What Kind of Prenatal Vitamins to Take?

Updated on January 12, 2010
S.J. asks from Gordonsville, VA
16 answers

Hello there,
I am tring to get pregnant with baby #2. I am taking the general prenatal vitmains from Target but should I be taking a prenatal vitamin plus a DHA supplement? I am just wondering what other people take. Thanks for your time!

1 mom found this helpful

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

S.,
I agree with Jenni. Food based vitamins are optimal. The vitamins that are prescribed are not food based, and neither are the [email protected]____.com @ the ingredients. I like Rainbow Light as well as MegaFoods.
They can both be found in Health Food stores and also in The Vitamin Shoppe.
Good luck.
L. M

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

The Target brand makes a DHA supplement as well. It is right next to the regular prenatal vitamins- That is what I have been taking with this pregnancy, and my doctor said that was just fine, as long as I was taking both pills. Most supplements with DHA are two pills anyway.

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

First off, I wouldn't take the prescription vitamins. I'm a chiropractor who focuses on nutrition and I use those as an example of what is wrong with most supplements. The prescription ones, plus most, if not all, of what you find in the store, have a lot wrong with them. They are synthetic, which the body does not utilize as well as natural vitamins (and which even sometimes cause problems in the body), they have fillers and binders that are hard to break down in the digestive tract, they often contain food dyes and other chemicals which are harmful. I encourage my patients to buy what I sell (and which can only be sold through doctors) becuase it is a whole food supplement and I have thoroughly researched the company. The company(Standard Process) grows their own food organically, removes the fiber and water and compresses it into pill form. There are probably some whole food supplements at the health store and I think that this is the way to go. Not only does it have the vitamins and minerals in it, but the other phytonutrients that the body needs to utilize them.

As far as fish oil goes, I would only recommend Nordic Naturals if you are buying it at the health food store. Most fish oil on the market is from the left overs from farmed fish which are very unhealthy and have a lot of toxins in them. Fish oil is very fragile and if not processed correctly will quickly go rancid and will be more harmful than helpful. You would want a fish oil with high DHA for good brain development for baby.

I hope that helps and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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T.H.

answers from Norfolk on

i take them too. i was told you need it for the folic acid.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.!
Good for you! Having more than one child makes you busy and at times crazy but so worth it...and once you have #2 you realize how easy having 1 was!! :)

In addition to Prenatal multivitamins and minerals, which I took with all 3 of my pregnancies, Melaleuca has a Prenatal Omega-3 that has DHA and EPA (2 of the Omega-3's). I've included more details below. If you are interested in trying them please send me a message.

L.

Melaleuca Prenatal Omega-3—90 softgels
What Makes It Different?
There are a number of prenatal omega-3 supplements one the market, but many of them are very costly or just a repackaging of existing heart-health supplements. The two Omega-3s most important to brain and eye development are DHA and EPA. Recent studies have found that the ideal ingredient balance appears to be twice as much DHA as EPA. Prenatal Omega-3 delivers these critical nutrients in the proper ingredient balance.*

Why Is That Important?
Primary brain development begins in the womb and continues through the first year of life. However, the average pregnant woman consumes only 14% of the recommended levels of DHA and EPA to support her developing child’s brain and eyes. And many prenatal vitamins do not include omega-3s. The DHA and EPA found in Prenatal Omega-3 support proper brain and eye development.*

It Works Because…
Prenatal Omega-3 is the first and only natural prenatal supplement that includes the recommended source of omega-3s (70% pure cold water fish oils) in the right balance (2:1 DHA:EPA) and at the right amount (1,400 mg) to support baby’s brain and eye development.* As an added convenience, Prenatal Omega-3 also has a natural lemon flavor to help mask the aftertaste some pregnant women experience. It is scientifically tested to be free of mercury, PCBs, and other contaminants. And it’s only available from Melaleuca.

What does it take to get the proper level of Omega-3s?
To get the DHA and EPA (1,000 mg DHA) from fish you would have to consume one of the following types and amounts of fish daily:†

23 ounces of cod
15 ounces of haddock
20 ounces of catfish
11 ounces of shrimp
42.5 ounces of lobster
3 ounces of sardines
4.5 ounces of salmon
2 ounces of oysters
17.5 ounces of trout
12.5 ounces of clams
17.5 ounces of scallops

†USDA data nutrient data lab

When Do I Take Prenatal Omega-3?
For best results, take 1 softgel three times per day with meals.

