2024 Reviews

Needed vs. Nature Made

My Personal Take on the Best Prenatal Vitamins

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In our review

The Bottom Line

Trying for parenthood is an exciting milestone, but comes along with many new health considerations. Before and during pregnancy, your body’s nutritional needs change dramatically, and a prenatal vitamin can ensure you check every box. But, don’t go for just any prenatal on the drugstore shelf; look for one with an optimized nutrient profile, third-party testing, and an easy-to-take formula. 

Needed and Nature Made both offer prenatal vitamins formulated to protect you and your baby’s health during pregnancy. After trying both, we found that Needed is the best choice for traceable, comprehensive ingredients at optimal dosages, while Nature Made is an affordable and easy-to-take prenatal.

A word from our expert


- Dr. Stephanie Hanchuk
Resident Physician at Yale New Haven Health

The ingredients in Needed and Nature Made are all backed by robust scientific research

Needed Fertility Support Plan

4.9 / 5 stars

  • Prenatal Multi
  • Omega-3
  • Pre/Probiotic
  • Collagen Protein
  • Egg Quality Support
  • CoQ10

Needed v. NatureMade

Our side-by-side comparison of Needed and Nature Made highlights key differences to help you select the best prenatal vitamin for you. The comparison chart shows key factors like nutrient diversity, price, and ease of use. Needed stands out for its extensive range of 26 nutrients, including choline, that support you from pre-pregnancy to postnatal. Nature Made’s strengths include affordability without compromising on key nutrients, including DHA, and a convenient serving size of just one softgel daily. Take a quick look at these pros and cons to determine which prenatal aligns with your nutritional needs and budget. 

Ingredient Comparison

Needed Prenatal Multi Capsules and Nature Made Multivitamin Folic Acid + DHA Softgels share many key ingredients. Let’s compare them directly, then go over the ingredients that differ between these prenatal vitamins.

Monthly Cost$53.99$24.29
Number of nutrients2620
Contains folate?✅ 918 mcg✅ 1330 mcg
Contains choline?✅ 400 mg
Contains DHA?✅ 200 mg
Serving size8 pills daily1 softgel daily
Formulation optionsPowder or capsulesSoftgels or gummies
Non-GMO + Allergen-friendly❌ Contains soy
AvailabilityOnlineOnline and in-stores
3rd party tested
Nutrient FormsBioavailable forms like methylated folateBioavailable forms like methylated folate
Flavor OptionsVanilla flavored powderMixed berry gummies

Needed Prenatal Multi Capsules and Nature Made Multivitamin Folic Acid + DHA Softgels share many key ingredients. Let’s compare them directly, then go over the ingredients that differ between these prenatal vitamins

