're probably getting plenty of iron in your diet without adding more. The extra iron also made me constipated (which is why prescription prenatals often contain fiber). Cutting out the iron made a huge difference and my doctor said I didn't really need the extra iron until around week 20 of the pregnancy when the baby would be using more of it. I tried to go back to the prenatals at week 20 and they still made me sick, so I waited another week tried again and still sick. Around week 22 I was able to start taking the prenatals again no problem. Also I took them right before bed so that if I did have any nausea, I mostly did not experience it as I slept through most of the processing of the vitamin through my body.

I think switching prenatal vitamins will really help. As to which brand is better than another? I think that is very individual not only to the woman, but to the pregnancy. I know I would get really sick with brand a with one child, but be fine with it on another baby.

I personally tolerated One Source prenatal vitamins really well.

If I were you, I'd ask your doctor for samples of several different brands and see what you can stomach ok.

If all else fails, I've heard that many, many women can eat a couple of the Flinstones childrens vitamins really well, better than prenatals. Ask your doctor if that would be an acceptable worst case scenario.

Hope you feel better soon. I feel your pain!

I didn't have time to read through your other responses so if this is a repeat sorry! lol. anyway my midwife put me on Flinstones vitamins because it is the Iron that makes you sick. Kids vitamins don't have the high iron in them. Then she just prescribed folic acid for me. So I took folic acid pills and 2 flinstones vitamins a day and I didn't have any problems after that. Good luck!

You sound positive. That's awesome! It's too bad that those prenatals make you feel sick. There are Herbalife vitamins which I know worked well for 2 friends of mine. They didn't get sick on them. One absolutely loved taking them during her second pregnancy compared to other prenatals she took with her first pregnancy. She had more energy. The other friend was able to gain a healthy pregnancy weight. They both had healthy babies and easy recoveries from giving birth. Would you like to take a look at these? I'm a personal wellness coach and can tell you more about this. Feel free to call my office number 888-236-4453.

Hi L., I know!!How could something that is supposed to be so good for you make you soooo sick! My doctor changed mine also but I did not get an entire bag of samples as you probably have. So many choices is nice but overwhelming too. I pulled out my daughters leftover supplements to see which one worked for her. She tells her p.g. friends to try Expecta it is a yellow and white box with a gold lady on the cover. She really liked them and they did not make her nauseated. Good Luck and congratulations! K. K.

So sorry you're having such a hard time, L.. You have a lot of great advice here already, but here's my 2 cents, for what it's worth: You might want to check out Rainbow Light's Complete prenatal vitamins. They have some extra things like ginger in them that can help soothe your stomach, and are one of the top-rated prenatals you can buy over the counter. Also, NOW prenatals have a special kind of iron, ferrochel, that is supposed to be gentler on the stomach. (Check out iherb.com for a good price on either, and use the code ERI804 for $5 off your first order.)

I used Premesis Prenatal vitamins from about week 6 until wk 15 because I was very sick. They helped, but I was still completely ill. Good luck.

besides taking them at night. you could ask your doctor for phenergin (not sure if thats how you spell it) but it is an anti nausea medication. my midwives gave it to me while i was pregnant and my sis who is pregnant right now takes it for her morning sickness. that might help. or you could try a diff. kind of prenatal vitamin.

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