4 Best Iron Supplements in Pregnancy

Best Iron Pregnancy Supplements | FAQ’s

Iron is one of the most important nutrients for pregnant women.

It helps to form the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, and it’s also necessary for your baby’s growth and development.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting enough iron during pregnancy, especially if you’re at high risk for iron deficiency.

In this article, we will discuss the 4 best iron supplements for pregnancy.

We will also cover who should take an iron supplement, and how to choose the best one for you.  

Too much iron can lead to side effects, so it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any iron supplement during pregnancy.

Please keep in mind supplements are lightly regulated by the FDA. Their stated claims have no guarantee. They aren’t cures or treatments for any diseases.

Food is your best source of nutrition, especially for dietary iron. Please check with your doctor before any supplement program.

Finally, you may also want a vitamin and mineral blood test to confirm your iron blood levels before making any decisions.

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If you want more helpful info on supplements – including risks and general FDA guidelines – please see our “Supplements and Vitamins – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide“.

4 Best Iron Supplements in Pregnancy

  1. Best OverallMegaFood “Blood Builder”
  2. Price & Runner-UpLife Extension “Prenatal Advantage”
  3. Best Whole Food AlternativeNew Chapter “Whole Food Multivitamin”
  4. Best BlendNatureWise “Prenatal Complete”

1 – Best Overall – MegaFood    

  • Price = $ 15.12
  • # of Servings =  30
  • Price per Serving = $ 0.5
  • Product Reviews = 4.7/5 with 153 reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = 1 tablet, can take on empty stomach 
  • Labeled Effect = Safe for menstruating women, teenage girls, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, athletes and recent blood donors, all of who are at increased risk of being low in iron 
  • Food Allergens =  very safe
  • Pros = delivers a whopping 26 mg of iron per serving, backed by science, includes other important vitamins
  • Cons = higher cost per serving

About “Blood Builder”:

A scientific article available on MegaFood’s website says:

“Safe for menstruating women, teenage girls, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, athletes & recent blood donors, all of whom are at increased risk of being low in iron.”

Blood Builder also comes with additional important ingredients for proper iron supplementation as well.

It’s important to note however that the blood builder science is most likely funded by MegaFood.

Made by “MegaFood”:

About MegaFood: MegaFood started in 1973 and is a verified B-Corporation, which means they meet higher standards for quality, transparency and sustainability. MegaFood provides tons of science, gives back to the community, and is transparent about their supply chain. According to MetaCritic, MegaFood has a 4.3/5 average rating based on 7,100 reviews.

  • Start = 1973
  • Revenue = $67 million
  • Employees = 200
  • Mission = working toward a world where everyone is truly nourished
  • Third Party Certifications = B Certification, USDA Organic Certification, Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan, Certified Kosher, 125+ Pesticide Free, Certified Gluten-Free
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.3/5 with 7,100 reviews

2 – Best Price & Runner-Up – Life Extension

  • Price = $ 21.00    
  • # of Servings =  120
  • Price per Serving = $ 0.17
  • Product Reviews = 4.7/5 with 21 reviews
  • Taste / Absorption =  easy to swallow softgels
  • Labeled Effect = supports healthy prenatal brain & eye development
  • Food Allergens = safe
  • Pros = delivers 100% daily value of vitamins A, B, C, D3, K.  Includes essential minerals like 27 mg of iron, plus zinc, copper, potassium & more
  • Cons

About “Prenatal Advantage”:

With 27 mg of iron plus 100% of lots of daily vitamins, Prenatal Advantage is an amazing supplement and a great price.

The only reason this iron supplement comes in second is because MegaFood has solid science supporting its ease of digestion.

Made by “Life Extension”:

About Life Extension: Life Extension began in 1980 and is still going 40 years later. In 2021 ConsumerLab.com voted Life Extension as #1 Rated Catalog/Internet Merchant. According to ReviewMeta.com, Life Extension’s average adjusted rating of 4.1/5 from 24, 224 verified reviews. 

