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Prenatal Vitamins: Calcium & Iron

Calcium and Iron

Let’s start with looking at 2 key minerals found in most supplements.


Calcium is a nutrient that can only be obtained from foods or supplements. They body does not have a process that produces calcium on its own. Calcium is important for development of the baby’s bones and teeth, as well as other vital functions in the body. Calcium is most important starting at the end of the 1st trimester, when the baby’s bones begin to strengthen.

Food Sources

Top food sources of calcium are dairy products, including cheese, milk, and yogurt.

Top vegan food sources of calcium are fortified non-dairy milk and juices, calcium set tofu, and green leafy vegetables (such as collard greens and kale).


All values are based on daily serving size.

Thorne 180 mg
SmartyPants 0
Kirkland 250 mg
VitaFusion 0
NatureMade 150 mg
Metagenics 400 mg
Klaire 100 mg

Needed for pregnancy – 1000 mg

Our Take: Metagenics Wellness Essentials has the most calcium/serving. If you are not consuming a lot of dairy products, a higher amount of calcium will be needed to make up for that difference. Looking at the gummy vitamins, they contain no calcium, so additional supplementation would be recommended if you take the gummy vitamins.



Iron is a nutrient needed to help the body make red blood cells. Iron in blood helps carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs. More iron is needed during pregnancy to help the body create more blood to supply oxygen to the baby. Anemia is an iron-deficiency and can be very dangerous to the mother and baby. Complications of anemia during pregnancy include preterm delivery and low-birth-weight.

Food Sources

Top food sources of iron are red meat, poultry, and fish.

Top vegan food sources of iron include raisins, kidney beans, soybeans, and lentils.


All values are based on daily serving size.

Thorne 45 mg
SmartyPants 0
Kirkland 27 mg
VitaFusion 0
NatureMade 27 mg
Metagenics 30 mg
Klaire 27 mg

Needed during pregnancy – 27 mg

Our Take: Needing only 27 mg of iron for pregnancy, the body will simply not absorb more if it is not needed. This can generally be seen as a change in stool color. 45mg of iron in Thorne’s prenatal may be a waste. Generally, any capsule prenatal will supply enough iron. However, gummy vitamins do not contain any iron, so additional supplementation would be needed with those.

The next post will discuss a very important vitamin, folate.

These blogs will be posted on Tuesday & Friday throughout the month of July. Click here to subscribe so you don’t miss a post!

Click here to read the first blog of the series: Why should I take a prenatal?

Click here to read the second blog: Prenatal Vitamins: Overview

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