Healthy Habit – Prenatal Vitamins (or My Multivitamin Meltdown)

6 Oct

We all know that taking a multivitamin is an important step when preparing for pregnancy. And, we all (or at least anyone who has read the About Me section) know that I plan ridiculously far ahead. So, for the past few months, I have been taking a multivitamin. Now, before I started thinking about baby making thinking about getting pregnant, I took a multivitamin when I felt like I was starting to get sick. So, I had some One a Day Women’s sitting in the medicine cabinet. Now, however, the last few vitamins are rattling around in the bottle.

This precipitated multivitamin meltdown, Part 1. I had to think about the fact that if I buy another 250 tablet bottle of multivitamins,it will be the last non-prenatal vitamins I buy. And in fact I may not even finish the bottle before I should switch to prenatal vitamins. What? That cannot be possible. I should have more time than that! I am too young to die have to think  about prenatal vitamins!

Once I got myself back under control, I realized that the last time I bought vitamins, I picked One a Day because I knew the brand and . . . well, they were on sale. But now, I feel like I should actually take vitamins that are effective and can be absorbed easily. Plus, I want to use a brand that also makes a prenatal vitamin. Thus, ensued my multivitamin meltdown, Part 2.

Do you have any idea how many different kinds of multivitamins there are? To give you an idea, a search for “multivitamin” on Amazon reveals 10, 466 results. Yeah. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, I decided to conquer this as I do all other things: research, research, research. That made me feel better until I realized that there is so much stuff out there. What is the proper balance of vitamins? Is organic better? What about all-natural? Am I better off taking a vitamin that requires more than one pill per day, or is a one-a-day vitamin alright? Does the brand matter? How did all of these freaking vitamins get lead in them?!?! Multivitamin meltdown, Part 2.5.


Alright, I’ll start small. Read the top 5 Google search results for “how to find the best multivitamin”.

Result 1: One A Day Women’s was rated best women’s vitamin. Score! But, One A Day didn’t get the best award for prenatal vitamins, Pregnancy Plus Prenatal Multi did. But, this is all based on consumer reviews. I need science, people!

Result 2: This one also recommended One A Day Women’s, but also gave some more science, like that women need at least 400 mcg of folic acid per day normally and 600 mcg per day when pregnant (One A Day Women’s has 400 mcg, One a Day Prenatal has 800 mcg). It also recommended that pre-menopausal women take a vitamin with iron in it (One A Day has 18mg (100% of the DV) and One a Day Prental has 28 mg).

Result 3: This is the same as result 2, just on CNN. FAIL, Google.

Result 4: This one also recommends One A Day Women’s. (Apparently my “buy a brand I know that’s on sale” strategy is awesome.) It also states that you should look at the DRI (Daily Reference Intake) instead of the DV because the DV hasn’t been updated since the 60’s and doesn’t consider gender or age. So, I looked up my DRIs and found that One A Day stands up pretty well. It gives a lot more than my DRI for some things, but matches pretty well with most of the recommendations. In fact, One A Day Women’s (regular, not prenatal) actually met most of the recommendations for during pregnancy as well. But, a key flaw is that it doesn’t have the recommended amount of folic acid, and since folic acid reduces neural tube defects, I will definitely be using a prenatal multivitamin.

Result 5: This one also recommends One A Day Women’s. Nice. And, One A Day Women’s meets all of the recommendations for what should be in a vitamin.

So, my search has given me great confidence in my current multivitamin, but it hasn’t really helped with my selection of a prenatal vitamin, except for noting that I need 600 mcg per day of folic acid.

Since One A Day did very well with their regular vitamin, I looked at their prenatal vitamin. It meets the folic acid recommendation, but . . . only 300 mcg of calcium. Now, normally I actually drink and eat a fair amount of dairy. But, I think that after the first few times of vomiting milk, that might stop. I’ve read that a baby will actually take calcium from your bones if you aren’t getting enough, so I really want a multivitamin with enough calcium.

So, I checked out the Pregnancy Plus Prenatal Multi. It had no calcium. That’s right. Zero. So, I looked and looked and looked . . . . and looked. And found that 300 mcg of calcium is the most that a prenatal multivitamin contains. Why? Because calcium makes the pill larger and can make you nauseated. So, I guess that though One A Day Prenatal isn’t perfect, it’s pretty darn good. And it follows the “buy a brand I know” rule, and I am sure that I can make it also meet the “buy what’s on sale” rule. 🙂


3 Responses to “Healthy Habit – Prenatal Vitamins (or My Multivitamin Meltdown)”

  1. Fantastico October 6, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Holly – this is your husband speaking. How is it you find the time to be a beautiful wife, a respected lawyer, a beloved daughter, and still find time to blog!? You should probably do a post about time management … or time travel. Whichever technique you are using to do what you do.

  2. Sverige October 24, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    I take womens one a day everyday and my skin is healthier I dont have to worry about my bone health.People never say if it makes your hair longer or not they just brush it off and dont even bring it up. For those of you who are wondering yes it does make your hair longer not “look” longer. And it’s best to take it everday and be patient.


  1. Practical Changes to Prepare for Pregnancy « The Preggers Plan - October 22, 2011

    […] be the easiest and most mundane changes for my trying-to-conceive lifestyle. Wrong. This surpassed my multivitamin meltdown. Oh […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: