If you’re contemplating pregnancy in the near future or you and your partner are ready to start trying, you might have heard that beginning a prenatal vitamin regime is among the first steps to ensure your body is ready for a baby. But you likely have a few questions like - when should you start taking a prenatal vitamin? What vitamins do you need and why? And what’s the best prenatal vitamin before pregnancy?

Whether you’re a first-time parent or you’ve been here before, the fact of the matter is that things are always changing, and staying up to date with the latest recommendations and the best products can be a challenge.

When it comes to determining your nutrient needs before conception, your first step should be to visit your doctor. If he or she recommends that you start taking a prenatal vitamin as you begin your pregnancy journey and they don’t have a specific product in mind for you, this list will outline some of the best prenatal vitamins you can take before pregnancy to help ensure your body is ready for a healthy pregnancy.

Our Top Choices for the Best Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy: Table View

This is our top list in a nutshell that shows the price of each product, why I love it, best place and price to buy the prenatal vitamins before pregnancy and our rating. You can sort the table by each column.

Product Name


Why I love it

Best price to buy


1. Ritual Prenatal Multivitamins


Has 12 key nutrients specifically for before pregnancy and it's the most affordable option on this list

2. Perelel Conception Support Pack


Helps you prepare your body for pregnancy with antioxidant support, added omegas and other key nutrients

3. Joy Bundle


Perfect for promoting health for a mom-to-be with omegas and all the micronutrients your body needs

4. Needed - The Starter Plan


It has all the nutrients you need, plus you can add other vitamins, like Iron and CoQ10 to support optimal egg health

5. bird&be prenatal essentials


It's affordable and contains 24 bioavailable nutrients that support fertility

6. Natalist Prenatal Daily Packs


Contains 21 vegan and gluten-free ingredients to support your journey before and through pregnancy

Why Is Taking a Prenatal Vitamin Before Pregnancy Important?

Prenatal nutrition has a significant impact on your pregnancy and the health of your baby, and your journey to optimal health should start before you conceive, if possible. A healthy diet that’s full of key nutrients is critical during this delicate and special time, and a prenatal vitamin can help ensure you’re getting the right nutrients in the right amounts to support your body as well as your future babies.

The general recommendation is that women of reproductive age take a high-quality prenatal vitamin if they are not actively trying to prevent pregnancy or are planning to conceive in the near future. This recommendation is based on the fact that up to 50% of pregnancies in the US are unintended, and such pregnancies tend to not be recognized for the first 4-6 weeks, during which time there is critical development happening, mainly in the brain and spinal cord.

Although experts do not recommend taking prenatal vitamins for long periods of time when you do not intend to conceive, if you are actively trying to conceive, the benefits of taking a prenatal during this period include:

Plus, there is ample evidence that taking prenatal vitamins can help boost a woman’s body, too, helping her to feel her best during pregnancy as well as the time period she spends trying to conceive. The right nutrients can help keep your energy levels up.

What to Look For In a Prenatal Vitamin While Trying to Conceive

Before we get into our list of the top choices for prenatal vitamins before pregnancy, let’s first take a look at what we should be looking for when choosing prenatal vitamins to get pregnant. There are certain nutrients that should be present in your prenatal vitamins to optimize your health and the health of your newly developing baby, should you conceive.


This is the nutrient that you have probably heard the most about as it’s very important for preventing neural tube defects. Folate is B9 and it helps to prevent abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. This nutrient is found naturally in dark leafy greens, lentils, beans, and legumes, but supplementing with additional amounts while trying to conceive and during pregnancy is highly recommended.


Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, the protein that your red blood cells use to transport oxygen. During early pregnancy, your body needs more iron to oxygen to the embryo via the placenta. The total amount of blood in a woman’s body will increase by 50% during pregnancy, so iron is a hot commodity. A lack of sufficient iron can lead to anemia and feeling more tired.


Calcium not only helps to build your bones and teeth strong, but it does so for your developing baby, too. 

Vitamin D

Calcium and Vitamin D have a symbiotic relationship, you need both for optimal absorption. Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption.


DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and it’s critical for supporting fetal brain and eye development. 


Iodine is a mineral that helps your baby’s organs and nervous system to develop optimally. 


Recent studies show that choline improves several pregnancy outcomes and can protect your baby from certain neural and metabolic disorders.

Vitamin B12

Many people overlook this one, but Vitamin B12 has been recommended to prenatal women. Doctors believe that Vitamin B12 and folic acid can help prevent birth defects, such as spina bifida. One of the benefits of Vitamin B12 for women is that it can maintain the health of your nervous system.

Is It Safe to Take Prenatal Vitamins When Not Pregnant?

If you’re not yet pregnant, but are trying to conceive or are thinking about doing so in the near future, yes, it’s safe to take prenatal vitamins when not pregnant. However, if you don’t fall into the following categories, you might consider taking a regular women’s multivitamin instead:

  • Women of reproductive age not trying to prevent pregnancy
  • Planning to try to conceive in the near future
  • Actively trying to conceive
  • Are pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding

If you don’t fall into one of these categories, taking a prenatal vitamin might not be the best fit for you as long-term use of these nutrients can lead to toxicity of iron and Vitamin A.

We checked in with Dr. Michael Green, Board-Certified OBGYN at Winona (read our review of Winona to learn more about the brand) to get his thoughts and he shared this:

“I’ve heard many people say they believe taking prenatal vitamins will make their hair and nails stronger. However, you should always speak to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine, and there’s a good reason for that. Prenatal vitamins are intended to make up for nutritional deficiencies that pregnant women experience. Therefore, they’re not intended for non-pregnant people, and consuming high amounts of certain nutrients when they're not needed can actually be harmful to the system.”

Our Top Picks for the Best Prenatal Vitamins to Take Before Pregnancy

There are a lot of products out there that market prenatal vitamins to take before getting pregnant. I've been in this industry for years seeing brands come and go, and seeing products work or ending up a complete dud. Here are my top picks based on my professional and personal experience.

1. Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin

prenatal vitamins before pregnancy - ritual

Ritual makes it to the top of our list as one of the best choices for prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant because it’s one of the highest quality vitamins with the most thoughtfully sourced ingredients out there.

Ritual’s Prenatal is made for before, during, and after pregnancy. But for those who are specifically in their time of trying, this multivitamin will prep your body for pregnancy and support your nutritional needs. With Folate and Choline to support neural tube development and Omega-3 DHA for supporting fetal brain development, you can rest assured that should you conceive, you will be equipped with the nutrients to get your baby started optimally.

Furthermore, this formula contains Iron, Folate, and Vitamin B12 to help with red blood cell formation. It also contains Vitamins D3, K2, Magnesium, and Boron to maintain bone health.

One of the most compelling reasons to try Ritual is the fact that its vitamins contain just 12 traceable ingredients, which means that you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing where your vitamins and minerals are sourced from. 


  • Contains 12 ingredients, including all of those identified as key for those trying to conceive
  • It’s safe and effective to take before, during, and after pregnancy
  • Traceable supply chain so you know where your vitamins are coming from and what you’re putting into your body (and therefore your baby’s)
  • Contains 5-MTHF, the active form of folic acid to support adequate folate
  • Smart capsules with delayed-release capsule design for optimal absorption
  • Capsules are essential with lemon or mint making them easier to take and keeping them fresh
  • Serving is just 2 pills per day
  • Very high-quality, trust-worthy brand
  • 3rd party tested


  • This formula contains iron (which is great for most women trying to conceive), however, some women might need a formula without Iron per their OBGYN

perelel conception support

Perelel Coupon Code: FITHEALTHYMOMMA15 for 15% off

The Conception Support Pack from Perelel Health is formulated to help your body prepare for pregnancy with antioxidants, added omegas, additional folate, plus a full-spectrum prenatal vitamin. It’s everything you need to conceive confidently. 

Perelel worked with leading obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine experts to formulate this prenatal vitamin pack. Every ingredient is backed by research and targeted at women who are on a journey to conception and want to do so optimally. Each daily packet contains:

  • 2 Core Prenatal vitamins
  • 1 Omega DHA+EPA capsule for brain development and mood support
  • 1 CoQ10 Capsule for egg health and ovulation support
  • 1 Additional Folate Capsule to support early-stage pregnancy and early neural development

This doctor-recommended formulation was designed to meet the nutritional needs of very early pregnancy, a time when women are typically unaware of their conception.


  • Designed specifically for conception (the period before pregnancy)
  • Contains a full-spectrum prenatal plus the key additional nutrients needed in early pregnancy
  • Easy daily packets
  • No-nausea formula
  • Formulated by leading OBGYNs and maternal-fetal medicine doctors
  • There are additional formulas you can take as your pregnancy progresses (trimester-specific)


  • There are multiple capsules to take each day
  • The cost is slighter higher than some other options

Perelel Coupon Code: FITHEALTHYMOMMA15 for 15% off

1st phorm joy bundle prenatal

The Joy Bundle by 1st Phorm is one of the most comprehensive and complete prenatal health kits you’ll find for taking before pregnancy. This kit is specifically designed to naturally supply your body with the nutrients it needs to help support your body before and during pregnancy as well as your future baby’s body.

