Good nutrition plays an important roll in how our bodies function and in turn is essential when you’re trying to conceive. By far the most important, and luckily one of the easiest things you can do to prep your body for pregnancy is invest in a high-quality whole foods prenatal vitamin.
To sustain a healthy, viable pregnancy you want to make sure you are getting enough nutrients for you AND your new baby. Beings that most of us do not get an adequate amount of nutrients in our daily diets odds are you are most likely deficient in one, if not more vitamins and minerals.
When you’re trying to get pregnant having any type deficiency can be an issue.
According to March of Dimes, folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, DHA and iodine are the six most important nutrients a Mother needs to sustain a healthy pregnancy(1).
Taking a whole foods prenatal vitamin is the best way to get everything you need and it elevates one stressor involved in the trying to conceive process.
Unfortunately, most prenatal vitamins are NOT made from nutrient-rich foods, but instead are composed of isolated compounds. Copycat/synthetic vitamins and minerals made to mimic the real thing.
Is it really that big of a deal? Read on to to find out!
If you’re feeling unsure about your cycle a Conception Consultation with a personalized step-by-step Baby Making Blueprint may be the answer for you!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please contact your physician before making any changes to your health plan to view Conceive A Baby’s medical disclaimer click here. This post contains affiliate links.
Why You Should Take A Whole Foods Prenatal Vitamin VS A Synthetic Prenatal Vitamin
What Are Synthetic Vitamins?
Most prenatal vitamins (vitamins in general, really) are going to be compounded from synthetic vitamins and minerals. These are going to be your common drug store vitamins and or your prescribed prenatal if you get one from your doctor.
If you check the back of your bottle and don’t know what a word means ie. Cyanocobalamin, then it’s likely you’ve got a batch of synthetic vitamins. (Side note: Some companies do not even include the actual name of the synthetic form of the vitamin and or mineral they are using. Beware of simple ingredient lists that just state the vitamins. ie. Calcium, Vitamin A and so on with no other derivative.)
Although synthetic prenatals do offer a complete broad spectrum of nutrition they are created in a laboratory and made from synthetic chemical isolates. Each compound is created to try and mimic the vitamin and or mineral of choice morphing it into the synthetic version of the natural element.
While this process and these synthetic versions are considered safe, it is not ideal and if you can avoid the “fake” stuff by all means do.
Synthetic vitamins come with drawbacks. While cheaper than food based vitamins they are harder to absorb and are considered inferior to natural or whole foods vitamin blends(2). They can also cause issues with upset stomach, vomiting and nausea.
Take iron for example, when in its synthetic form, “Ferrous Fumarate” can cause severe constipation and upset stomach something no pregnant or trying to conceive woman wants to deal with.
Many newly pregnant women find synthetic vitamins difficult to handle and often blame the vitamin form itself (the actual pill) rather than looking at the ingredients. This, in turn, leads to gummy vitamins, which are just as bad and offer even less nutrition than your normal synthetic vitamin. Which is a whole different post.
Eating a well rounded healthy diet filled with fats, fruits, veggies, and protein is best and will provide you with the best nutrient outcome. When that is not possible and you bring in vitamins to supplement a deficiency and those vitamins are made with isolated compounds, via synthetic vitamin blends, your body may have adverse reactions.
Not sure if your current vitamins fall into the synthetic category? I’ve created a chart below of some of the most commonly used vitamins and their synthetic forms to help you figure out what’s in your vitamin.
Whole Foods Prenatal Vitamins Are The Way To Go!
Whole foods prenatal vitamins are just what they sound like, vitamins and minerals derived directly from food, mostly fruits, and veggies.
I am not going to bore you with a ton of info here as these vitamins are pretty straightforward.
They are made with your everyday consumable produce like kale, beets, garlic, blackberries and contain all the necessary daily nutrients you need to get ready for a healthy 9 months of pregnancy. (Side Note: If you have any food allergies make SURE to read each and every ingredient to avoid a reaction)
They are highly absorbable, gentle on the stomach and come from nature. Some even contain probiotics, and natural remedies such as ginger to help combat morning sickness. When you purchase a whole foods prenatal you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
Take a look at the ingredient list below as an example. It is from the back of Garden Of Life’s Organic Whole Foods Prenatal and is one of my favorites!
It’s easy to see exactly what you’re putting in your body and your babies for that matter. I’ll take Broccoli, spinach, and strawberries any day compared to synthetic ingredients like ferrous fumarate (iron), retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), or ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
The only downside to the whole foods based prenatal is that they can get pricey and tend to be hard to find in stores. Unfortunately, synthetic vitamins are cheaper and easier to find in stores which in turn has a larger convenience factor.
The good news is you can easily find and buy your whole foods prenatal vitamins online. If you’re Amazon Prime obsessed like me they are waiting at your door in just two days, and you didn’t have to waste any gas to get them!
My Top Whole Foods Prenatal Picks On Amazon
Every brand of prenatal vitamin comes with their own pros and cons and sometimes it takes trying out a few to figure out what YOU like best.
My absolute favorite is Garden Of Life’s Organic Whole Foods Prenatal. In general, I love their products and use their protein shake mix and raw iron which are all whole foods based. I am always recommending their stuff to anyone who asks.
My second choice is Rainbow Light Prenatal One it is one of the more affordable whole foods prenatals. You can get a 150 count bottle (5 month supply) for under $45.
To Go Organic Or Not To Go Organic? That is the question.
Obviously, everyone would like to avoid chemicals, pesticides, and waxes if possible, but that is not always feasible on a financial level. Let’s be honest organic is EXPENSIVE.
So, I am not going to get into a big debate here as it really is individual preference and or circumstance decision. I personally try to buy organic, as long as it’s within my budget. I am not going to stress if I can’t buy organic that month or if I buy a non-organic apple at the grocery store. I do what I can when it is feasible.
I will include the organic and non-organic versions of each whole foods prenatal vitamin if that brand offers one or the other.
Top Whole Foods Prenatal Vitamins
1 capsule 3 times daily—with or without food
No gluten, dairy
No binder or Fillers
3 tablets daily— with food
Certified USDA Organic
No soy, gluten, dairy
No binder or Fillers
NATURELO Prenatal Whole Food Multivitamin
3 capsules daily – with food
NO soy, gluten, milk/dairy, eggs, corn.
Free of coloring, preservatives, flavoring or animal-derived ingredients.
Rainbow Light Prenatal One
1 capsule daily – with or without food
Red Raspberry Leaf
No wheat, gluten, sugar, dairy/lactose, nuts, soy, shellfish or yeast and is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, or other additives.
Rainbow Light Certified Prenatal
(I hesitated to put this here as this one is a little wonky. It is a mixture of organic/non-organic.)
4 capsules daily – with or without food
70% Organic Ingredients
No gluten, soy, yeast, milk, eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish. It is free of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservative, and additives.
3 capsules daily – with or without food
No wheat, gluten, dairy
4 Servings of fruits & Veggies via the 3 tablets.
3 capsules daily
Non-GMO Project Verified
No Synthetic Fillers
2 tablets daily – with or without food
Whole foods organic herbal blend
No gluten, soy, yeast, fish/shellfish, nuts, dairy/lactose.
Free of artificial colors and flavors, sugar, sweeteners, preservatives.
Healthy Is Best
Just as you’re sure to hear the phrase “Fed is Best” after you deliver your baby, the same principle applies here.
No matter which type of prenatal vitamin you choose whole foods or drug store, the most important thing is making sure you are getting what you need to grow a healthy baby.
Research is KING when in doubt take the extra time to educate yourself and make an informed decision that you feel good about.
What do YOU think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and Vitamin of Choice.