Nutrition · Pregnancy

Pregnant and can’t keep your multivitamin down?

Pregnant adult taking multivitamin with glass of water

Tips to make taking a multivitamin easier!

As a dietitian who counsels pregnant moms, I often hear from clients that they can’t take a prenatal vitamin because it makes them throw up.  According to a Motherisk study, it is the size of the multivitamin that is the main reason why pregnant moms can’t keep it down.  Sometimes, it’s the iron content that makes the multivitamin hard to tolerate.

At Toronto Public Health, we recommend that pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin every day as the nutrients in the vitamin help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  So how do you do this if you’re struggling?


Try these simple tips to make it a little easier:

  • Take your multivitamin at night just before going to bed.  You may not notice any nausea when you are sleeping.
  • Take your multivitamin on a full stomach, after eating.  You may notice that your nausea is better with a full stomach.
  • Try cutting your multivitamin in half.  Take one half in the morning and the other at night.  (Unlike other medications, multivitamins can be cut or crushed to make them easier to take).  Or look for a brand of vitamin that requires you to take two smaller pills in a day rather than one large one.
  • Try taking a children’s chewable vitamin.  Some have a lower dose of iron (or no iron) and may be better tolerated.  However, when you are able to tolerate your vitamins, switch to a vitamin that has iron in it.
  • Crush your multivitamin and mix it with a strong flavoured food or drink. Try peanut butter or fruit jam.  The strong flavour of the food or drink should help mask the medicine taste of the vitamin.

Spoon, knife, jam, peanut butter, and pill on chopping board

  • Talk to your doctor, midwife or dietitian about taking your multivitamin in smaller or separate doses.  She may advise you to try separate pills for folic acid, iron and calcium.

Have more questions about taking your multivitamin in pregnancy?  Chat with a Registered Dietitian at Toronto Public Health (416) 338-7600.

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