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J.F.

answers from Washington DC on

I really like a good FOOD BASED vitamin vs a synthetic one. Personally I take rainbow light vitamins which I get for about half price through a co-op but have also taken new chapter in the past which I also really likes. If you want to contact me about the co-op that is great too!

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Z.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My OBGYN prescribed a prenatal that included DHA and my insurance covered it. She mentioned that over-the-counter prenatals worked well, but prescription prenatals contain more of the recommended daily values of necessary components. The prenatals made me nauseous so I'd take them right before I went to sleep.

Good article: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins

Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

The main thing you need to take before you are pregnant is folic acid(400 mcg). My doc told M. taking prenatals is not a must even when you are pregnant as long you can balance with healthy diet. I just take folic acid(800 mcg) and Omega 3 and I am in my second trimester..

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V.M.

answers from Norfolk on

For both of my boys I took prescription prenatal pills which included a DHA pill. The DHA is supposed to help with brain development among other things. I can not remember the specific name of the vitamin but I would suggest calling your doctor and getting a prescription. From what I understand the prescription vitamins are superior to the OTC.

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E.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Do you know who Bobbi McCaughey is? She successfully carried septuplets to 30 weeks, they were born at normal weights for 30 week singles! She used Vitality for Life Pre-Natal, e-mail me so I can show you how to get them: [email protected]____.com .
E.

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K.F.

answers from Washington DC on

Before getting pregnant you need Folic Acid...I took a multi-vitamin and a folic acid pill every day. Once I got pregnant, my OBGYN prescribed a prenatal vitamin and a DHA supplement that came together in one box (Renate DHA) - it contained the folic acid and the rest of the vitamins in those, so I stopped taking the OTC pills I had, and started just taking the two from the box (then later had to take Iron supplements for anemia).
I think DHA helps with brain activity, but it's fairly new...my mom never took it when she was pregnant with me or my brother, but our brains turned out fine...haha. It can't hurt though!! :)

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V.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Trader Joes sells a good prenatal vitamin. Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods have better options than Target too. A DHA supplement is very important since we don't get enough Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. You're probably avoiding fish becuase of mercury, and that's a primary source of Omega-3s. I like Nordic Naturals or Barleans brand fish oil capsules. Make sure you're eating high quality eggs every day too (Organic, free range, or natural Omega-3 eggs).

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A.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Hi S.! I agree with everything that Marissa said. I took Nordic Naturals DHA all through both of my pregnancies. It's good for both you AND the baby!

I do NOT recommend Melaleuca vitamins. You know the fillers and binders that Marissa talked about? Melaleuca vitamins fall under that catagory. Also, you have to buy a TON of their products every month to meet their requirements. You are much better off purchasing locally.

Oh, and if you can, DO get a whole food vitamin! Your body will thank you! :)
Good luck to you!

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, S., Melaleuca's vitamins have been scientifically proven to have a higher absorption rate, and better protection against free radical production than any vitamin on the market. Please do not waste your money on OTC supplements. Do you remember Bobbie McCaughey? She delivered healthy septuplets; she attributes that to God and Melaleuca's vitamins. You can check out more info at melaleuca.com/oligo. Feel free to contact me if I can help you by providing more information. Good luck to you!

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L.Z.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,
I am expecting in April and for the first time out of five pregnacy am taking the vitamins with the dha. I guess it is suppose to help with brain development, and I figure the more vitamins the better right.
We did the ovulation method and got the two girls we wanted. Now our family will have four boys and four girls. If you want to try to decide there are ways, just research them online. I know you are exhausted from one, but imagine how much more tired you would be at a later age, and it will be good for your child to have a sibling closer in age. You can do it, good luck. L.

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K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I took the target ones and loved them! They are small and you take 2 of them, rather than 1 big pill. I was never sick from them. My dr recommended them actually because they are affordable and easy to swallow.

Good luck with TTC!!!

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