Beli Prenatals are HSA/FSA eligible!

A Nutritionist's Cheat Sheet to Shopping for Prenatal Vitamins in 2024

Brooke Boskovich, MS, RD, LDN, is the founder of The Fertility Dietitian and an amazing resource for anyone dealing with irregular cycles, PCOS, unexplained infertility, endometriosis, and other hurdles to conception. Rescripted, one of our favorite fertility support communities, has an informative post from Brooke with her tips for finding a great prenatal vitamin and we're sharing the piece in full right here.

How To Shop For Prenatal Vitamins: A Nutritionist’s Cheat-Sheet

By Brooke Boskovich, MS, RD, LDN

Let’s face it: shopping for a prenatal vitamin can be overwhelming. There are a ton of different brands on the market, each one claiming to have a superior formula than the last. So how do you know if you’re making the right choice to support a healthy environment for conception and pregnancy? The truth is, most people don’t. That’s why I’m here to tell you exactly which ingredients to look for--and which ones to skip--when shopping for a prenatal vitamin while trying to conceive or pregnant.

While many physicians will advise their patients to go with the most affordable option when it comes to taking prenatal vitamins, the truth is, not all prenatal vitamins are created equal. The ingredients in your prenatal vitamin are actually incredibly important and can influence everything from your egg quality and hormone levels while trying to conceive to your baby’s development during pregnancy. So what are some of the key vitamins and minerals women should be looking for in a prenatal vitamin during preconception or pregnancy?

Iron OR Calcium

beli-baby-prenatals-dietitian-cheat-sheet-shopping-prenatal-vitamins

Calcium and iron compete for absorption, so if they are both in your prenatal you aren’t actually getting the amount indicated. Many women need to supplement iron during pregnancy, as iron requirements increase. Work with your healthcare provider to see if you need an additional iron supplement and/or calcium.

Choline

Research shows that women should be consuming 425 mg of choline per day during preconception and 450 mg/day during pregnancy. Choline is essential for egg quality during the preconception period, prevents neural tube defects during the early weeks of pregnancy, and supports babies’ brain development throughout the first year of life. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in the northern countries, with over 3 million people diagnosed each year. The evidence shows that 4,000 IU’s (100 mcg) of vitamin D is the minimum recommended amount to support fertility and pregnancy. Additional supplementation should be based on individual vitamin D levels, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider when it comes to your unique needs. 

Folate NOT Folic Acid

Folate is more bioavailable (easier to absorb) than folic acid, specifically the methylated form. Supplement companies often use these names interchangeably, so you have to look for the type of nutrient on the label. Folate works with nutrients like B6, B12 and choline to support egg quality preconception and the development of the baby's brain and spine during pregnancy. Research shows that women benefit from at least 800 mcg of folate. 

Another important thing to note is that a prenatal vitamin can have all of the necessary vitamins and minerals listed above, but there are still some red flags that you should look out for when label-reading. For example, you should always look for a prenatal supplement that is third-party tested for contamination of heavy metals and chemicals. If that is not the case, then run (don’t walk) in the opposite direction and find another brand that is. 

The bottom line is that the ingredients in our prenatal vitamins should be evidence-based and fill in common nutrient gaps in our diet. In my professional opinion, Beli’s prenatal vitamin for women checks all of these boxes and more. Beli’s women’s prenatal multivitamin includes evidence-based doses of all of the nutrients needed to support a woman’s needs during preconception and pregnancy, including optimal levels of methyl folate for healthy fetal development, B vitamins to support energy, as well as the recommended levels of choline to aid in healthy neural tube development--things that are often overlooked in other prenatal vitamins. You can rest assured that Beli provides complete nutrition from conception to pregnancy and beyond. 

I know you’re thinking, ‘It takes two to make a baby; what about men? Shouldn’t men’s health be an equal part of the prenatal conversation?’ Actually, yes. Men make new sperm continually, and it takes roughly three months for sperm to fully mature, which makes the preconception period a really important time for future fathers to pay attention to their health. Zinc & Vitamin E are little superhero nutrients when it comes to sperm health. Research shows that the antioxidant properties of these nutrients support sperm count, motility, and morphology. Bioavailable B vitamins like folate, B12, and B6 also support sperm-quality. 

The vitality blend in Beli’s prenatal for men sets it apart from other male prenatals on the market. The combination of Coq10, NAC, and Shilajit not only makes this supplement superior in supporting male fertility, but it also helps cut back on the number of supplements necessary and makes it more realistic for our guys to take consistently. 

Despite how many different brands there are on the market, it can be challenging to find a prenatal vitamin--for women and men--that follows the evidence for both the amounts and types of nutrients that will best support mom, dad, and baby. Many prenatals leave out nutrients like Choline and skimp on nutrients like Vitamin D and Iodine, despite research showing how important they are for a healthy baby and how challenging it is to get enough from food alone. Beli formulated prenatal vitamins that fill in these gaps, making it easy for me to recommend them to couples no matter where they are on their fertility journey.

Originally published on rescripted.com. Emphasis ours.

 

Additional Resources

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

Optimal nutrition plays a pivotal role in enhancing fertility and supporting a healthy pregnancy. A diet rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats, lays the foundation for reproductive health.

Read More

Is there anything unsexier than scheduled, pressure-ridden, trying-like-hell-to-conceive sex? But good news. We’ve found handy workarounds and tricks of the trade, so forget the basal temperature chart for a second and read on for four ways to keep things hot when you’re TTC.

Read More

Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

Read More

Preparing for a baby means doing everything in your power to nourish your fertility health. If you’re totally on board but wondering what that actually means, we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts for planning a pregnancy.

