The search for the perfect prenatal

So, when we first started on our TTC journey seven months ago, I switched from a regular vitamin to a prenatal variety just to go ahead and get myself primed and ready for the journey ahead. I was at Target and picked up some of their brand of prenatals, along with a box of DHA just in case, since it was our first month trying, I was sure i was going to get pregnant right away– of course, anyone that has totally unprotected, intentional to get pregnant sex gets preggers right away, right? As we all know, that pretty much never happens, am I right?

A few months in, I was spending some time on my true love Amazon, and stumbled across the “Perfect Prenatals” by New Chapter. It had lots of things that made me happy– it’s a whole food vitamin (score!) It’s got probiotics (double score)! You could get an entire trimester’s worth. Woot. 

ImageThe double (or triple, I am not sure what I am on here) plusses were that pretty much from day one they didn’t make me feel sick to take. I started out with 2 tablets daily, because i was taking a supplemental B vitamin for energy, and the day I found out I was pregnant upped it to 3 per day. 

I happened to be doing a little research and came to the understanding that theses aren’t quite giving me what I need, vitamin wise. Here’s the pill’s breakdown. Values in bold are the recommended values.

Probiotic Nutrients™
Vitamin A † (100% as beta-carotene)    Recc’d up to 1500 5000 IU 100%
Vitamin C †          400 mg Two times a day!  60 mg 100%
Vitamin D3 †  600 IU 2 x a day 1000 IU 250%
Vitamin E † 200 IU 2x a day 30 IU 100%
Vitamin K (K1 and K2 (MK7) Blend) 80 mcg 100%
Thiamin-Vitamin B1 †  25 mg 4 mg 267%
Riboflavin-Vitamin B2 † 25 mg 5 mg 294%
Niacin †  20 mg 100%
Vitamin B6 †  3 mg 2X  a day (will help reduce MS) 5 mg 250%
Folate † 800 mg (ok to get 200 from food) 600 mcg 150%
Vitamin B12 †  400 mcg 2x a day– definitely short! 30 mcg 500%
Biotin † 300 mcg, on target 300 mcg 100%
Pantothenic Acid † 10 mg 100%
Calcium (from Algae ‡) up to 1000 mg 75 mg 7.5%
Iron † 27 mg 18 mg 100%
Iodine †  90 mcg 60%
Magnesium † (70% cultured; 30% from Algae ‡) 200 mg 3 a day! 15 mg 3%
Zinc † 7.5 mg 50%
Selenium † 100 mcg 2x a day 50 mcg 71%
Copper † 750 mcg 38%
Manganese † 2 mg 100%
Chromium † 100 mcg 83%
Molybdenum † 20 mcg 27%
Mixed Carotenoids † 3 mg

Color me shocked to know that my pretty expensive prenatals– which I have now been taking for months and all five weeks of my pregnancy— are deficient! I took a look at those Target prenatals and found the some similar issues– however, I found that it was maybe a better pill than the one I am currently taking 3 of per day. I also discovered that the use of calcium at 500 mg (which I got a supplement for) without 200 mg of magnesium would cause constipation, which, err… explains a lot. 

For my DHA requirements, a minimum of 200-300 mg per day is recommended, though some studies are showing that 600-900 is far more ideal. Now, I’m concerned– should I continue to take my current brand and supplement with extra vitamin C, D,E, B’s and add a magneisum supplement? I don’t have my first appointment until 12/10, so this is definitely going onto the all-important question list– but I definitely don’t want to do anything that could potentially negatively impact my little sweet one. 

In doing additional research I found this one– Rainbow Light Brand’s Prenatals:



And here are the values there, which I already like better:

Vitamin A (as Palmitate Beta-Carotene)
4,000 IU
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid)
100 mg
Vitamin D (as D2 Ergocalciferol)
400 IU
Vitamin E (as d-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate)
30 IU
Vitamin K (as Phytonadione)
65 mcg
Vitamin B-1 (as Thiamin Mononitrate)
10 mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)
10 mg
Niacin (as Niacinamide)
20 mg
Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxine)
15 mg
Folic Acid
800 mcg
Vitamin B-12 (as Cyanocobalamin)
25 mcg
300 mcg
Vitamin B-5 (as Calcium Pantothenate)
15 mg
Calcium (as Carbonate, Citrate-Malate)
200 mg
Iron (as Amino Acid Chelate)
30 mg
Iodine (from Kelp)
150 mcg
Magnesium (as Oxide)
100 mg
Zinc (as Citrate)
15 mg
Selenium (as Seleno-methionine)
100 mcg
Copper (as Amino Acid Chelate)
2 mg
Manganese (as Citrate)
2 mg
Chromium (as Amino Nicotinate)
120 mcg
Molybdenum (as Amino Acid Chelate)
75 mcg
Potassium (as Citrate)
10 mg
Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex
25 mg
Choline (as Bitartrate)
10 mg
10 mg
Boron (as Glycinate)
1 mg
Gentle Prenatal Blend
90 mg
(equivalent to 320 mg food & herbal powder) Red Raspberry [leaf] 2:1 Extract, Ginger [rhizome] Fresh Juice 10:1 Extract, Organic Spirulina    
Complete Digestive Support
24 mg
Protease (660 HUT*), Amylase (226 DU*), Lipase (2 LU*), Cellulase (3 CU*)
 Lactobacillus Sporogenes          
 25,000,000 CFU  

While it looks like I still may need to supplement, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” prenatal vitamin. There’s just some that are closer than others to the mark. After conducting this research, I think I am going to switch from the “Perfect Prenatal” brand and move to the Rainbow light– because it seems more comprehensive and you don’t have to take three pills a day, with each meal (and most days I have just been taking them all at once, one time a day). 

I’ll definitely be adding in more DHA to the mix as well. Once I find out my ratios tomorrow and buy everything, I’ll update with my new concoction for an easy reference.

Sources: Real Age, The Bump, Mayo Clinic

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