Health Library
Health Library

    Prenatal vitamins: Everything you need to know about supplements

    Updated 19 January 2023 |
    Published 23 December 2019
    Fact Checked
    Dr. Charlsie Celestine
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Charlsie Celestine, Obstetrician and gynecologist, New Jersey, US
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Not sure which prenatal vitamins you need in pregnancy? Here, two experts explain everything you need to know, including which nutrients to scan the label for.

    What you should know when you're trying for a baby

    From when to have sex to early pregnancy signs

    You might have imagined that you’d be eating the most nutritious diet during pregnancy. However, the reality is that pregnancy sickness, fatigue, and unexpected cravings can make this really difficult, even if you’re trying your best. 

    But as your body changes and your baby grows, you need more of certain vitamins during pregnancy, which is where prenatal vitamins and other supplements come in. They can help you make sure you get what you both need. So which prenatal supplements for pregnancy should you buy?

    Your health care provider will be able to guide you through pregnancy, explain which supplements are okay to take, and may be able to help you find alternatives if you need them. They will assess the risks and benefits to help you decide what’s safe. Before you start taking any new vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements, you should always speak to your medical professional. 

    We asked two Flo experts — registered dietitian Lauren Talbert and obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) Dr. Jenna Flanagan — to explain what you and your baby need as your pregnancy progresses and what to scan the label for. 

    What are prenatal vitamins and other supplements?

    While your health care provider has no doubt advised you against “eating for two,” your body goes through some pretty huge changes during pregnancy and you might have experienced new pregnancy cravings. Because of this, you have increased nutritional needs. You’re growing another person, after all. 

    During pregnancy, your body will prioritize your baby. This means that the baby will take any macronutrients (e.g., fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (e.g., vitamins and minerals) that they need to develop from your reserves. Prenatal supplements can give you a boost of nutrients quickly and easily, so you don’t lose out (sometimes referred to as nutrient deficiencies). 

    Trying to conceive?

    Flo can help you work out when you're most fertile