Read More

Somewhere between the “let’s have a baby!” conversation and seeing those two pink lines, you’re going to end up researching prenatal vitamins. And trust us when we say you’re going to have a ton of options to wade through. Consider this your handy guide to the best prenatal vitamins for men and women in 2024.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

Read More

Most births occur between June and early November. Count back nine months, and you’ll see that places most conceptions in the fall and winter. So what’s the deal? Is it the cold weather, all the festivities, or something else driving us between the sheets? That ugly sweater is pretty cute, but you can chalk this up to reproductive seasonality. Here’s what that means, why it matters, and what to do to use it to your advantage.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

Is there anything worse than the two-week wait? All the listicles out there sensibly advise keeping busy and journaling and talking it out, but we’re sharing more specific recommendations collected from the Beli community. Read on for seven tips for surviving the two-week wait without losing your mind.

Read More

Heard the one about ice baths and testosterone? Spoiler: there's little to no research behind that idea. Here’s what to know about cold plunges and male fertility, according to the research, plus where you should really focus your efforts if you’re trying to improve sperm health.

Read More

As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

Read More

Jimmy Fallon. Hugh Jackman. Mark Zuckerberg. Keith Urban. Gordon Ramsey. Kyle Busch. Besides immediate name recognition, what else do these men have in common? They’ve all struggled with infertility issues—and it’s something they’re all talking about publicly. Here's why that matters.

Read More

There’s a persistent misconception that a woman’s egg quality is largely untouchable—you get what you get, and the rest is out of your hands. But for women actively planning on becoming mothers, there are a handful of best practices that can go a very long way. So, can you improve egg quality in 90 days?

Read More

Can weight loss improve your fertility? That depends on what you read. In today’s post, we’re running through all the latest data on weight loss and fertility, and clarifying why the focus should be less on pounds lost and more on prioritizing habits that support your health as a whole.

Read More

Perimenopause is a transitional time that’s pretty wild in its own right, with hormonal changes similar to a roller coaster and major changes to your cycle. Balanced hormones are, of course, key to successfully becoming pregnant and it’s certainly reasonable to wonder whether it’s possible to get pregnant during perimenopause. The short answer is oh yes. 

Read More

While it’s true that popular hair loss meds work minor miracles on that receding hairline and back-of-the-head bald patch, it’s also true that it can come with side effects—some of them sexual. So, what does that mean in terms of male fertility? Here’s what couples should understand about the effects of popular hair-loss medications on sperm health.

Read More

A few years ago, the keto diet was all the rage—a high-fat, low-carb way to shed pounds quickly. While it’s lost a bit of its luster, as all diet trends do, interest in the keto diet remains. Specifically, those hoping to become parents wonder whether following this way of eating could support fertility. Is a diet high in fat and low in carbs the answer? It’s possible. Here’s what to know about the keto diet and whether it might help support fertility.

Read More

When you’re pregnant, of course, you’re told to limit your caffeine consumption. But what about when you’re trying to conceive? Can too much caffeine affect your chances of conception as a couple? It's a good idea to cut back—which means you need to be really clear about sneaky sources of caffeine in your diet.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re staunch advocates of supporting men's fertility health in anticipation of fatherhood. In fact, our men’s prenatal vitamin, Beli Vitality for Men, is actually our flagship product. Today, we’re diving into the obvious and unexpected benefits of prenatal vitamins for men, starting with what actually happens when you start taking them.

Read More

Forbes Health recently reviewed our men's prenatal vitamins and we love author Leigh Weingus' take: "Beli Men Vitality Multivitamins first caught my eye because while I often see supplements that claim to improve fertility outcomes for women, I rarely see the same thing for men." We hear you, Leigh! Check out the full review here and read on for some highlights.

Read More

Everyone responds to supplementation (not to mention pregnancy!) differently, which is one reason that how you feel isn’t a clue into whether or not your prenatal vitamin is actually working. Instead, you need to be confident about the prenatal vitamin itself, and there are a few things you’ll want to look for.

Read More

We’re back with our second post in our “It Starts With The Sperm” mini series on the key roles sperm plays in conception, pregnancy and baby, and this time, we’re talking DNA. When it comes to male fertility, it’s not enough to have a high sperm count and top marks for motility and morphology. Without low levels of DNA fragmentation, a man’s fertility—along with his ability to successfully conceive with a partner—is affected.

Read More

Optimal nutrition plays a pivotal role in enhancing fertility and supporting a healthy pregnancy. A diet rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats, lays the foundation for reproductive health.

Read More

Somewhere between the “let’s have a baby!” conversation and seeing those two pink lines, you’re going to end up researching prenatal vitamins. And trust us when we say you’re going to have a ton of options to wade through. Consider this your handy guide to the best prenatal vitamins for men and women in 2024.

Read More

Flying, especially these days, is rarely enjoyable. Between the long lines and the inevitable delays and the miserable airline food, it just doesn’t add up to a good time. Throw pregnancy into the mix, and well, things can get especially rough. Fortunately, a little planning goes a very long way. Read on for our four tips for air travel during pregnancy.

Read More

Turns out, you really can have too much of a good thing, and nutrient overload during pregnancy is a prime example—particularly if you add a daily prenatal vitamin to the supplements you’re already taking. Here’s why excess nutrients are problematic during pregnancy, and what you can do to keep things balanced.

Read More

The heat and humidity on these endless summer days can be hard to beat, and believe us when we say it’s even harder when you’re pregnant. The good news—you can do this! And we can help with these four not-so-obvious tips to beat the summer heat during pregnancy.

Read More

Up to 90% of pregnant women will end up with stretch marks—call it a maternity souvenir. That’s why the internet is full of creams and lotions and potions that promise to prevent these completely harmless but largely undesirable scars. By and large, stretch mark prevention products are largely anecdotal (and definitely unproven). But what about collagen?

Read More