When you’re expecting, you want to give your unborn baby everything he or she needs to develop and arrive healthy and safe when the time comes.
Almost all doctors agree that prenatal vitamins are part of a comprehensive strategy for a healthier pregnancy, so for most of the 20th century, moms-to-be have been taking them to get a nutritional boost.
These days, the busy pace of life makes it harder for women to eat right, and prenatal vitamins are more important than ever. At the same time, you can choose from so many different varieties that it’s hard to know what is best.
This guide will help you find the one that suits you best, starting with a set of frequently asked questions about the best organic prenatal vitamins.
Organic prenatal vitamins FAQ
Are organic prenatal vitamins better than their synthetic counterparts?
Prenatal vitamins are made with nutrients that help fill in the gaps in the diet of a woman who is pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
DHA, calcium, iron, and folic acid are some of the most important nutrients, so you want to be sure they’re found in whichever brand you choose.
Synthetic prenatal vitamins are made in a laboratory, whereas organic prenatal vitamins are made from naturally occurring nutrients in organic foods.
Organic prenatal vitamins differ from traditional formulas in that they are made from pure food sources grown without chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers.
If you’re following an organic diet, you want to choose a vitamin that fits with your eating plan.
Are organic prenatal vitamins safe?
Prenatal vitamins, in general, are considered safe as long as they’re taken by women who are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding as part of an overall prenatal health plan.
The synthetic versions of vitamins may be harder for the body to process, leading to issues such as toxicity or depletion. Food-based prenatal vitamins generally don’t carry that same risk.
Are organic prenatal vitamins really necessary?
Growing a whole new human being is a lot of work for your body. Your developing baby will take what he or she needs from you, regardless of whether you have any to spare.
It’s difficult for a woman to get everything she needs from diet alone, even when she eats well-balanced meals and carefully tracks her food intake.
If you follow a more restrictive eating plan, like veganism or vegetarianism, for example, getting all the nutrients you need is even more difficult. Let’s face it; most women just don’t have time to track it all, and sometimes you just have to eat what’s convenient and available.
Organic prenatal vitamins with DHA help fill in the gaps in your diet, and they help you build stores of the things that are important to your baby’s development, even before you get pregnant.
Essential nutrients for pregnancy
While a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals is important all the time, it’s critical during pregnancy. Here are the nutrients that your baby and your body need:
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
help your baby’s teeth and bones grow strong and healthy. You can find these in animal products such as milk, liver, and eggs, but you have plenty of plant options, too. Squash, cantaloupe, carrots, and spinach, as well as broccoli, pumpkin, and potatoes, are good sources. A good rule of thumb is to look for green and yellow vegetables and yellow fruits if you’re seeking vitamin A and beta carotene.
is involved in the production of muscles and red blood cells. You can get vitamin E from nuts, spinach, and vegetable oil. If you check the cereal aisle at the grocery store, you will find several brands with added vitamin E as well.
also known as B1, plays a part in the developing nervous system. Like vitamin E, you can find it in fortified cereals, but if you’re looking for a naturally occurring source, try organ meats, eggs, or pork. Berries, nuts, and legumes are some easy-to-find, non-animal sources of thiamin.
Niacin, aka B3
Helps develop the skin, nervous system, and digestive tract. It’s mainly found in high-protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, and nuts. Bread and fortified cereals are non-animal alternatives to get more niacin in your diet.
Helps manufacture DNA, and newer research has found that it may assist in preventing neural tube defects in developing fetuses. It’s found in abundance in shellfish, liver, dairy products, and eggs. If these are not part of your diet, you may need to get their nutrients from a vitamin or other supplement.
As we all know, calcium is critical to your bones and teeth, but did you also know it can help prevent blood clots? Calcium also helps the nervous system and muscles function more effectively. Most people know that dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are full of calcium, but you can also find it in less well-known sources such as dark green leafy veggies and canned fish with the bones left in.
Is a building block of cells as well as a producer of amino acids. Most meats and animal products, along with beans and nuts, are excellent sources of protein.
Is also important in the development of teeth and bones, though it’s role is a little different from vitamin A. Vitamin D helps your body use calcium and phosphorous to achieve their goals in the body’s development. Milk and fatty fish are good food sources of vitamin D, but you can also soak it up from the sunshine.
Helps build the immune system, makes it easier for the body to absorb iron, and protects the soft tissue from injury. Citrus fruits and strawberries are good sources of vitamin C, but green beans, bell peppers, and broccoli also pack a powerful dose. Potatoes and tomatoes can add variety as well as vitamin C to your meal.