  • Vitamin A: Needed’s prenatal contains 1,500 mcg of vitamin A, while Nature Made’s contains 770 mcg. The CDC recommends a maximum of 8,000 IU (2,400mcg) of vitamin A daily during pregnancy, making Needed a better pick for this nutrient. Vitamin A is essential for development, eye health, and immune support in pregnancy.    
  • Vitamin C: Needed offers 300 mg of vitamin C, while Nature Made offers 85 mcg – lower than the recommended dosage of 200 mg/d during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamin C may lower the risk of some birth defects and promote fetal growth
  • Vitamin D: Needed’s prenatals offer 4,000 IU of vitamin D, while Nature Made offers 25mcg (1,000 IU) of vitamin D3. Vitamin D supplementation may lower the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, with a recommended minimum dosage of 600 IU daily. 
  • Vitamin E: Needed offers 30 mg of vitamin E, while Nature Made offers 15 mg – less than the recommended daily amount of 22 to 30 mg in pregnancy. Vitamin E supplementation in pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and other complications. 
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): Needed’s prenatal offers 5 mg of thiamin and Nature Made’s prenatal offers 1.4mg, which is the recommended daily amount in pregnancy. Thiamine supplementation in pregnancy promotes healthy fetal growth and development. 
  • Riboflavin: Needed offers 20 mg of riboflavin, while Nature Made offers 1.4mg in its prenatal. 20mg is considered a high dose and may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus
  • Niacin: Needed’s prenatal contains 25 mg of niacin, while Nature Made contains 18 mg of niacin. Niacin may help prevent certain birth defects at a dose of 10 to 20 mg daily. 
  • Vitamin B6: Needed offers 40 mg of vitamin B6, while Nature Made offers 1.9mg. At a dose of 10 to 25mg, 3 times daily, vitamin B6 can help with nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy. 
  • Ascorbyl palmitate: Ascorbyl palmitate is an inactive ingredient in both Needed and Nature Made’s prenatals. It’s a highly bioavailable form of vitamin C. 
  • Biotin: Needed’s prenatal contains 350 mcg of biotin, while Nature Made’s prenatal contains 30 mcg. Biotin supplementation may support fetal growth and development, with a recommended dose of 30 mcg daily in pregnancy.
  • Pantothenic Acid: Needed offers 150 mg of pantothenic acid, and Nature Made offers 6 mg. Pantothenic acid supports hormone and energy production, with a recommended dose of 6 mg in pregnancy. 
  • Vitamin K: Both Needed and Nature Made’s prenatals contain 90 mcg of vitamin K, which is essential for bone development and blood clotting in pregnancy. 
  • Calcium: Needed’s prenatal contains 200 mg of calcium, while Nature Made’s contains 150 mg. Calcium supplementation in pregnancy supports bone mineral density, promotes teeth firmness for the baby, and may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia.
  • Iodine: Needed offers 290 mcg of iodine, while Nature Made offers 150 mcg in its prenatal. The WHO recommends 250 mcg of iodine daily in pregnancy to support healthy fetal development and prevent complications. 
  • Magnesium: Needed’s prenatal contains 200 mg of magnesium, while Nature Made’s prenatal contains 45 mg. 100 to 400 mg doses of magnesium in pregnancy may help prevent complications and manage blood pressure.
  • Zinc: Needed offers 25 mg of zinc, while Nature Made offers 11 mg. Zinc supplementation in pregnancy helps prevent preterm birth and maternal infections.
  • DFE Folate: Needed’s prenatal contains 918 mcg of DFE folate, while Nature Made’s prenatal contains 1,330 mcg. The recommended dosage in pregnancy is 600 mcg to prevent neural tube defects

Needed Prenatal Vitamins contain the following ingredients not found in Nature Made’s prenatal:

  • Choline Bitartrate (400 mg), a key nutrient for neural tube and brain development that also helps transport omega-3 DHA from the mother to the baby
  • Selenium (200 mcg), a mineral that supports fertility, conception, and fetal neurological development
  • Copper (1 mg), a mineral that supports fetal growth and cognitive development
  • Manganese (5 mg), a mineral that lowers pre-eclampsia risk and promotes healthy birth weight
  • Chromium (120 mcg), a mineral that supports glucose homeostasis in the mother and baby
  • Molybdenum (100 mcg), a mineral that promotes glucose homeostasis
  • Potassium (100mg), a mineral that helps with leg cramps in pregnancy and balances levels of fluids and electrolytes
  • Zeaxanthin (1.2 mg) and lutein (6 mg) are carotenoids with antioxidant properties that promote cognitive development and behavior regulation in the growing baby.

 

Needed’s prenatals also contain a vegetable capsule (modified cellulose) and l-leucine as inactive ingredients. 

Overall, Needed offers a significantly broader range of nutrients than Nature Made with clinically proven benefits before and during pregnancy, including support for fetal growth and cognitive development. Most notably, Nature Made’s prenatal lacks choline, an essential prenatal nutrient, which Needed offers in an optimized dosage. 

Nature Made prenatal vitamins contain:

Note that Needed excludes iron from its prenatal vitamins because it can interfere with other nutrients’ absorption. For example, to ensure optimal absorption, calcium and iron should be taken at least 2 hours apart, as calcium can significantly reduce iron absorption in the small intestine. However, Nature Made includes both of these nutrients in a single softgel. 

Additionally, Needed offers an omega-3 DHA prenatal separately, as fish oil can compromise the stability of other ingredients when combined in a single capsule. 

Nature Made’s prenatals contain the following inactive ingredients not found in Needed’s prenatal:

  • Gelatin
  • Glycerin
  • Lecithin
  • Soybean oil
  • Dibasic calcium phosphate
  • Yellow beeswax
  • Tocopherols
  • Resin

With soybean oil as an inactive ingredient, Nature Made’s prenatal isn’t an option for individuals with a soy allergy. 

Needed recommends taking its prenatal with food. The dosage is 8 capsules daily, but you can split the dose between meals. Needed also suggests starting with 2 capsules daily and gradually building up to the complete dose. 

Since it doesn’t contain fish oil, Needed’ prenatal capsules won’t cause fishy burps. But, if you struggle with taking pills, you can opt for Needed’s prenatal powder. It’s vanilla-flavored and can be conveniently mixed into smoothies, hot drinks, yogurt, or oatmeal. Just make sure to have the powder with a more substantial meal than nut milk or water alone. 

