Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, CLE, shares really helpful nutritional vitamins to take whereas pregnant. Plus: extra dietary supplements for a wholesome being pregnant, different prenatal dietary wants, and nutritional vitamins to keep away from throughout being pregnant.

Is it secure to take nutritional vitamins throughout being pregnant? How about whereas breastfeeding?

These are two of the most typical questions that dietitians get from expectant and new moms. It’s no secret that correct nourishment can higher optimize your pre and postnatal care. But precisely which nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements do you have to take throughout being pregnant?

In this text, we’re bringing issues again to science-backed fundamentals. When it involves dietary supplements and being pregnant, right here’s the knowledge you might want to have a secure and wholesome time period.*

*This data shouldn’t be utilized in lieu {of professional} medical recommendation. Always comply with steerage out of your OB-GYN and/or main care doctor.

The Importance of Prenatal Nutrition

Meeting your day by day nutrient wants throughout being pregnant is important to maintain up along with your quickly altering maternal metabolism.

Of course, maternal vitamin is crucial for wholesome fetal progress and growth. In reality, there’s rising analysis that means the results of prenatal vitamin can trickle into maturity.

For that cause, it’s essential to study needed nutritional vitamins for pregnant ladies, in addition to extra complement and macronutrient wants.

Pregnant woman taking supplements to illustrate essential vitamins for pregnant women

4 Vitamins to Take While Pregnant

The most notable dietary change that ladies ought to make throughout being pregnant is the addition of sure micronutrients to their day by day routine. Simply put, micronutrients are small meals vitamins similar to nutritional vitamins and minerals.

Here’s a take a look at the perfect nutritional vitamins for pregnant ladies.


If you’ve executed preliminary analysis on any being pregnant musts, you then’ve possible come throughout folic acid. Since folic acid is a vital vitamin for pregnant ladies, we gained’t gloss over it too rapidly.

Why it’s essential: Folic acid is a B vitamin important for the event of the fetus’s neural tube, an early construction of the mind and spinal wire. For reference, the neural tube usually begins forming inside three to 4 weeks of conception. Hence, folic acid can play a big function to assist wholesome mind and spinal growth.

Sources + dosage: Many ladies already get folic acid from meals sources, similar to:

  • fortified grains
  • legumes
  • leafy greens

However, specialists on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that pregnant ladies take 600 micrograms of folic acid every day by way of a prenatal vitamin. That stated, many prenatal nutritional vitamins are prone to have upwards of 800 micrograms per serving to cowl any potential nutrient gaps.

Experts advise that ladies start supplementing with folic acid as quickly they study they’re pregnant. However, some medical doctors suggest that their sufferers begin supplementing two to a few months earlier than conceiving. (In any case, bear in mind to all the time seek the advice of your physician.)


Vitamin D standing is essential for everybody. However, as a result of the fetus depends on maternal vitamin D consumption, getting sufficient of this vitamin throughout being pregnant is vital. In reality, anyplace from 40 to 98 p.c of pregnant ladies all over the world are vitamin D poor.

Why it’s essential: Vitamin D performs a key function in fetal bone and tooth growth. A 2014 systematic overview reveals that maternal vitamin D standing is “modestly” related to:

  • toddler start weight
  • bone mass
  • calcium ranges

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s additionally vital for eye and pores and skin well being.

During the early phases of being pregnant, we see increased ranges of vitamin D within the physique. These ranges proceed to extend two-to-threefold till supply. Eventually, vitamin D ranges can attain quantities that will usually be poisonous in a non-pregnant girl. So naturally, So naturally, guaranteeing that you’ve wholesome vitamin D ranges ought to be a precedence.

Sources + dosage: There are numerous methods to get your vitamin D consumption, together with by way of:

  • sunshine
  • fortified meals
  • vitamin D dietary supplements

Additionally, should you’re taking a prenatal vitamin, make sure that it consists of sufficient quantities of vitamin D. The ACOG recommends that pregnant ladies (and all ladies for that matter) get 600 IUs of vitamin D day by day.

