Clean, vegan formulation
Ritual Essential Prenatal
Our (pregnant!) editor has been taking Ritual Essential Prenatal since February 2020. She received a free trial courtesy of the brand but now purchases her own on a monthly subscription model. Keep scrolling for her full review.
Swallowing pills may come easy to some, but I can't say I'm one of those people. For years, I was the girl crushing up antibiotics and other clunky tablets into water (yes, I know you're not supposed to—don't at me) just to get them down my throat, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I've gotten a wee bit better at it over time, but on the whole, I still avoid horse pills whenever possible.
When it came time to start thinking about taking a prenatal vitamin, I was nervous about it, naturally. Unlike a two-week antibiotic, a prenatal vitamin is taken every single day—before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and even after pregnancy if your doctor recommends it—which equates to many, many months. More importantly, I worried about finding a prenatal that would meet both my baby's needs and my own with clean, high-quality, and trustworthy ingredients. After reading great reviews about Ritual Essential Prenatal, I welcomed giving it a try myself before getting pregnant earlier this year. Well, let's just say I haven't looked back since—and neither have a handful of other women, considering it had a 20,000-person waitlist for over a month.
Best for: Anyone who's pregnant or looking to start their pregnancy journey
Uses: Providing nutrients to body and baby
Price: $35 per month
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the brand: Ritual is a next-generation vitamin brand with products that boast transparent ingredients backed by science.
The Ingredients: Backed by science
With a waitlist like that, you might be wondering what's so special about this particular prenatal vitamin. Well, it's more than just one thing but let's start with the ingredients. There are 12 total—folate, vitamin D3, iron, choline, omega-3 DHA, and more—and they were all chosen purposefully by the brand's in-house science team who reviewed thousands of independent research studies, according to Katerina Schneider, the brand's CEO and Founder.
"Folate is crucial during pregnancy to help support neural tube development, but up to one-third of women have a genetic variation that makes it difficult to properly utilize certain forms of Folate," Schneider says. "We opted for Methylated Folate, a bioavailable form that all women can feel confident taking to support their Folate nutrient needs before and during pregnancy."
This type of attention to detail is why it took three years to formulate Essential Prenatal, and the formulation is continuously updated as new research surfaces. And if you're curious about the benefits of each ingredient and why it made the cut, you can read all about it on the product page. You can even find out where in the world each ingredient is sourced from, whether that's Canada, Norway, Italy, or somewhere in the U.S. Bonus points for transparency.
Lastly, I'm so happy that these prenatal vitamins are vegan. As someone with dietary restrictions, it's one of the first things I look for in any supplement or vitamin. It's also one of the reasons why most gummy vitamins don't work for me. They're also gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of artificial colorants and synthetic fillers.
The Scent: Citrus (and surprisingly addicting)
You wouldn't expect a prenatal vitamin to have a noteworthy scent, but be sure to take a good whiff of Essential Prenatal every time you open the bottle.
It has an addicting citrus scent that one, I'm obsessed with and two, was also purposefully chosen (surprise, surprise).
"Having been pregnant three times, I know all too well that it’s crucial to have a prenatal multivitamin that is an enjoyable experience that you can turn into a daily Ritual," Schneider says. "Scent and taste can play a major part in that, so we added a lemon-essenced tab to each bottle. We opted for lemon as opposed to the mint that is in the rest of our multivitamins because we know that many women may crave citrus during their pregnancy."
The Value: The price is right
Priced at $35 per bottle, each one contains 60 capsules. That's a 30-day supply, which breaks down to $1.20 per day. Sure there are cheaper prenatal vitamins out there, but I find this to be a fair price.
Since it's a subscription model, you don't have to think twice about running low or being without your vitamins.
They'll simply arrive at your doorstep when you need them. If you need to push back your delivery date, you can easily do so online. There's also an option to pause your subscription and cancel it at any time.
Ritual Essential Prenatal has eased my prenatal vitamin fears, giving me one less thing to worry about. I trust the brand's research and fully appreciate how open it is about its nutrients, research, sourcing, and more. When you're so hyper-aware of everything going into your body during pregnancy, it helps to have this information readily available to explore.
I'm also happy to report that while there are two capsules to take daily, they're not oversized and are incredibly easy to swallow. Also important: I've experienced no nausea whatsoever. I've been taking Essential Prenatal for almost seven months now and have not had any issues, even during my bouts of morning sickness. Any pregnant person will tell you that this is a major win since so many prenatal vitamins out there can exacerbate symptoms.
TL;DR: I'm so happy to have Ritual Essential Prenatal in my corner during this pregnancy. They're worth the wait, worth the hype, worth everything.
- Product Name Essential Prenatal
- Product Brand Ritual
- Price $35
- Count 60 capsules
- Ingredients Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) [from Lichen (whole plant)], Vitamin E (as alpha tocopherol from mixed tocopherols) [from Brassica napus (seed)], Folate (as 6S-5-methyltetrahydrofolate [glucosamine salt]), Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin), Biotin, Choline (as choline bitartrate), Iron (as ferrous bisglycinate), Iodine (as potassium iodide), Magnesium (as dimagnesium malate), Boron (as calcium fructoborate), Omega-3 Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) [from Schizochytrium spp. (whole microalgae)], Vitamin K2 (as Menaquinone-7) Other ingredients: Stomach acid-resistant outer vegan capsule (hypromellose, gellan gum), inner vegan capsule (hypromellose), silica, cellulose, l-leucine