Not all prenatal vitamins are made the same. The two major things we want to consider when choosing the right prenatal are ingredients and dosage.
Good quality prenatals contain good quality ingredients. First, start by reading the label of ingredients. Most generic prenatal supplements contain the inactive form of vitamins. Why does this matter? A large number of people have difficulty turning these inactive vitamins into their active, working form in the body. It’s estimated that up to 40% of people are not able to fully activate certain vitamins due to their genetics! Purchase a prenatal vitamin with active ingredients to ensure you are getting the ingredients you need.
Things to look for – the active form is in brackets: Folate (5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF) Vitamin B5 (calcium d‑pantothenate) Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin)
The second most important thing when choosing a prenatal is getting the proper amount of each ingredient. Dosing (aside from active forms) can be the difference between getting benefit from the supplement or not. We need a certain amount of each vitamin to have an impact on the body. Many popular drug store prenatals may have the correct dose of Folate (1000mcg or 1mg), but not nearly enough of the other vitamins (and don’t contain the active form). Professional brands used by Naturopathic Doctors contain the correct amount of vitamins and it’s active form!
The prenatal supplement I like to use in my practice is called Prenatal SAP by NFH (Nutritional Fundamentals for Health). This product includes the active ingredients and the right dosage, making it one of the preferred prenatal supplements among Naturopathic Doctors.