1st Phorm’s Joy Bundle includes the Prenatal Plus multivitamin plus their famous Full-Mega Omega-3 supplement which includes DHA and EPA. Taken together, these prenatal supplements help to promote a healthy mom-to-be, support healthy growth and development of your baby, increase immune function for both mom and baby, and provide you both with a concentrated dose of DHA/EPA omega-3s. 


  • Contains a high-quality prenatal vitamin that includes all essential vitamins and minerals
  • Full-Mega Omega-3 supplement provides a concentrated dose of DHA/EPA Omega-3s
  • Supports women looking to get pregnant in the near future
  • Helps prepare your body for pregnancy
  • Boosts the immune system of mom and baby
  • Reviewers report having great energy when taking this bundle
  • Great brand with solid core values you can trust


  • There are 5 capsules to take daily

needed starter plan prenatal

The Started Plan by Needed contains two essential products designed to help your body prepare for pregnancy. Similarly to the 1st Phorm Joy Bundle, Needed’s Started Plan contains a prenatal Multivitamin plus an Omega-3 (DHA+EPA) supplement.

Needed offers its premium prenatal vitamins in two different delivery options; a powder or capsule. For women who have a hard time swallowing capsules, the multivitamin powder can be a much easier and more pleasant option. Needed’s prenatal vitamins contain the key essentials for those trying to conceive plus all the vitamins and minerals needed once conception has been achieved. Plus, the addition of Needed’s Omega-3 supplement allows moms to be to ensure they have enough on board to support their baby’s development right from the start.


  • Includes a premium prenatal multivitamin plus Omega-3 supplement
  • Prenatal contains all necessary nutrients for mom and baby when conception occurs
  • You can choose between powder or capsules
  • The multivitamin powder has a sweet, vanilla flavor and mixes in well with smoothies, drinks, etc.
  • Needed products are 3rd party tested
  • A very trustworthy, integral brand that focuses on women and pregnancy through all stages


  • The monthly cost is on the higher end

Prenatal Essentials bird be

When trying to get your body set and ready for pregnancy, the Prenatal Essentials from bird&be have you covered. These daily prenatal vitamin packs contain 24 bioavailable nutrients to support your fertility and your baby's health once conception occurs.

With handy vitamin packs, taking bird&be daily is easy and convenient. Each packet contains all the prenatal vitamin essentials plus methylated folate (folic acid), choline, and algae-based DHA (Omega-3) making it a vegan formula.


  • Formulated by fertility specialists
  • Convenient daily packs
  • Ready to absorb ingredients (bioavailable)
  • Vegan
  • Gluten and major allergen-free
  • Includes Folic Acid and Omega-3
  • Low monthly cost
  • Third-party tested


  • The packaging is oversized which can feel wasteful

natalist prenatal daily packs

Natalist Prenatal Daily Packets are formulated for prenatal care with 21 high-quality, gentle ingredients to help nourish your body before, during, and after pregnancy. These daily essentials include all the best nutrients for supporting your body before pregnancy, including folate, iron, and vitamin B12.

Natalist made their capsules vegan and gluten-free, plus they are delayed-release for easy digestion. Each packet contains 5 capsules, 3 prenatal vitamins and 2 vegan DHA capsules. This formula was created with the latest research in prenatal nutrition and was led by a board-certified OBGYN and registered dietitian.


  • Convenient daily packets
  • Includes 21 prenatal vitamins and minerals for before pregnancy
  • Helps to prepare your body for conception and early pregnancy
  • Includes vegan DHA
  • OBGYN formulated
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free and allergen-free
  • Reliable women’s health and prenatal brand
  • 100% plastic-neutral brand


  • The monthly cost is on the higher end

Wrapping Up: Which Prenatal Vitamins Are Best Before Pregnancy?

The best prenatal vitamins before pregnancy are the ones that are clinically shown to help prepare your body for conception. All of the options on our list fit the criteria as outlined by leading OBGYNs and women’s health and prenatal experts. 

When considering which prenatal vitamins you should begin as you prepare for pregnancy, consider the following:

  • Do you want daily packets that are easy to take on the go?
  • Are you ok with swallowing capsules? How many?
  • Would you prefer a powdered prenatal vitamin?
  • Do you need a formula that’s vegan?
  • What’s your budget?

When in doubt, run your top picks by your OB and see what he or she recommends for your unique body and journey to conception. Sending you all the baby dust and well wishes for a healthy conception and pregnancy journey!

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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