Do Prenatal Vitamins Make You Nauseous – Are Prenatal Vitamins Making You Sick? Let’s talk about why prenatal vitamins cause nausea and how to deal with it when you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Nausea is a well-documented symptom of pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. “Morning sickness” is very common and occurs in 80% of expectant mothers.  The name can be misleading, however, as morning sickness usually occurs throughout the day, not just in the early hours. Boomer, I know.
Do Prenatal Vitamins Make You Nauseous
Although nausea is definitely uncomfortable, it is not harmful to the pregnancy. It’s a different story if your nausea gets to the point where you can’t keep anything down and start losing weight. In that case, it’s imperative that you see your doctor to make sure you’re not suffering from a more severe form of pregnancy nausea known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
Has Anyone Ever Take This Prescription Prenatal Vitamins?
There are several potential theories as to why nausea occurs in pregnancy. Hormones are thought to be one cause, particularly human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Peak hCG levels seem to coincide with the time when many women have the most severe symptoms of nausea and vomiting.  Estrogen is also a potential cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Research has shown that these symptoms tend to be worse if estrogen levels are high. [2-3] Another theory is that nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is an evolutionary adaptation to protect the woman and her fetus from potentially dangerous foods. 
Regardless of why it happens, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can be an uphill battle depending on its severity. This can be further exacerbated when you add the need to take a prenatal vitamin into that mix, especially since vitamins tend to come in the horse pill variety… bleh.
Several studies have shown that women who took vitamins during conception were less likely to need medical attention for nausea and vomiting. [5-6] Why? The answer is unclear. The researchers of these studies speculated that simply optimal nutritional status early in pregnancy or increasing vitamin B6 intake may reduce the incidence of vomiting in some pregnant women. As a result, the standard recommendation to take prenatal vitamins before conception may serve an additional purpose by possibly reducing the chances of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and reducing the severity if it occurs.
But even the best-laid plans do not always come to fruition – some women are simply predisposed to nausea during pregnancy. Whether you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting because of your prenatal vitamin or your prenatal is making your pre-existing symptoms worse, there are some tips and tricks you can try to help manage nausea.
Best Prenatal Vitamins Of 2023
Pregnancy and TTC can be hard enough without the added struggle of nausea. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent nausea while still getting all the vital nutrients you need.
By themselves, prenatal vitamins can cause some degree of nausea. More often than not, iron is the culprit. If your prenatal vitamin keeps making you nauseous, check the label—the recommended amount of iron according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is 27 mg per day.  If your prenatal has more than that, try switching to one with a lower dose (as long as you haven’t been put on a higher dose due to anemia). If that still doesn’t help, ask your provider if you can switch to an iron-free prenatal vitamin during the first trimester and get iron from food sources instead.
As mentioned earlier, increasing vitamin B6 intake is associated with reduced nausea and vomiting. If your prenatal vitamin lacks vitamin B6 or has a low dose, try switching to one with a higher dose. Additionally, consider incorporating remedies such as our Ginger and Vitamin B6 Nausea Gums into your routine, as they have been shown to provide effective relief from pregnancy-related discomfort.
Another reason your prenatal vitamin may make you feel more nauseous is if you take it on an empty stomach. With few exceptions, taking any type of vitamin or pill on an empty stomach can make you feel sick. Even something as small as a smoothie, yogurt, or soup and crackers can make vitamins gentler on your stomach. This can be a bit of a challenge if you’re already dealing with nausea early in your pregnancy. The nausea of pregnancy prevents you from eating, so you are forced to take the prenatal on an empty stomach, which makes you more nauseous and starts a vicious cycle. Eventually, some women stopped taking prenatal vitamins altogether, which is not a good idea. If you are going through this and can’t eat any food at all, let your provider know. They may be able to help find ways to control your nausea so you can eat better.
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The time of day you take your prenatal can also affect how nauseated you feel. As mentioned earlier morning sickness is usually exclusively in the morning, but for some women, it can be. For others, nausea may improve by the end of the day. If your nausea gets better at a certain time of day, try taking the prenatal way so you don’t make your symptoms worse.
Sometimes, the size or dosage of the pill is a problem. If so, try to find a prenatal formulation that is divided into multiple doses throughout the day so you’re not just taking one giant pill that can overwhelm your stomach. For certain tablets (such as uncoated tablets), you can also break them in half. Taking half a dose in the morning and evening may be easier on the stomach and is perfectly fine, as the exact time of day you take your prenatals is not that important.
If none of the above tricks help, it’s important to talk to your doctor about alternative options. Some women may substitute two over-the-counter chewable children’s vitamins (with extra folic acid) or a gummy prenatal vitamin instead of larger prenatal vitamins.
You can also try neutral remedies with ginger root and peppermint. Nausea Relief Tea is made to relieve nausea any time of day, and it’s organic! also offers anti-nausea gummies made with vitamin B12 and ginger.
Perfect Prenatal™ Multivitamin
And if you just can’t get any vitamins, at least make sure you get enough folate (especially in the first trimester) to reduce your risk of neural tube defects, which are serious birth defects of the brain and spine.
All of these tips are easy to try, but the ultimate goal is to find a suitable prenatal vitamin that you can tolerate. Experiment with the ideas above and make sure you have an open conversation with your provider to make sure your pregnancy is supported in the best possible way. Find it bundled with other pregnancy symptom relief products in our pregnancy gift basket.
Do you have questions about your order or products? For the fastest response, check out our FAQ section. Need something else? Come find us below. Many women find prenatal vitamins difficult to swallow, and I often have patients ask me if they have to take them. The short answer is, it depends.
The necessity of taking prenatal vitamins depends on your nutritional status at the beginning of pregnancy. Are you well fed, malnourished or obese? In the US, if you eat a normal healthy diet, vitamin and mineral supplements are probably not needed. When there is a problem with inadequate sources of vitamins or minerals, the first solution is a healthy diet.
Is My Prenatal Vitamin Making Me Sick? 5 Easy Tips For Nausea
If you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s a great idea to schedule a pre-pregnancy visit with your obstetrician to ensure you’re up to date on all vaccinations and check your blood work and iron levels. If you meet certain criteria, it may be advisable to have your glucose levels and vitamin D levels checked as well. By meeting with your doctor before conception, you will know your nutritional status and can begin making the necessary dietary adjustments to prepare for pregnancy.
Once you become pregnant, a prenatal vitamin can be a very important part of your health routine. The two most important components of the prenatal vitamin are folic acid and iron. Below I will explain what each of these vitamins are, why they are important, and the suggested daily dose for expectant mothers.
Some doctors advocate folic supplementation before conception as a way to reduce birth defects and improve pregnancy outcomes. Women planning to become pregnant should consider taking a multivitamin with at least 400 μgof folic acid daily for at least one month before conception. There are certain cases, such as a previous pregnancy with spina bifida, where 4000 µg (or 4 mg per day) is advised.
Since we know that nausea is very common in the first three months of pregnancy, make sure your body is well supplied with both macro and micronutrients before conception. This will help you overcome any temporary reductions in food
Why Do Prenatal Vitamins Make You Sick?
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