Stock Up on These 5 RD-Approved Supplements to Help Support a Healthy Pregnancy

FullWell's prenatal is nutrient-packed & Ritual's is easy-to-take and 30% off

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Pregnancy Supplements

Amazon / Fullwell / Amazon

If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all of the advice, much of it conflicting. This is especially true with the different nutrition recommendations and supplement options out there, each one promising to be better than the last.

But do you really need dozens of different pills and powders to have a healthy pregnancy? After our research (and talking with top prenatal dietitians), we're happy to report that a few well-selected prenatal supplements will meet your needs.

The first place to start is a prenatal multivitamin, which is recommended by healthcare professionals for anyone who is pregnant or trying to conceive. Prenatal multivitamins can differ in their formulation but typically contain key nutrients including vitamin D, vitamins A and C, iodine, choline, and B vitamins, including folic acid to prevent fetal neural tube defects.

Two additional supplements to consider are omega-3s and iron, if you're not getting enough from your diet and they’re not already included in your multivitamin. Omega-3s are fats that act as antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation and support fetal development. If you don't eat fatty fish a few times per week, a fish oil supplement (or algal oil supplement if you want something plant-based) is often the best way to get omega-3s as DHA, the form recommended for pregnancy.

Iron is essential for carrying oxygen to your body and your growing baby’s—it is important to get your levels checked through bloodwork to determine the ideal iron supplement dosage for you to prevent or treat deficiency. If your prenatal multivitamin doesn't have enough and a healthcare provider recommends you supplement, Thorne's iron bisglycinate provides a moderate dose that might help fill gaps.

Like many pregnant people, you may also find it more difficult to meet your increased protein needs. There are many pregnancy-safe protein powders on the market, but we prioritize ones that are third-party tested and contain simple ingredients. Whey protein powder provides all essential amino acids and has high bioavailability, making it a great option for pregnant people. 

It's important to note that the FDA does not review dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they go to market, so we recommend choosing trusted brands that utilize third-party testing, especially during pregnancy. We’ve done the research for you and rounded up quality products that are all third-party tested, evidence-based, and rooted in science.

Always speak with a healthcare professional before adding a supplement to your routine to ensure that the supplement is appropriate for your individual needs and which dosage to take.

This Prenatal Multivitamin is Dietitian-Formulated and Recommended by Prenatal Experts

FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin

FullWell

Buy Now: FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin, $50, fullwellfertility.com

Prenatal multivitamins are formulated to support the unique nutritional needs during pregnancy. Most include key nutrients for pregnancy including vitamins A, D, C, and B vitamins, including folate, as well choline, iodine and other essential minerals. Some prenatal vitamin companies may add more or less than the established RDA (Recommended Daily Intake) for certain nutrients. Therefore, it is important to choose a brand that uses current research and scientific backing to develop their formulations and ideally uses third-party testing for purity and potency. 

One of the most important vitamins in a prenatal is folate or folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Both the CDC and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend supplementing with 400 micrograms of folic acid during childbearing years as well as pregnancy, and consuming folate-rich foods to reach the 600 milligram RDA for pregnant people.

In recent years, more prenatal formulas are using the methylated form of folate (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate) instead of the folic acid, as it’s the readily usable form that does not need to be converted. This may be particularly important for those with MTHFR gene variant that can impact the conversion process of folic acid.

Developed by a registered dietitian, FullWell's Prenatal Multivitamin was designed to provide more nutrition than other prenatal options out there. And founder Ayla Barmmer, MS, RD, LDN didn’t cut any corners. This prenatal delivers top nutrient quality and dosages for pregnant people, including essential vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy. It's important to note that FullWell's prenatal intentionally does not contain iron and omega 3s so that you can supplement separately with the appropriate dosages of these nutrients for your individual needs. 

We like that the FullWell prenatal contains the methylated forms of both vitamin B12 and folate, which are the active forms that your body can readily use. It also contains 4,000 IU vitamin D, a high dosage that can help to correct deficiency and may help prevent complications such as gestational diabetes.