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2
Is important to the development of healthy skin and vision. Meat and dairy sources, such as poultry, fish, eggs, and milk, are the predominant food sources, but if you don’t consume those, you can find riboflavin in fortified cereals.
Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6
Assists your baby’s body in producing red blood cells. When taken in a prenatal vitamin, it may help reduce mom’s morning sickness as well. You have lots of options for getting pyridoxine from your diet, including chicken, liver, fish, and pork. Soybeans, cantaloupe, and sunflower seeds are just a few of many plant sources. Bananas and nuts are also convenient choices to get more pyridoxine.
Folic acid or folate
Supports the placenta during pregnancy and helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Oranges, strawberries, and any leafy greens are packed with folic acid, but you can also get it from pasta, beans, and nuts.
Has a role in producing hemoglobin and combating anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery. Beef and pork, along with oatmeal and dried beans, are tasty sources of iron. You can also find many cereals with iron added.
Helps make insulin and some enzymes. Red meat and poultry, oysters, and dairy products are the primary food sources of zinc.
Is needed for the developing brain and nervous system. Dairy products, eggs, and seafood are the primary food sources.
What to look for in organic prenatal vitamins
At a minimum, make sure your vitamin, whether organic or synthetic, includes folate or folic acid, iron, calcium, and iodine. Those four components are non-negotiable, so if any of them are missing, keep looking.
You’ll likely see another eight to 10 other nutrients that are important as well. The difference between organic and synthetic prenatal vitamins is the source from which the nutrients are drawn.
Synthetic products are created in a lab by scientists, while organic vitamins are derived from real food sources. When you read the label of an organic vitamin, you should see real food sources listed rather than just chemical compounds.
Side effects when taking prenatal vitamins
With prescription prenatal vitamins, many expectant mothers report side effects including nausea, constipation, and indigestion. These digestive issues are most likely related to the increased consumption of iron and usually don’t become severe.
You may also see a change in the color or smell of your urine. While some of these side effects can occur with both synthetic and organic prenatal vitamins, the organic products tend to be easier for the mother’s body to digest, thereby reducing some of the tummy troubles.
Why some moms-to-be prefer organic over synthetic prenatal vitamins
A woman may choose an organic prenatal vitamin for reasons ranging from side effects to personal beliefs to dietary preferences. Organic prenatal vitamins are usually easier to digest, which means less stomach discomfort and less risk of toxicity or depletion.
Expectant mothers may also choose an organic vitamin based solely on personal preference. If you normally follow an organic way of eating, there’s no reason to let your prenatal vitamin interfere with that when there are so many good organic options available.
Women who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may choose an organic prenatal vitamin simply because the capsules of most synthetic vitamins are made from animal gelatin.
Folic acid vs. folate
Both folic acid and folate are versions of vitamin B9. While you may see the names used interchangeably, there are significant differences. The naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 is folate.
In a developing baby, folate helps in the forming of DNA and growing new cells. If you don’t have enough folate in your diet, you may have an increased risk of stroke and cancer. Most importantly for soon-to-be moms, low folate levels are thought to contribute to neural tube defects.
It is so important to healthy growth and development, many countries, including the United States, mandate the addition of vitamin B9 to processed foods. Folic acid is the synthetically produced version of vitamin B9 that is used to fortify cereals, flour, and more.
The human body cannot process folic acid as easily as folate, so there is a risk that unmetabolized folic acid can build up in the bloodstream. This increases the risk for some forms of cancer and can mask other health issues, such as a deficiency of vitamin B12.
Most synthetic and some organic prenatal vitamins contain folic acid. If you shop carefully, you can find organic versions that use natural folate. Pregnant women may want to supplement their prenatal vitamin with a pure folate supplement.
If you decided to go that route, look for a label that lists 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, Metfolin, or 5-MTHF as the primary ingredient. Most popular organic prenatal vitamins brands
Everything from this Canadian company is made strictly from whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, superfoods, leaves, and herbs. Pranin’s promise is that you’ll never find anything synthetic in any of its products. That means no added fillers, no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or synthetic nutrients.
Realfood Organics promises that everything in its prenatal vitamins comes directly from whole foods. The ingredients list includes 40 fruits, vegetables, sprouts, legumes, and more, all certified USDA organic and non-GMO. The vitamins are so gentle that you can take them on an empty stomach.