If your physician detects that you’ve low vitamin D ranges, they could suggest extra supplementation.

pregnant woman stretching and getting vitamin D from the sun


Fun reality: The American Medical Association calls choline the “brain-building” nutrient.

Why it’s essential: This lately found nutrient is praised for its potential to enhance enhance fetal mind growth. More particularly, choline is a most important participant in a number of vital processes that happen throughout being pregnant.

To title just a few, choline helps with cell and tissue progress, in addition to gene expression. Further, research present that including choline to the maternal eating regimen will help defend towards sure neural and metabolic abnormalities.

Sources + dosage: A pregnant girl’s physique requires extra choline than it might make. For this cause, meals sources are often one of the best ways to get sufficient choline.

Dietary sources of choline embody:

  • milk
  • rooster
  • eggs
  • beef
  • soy merchandise

Despite the advantages of choline, a 2019 research stories that the majority pregnant ladies within the US don’t get sufficient quantities of it per day. This is an alarming statistic, particularly for the reason that demand for choline will increase all through being pregnant.

Experts recommend that pregnant ladies consumption 450 milligrams of choline day by day. In addition to the meals sources above, some prenatal nutritional vitamins present small doses of choline.

4. Prenatal Vitamins

Last however not least, it’s possible you’ll resolve to take a prenatal vitamin.

Here’s a listing of nutrient suggestions to search for, in accordance with the ACOG:

  • choline: 450 mg
  • iodine: 220 mcg
  • iron: 27 mg
  • vitamin A: 770 mcg
  • vitamin B6: 1.9 mg
  • vitamin B12: 2.6 mcg
  • vitamin C: 85 mg
  • vitamin D3: 600 IU

If you resolve to breastfeed, your OB-GYN or physician could suggest that you just proceed taking your prenatal vitamin.

Pregnant couple at doctor to discuss healthy supplements during pregnancy

Supplements to Take During Pregnancy

In addition to the nutritional vitamins and vitamins mentioned above, listed below are two of the perfect dietary supplements to take whereas pregnant.


Doctors will usually encourage their pregnant sufferers to take a fish oil complement. Here’s why.

Why they’re essential: Omega-3 fatty acid shops are inclined to deplete rapidly all through being pregnant. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids present DHA, certainly one of its most biologically energetic acids.

DHA will help ease the chance for an early preterm start by over 40 p.c. Additionally, low DHA ranges can affect modifications in mind operate. Consequently, this will result in genetic variations, decreased studying skills, and impaired imaginative and prescient.

The advantages of taking omega-3 fatty acid lengthen to postnatal vitamin, too. Researchers recommend that fast depletion of fatty acids throughout being pregnant and breastfeeding can contribute to the child blues. In flip, taking this wholesome omega can have a optimistic affect on maternal well-being.

Sources + dosage: Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids embody:

  • cold-water fish
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • plant oils

The ACOG recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding ladies eat at the least two servings of fish or shellfish per week. However, pay particular consideration to keep away from uncooked or undercooked fish. Additionally, you must also keep away from fish with excessive mercury ranges whereas pregnant.

Most prenatal nutritional vitamins comprise about 200 milligrams of DHA. However, the American Pregnancy Association recommends on the lookout for a prenatal vitamin with a minimal of 300 milligrams of DHA. For reference, HUM’s OMG! Omega the Great packs a wholesome 400 milligrams of DHA.

That stated, discuss to your physician about incorporating a high-quality fish oil complement into your prenatal plan should you suspect you’re getting sufficient DHA.


Probiotics are gut-friendly micro organism that assist steadiness the microbiome.

The intestine microbiota—or the gathering of micro organism and different microorganisms within the intestine—influences many areas of well being. In reality, it’s generally known as the forgotten organ. The intestine microbiome can play a job in processes starting from immunology to digestive well being, in addition to being pregnant.

Why they’re essential:  An toddler’s intestine microbiota types all through the complete being pregnant and is believed to proceed colonizing till the primary yr of life.

For this cause, there’s an elevated curiosity within the efficacy of prenatal probiotic supplementation. Research means that taking probiotics is usually secure for pregnant and nursing moms.

