Last update: June 11, 2024

5 minute read

The Best Prenatal Supplements During Pregnancy

Prenatal supplements during pregnancy are essential tools to ensure both the mom's and baby's health. From fish oil for cardiovascular health to prenatal vitamins for fetal development, you'll be well-equipped for the journey ahead.

Stephanie Wright

By Stephanie Wright, RN, BSN

Edited by Dr. Jacquie Leone, NMD, HN

Learn more about our editorial standards

Once the pregnancy test shows a positive result, everything changes! Navigating the world of prenatal care can be confusing, but ensuring a healthy pregnancy becomes priority number one.

If you want a healthy pregnancy, you may want to consider prenatal supplements. Most people take prenatal vitamins both while trying to conceive and during pregnancy.

Key takeaways

  • Supplements can bridge nutritional gaps during pregnancy
  • Not all supplements should be consumed together due to absorption concerns
  • Natural food sources can provide many of these essential nutrients

    The best prenatal supplements during pregnancy

    Taking supplements before you become pregnant prepares your body and your hormones for gestation. During pregnancy, it helps ensure that your body has all of the nutrients it needs to carry the baby to full term. Learn more about the best prenatal vitamins for a healthy pregnancy that we recommend below.

    1. Fish oil

    Fish oil supplements are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements have anti-inflammatory ingredients and regulate hormones, metabolism, and brain function.

    Because it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it supports cardiovascular disease. This is essential for pregnant women because moms experience cardiovascular changes throughout their pregnancy.

    As a result, they may experience heart rate changes and high blood pressure, also known as gestational hypertension. It typically changes within the first trimester and peaks by the fifth month of pregnancy. Pregnant women typically experience an increase in blood volume and cardiac output.

    2. Prenatal vitamin

    A prenatal vitamin often contains essential vitamins and minerals that play important roles in maternal and fetal health. A mother’s blood level of vitamins may decrease during pregnancy without taking a vitamin supplement.

    Vitamin deficiencies in pregnancy may lead to anemia, depression, and hypertension for the expecting mother. A daily prenatal vitamin may support avoiding the fetus from developing asthma, heart defects, and poor development.

    It has key vitamins like folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, B-complex vitamins, calcium, and zinc to ensure that both the pregnant mother and the developing fetus get their nutritional needs met. A good prenatal supplement may also help reduce the complications of pregnancy and minimize the risk of preterm birth.

    3. Iron

    Daily iron supplements help with transporting oxygen and enhancing energy. Any healthcare provider will tell you it's common for a pregnant mother to experience fatigue. It takes a lot of energy to help a fetus grow, and in the days of early pregnancy, hormones are all over the place.

    Iron deficiency occurs in an estimated 25% to 50% of the world’s population. Its occurrence can depend on aging, pregnancy, heavy menstrual periods, meat consumption, and poor digestive function.

    Iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Symptoms of anemia include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and chest pain.

    Too much iron supplementation may lead to adverse effects. If the blood’s iron level becomes too high, moms may experience preeclampsia, premature births, and fetal growth restriction.

    That's why it's important to contact a healthcare provider or an obstetrician about taking an iron supplement. They may want to monitor your iron levels as you move through the pregnancy to ensure you're at an adequate level.

    4. Probiotics

    Pregnant women experience hormone changes throughout early pregnancy and as they carry the fetus to full term. Not only does the growth of their future child change their hormone levels, but it also changes their digestive functions and affects their immune system.

    With a growing fetus, it's important to ask a healthcare provider about taking probiotics. Poor digestive function may prevent the absorption of key nutrients.

    Probiotics may also help support gestational diabetes since they may lower glucose levels. Probiotics also work to potentially reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy immune system. Also, studies show a reduced risk for preeclampsia and obesity with probiotic supplementation.

    5. Cal-Mag

    The cal-mag prenatal supplement refers to calcium and magnesium. These are key nutrients for pregnant women because they help with the baby's development and health.

    It promotes collagen production and the formation of bone tissue for the fetus. It also improves muscle function by regulating muscle contractions.

    The fetus will need calcium and magnesium to grow healthy tissues, bones, and muscles. Calcium and magnesium are both important nutrients during all stages of pregnancy.

    Advantages and disadvantages of taking supplements during pregnancy

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    Final thoughts

    Well, there you have it – the vitamin-packed lowdown on supplements during pregnancy. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, just like every snowflake. Keep shining and nourishing both you and your baby. Until next time, stay radiant and healthy!



    Stephanie Wright avatar

    Stephanie brings over 13 years of diverse nursing experience to the table, having honed her expertise in critical care, mental health, and utilization management. Her journey as a registered nurse across these various healthcare sectors underscores her adaptability and deep commitment to patient care.

    Fact checker

     Dr. Jacquie Leone avatar

    Dr. Leone holds a BA in Psychology, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and board certification in holistic nutrition. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Leone has developed and currently teaches science and nutrition courses for a nationally accredited institution. She specializes in chronic illness, gastrointestinal dysregulation, inflammatory conditions, and mental health. Her unique approach combines the wisdom of Eastern medicine with the technology and science of Western medicine, offering an integrative approach heavily focused on functional medicine.

    At VitaRx, we're not just passionate about our work — we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

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