  • Start = 1980
  • Revenue = $168 million
  • Employees = 500
  • Mission = Achieve your goals with the best nutritional products that science can offer
  • Third Party Certifications = GMP, Non-GMO
  • Third Party Reviews = average adjusted rating of 4.1/5 from 24,224 reviews

3 – Best Whole Food Alternative – New Chapter

  • Price = $ 68.97    
  • # of Servings =  90
  • Price per Serving = $ 0.76
  • Product Reviews = 4.7/5 with 68 reviews
  • Taste / Absorption =  three vegetarian tablets throughout the day 
  • Labeled Effect = fermented iron helps transport oxygen to growing baby, and supports the body’s increased need for iron during pregnancy.
  • Food Allergens = safe
  • Pros = 27 mg of iron, lots of other vitamins and minerals with 100% daily values
  • Cons = 3 tablets per serving is high

About “Whole Food Multivitamin”:

This is another great supplement in terms of quality!

Additionally, we like Certified B Corporations as they are held to higher standards in terms of quality, transparency, sustainability, and sourcing from a third party.

The only reason we put New Chapter third is because of the high serving size. 

3 tablets spread out throughout the day is more difficult than one.

However these oral iron supplements also have lots of vitamin C and other nutrients.

Made by “New Chapter”:

About New Chapter: Based in Vermont since 1982, New Chapter aims to revolutionize natural wellness and is a Certified B Corporation. According to ReviewMeta.com, New Chapter has a 4.2 average adjusted rating from 11,369 verified reviews. 

  • Start = 1982
  • Revenue = $61 million
  • Employees = 300
  • Mission = revolutionize natural wellness
  • Third Party Certifications = Certified B Corporation
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2 average rating from 11,369 reviews

4 – Best Blend – NatureWise

  • Price = $ 13.50   
  • # of Servings = 30
  • Price per Serving = $ 0.45
  • Product Reviews = 5.0/5 with 2 reviews
  • Taste / Absorption = No info
  • Labeled Effect = nourishes mom and baby
  • Food Allergens = safe
  • Pros = claims to include probiotics, DHA, and probiotics and to be backed by clinical research
  • Cons = we could not verify their claims, nor do they provide a nutrition label for more info; very few reviews

About “Prenatal Complete – Multivitamin and Minerals”:

NatureWise is an established, highly reputable company. 

If the claims about their product are true, we would rank Prenatal Complete higher.

However, currently there is very little transparency or information. 

For example, they don’t provide a label that you can read on their website, nor is there a way to validate their clinical research claims.

Made by “NatureWise”:

About NatureWise: Founded in 2012 in California, NatureWise aims to promote health and inspire wellbeing. According to ReviewMeta.com, NatureWise has a 4.2/5 average adjusted rating from 32,542 verified reviews.

  • Start = 2012
  • Revenue = $31 million
  • Employees = less than 25
  • Mission = promote health and inspire wellbeing
  • Third Party Certifications = Manufactured in US, 
  • Third Party Reviews = 4.2/5 average rating from 32,542 reviews

What factors do we use to rank supplements?

To determine the best iron supplement we use a variety of factors.

1 – Price: What’s the price of the supplement? What’s the cost per serving?

  • At Eating Enlightenment we value quality over price. However, all else being equal, then price comes into consideration. 

2 – Reviews: How many reviews for each product? What’s the average rating? How many third party reviews?

  • We strongly believe in third party reviews. Many supplement companies list positive reviews on their website, but third party reviews include negative comments. We always go with third party reviews.

3 – Reputation: How reputable is the brand behind the supplement? How long has the brand been around? What’s their mission? 

  • We believe that a company’s intention is highly important and should be one of your top purchasing decision factors.

4 – Taste / Absorption = What’s the taste? How quickly does your body absorb the supplement? Do reviews mention any negative side effects like an upset stomach?