Nature Made only requires you to take one softgel daily, with a meal. It contains fish oil, so it may cause fishy burps. If you struggle with the taste, you can opt for Nature Made’s fruit-flavored prenatal gummies. Keep in mind that the gummies contain sugar, glucose syrup, and added colors, so they’re not ideal for individuals looking to avoid added sugars. Alternatively, Needed’s prenatal powder is sweetened with monk fruit extract and apple and carrot juice concentrate. 

Useage Comparison

Needed recommends taking its prenatal with food. The dosage is 8 capsules daily, but you can split the dose between meals. Needed also suggests starting with 2 capsules daily and gradually building up to the complete dose. 

Since it doesn’t contain fish oil, Needed’ prenatal capsules won’t cause fishy burps. But, if you struggle with taking pills, you can opt for Needed’s prenatal powder. It’s vanilla-flavored and can be conveniently mixed into smoothies, hot drinks, yogurt, or oatmeal. Just make sure to have the powder with a more substantial meal than nut milk or water alone. 

Nature Made only requires you to take one softgel daily, with a meal. It contains fish oil, so it may cause fishy burps. If you struggle with the taste, you can opt for Nature Made’s fruit-flavored prenatal gummies. Keep in mind that the gummies contain sugar, glucose syrup, and added colors, so they’re not ideal for individuals looking to avoid added sugars. Alternatively, Needed’s prenatal powder is sweetened with monk fruit extract and apple and carrot juice concentrate. 

With a serving size of just one softgel daily and a fruity gummy alternative, Nature Made’s prenatal is our ease-of-use winner.

Quality and Safety Comparison

Since the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, thoroughly researching prenatal vitamins’ safety is paramount. We dove into Needed and Nature Made’s quality and safety standards to help you find the best prenatal for you. 

Third-party testingYes, for nutritional content, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, microbes, allergens, and other contaminants
Yes, by United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and USP Verified
Manufacturing complianceYes, FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs)
Yes, suppliers follow FDA’s cGMP and must provide a Certificate of Analysis
VegetarianYesNot specified
Non-GMOYesNot specified
Free of glutenYesYes
Free of dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, nuts, wheat, soyYesNot specified
Free of artificial flavors and colorsYesYes
Free of unsustainably sourced ingredientsYes, like vegan DHANot specified
Packaging30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plasticNot specified

My Experience

Omega-3s are essential for egg quality and healthy fetal brain development. Needed omits omega-3s from its Prenatal Multi because they’re not shelf stable when combined with other ingredients. So, the fact that Needed offers a separate omega-3 supplement is a major perk. I like that they allow you to personalize your plan by choosing omega-3s from sustainably sourced fish oil or vegan microalgae. 

With no dietary restrictions on my end, I opted for the fish oil. I loved that the supplements have no fishy smell or aftertaste, which has been a deal-breaker with other fish oil supplements I’ve taken. 

Potential Side Effects

While uncommon, the following side effects are possible while taking prenatal vitamins:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in stool color

Why We Love Needed Prenatal Powder

Needed Prenatal Multi Powder

4.8 / 5 stars

  • Formulated by top fertility doctors
  • “Pre” prenatal for thinking or trying
  • Prenatal vitamin, CoQ10, DHA + EPA and folate
  • No nausea formula with delayed release capsule technology

I love that Needed Prenatal Powder is a convenient alternative to Needed’s Multi Capsules for pill fatigue. Sometimes, especially during pregnancy, taking multiple pills is a feat. With the same 26-nutrient formula as Needed’s capsules in a vanilla-flavored powder that blends seamlessly into drinks, oatmeal, and yogurt, the Prenatal Powder is an accessible option for those of us who struggle to swallow pills. 

I also appreciate that Needed Prenatal Powder is sweetened with monk fruit extract, keeping it free of added sugars.

A word from our expert


- Dr. Stephanie Hanchuk
Resident Physician at Yale New Haven Health

Needed's Fertility Support Plan conception pack is well-suited to all women pursuing natural conception. Older women with higher-risk pregnancies, as well as those under the care of an infertility specialist, should speak with their medical care team before beginning any supplements.

Needed - My experience

While making my first purchase of Needed’s prenatals, I found the price to be a bit steep at $53.99 for a one-month supply. However, I soon realized that the supplements’ comprehensive nutrient coverage and quality standards made them well worth the investment. 