Keep in mind that the dosage is eight pills per day—if you have trouble swallowing them, you can also break them open and add them to yogurt or a smoothie.

This Prenatal Multivitamin is Only 2 Pills Per Day & on Rare Sale for 30% off Through January 10th

Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin

Ritual

Buy Now: Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin, $27 (normally $39), amazon.com, ritual.com

If the FullWell price tag and serving size of eight pills a day isn’t feasible for you, you might want to try Ritual’s prenatal multivitamin. Ritual offers a subscription-based model so you don’t have to worry about re-ordering when you run out, and they are on a rare sale for 30% off through January 10, 2023

A serving is two pills per day, offering 12 key nutrients important for pregnancy, including the methylated form of folate, an impressive 2,000 IUs of vitamin D, 18 milligrams of iron, 55 milligrams of choline, and 350 milligrams omega 3s in the form of DHA. It also adds biotin, boron, and vitamin K2, three nutrients that are getting more attention as of late.

Keep in mind that two small, easy pills cannot contain everything. Ritual’s prenatal only provides 10% of the recommended daily amount of choline, 8% of the recommended amount of magnesium and does not include vitamin A or C, a number of the B vitamins, and some other trace minerals, including zinc. 

Because of these nutrient limitations, Ritual’s prenatal may be best if you’re trying to become pregnant, a time when your needs aren't quite as high as during pregnancy. It may also be a good fit if you're already pregnant and eat a rich and varied diet, are willing to add other supplements, or are simply looking for an easy-to-take prenatal that includes iron and your daily requirement of DHA. The smooth capsules come essenced with citrus or mint, making them more palatable than many other prenatal vitamin options. 

If you choose this supplement option while pregnant, working towards a nutritious pregnancy diet (which is always recommended) is especially beneficial. If you can, focus on including dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and a variety plant and animal proteins from whole foods. You may also benefit from an additional choline supplement.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, have an otherwise restricted diet. or are struggling to eat a variety of foods because of a busy schedule or nausea, we recommend talking to a prenatal dietitian or other healthcare provider. There are a variety of ways to get needed nutrients, and there are additional supplements that may be beneficial.

For more prenatal vitamin options, including individual nutrient supplements, take a look at our best prenatal vitamins article.

This Fish Oil Supplement is Rich in DHA, USP Verified and $0.20 Per Serving

Nature Made Fish Oil 1200 mg

Amazon.com

Buy Now: Nature Made Fish Oil 1200 mg $20 (normally $24), amazon.com, walmart.com

Omega-3s are healthy fats that act as antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation. The recommendation to get omega 3s during pregnancy helps support neural and visual fetal growth. Adequate omega-3 consumption is also associated with reduced risk of preeclampsia, preterm labor and delivery, and depression in the pregnant parent.

The general recommendation for pregnant people is to get 300 milligrams of DHA per day. The preferred way to get DHA is from fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and trout. But, if you are not eating two to three servings of fatty fish per week and your prenatal vitamin doesn't contain omega 3s, you may want to consider a supplement.

We like Nature Made Fish Oil 1200 mg which includes 720 milligrams of omega-3s with 350 milligrams of EPA and 300 milligrams of DHA per one softgel serving. This meets your daily recommendations whether or not you're eating fish.

It is purified to remove mercury and is third party verified by USP, one of the most trustworthy third party verification companies. This means you can rest assured it contains exactly what's on the label without potentially harmful contaminants. While many fish oil supplements can be expensive, Nature Made keeps their supplement prices low without sacrificing quality. The deal is even more impressive right now, at 33% off the original price.

Other Omega 3 Options

Liquid Fish Oil: Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Lemon Flavor, $22 (normally $26), amazon.com

Some people have trouble swallowing pills, especially while pregnant. If that's the case for you, there are also liquid omega-3 supplements. Nordic Naturals makes a liquid fish oil supplement that has a pleasant lemon flavor and is third party verified for purity and freshness.

Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Lemon Flavor can be taken directly or mixed into a smoothie, water, or juice. It offers 500 milligrams of DHA and 745 milligrams of EPA per one teaspoon serving. The other great thing about a liquid supplement is that you can adjust your dose as needed.

Vegan Omega 3: Nordic Naturals Algae-Omega, $24 (normally $30), amazon.com

Many omega-3 supplements are derived from fish oil, but there are also algae-based omega-3 supplements to consider if you are vegan or vegetarian or have an aversion to fish or fish oil during pregnancy. Try Nordic Naturals Algae-Omega, a plant-based source of both EPA and DHA that exceeds recommended daily amounts and is also third party tested. Keep in mind that one serving of these is two softgels per day.

This Iron Supplement is Well-Tolerated & NSF-Certified for Sport

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate

Amazon

Buy Now: Thorne Iron Bisglycinate, $12, amazon.com

Iron is essential for transporting oxygen in the blood to different parts of the body and to a growing baby. Iron needs increase during pregnancy to 27 milligrams per day due to increased blood volume. Iron deficiency in pregnancy can increase an infant’s risk of low birthweight, premature birth, low iron stores, and impaired cognitive development.

Thorne’s Iron Bisglycinate provides 25 milligrams of iron, an adequate amount to help supplement a diet low in iron. This dosage may not be sufficient to correct an iron deficiency, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine your individual needs based on your iron status. 

Bisglycinate means that the iron is bound to the amino acid glycine, which improves absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. This form of iron is typically better tolerated than other forms including ferrous sulfate, reducing common side effects of iron supplementation like nausea and constipation. 

Ayla Barmmer, MS, RD, LDN, notes that zinc and calcium can interfere with iron absorption, so she recommends spacing out your prenatal and iron supplements. This is another reason to consider a separate iron supplement instead of a prenatal vitamin that includes iron. 

Since this is a more complicated supplement recommendation, we recommend taking a look at our best iron supplements for pregnancy article to learn more about how to supplement for your unique needs.

This Protein Powder is NSF-Certified for Sport & Free from Added Sweeteners

Klean Athlete Klean Whey Protein Isolate

Amazon

Buy Now: Klean Athlete Klean Whey Protein Isolate, $53, amazon.com

Protein needs increase during pregnancy to support your needs and those of the growing baby. The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein throughout pregnancy is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight during the first trimester and 1.1 grams per kilogram of body weight during the second and third trimesters. Some newer research suggests that protein needs are even higher than this—it's possible that you actually need 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Getting enough protein during pregnancy can be difficult, especially if you are experiencing nausea and food aversions. Protein powders can be a convenient way to boost your intake if you are struggling to get enough protein from food alone. 

We recommend Klean Athlete Klean Whey Protein Isolate, an NSF-certified protein powder with 20 grams of protein per scoop. Try blending protein powder into a nutrient-dense smoothie, incorporating fruits and vegetables, like frozen spinach, banana, and berries, your milk of choice, and a healthy fat like nut butter or chia seeds. 

Looking for more protein powder options? We have a wide variety of unflavored and flavored recommendations suited for a variety of dietary preferences and budgets in our best pregnancy-safe protein powders article.

Read Next: The Best Pregnancy-Safe Protein Powders

8 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Nutrition during pregnancy.

  2. National Institutes of Health. Omega-3 fatty acids.

  3. National Institutes of Health. Iron: fact sheet for health professionals.

  4. National Institutes of Health. Folate: fact sheet for health professionals.

  5. CDC. Folic acid.

  6. Wei SQ, Qi HP, Luo ZC, Fraser WD. Maternal vitamin D status and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013;26(9):889-899. doi:10.3109/14767058.2013.765849

  7. American Pregnancy Association. Omega-3 fish oil and pregnancy.

  8. Richter M, Baerlocher K, Bauer JM, et al. Revised reference values for the intake of protein. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2019;74(3):242-250. doi:10.1159/000499374

By Anne Cook Carroll
Anne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.She earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and her clinical training was completed at Mount Sinai Hospital and NYU.When she is not working, you can find Anne in her kitchen experimenting with recipes and testing out new products.