What to Look for in a Prenatal Vitamin
How to Find a Prenatal Vitamin Right for You
When it comes to pregnancy or preparing for pregnancy, proper nutrition is crucial for two very important reasons: you and your baby. We know that your future bundle of joy is going to be your focus, but remember that YOU are the sole source of nutrition for your baby. While in the womb, the fetus will actually take the nutrients they need for development even if the mother isn’t getting enough of a particular nutrient. So it’s important that both of you are able to get the nutrition you need from your diet, and this is where a prenatal supplement can help. However, the prenatal vitamin you choose needs to check a few boxes to offer the nutritional support you need during pregnancy. We’ll break down what you should look for in a prenatal vitamin.
Why do you need prenatal vitamins?
We know the importance of eating healthily, but even the healthiest of diets can lack vital nutrients. Up to 95% of women fail to get enough of key nutrients that are foundational for a healthy pregnancy. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables, and fewer than 1 in 7 adults eat enough fruit. Add on stress, busy schedules, poor food choices, and it means that expectant mothers are potentially not getting enough of key vitamins and minerals to support both their health and the development of their babies. There are also specific nutrients like folic acid, iron, iodine, and DHA that soon-to-be moms need more of because they play a significant role in fetal development. This is where prenatal vitamins (or supplements) come in. They are designed to help to fill any gaps in your nutrition, specifically when you are expecting. Ideally, you can start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you start thinking about getting pregnant as there are very important developments that occur for your baby before you even know you are pregnant.
What nutrition do you need during pregnancy?
Before we dive into specific nutrients, you should note that while you’re eating for two from a nutrient perspective, it is not the same from a calorie perspective. You need about 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy and 500 extra calories during nursing/pumping. An extra 15–20 grams of protein a day help support the growth and development of your baby, including tissue, organ, and brain development. Protein is also an important source of energy for mothers and helps support the development of breast tissue and uterine tissue. If you need a quick way to add those extra calories and protein along with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, you could consider adding Life Shake™ to your diet. We’ll dive into this in more detail in a future blog, but for now let’s focus on nutrition you should look for in a prenatal vitamin.
What nutrients should your prenatal vitamins have?
The supplements you choose need to have specific micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients required in small amounts. Each of these micronutrients has benefits that support both your health and your baby’s growth and development. Here are the most important micronutrients that your prenatal vitamins should have.
All 13 Essential Vitamins There are 13 essential vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). Within these 13, there are a few key vitamins that we will cover below.
Vitamin A This micronutrient helps support healthy skin and eyes. It also supports bone growth.
Vitamin C C helps support the immune system, but it’s also needed for strong teeth, gums, and bones.
Vitamin D This vitamin is necessary for calcium absorption and supports healthy immunity and bone health.
Folate (Folic Acid) This B vitamin helps supports the brain and spine. For your fetus, it helps decrease the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs).
10 Essential Minerals There are 10 essential minerals, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, and molybdenum. Within these 10, there are a few key minerals that you will need more of which we will cover below.
Calcium This mineral helps build and support strong bones and teeth.
Iron Supports oxygenation of tissues and helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to the fetus.
Iodine Essential for healthy brain and thyroid development.
Choline Supports the fetus’ brain and spinal cord development.
DHA This omega-3 is essential for brain and eye development.
Overall, your prenatal nutrition regimen of supplements should include these essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, your supplement plan should have choline and at least 200 mg DHA. Another important factor in choosing a prenatal nutrition regimen is if you’re comfortable taking it. If tablets or capsules are too big, hard to swallow, or make you feel bad, you most likely won’t take your vitamins regularly. You want to find a nutrition regimen that provides everything you and your baby need in a delivery system that you will take every single day. At Shaklee, we checked all these boxes to give you our best recommendation—Meology™ Prenatal.
Why choose Meology™ Prenatal?
Meology Prenatal is a personalized supplement plan designed to deliver comprehensive nutrition at each natal phase. When you’re a hopeful, soon-to-be, or new mom, not only does the program give you nutritional support with 23 essential vitamins & minerals including the ones listed above, but it also gives you targeted solutions for your unique journey to motherhood. Meology Prenatal combines our MultiV Drink, MultiM Tablet, Omega-3 Gellys™, and targeted solutions based on your individual needs for a personalized nutrition regimen at every stage of your pregnancy.
How does Meology Prenatal compare?
Here’s how our program stacks up compared to other popular prenatal nutrition regimens.
Meology PrenatalBintoHealthy BabyNeededPerelelCore Nutrition ProductsMultiV Drink
MultiM Tablet (1)
Essential Prenatal (2)
Algae Oil Omega-3 (1)
Prenatal Multi Powder
Core Prenatal (2)
Omega-3 DHA (1)
# of Essential Vitamins & Minerals2311242419–20100% DV or More21715–16197Omega-3s250 mg DHA
50 mg EPA
250 mg DHA
20 mg EPA
500 mg DHA400 mg DHA
100 mg EPA
250 mg DHA
100 mg EPA
Choline225 mg30 mg350 mg550 mg–Targeted SolutionsCustomizable––Partially CustomizableRequiredNauseaxxMicrobiome SupportxxxxFatiguexMuscle CrampsxxIndigestionxSleepxxAdded ProteinxxAdded CaloriesxHydrationxx
On top of the core prenatal nutrition, Meology Prenatal can be personalized to offer targeted solutions you need, including those that help with occasional nausea, muscle cramps, or indigestion, microbiome support, fatigue, sleep support, protein needs, calorie needs, and hydration.
Start your prenatal nutrition routine.
Now that you know what to look for in your prenatal nutrition, we want you to have the nutritional support you want and need. Your journey to motherhood is a huge deal and we’re there for you the whole way. Get started by taking our Meology Prenatal assessment to create your personalized plan.