We see you dropping cash on that random Amazon purchase but thinking twice about spending money on high quality prenatal vitamins.
Okay… it can't just be us, right?
But before you head to Walmart to grab just any old brand, here are three things to consider:
Are you getting a natural or synthetic form of vitamin B9?
One of the main reasons to take a prenatal vitamin, even before you’re pregnant, is to build your vitamin B9 stores, which, among other benefits, aids in the prevention of neural tube defects. Ideally we’d get enough of this from a diet rich in foods like leafy greens, but someone who is planning to become or has just learned they are pregnant will likely be advised to take a supplement to be sure.
So what’s the difference between folate and folic acid? It all comes down to the essential nutrient vitamin B9: folate is the naturally occurring form whereas folic acid is the synthetic form. While both are fine, folic acid has potential complications that can be avoided altogether by looking out for “folate” or “5-methyltetrahydrofolate” on the (slightly pricier) label.
Added fillers in prenatal vitamins could literally mean money down the drain.
A lot of cheaper prenatal vitamins contain fillers like corn starch, talc powder, polysorbate 80, shellac or carnuba wax... I mean, what? None of these added ingredients are necessary for you or baby, and they could even hinder absorption.
Wait, what does that mean? It means your body could be excreting them in full form without actually getting any of the benefits – if that happens, then the cheap brand turns out to be a complete waste of money.
You’re gonna want the iron intake without the nausea or constipation.
Many pregnant people will experience nausea or constipation that is brought on or exacerbated by the iron levels in the prenatals they’re taking. When that’s the case, sometimes the solution is to simply switch your brand, or go from pill to liquid form.
Talk to your care provider about sourcing an option with iron levels that work best for your body. If you find the right option, the cost of eliminating nausea or constipation is worth it, in our opinion.
The verdict? Spending top dollar on prenatal vitamins isn’t about glitz, it’s about quality.
When considering which prenatal vitamins to take and whether expensive automatically means better, know that it’s not so much about price as it is about quality.
If a cheaper variety is causing excessive constipation or nausea symptoms to occur, you’re probably going to be willing to switch to a better brand. And spending your hard earned dollars on products full of fillers that cause you to bypass absorption also doesn’t make any sense.
We know it’s not always accessible to buy expensive options, so don’t let this be the beginning of “parenting guilt” – you’re doing just fine. But if you’re making the choice between that random Amazon impulse purchase and a better prenatal vitamin, you have our blessing to go for the folate!