While not 100 percent organic, this company uses organic and non-GMO products at every opportunity. From sourcing to testing and manufacturing, Rainbowlight is dedicated to sustainable and ecologically responsible practices. It focuses on digestibility and offers a line of eight prenatal supplements in tablet and shake forms.
Garden of Life
Three principles guide this company’s approach to creating its products: the power of whole foods, using only the good stuff, and knowing where everything comes from. From the organic soil of the farms to ethical farming practices, many of its offerings are USDA Certified Organic. Socially conscious shoppers appreciate that a percentage of earnings goes to organizations supporting Parkinson’s research and women’s heart health initiatives.
The Synergy Company
They’ve been in business for more than 25 years in Moab, Utah. It’s committed to not only organic products but to sustainable eco-friendly practices. Synergy prides itself on controlling every part of the business from farm to packaging rather than relying on third-party middlemen
Uses a two-step fermentation process to improve the digestibility of its line of whole-food-sourced vitamins and supplements. In business for more than 35 years, it’s guided by the principles of sustainable sourcing, the welfare of people, climate-friendly farming, and waste reduction.
Best organic prenatal vitamins
Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Multivitamin Supplement with Folate – mykind Prenatal Once Daily Whole Food Vitamin, Vegan, 30 Tablets
- PRENATAL MULTIVITAMIN: Specially formulated women's multivitamin made from nutritious and organic whole foods
- MOM TO BE: Our organic prenatal multivitamin for women is designed for pre conception, pregnancy and lactation support
- MULTIVITAMIN WITH IRON: With 18mg iron and 600mg Folate, this prenatal with folate helps support healthy neural tube...
- Can be used preconception, through pregnancy, and while nursing
- Contains folate for healthy neural tube development
- 21 essential vitamins and minerals
- Organic ginger and lemon peel for nausea relief
Garden of Life Organic Prenatal Multivitamin Supplements with Folate provide a nutritional boost from the time you begin trying to conceive all the way through your pregnancy.
You can even continue to take them while you’re breastfeeding. Natural folate and iron support your baby’s neural tube development without synthetic fillers or binders.
Besides giving you the best possible nutrition from 21 essential nutrients, these supplements are gentle on your digestion. They’re an easy-to-swallow size so they go down comfortably. The addition of organic ginger and lemon peel reduces nausea to calm your system.
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins Fermented with Probiotics + Wholefoods + Folate + Iron + Vitamin D3 + B Vitamins + Organic Non-GMO Ingredients, 96-count
- No added sugar
- Completely digestible and can be taken on an empty stomach
- 100 percent of daily iron for red blood cell production
- Made with organic superfoods including kale, cauliflower, and broccoli
New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins help you give you and your baby the best nutritional benefits throughout your pregnancy. You’ll appreciate that they have no added sugar to frustrate your healthy eating plan and that they’re so gentle on the tummy that you can take them even without food.
Nutritionally, you get a full day’s allowance of iron, plus vitamin D3 for heart health. These supplements are made only with pure superfoods, including folate instead of folic acid, for the development of the brain and spinal cord.
Non-constipating iron helps with red blood cell growth, zinc aids in strengthening the immune system, and vitamin D3 supports heart health. New Chapter brings you a way to bolster all those major systems in one product.
Garden of Life Vegetarian Prenatal Multivitamin Supplement with Folate – Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal Whole Food Vitamin for Mom and Baby, 180 capsules
- PRENATAL MULTIVITAMIN: Specially formulated women's multivitamin made from nutritious RAW whole foods
- MOM TO BE: Our prenatal vitamin for women is designed for BOTH mom and baby during pregnancy and lactation
- PRENATAL MULTI: These prenatal includes probiotics, ginger, vitamin D and zinc for digestive support
- Formulated for heart health
- Vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free
- Made from RAW whole foods
- Made for mother and baby during gestation and nursing
Garden of Life Vegetarian Prenatal Multivitamins are made for use from the moment you decide to start trying to conceive. During your pregnancy, the health benefits of 23 kinds of fruits and vegetables support the development of your baby’s vital systems.
After your little one arrives, you can continue taking them to bolster your breastfeeding efforts. Real folate, as opposed to folic acid, and a gluten- and dairy-free formula make this a healthy choice for this precious stage of life. For mom’s comfort, these supplements are gentle enough to take with or without a meal.
