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CostHelper > Babies & Children  > Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal Vitamins Cost


How Much Do Prenatal Vitamins Cost?

 
 average costAverage: $9 per month 
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WebMD[1] defines prenatal vitamins as specially formulated multivitamins that expectant mothers are advised to take for their own health as well as for the health of their babies. They are intended to help round out a woman's nutritional intake during pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic[2] recommends taking prenatal vitamins starting three months before conception. However, Sutter Health[3] says prenatal vitamins alone don't supply protein, fiber, minerals and energy (calories) necessary for a healthy pregnancy and should only be considered supplements, not substitutes for a healthy diet.

Typical costs:

  • Prenatal vitamins cost an average of $0.30 per day. Most are sold in bottles ranging from 90 to 300 pills.
  • Buying in bulk is typically more cost-effective. For example, a 300-pill bottle of Nature Made Multi Prenatal vitamins from Costco costs $12.49 compared to a 90-table bottle from Drugstore.com for $11.99. Buying the bigger size costs $0.04 per tablet, verses $0.13 per pill with the smaller size.
  • Generic brands also cost less than name brands. Walgreens' own brand of prenatal vitamins cost $0.08 per tablet, compared to $0.14 per tablet for the Nature Made brand it also sells.
Related articles: Baby Delivery, Ultrasound, Doula, Baby Registry, Cord Blood Banking

What should be included:
  • According to WebMD[4] , prenatal vitamins should include a minimum of vitamins A through E as well as other essential minerals. However, folic acid, iron and calcium are particularly important. The Cleveland Clinic Health Information Center[5] recommends a minimum of 800 -- 1,000 mcg (1mg) of folic acid, 30 mg of iron and 200 to 300 mg of calcium.
  • While most brands meet the minimum requirements for a prenatal vitamin, many fall a few milligrams short of the recommended allowance for iron.
Shopping for prenatal vitamins:
  • Read labels carefully, paying particular attention to the number of pills required daily. Some brands, like Complete Rainbow Light sold at Mothernature.com cost $0.17 per vitamin but require you to take 6 daily, for a cost of $1.03 per day.
  • Look for vitamins with the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)[6] seal. The USP conducts verification programs for dietary supplement ingredients and products, including independent testing and review to verify ingredient and product integrity, purity, and potency. A USP seal on a bottle of vitamins means that what is on the label is in fact in the bottle -- all the listed ingredients in the declared amount.
  • Although brand names have not been proven better than generics, Consumer Reports[7] (subscription required) warns against bargain-basement brands. Limited tests that the nonprofit group conducted in 2004 found inconsistent quality.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For medical decisions, always consult your physician for the right course for your infant or child.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
don't waste your money
Amount: $3.00 per month
Posted by: natalie in BELLEVUE, WA.Posted: February 1st, 2010 04:02PM
My doctor prescribed some vitamins that are 10 cents a pill. A friend gave me one of her $1 a pill vitamins. She took them while she was trying, never even got pregnant, and spent hundreds of dollars on these vitamins. I looked at the list of nutrients and it was pretty much the same as mine that cost 1/10th as much.

If you are taking those expensive vitamins, do what works for you, but I hope you have a good reason.
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Amount: $35.00 per month
Posted by: eikcaj231 in Dallas, TX.Posted: December 31st, 2009 09:12AM
Brand: Neevo
My doctor insists on prescription prenatals because the OTC ones are lacking in sme vital ingrediants. Is this a load of crap?
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yoesmaoll
Amount: $30.00 per month
Posted by: jme montalvo in norcross, GA.Posted: November 23rd, 2009 07:11AM
Brand: heygirl
this is s00 not accurate.....
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External Resources:
  1.  www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins
  2.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-nutrition/PR00108
  3.  www.babies.sutterhealth.org/during/preg_nutritionfaqs.html
  4.  www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins
  5.  www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/2800/2801.asp?index=9754
  6.  www.usp.org/usp-verification-services/usp-verified-dietary-supplements
  7.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm
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