I have some strong thoughts on prenatal vitamins. As a female nutritionist and someone who's struggled with PCOS, I know there's zero wiggle room for skipping prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. The hard truth that many women discover is that it's easy to fall short on essential vitamins and nutrients that are vital for both maternal health and proper fetal development when relying on diet alone.
What makes prenatal vitamins so important? Folic acid in prenatal vitamins helps to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) that lead to abnormalities in the fetal brain and spinal cord. Next, iron helps to support both fetal and placental development. Getting enough iron ensures that your body will have the blood supply needed to provide the baby with adequate oxygen. Proper oxygen levels are also essential for preventing anemia during pregnancy. This is just a small sample of the ways that prenatal vitamins help to create safe, healthy pregnancies.
In my work as a nutritionist, I don't limit my recommendation to take a prenatal vitamin to clients who are already pregnant. I generally recommend that all women of childbearing age take prenatal vitamins. I strongly recommend taking a prenatal vitamin for anyone who is actively trying to get pregnant. As always, though, you'll want to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement.
Let's go back to the folic acid in prenatal vitamins that I just mentioned. Neural tube defects actually occur in the earliest stages of pregnancy. This is why it's advised that women begin taking extra folic acid at least three months before becoming pregnant.
This brings us to the question of which prenatal vitamin a woman should be taking. It's so important to make sure that you're getting a complete formula. Prenatal vitamins from Ritual and Perelel Health are extremely popular among expectant mothers right now. After discovering that many women are relying on these vitamins to provide everything they need for good prenatal health, I felt compelled to investigate them.
Ritual and Perelel are two ELITE brands in the women's supplement industry, mainly because they use clean ingredients and really focus on helping women live healthier, which is what we're all about here at FHR.
Head-to-Head Comparison of Perelel Vs. Ritual Prenatal Vitamins
Vitamin pack (2 core prenatal vitamins, 1 omega capsule, 1 CoQ10 capsule, 1 Folate capsule)
2 Capsules per serving
Antioxidants, added omegas, folate
12 key nutrients for before and during pregnancy
No essenced capsules
Citrus or min essenced capsules
Overview of Ritual Prenatal Vitamins
The Ritual Essential for Women Prenatal Multivitamin offers 12 key nutrients to support health before and during pregnancy. This formula checks all the boxes for women looking for a single vitamin that supports healthy fetal development. It's designed to support neural tube health, brain health, and bone health. I personally love that all 12 ingredients are certified as Made Traceable® to ensure full visibility regarding what you're putting in your body.
Ritual's prenatal vitamins come as delayed-release capsules that dissolve in the small intestine for optimal nutrient absorption. They are enhanced with either mint or lemon essence to create a delicious, refreshing experience. The 12 traceable ingredients in this vitamin are:
- Omega-3 DHA.
- Vitamin B12.
- Vitamin D.
- Vitamin E.
- Vitamin K.
One quick note I'll add about the folate in Ritual's prenatal vitamin is that it's actually methylated folate delivered as 5-MTHF. This is viewed as the best form of folate for supporting folate adequacy because it's an active form of folate.
Another thing I want to add is that you can see from the ingredient list I posted above that Ritual is one of the prenatal vitamins on the market offering DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is a fatty acid that's considered important for a baby's brain, eye, and nerve development. It's also been shown to help prevent preterm labor. While DHA wasn't commonly used in prenatal vitamins until a few years ago, the consensus guidelines today recommend that pregnant women consume at least 200 milligrams of DHA per day. Ritual's prenatal vitamin has 350 milligrams of DHA.
- Made with 100% traceable ingredients.
- Ultra-clean formula.
- Eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement.
- Refreshing mint or citrus essence.
- Contains DHA.
- Contains 12 essential vitamins and minerals for pregnant women.
- Uses active folate for optimal neural tube support.
- Delayed-release capsule design enables optimal absorption in the intestine. That means you're not paying for fancy vitamins your body can barely use!
- Non-GMO, gluten-free, allergen-free, and vegan formula.
- While this formula is complete, it's very basic.
- No anti-nausea support.
Price, Purchasing, and Coupon Codes
Ritual Essential for Women Prenatal Multivitamin costs $39 for a 30-day supply. Shipping is always free when you sign up for recurring orders. Subscription customers also qualify for bundles that allow them to get $15 off when ordering other products.
Coupon Code: TAMI
Overview of Perelel Prenatal Vitamins
Perelel offers a complete prenatal system that brings you through the first trimester, second trimester, third trimester, and early motherhood/postpartum period. You can even choose preconception packs designed to help you increase your chances for healthy conception.
I'll admit that the system can be a little complicated. However, Perelel walks you through the process of finding the right pack for whatever phase you're in right now.
Your subscription automatically updates based on your due date as you progress in your pregnancy to ensure that you don't have to remember to update your order (this is very unique!). I'll focus my review on the First Trimester Pack because the packs for the second and third trimesters don't deviate much. Perelel simply tweaks its "extras" slightly to meet the changing nutritional needs that occur as you get closer to your due date. You'll see what I mean in a minute!
Each First Trimester Pack contains two core prenatal vitamins, one DHA/EPA/choline capsule, one folate capsule, one B6 + ginger capsule, one calcium/magnesium capsule, and one probiotic capsule. The extra folate and B6 + ginger aren't included beyond the First Trimester Pack because Perelel assumes that the need for extra folate and anti-nausea support have faded by then. The probiotic capsules are skipped in the Second Trimester Pack.
Perelel's core vitamin capsules contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, chromium, vitamin K, and boron. The DHA/fatty acids capsules meet the current recommendation by offering 250 milligrams of DHA.
- Robust formulation that covers every potential vitamin and mineral a pregnant could need.
- Your vitamin packs adjust as your pregnancy progresses to ensure you're getting the right formulation.
- Designed to promote healthy digestion and reduced nausea.
- Gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO formula.
- Uses third-party testing.
- No colorants or fillers.
- Packs are ready to go with all the vitamins you need for that day!
- Eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement.
- Price is a bit high.
- Requirements for some of the vitamins and minerals included might be achievable through diet alone.
- You're committing to taking five pills daily during the first trimester.
Price, Purchasing, and Coupon Codes
A 30-day supply of packs costs $58.24. However, the price drops to $49.50 per month when you subscribe to have your new vitamins shipped every 30 days. Shipping is free. You can also cancel a subscription at any time.
Comparing Pricing and Value
When you subscribe for your Perelel prenatal packets to get the $49 price, you're paying around $10 more compared to Ritual. I think that's pretty reasonable considering how much more "complete" the Perelel formula is compared to the Ritual formula. That doesn't mean that I think Ritual's prenatal vitamins are incomplete. In fact, Ritual offers exactly what pregnant women need. However, Perelel goes above and beyond. The price will essentially even out if you need to purchase additional anti-nausea supplements or probiotics in order to tackle digestive issues during your first trimester using Ritual.
As I touched on above, Perelel's formula is more advanced than Ritual's formula. While both do enough, Perelel includes extra vitamins and minerals designed to help women enjoy a more energetic pregnancy. The packet method also cuts down on the need to "think" about what you need to take in the morning before starting your day.
While ginger, probiotics, and some of the other ingredients offered in the Perelel packets are by no means necessary in a prenatal vitamin, they may be important to some women who simply want to check every box using a single packet system. If DHA is a priority, it is helpful to know that Ritual actually contains a higher amount of DHA compared to Perelel.
Comparing What Women Are Saying After Actually Taking the Vitamins
I spent a lot of time looking at reviews from women who took these prenatal vitamins. My overall impression is that women had really great experiences with both. I did notice that several women shared that their doctors were really impressed by Perelel's formulation when they ran their choice by them. There also seemed to be a consensus that women appreciated the lack of fishy odor with these capsules. Customers also appreciated that the packets made it easy to take everything they needed in a single serving without the need to divvy up different pill bottles. I also noticed that many women were excited by how much energy they had while taking these prenatal vitamins.
Ritual actually has many more reviews compared to Perelel. The overall theme I noticed was relief over finally finding a prenatal vitamin that was easy to take, easy to tolerate, and easy to digest. Many women commented that they appreciated how easy Ritual capsules are easy to digest with zero "fishy burps." Something that surprised me in a good way was the number of women who shared that they like taking these vitamins even though they are not currently pregnant.
Main Differences Between Perelel and Ritual Prenatal Vitamins
Both of these prenatal vitamins satisfy all of the core needs of expectant mothers! They both cover needs for folate, DHA, and all essential vitamins and minerals just beautifully. I also like that they both emphasize high-quality ingredients designed for maximum bioavailability to ensure that you're truly giving your baby the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development instead of just checking off boxes.
The main difference between Ritual and Perelel is that Perelel has a fancier formulation that's focused on supporting women through first-trimester nausea and digestion issues. This is where the ginger and probiotic capsules come into play. Perelel also uses a trimester-based packet system that tweaks the formulation slightly based on how many weeks along you are. While this is nice, I wouldn't call it necessary. The last difference is that Ritual goes a little heavier on DHA compared to Perelel.
Which Is the Better Prenatal Vitamin: Ritual or Perelel Health?
I think you'll be just fine if you want to save a little money by going with Ritual. However, upgrading to Perelel could be good if you're worried about nausea and energy levels during pregnancy. It's nice to have all of the capsules you might need to conquer fatigue in nausea in one place instead of having to source your own when you're taking an "ordinary" prenatal vitamin. However, I'm sure some women may find that Perelel simply offers a little more than they actually need. The nice thing about Ritual is that you're getting your full dose of DHA without the need to actually take an extra capsule the way you do have to with Perelel. While Perelel capsules are generally very easy to swallow, you'll have to swallow five pills daily during the first trimester if you go with this option instead of Ritual's two-capsule system.
Closing Remarks: My Honest Thoughts
Ritual represents the classic prenatal vitamin. However, it has the added benefit of including DHA. Perelel represents a prenatal system that offers a slightly bigger assortment of vitamins and minerals. The only thing you really have to know is that both satisfy the daily recommended requirements for pregnant women.
While I can vet both of these products as a nutritionist, I can't tell you which one is a better choice for you. I recommend running any prenatal vitamin by your doctor to ensure that you're getting a proper formulation for your specific health needs. I suspect you'll get an enthusiastic nod from your doctor for either product!
Visit Ritual here and use code TAMI
Visit Perelel Health here and use code FITHEALTHYMOMMA15
You can't go wrong with either Ritual or Perelel for prenatal vitamins, as both brands are elite in the supplement industry.