Actif Organic Prenatal Vitamin with 25+ Organic Vitamins, 100% Natural, DHA, EPA, Omega 3, and Organic Herbal Blend, 90-count
- The most complete Prenatal Vitamin Formula with 25+ Vitamins, Minerals, Organic Herbal blend, Choline and Probiotics
- The only product with 100% organic-sourced, non-GMO vitamins, and is allergen-free
- 3-month supply, Provides 100% Natural Folic Acid (Methyl Folate), choline, iron, calcium, DHA, EPA, Probiotics
- 100 percent organic sourced, non-GMO vitamins
- Digestive support through the use of probiotics
- Naturally sourced DHA, EPA, and Omega 3
Actif Organic Prenatal Vitamins are made in the United States from pure organic sources that won’t aggravate food allergies. You also get probiotic support to aid in digestion. With naturally sourced DHA, EPA, and Omega 3, these vitamins are a source of complete nutritional support. Besides the nutritional value, these are easy to take since they are sized to go down smoothly.
Garden of Life – mykind Organics Prenatal Gummy Multi – Berry – 120 Organic Fruit Chews
- PRENATAL VITAMIN GUMMIES: These organic gummy vitamins for women have 9 organic whole fruits in every bottle
- UNPROCESSED: With our clean gummy technology, these prenatal multivitamin gummies have no "candy" ingredients, no pig...
- MOM AND BABY: This prenatal gummy multivitamin has targeted ingredients to support the needs of mom and baby including...
- Nine organic whole fruits in each bottle
- No animal gelatin and no corn starch
- Certified USDA organic, certified vegan, kosher, and gluten-free
- No synthetic ingredients
If swallowing pills is difficult for you, try Garden of Life – mykind Organics Prenatal Gummy multivitamins. These chewables contain nine whole fruits in each bottle, but you won’t find any animal gelatin, corn starch, or synthetic materials.
Pectin adds some flavor to help them go down easier. Nutritionally, these organic prenatal gummy vitamins are kosher, gluten-free, and acceptable to those following a vegan diet since they use no animal casing. The natural folate in these vitamins is more easily processed by your body than folic acid.
What’s the best organic prenatal vitamin?
In a comparison of features and cost, the best choice in organic prenatal vitamins is the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins Fermented with Probiotics + Wholefoods + Folate + Iron + Vitamin D3 + B Vitamins + Organic Non-GMO ingredients.
It has a solid 4/5 rating on Amazon, and at 28 cents per vitamin, it’s one of the least expensive when purchased in the 96-count bottle. This product is made with the same basic nutrients as others, but it earns bonus points for having pure folate as opposed to folic acid.
With three prestigious certifications under its belt (ICS Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified B Corporation), you can feel good about this vitamin.
How the best organic prenatal vitamins were picked
When you’re expecting a baby, you want to do all you can to provide the best nutrition without putting unnecessary chemicals into your body. You want your vitamins to be as natural as possible.
At the same time, you’re busy and you don’t have time for something that makes you feel nauseous. The New Chapter gummies have all the basic nutrients, but I love that they contain folate, the natural form, instead of folic acid, which is synthetic.
It’s also one of the “cleanest” organic products available since it’s certified organic and non-GMO.
Relevant accessories or materials to buy
The only drawback to New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamins is the lack of DHA. However, the same company offers Prenatal DHA – Wholemega for Moms Fish Oil Supplement with Omega-3 + Vitamin D3 for Prenatal & Postnatal Support to fill in that gap.
Once your sweet bundle of joy arrives, if you’re breastfeeding you want to continue to give your baby an extra healthy boost. New Chapter has you covered with Perfect Postnatal Vitamins, Lactation Supplement.
It contains more than 20 nutrients, including D3 and iron, and it’s gentle enough to take on an empty stomach. Eventually, your baby will move on to table food, and you’ll be back to just feeding one person: yourself.
New Chapter is with you every step of the way with a good, daily multivitamin like the New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily. Take just one a day and know that you’re doing something good for your body since these vitamins are kosher, organic, and non-GMO.
Final review of the best organic prenatal vitamins
During your pregnancy, you worry about everything. Sometimes everything, including your own body, seems out of control. However, you are in control of one thing, and that’s the food, drinks, and supplements you put in your body.
Choose a vitamin that fits into your daily schedule well, so you can easily remember to take it. Read the labels carefully and choose the most complete one. Consider whether you want a tablet or a gummy form. After all, complete nutrition is useless if you can’t get the vitamin down.
Though the sheer number of options can be overwhelming, once you know the basics, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision for your precious little one and yourself.
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