Additionally, in 2015, the World Allergy Organization really helpful prenatal probiotic supplementation for each:

  1. pregnant ladies susceptible to having an toddler with allergic reactions
  2. ladies who nurse an toddler who’s in danger for allergic reactions

Sources + dosage: There are numerous fermented and probiotic meals you may add to your eating regimen. Additionally, HUM’s Gut Instinct probiotic consists of strains like Bifidobacterium Breve and Bifidobacterium Longum to diversify the intestine microbiome.

Further, the American Pregnancy Association doesn’t present a selected probiotic dose.

However, do not forget that pre and postnatal probiotic supplementation is an ongoing analysis matter. For that cause, you should definitely seek the advice of your physician earlier than including probiotics to your pregnant or nursing routine.

Pregnant woman eating breakfast to meet her prenatal nutrition needs

Additional Prenatal + Postnatal Nutrition Needs

As we’ve gathered to this point, a lady’s vitamin wants enhance throughout being pregnant—however when it comes to eating regimen, it’s not as a lot as you may suppose.

On common, most pregnant ladies might want to devour an additional 340 further energy per day. (Healthy snack concepts to satisfy this day by day quota embody a bowl of yogurt with granola or a PB&J sandwich.)

Additionally, the CDC recommends that breastfeeding moms devour an extra 450 to 500 energy day by day. However, this quantity can differ relying in your:

  • physique mass
  • exercise stage
  • breastfeeding frequency

During being pregnant, there’s additionally an uptick in sure macronutrient wants. Macronutrients are massive meals vitamins similar to protein, carbs, and fat.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends rising protein consumption to 75 to 100 grams per day whereas pregnant. In addition, they need to try to devour advanced carbohydrates and unsaturated fat every time potential.

Supplements to Avoid While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

While the nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements above are typically thought-about secure for pregnant and nursing moms, others ought to be prevented.

Certain nutritional vitamins, vegetation, and herbs can doubtlessly be dangerous whereas pregnant or breastfeeding. That’s why you need to all the time let your physician learn about any dietary supplements you are taking.

Vitamins A + E

During being pregnant, getting too little of sure vitamins can have destructive results. Similarly, getting an excessive amount of of others can equally be harmful.

The two most important nutritional vitamins to keep away from throughout being pregnant are nutritional vitamins A and E.

In wholesome doses, vitamin A performs an integral function within the growth of fetal organs and skeleton. However, an excessive amount of vitamin A might be poisonous for pregnant ladies. That’s as a result of vitamin A is fat-soluble, that means no matter isn’t absorbed will consequently be saved within the liver. Some specialists recommend that extra vitamin A can even result in start abnormalities.

For these causes, most pregnant ladies mustn’t complement with vitamin A exterior of their prenatal and day by day meals.

Similarly, extra fat-soluble vitamin E can be saved within the liver. In wholesome quantities, this vitamin helps defend cells from free radicals. However, massive quantities of vitamin E can enhance the chance for a low start weight.

Woman nursing her baby in bed


Sometimes, vegetation and herbs are falsely believed to be innocent throughout being pregnant as a result of they’re pure. But sadly, there are a number of unsafe botanicals to avoid.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, keep away from these vegetation and herbs whereas pregnant or breastfeeding:

  • noticed palmetto
  • goldenseal
  • dong quai
  • ephedra
  • yohimbe
  • pau d’arco
  • ardour flower
  • black cohosh
  • blue cohosh
  • roman chamomile
  • pennyroyal


To circle again to the unique questions, it’s typically secure and really helpful to take sure dietary supplements and nutritional vitamins whereas pregnant or breastfeeding.

Expecting moms have distinctive nutrient wants which are essential to optimize prenatal care. For most pregnant ladies, taking a well-rounded prenatal complement is a good place to begin.

As a reminder, the knowledge on this article is for instructional functions solely. Pregnant and nursing ladies ought to all the time seek the advice of their OB-GYN and/or main care doctor earlier than including any nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements to their routines.