Prenatal vitamins are important during (and before) pregnancy, however, some moms-to-be rather take a gummy prenatal vitamin rather than pill form. But did you know that there is a key mineral missing from prenatal gummy vitamins that most moms may not know about?
Speaking from experience, I am now on my third pregnancy and I’ve taken prenatal gummy vitamins for all three of my pregnancies. I’m not a fan of large pills, ok maybe I just can’t swallow them (haha) so I resort to gummies and/or liquids if I have no other options.
I truly did not know that prenatal vitamins in the gummy form are missing a key mineral. It wasn’t until I felt extremely tired, out of breath, and my heart was racing/having palpitations that I then asked my doctor during my second pregnancy if that was caused by low iron since my iron levels were low.
A pharmacist had informed me that prenatal vitamin gummies do not contain iron due to the bad taste therefore, you must get iron in other ways.
Related: Prenatal gummy vitamins lack calcium. You can read more about Prenatal Vitamins with Calcium here.
Below you will find common questions moms-to-be ask in regard to iron and prenatal vitamins for pregnancy. I hope these help you as much as they helped me!
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Why do I need iron during pregnancy?
Iron is essential during pregnancy to support your baby’s developing blood supply, as well as mamas.
Having low iron can increase your risk of developing anemia which then can lead to pre-term labor and preeclampsia.
What are the symptoms of deficiency of iron?
Speaking from experience, I found out my iron was low because I couldn’t take a few steps without being out of breath and my heart racing. I’d have to either sit down or get down low (when in a store and I couldn’t sit anywhere) to get my heart to slow down.
Anemia deficiency symptoms include:
- Pale/Yellowish Skin
- Shortness of Breath
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Heart Palpatations
- Low Blood Pressure
Your body produces more blood when pregnant (almost up to 50% more!) and your heart is working overtime. Your normal heart rate can increase by 10 to 15 beats per minute during pregnancy.
It is essential we get enough iron in our diets during pregnancy to keep the baby healthy, but most important we moms too in order to continue to have a healthy pregnancy!
How often is iron checked in pregnancy?
During your first prenatal appointment, you’ll get a full blood draw checking all your vitals, including whether or not you have anemia.
Some women do not have low iron until further into their pregnancy so although your first blood draw may be perfect, your second may show a different result.
Between weeks 24 and 28, you’ll be tested for gestational diabetes and they will test your iron as well. Typically around this time, women may find their iron levels to be low, not always though!
You also may want to get tested four to six weeks after delivery as your iron may still be low. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins after the baby is born (including iron), and if you plan on breastfeeding, vitamins are important for mama!
Do gummy vitamins have iron?
Prenatal gummy vitamins do not contain iron. While most gummy prenatal vitamins contain the recommended amounts of folic acid and other required vitamins and minerals for pregnancy, there is none that have added iron.
Are gummy prenatal vitamins as effective?
Yes, prenatal vitamin gummies are as effective as pill form. Some moms-to-be may even say that gummy vitamins make them less nauseous than pill form. However, prenatal vitamin gummies do lack two important nutrients – iron and calcium.
While it is important to have iron and calcium during pregnancy, do not fear that you may need to find another way to take a prenatal vitamin other than gummy form.
There are a lot of additional sources of iron and calcium your body can consume to keep you and your baby healthy even if it isn’t coming from your prenatal vitamin.
Why is there no iron in gummy prenatal vitamins?
There are a few factors of why prenatal gummy vitamins do not contain iron. For one, it often leads to an upset stomach, and iron in vitamins makes them larger.
Have you ever smelled or tasted iron? It’s like having a metallic taste in your mouth (like pennies) and it isn’t the best. This is another reason why they do not add iron into prenatal gummy vitamins.
Can I take iron pills and prenatal vitamins?
Yes, you can take iron pills or liquid and prenatal vitamins, however, please always consult with your physician before taking any vitamins, supplements, medication, etc. during pregnancy.
From personal experience, I did not take iron until my second pregnancy and it was in liquid form. I would take it twice a day every other day. For better absorption, it is recommended to take it before meals so first this in the morning, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating.
For the second dose, I would take it later in the evening 2 hours after eating, again for better absorption, and wait 30 minutes before eating again.
Now the above may not apply to you and your physician may suggest another way, however, this is just my personal experience and what was recommended to me by my physician.
I’m also not a huge fan of medication, to be honest, so if there are other ways I can get iron rather than taking iron liquid, I would rather do that and I have!
How can I get more iron during pregnancy?
Another way of getting iron during pregnancy other than taking pills, gummies or liquid is with food.
Foods rich in iron include:
- Red Meat, Pork and Polutry
- Chia Seeds (2 tbsp)
- Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach)
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Liver (this is HUGE in iron)
Is it better to take prenatal gummies or pills?
There isn’t a better option. Prenatal gummy vitamins are a great option for moms-to-be who struggle with taking pills.
I’ve taken these prenatal vitamin gummies for all three pregnancies and have had great pregnancies and healthy babies!
How can I raise my iron levels quickly?
The fastest way to raise your iron levels quickly is to take a vitamin. If you prefer not to, you can choose iron-rich foods as listed above.
You must be consistent with eating these foods adding them to your salads, smoothies, snacks, all meals, etc.
How much iron do I need during pregnancy?
It is recommended that you have 27mg of iron a day, however, please always consult with your physician.
What trimester is iron most important?
It is recommended to take prenatal vitamins even before getting pregnant.
When it comes to iron, it is important during your whole pregnancy although the most important is the final 10 weeks of pregnancy when the baby begins to build their own iron stores to get them ready for the outside world.
As a reminder, not only do you need iron during pregnancy but you also need calcium.
Prenatal gummy vitamins lack calcium. You can read more about Prenatal Vitamins with Calcium here.
I hope these answers helped you with your questions about iron during pregnancy and taking prenatal gummy vitamins.
If you have any other questions, please post them in the comments. Or if you’ve experienced low iron during pregnancy, let other mamas know your tips and tricks!
Always consult with your healthcare provider about taking iron supplements and any other questions you may have in regard to your pregnancy.