5 – Perceived Therapeutic Effect = What beneficial effects or feelings does this supplement promote?

6 – Food Allergens = Does the company provide allergen info?

7 – Science / Certifications: Does the company list transparent scientific studies on their website? Do third party certifications test the company’s supplement for quality control? How many certifications does the company have?

8 – Pros/Cons: What are the pros and cons of each supplement? How is the supplement unique? For what situations is this supplement best?

When should I take iron supplements while pregnant?

If you’re pregnant, a good idea is that you should start taking iron supplements as soon as possible.

The best way to get the iron you need is through your diet.

You can find iron in food such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables. For more info on foods see below.

However, many pregnant women don’t get enough iron from their diet alone.

That’s why your doctor may recommend that you take an iron supplement during pregnancy.

Who may not benefit from iron supplements while pregnant?

If you have enough iron in your body, taking an iron supplement can actually be harmful.

While many pregnant women are deficient in iron, it’s also true that you can be pregnant and have adequate iron blood levels too!

Too much iron can lead to side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

It can also cause more serious problems such as liver damage.

That’s why it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any iron supplement during pregnancy.

Risks from iron deficiency

If you’re pregnant and don’t have enough iron in your body, it can lead to serious problems for both you and your baby.

Iron deficiency during pregnancy can cause:

  • Anemia
  • Preterm labor
  • Low birth weight
  • Postpartum depression

Thankfully, these risks can be avoided by taking an iron supplement during pregnancy. Here are 8 more iron supplements (not specific to pregnancy) you may nonetheless still want to review.

Food sources of iron

There are many iron rich foods such as:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Fortified cereals and breads

Please know that iron deficiency also makes you feel cold!

Iron dosage for pregnant women?

Are you wondering how much iron you need?

The recommended dosage of iron for pregnant women is 27 mg per day.

You can get this amount from diet alone, or by taking an iron supplement.

If you’re pregnant and have anemia, your doctor may recommend a higher dose of iron.

They may also recommend that you take an iron supplement even if you’re not deficient in iron.

This is because pregnancy can cause changes in your body that make it harder to absorb iron from food sources.

How to take iron supplements?

If you’re taking an iron supplement, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, take the supplement with food. This will help your body absorb the iron more effectively.

Second, avoid taking calcium at the same time as your iron supplement. Calcium can interfere with the absorption of iron.

Finally, don’t take antacids or acid blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet) or ranitidine (Zantac) at the same time as your iron supplement. These medications can also interfere with iron absorption.

When in doubt, always speak with your doctor before starting any new medication or supplement during pregnancy.

What is the best time of day to take iron supplements?

There is no best time of day to take iron supplements.

However, it’s generally recommended that you take them with food.

This will help your body absorb the iron more effectively.

Iron toxicity and other precautions?

Iron supplements are generally safe when taken as directed.

However, it’s possible to take too much iron. This can lead to serious side effects such as liver damage.

That’s why it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking any iron supplement during pregnancy.

They can help you determine the best dosage for you and your baby.

Can iron supplements cause constipation?

Yes, iron supplements can cause constipation.

If you’re constipated, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

You can also ask your doctor about taking a stool softener or laxative.

How soon after taking iron supplements will I feel better?

It depends.

If you’re taking an iron supplement to treat iron deficiency anemia, it may take a few weeks for your symptoms to improve.

However, if you’re taking the supplement to prevent iron deficiency anemia, you may not notice any changes for a few weeks.

In either case, it’s important to speak with your doctor about how best to take the supplement and when you can expect to see results.

Conclusion

Iron is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. It’s important for both you and your baby’s health.

If you’re pregnant and don’t have enough iron in your body, speak with your doctor about taking an iron supplement.

Iron supplements are safe for most pregnant women, but it’s always best to speak with a medical professional before starting any new medication or supplement during pregnancy. Thanks for reading this article about the best iron supplements of 2022!

I hope this article was helpful. 🙂

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