The standout feature of Needed’s prenatal was its extensive range of vitamins, minerals, and botanicals. The vitamin includes hard-to-find nutrients in optimized dosages, including choline, folate, vitamin D3, and vitamin B12. Needed also uses nutrient forms that the body can absorb easily, like methylated B12 and folate, which gave me confidence in the prenatal’s effectiveness. 

Convenience is huge for me, so I love that Needed uses effective dosages for all perinatal stages, ensuring complete, continuous nutrition. This spares me from purchasing different vitamins from planning through pregnancy and postpartum, simplifying my routine during an already hectic time.

Speaking of convenience, I like that Needed’s vitamins are in capsule form, so I can take them seamlessly with meals on busy days. But, on days when pill fatigue took over, I appreciated the vanilla-flavored powder, which easily mixed into smoothies. 

I appreciate that every batch of Needed is third-party tested for safety and quality in the U.S. This, plus the brand’s rigorous testing for contaminants like heavy metals and allergens, gave me peace of mind about the product’s safety. 

It’s important to note that Needed prenatals don’t contain omega-3 DHA or iron. This is because DHA can compromise supplement stability, while iron can affect other nutrients’ absorption. Needed offers these prenatal supplements separately, giving me the freedom to tailor my vitamin routine and ensure I’m not consuming too much iron, which can be harmful. 

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Available in vanilla-flavored powder form
  • Contains 26 optimized nutrients
  • Made with traceable ingredients
  • Third-party tested for safety and nutritional value

CONS

  • More expensive than other available prenatals

Nature Made - My experience

The standout benefit of Nature Made’s prenatals is affordability. At just $24.29 for a one-month supply, it’s a good option for many different budgets. I also love that this prenatal’s serving size is just one daily softgel, which packs in 19 key nutrients, including folic acid, DHA, and vitamins A, C, and D. 

Including DHA in this daily softgel is a great feature, as DHA is particularly beneficial for fetal brain and eye development. The comprehensive mix of other vitamins and minerals supports my overall health throughout the prenatal stages. I also appreciate that these prenatals are free of gluten and artificial flavors. 

I found one daily softgel to be easy to swallow – a major perk during pregnancy, when nausea can creep up quickly. Unfortunately, I noticed a very pungent fishy smell and taste with the softgels, which seems to be a common observation among most users. While this is likely due to the DHA from fish oil, it can be offputting in your supplement routine, and you may want to consider the fruity gummy formulation as an alternative. 

Another factor I had to adjust for is the absence of choline in these softgels. Choline provides essential support for fetal brain development, so I had to find it in another supplement. 

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Affordable at just $24.29 per month
  • Includes DHA, folate, and a blend of vitamins to support the mother and baby’s health
  • Just 1 softgel daily is required to get the full dose

CONS

  • Contains soy and animal products
  • Doesn’t contain choline
A word from our expert


- Dr. Stephanie Hanchuk
Resident Physician at Yale New Haven Health

In general, Needed's support plan provide a good source of anti-oxidants and nutrients that may play a small, but significant role in improving a woman's chance of conception. There really is minimal risk for patients with potential for maximum reward - a healthy pregnancy!

The Verdict

Needed and Nature Made prenatals are both high-quality supplements, but offer distinct benefits and drawbacks. 

If you’re seeking a dense nutrient profile with optimized dosages for all prenatal stages, Needed is for you. With 26 different vitamins, minerals, and botanicals, Needed provides comprehensive nutritional support before and during pregnancy. While 8 daily capsules is a lot to swallow, you can always opt for the vanilla-flavored prenatal powder. 

Nature Made offers a more affordable prenatal vitamin at $24.29 per month. It provides a good range of nutrients, including DHA and folate, in a single daily softgel, although we’d recommend seeking out a separate choline supplement for complete nutritional support. While Nature Made’s prenatal isn’t suitable for people with a soy allergy or those following a vegetarian diet, it’s a cost-effective, easy-to-take prenatal option. 

FAQs

We answer some frequently asked questions

When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you should start taking prenatal vitamins at least one month before trying to conceive.

You should continue taking prenatal vitamins after delivery, throughout the breastfeeding period.

You can take the same prenatal vitamin throughout your entire pregnancy if it fulfills your nutritional needs and your physician deems it safe for you.

If prenatal vitamins make you feel sick, try eating a snack or meal before taking them. You can also change when you take the vitamin, such as in the evening instead of the morning.