Adventures with Prenatal Vitamins


(In which I screw up my prenatal vitamin intake. Repeatedly. Because I am dumb.)

When I first got pregnant, I thought I’d be a princess and do this pregnancy “right” and order a super-healthy whole foods prenatal vitamin. I had just about settled on the Rainbow Light Just Once Prenatal, a one-a-day whole foods prenatal, when I saw this monstrosity here: Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System in a 360-count jar. I thought to myself, “Sweet, I buy one jar of this and I don’t have to buy any more for the entire pregnancy!” So I did.

And since I was going to audition for supermom this time around (yeah right), I also ordered some Rainbow Light DHA tablets.

It wasn’t until the second trimester that I actually read the label of my Rainbow Light vitamins and beheld these words, in horror: “Serving Size: 6 Tablets.” I was supposed to be taking SIX of these tablets a  day, when I’d only been taking ONE??? During the trimester when not getting 400 mcg of folic acid per day would increase your baby’s chances of getting a neural tube defect?


Also, what woman in her right mind would want to take so many freakin’ vitamins per day?

Thankfully, all was not lost. While my prenatal tablet was only giving me 167 mcg of folic acid per day, my DHA tablets had 200 mcg of folic acid in them, so I was getting 367 mcg of folic acid from supplements—not too far below the recommended 400 mcg per day. The women’s multivitamin I had been taking prior to conception definitely had 400 mcg per day, and I had been taking that for most of the previous year, so I wasn’t a total screw-up. (The amnio came back negative for neural tube defects. Whew.)

Looking at the labels for my Rainbow Lights, I saw that if I took the full 6 every day plus my DHA tablet, I’d be getting 1200 mcg of folic acid per day, and Dr. Google says that’s probably too much. So I began taking 4 Rainbow Lights plus the DHA tablet every day.

About a month ago I decided I was sick of those nasty whole foods vitamins, switched to Vitafusion Gummy Prenatal Vitamins with DHA, and stopped taking the extra DHA tablet. All was well until last week, when my CBC pointed to mild anemia. It was then that I looked carefully at my gummy vitamins label and saw that the damn things had no iron in them (!). Who in the hell makes a prenatal vitamin without iron??? Sigh.

So, I’m back to taking the Rainbow Light DHA tablets along with Target Up & Up generic prenatal one-a-day vitamins. $4 for a pack of 100, more than enough for the rest of this pregnancy. Wish I’d just quit trying to be fancy and taken these from the start. But again… I am dumb.

Also, I’m not a fan of the extra folic acid in the Rainbow Light DHA tablets, so I’m going to switch to these once my current jar runs out.

Categories: Prenatal Care | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Adventures with Prenatal Vitamins

  1. Cheri

    I got borderline anemic with my second and third pregnancies. Took a liquid iron-rich herbal supplement twice a day. I felt like a vampire because the stuff smells like blood. I am too lazy to eat healthy foods during pregnancy so I chug herbal supplements like nobody’s bizness.

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