Difference Between Prenatal Vitamins & Multivitamins

Most of us are unaware of what diet perfectly fits our bodies. Vitamins are essential in a nutrient-rich diet that will fill the gap of essential vitamins like folic acid, iodine, etc. that play an integral part in fetal development. Moreover, women are particularly unaware of the required vitamins, especially during pregnancy.

We understand many questions related to prenatal vitamins and multivitamins and how much dosage is recommended. Here, we provide a detailed breakdown of all the facts about the best vitamins for women and their role during pregnancy.

Why are vitamins essential?

Each component plays an essential role in keeping us healthy. For example, vitamins are the unsung warriors who help the body resist infections. Besides, they are critical in keeping your nerves healthy. Whereas a few vitamins assist in keeping you energised and regulate blood clots.

How to know what vitamins are necessary for the body?

Do you know the human body requires vitamin C supplements unlike animals such as dogs, whose body naturally produces vitamin C? These and other vitamins are necessary for the human body. The core aspect of knowing what vitamins are essential in assessing your diet and checking your lifestyle and health goals.

Vitamins provide to the human body fibres, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. However, it is entirely unadvisable to replace vitamins with a healthy diet. They must be taken as supplements based on the body’s health. Once you have analyzed your body’s needs, you can choose from the 13 essential vitamins, including A, C, D, E, K, and B, in which you are deficient.

On the other hand, prenatal vitamins include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B, iodine, and zinc required for the baby’s healthy development.

What are Prenatal Vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins that contain the right amount of nutrients for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant. Women fall short of many vital nutrients during pregnancy. It helps to fill the requirement of folic acid and iron in the body. Folic acid and iron are among the essential supplements during pregnancy.

  • Folic acid prevents any abnormalities in the neural tubes. Besides, it also prevents defects to the spinal cord and fetal brain. Therefore, it is recommended to intake folic acid supplements at least three months before pregnancy.
  • On the other hand, iron helps develop the fetus and placenta, which assists in maintaining the oxygen supply to the fetus.

What are Multivitamins? How does it differ from Prenatal Vitamins?

Multivitamins are supplements that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, which any individual can take for different kinds of vitamin deficiencies. Let’s check below the major differences between prenatal vitamins and multivitamins (prenatal vitamins vs multivitamins): 

Prenatal Vitamins Vs Multivitamins for Women:

Prenatal Vitamins/ Supplements


Prenatal vitamins provide essential supplements for women who are pregnant and wanting to get pregnant. Multivitamins are important vitamins which the woman may be deficient in during pregnancy.
These include folic acid, iron, iodine and DHA. These include vitamin A, C, D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, etc.
Ideally taken 3 to 6 months prior to getting pregnant. Can be taken during pregnancy based on doctor’s discretion.
Can be taken only by pregnant women or those wanting to get pregnant. Can be taken by any individual who is deficient of any particular vitamin.

When Should I Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins?

During pregnancy, the body tends to fall deficient in some essential vitamins. For example, a mother requires iron and folic acid to ensure the fetus’s proper development. So there are two points to consider when deciding to start prenatal vitamins.

These are:

  • Are you thinking of becoming pregnant?
    • Are you ready to start a family? Then you must begin your prenatal vitamin at least 3 months before conception. They are an important aspect of preconception care.
  • Are you already pregnant?
    • If you are already pregnant and not taking prenatal vitamins, then it is recommended to start the vitamins as soon as you get a positive sign of pregnancy. 

Taking Prenatal Vitamins In Pregnancy Time: Things You Forget to Do

  • The best time to take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is during breakfast or lunch to avoid acid reflux
  • Prenatal vitamins ensure women get the required amount of DHA, folic acid and omega-3 during their daily diet
  • Check with your medical practitioner about the vitamins your body is lacking. Based on the doctor’s prescriptions and take the vitamins

How vital are multivitamins during pregnancy?

  • A combination of prenatal vitamins and a healthy diet will give the baby the necessary nutrients during pregnancy
  • They promote the overall development of the baby
  • Prenatal vitamins promote the development of a baby’s bones and teeth
  • The health care provider may increase the dosage as per the circumstances.

For example, if the baby is detected with a neural tube defect, the doctor will suggest increasing the dosage of folic acid during and before the subsequent pregnancies.

How can Gynecologists help with this?

Allevia Medical Center is among the most recommended gynecology hospitals in Qatar. We have the best Gynecologists who possess the expertise and knowledge to diagnose which vitamins a woman lacks and what dosage of prenatal vitamins will do the best for you and the baby’s development. 


A lot goes into planning a pregnancy. But unfortunately, many women remain confused between multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. Herein, visiting a professional gynecologist who can coin the difference between the essential vitamins and recommends the vitamin supplements will ease your pregnancy journey. Besides, knowing about the essential vitamins and getting their questions answered by experts about the right amount of supplement will ensure a smooth pregnancy and appropriate baby development.

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