Nurturing life Your reference in perinatal nutrition, from pregnancy to childhood

Can there be side effects associated with prenatal multivitamins?

Published on :
By : Nurturing Life's Nutrition Team | Montreal Diet Dispensary
— Updated on :

Yes. The most common side effects associated with taking prenatal multivitamins are nausea and constipation. It is important not to stop taking the multivitamin, but rather to attempt solutions to slow down or resolve the associated symptoms.


The prenatal multivitamin is essential to meet all the needs of vitamins and extra minerals during pregnancy. For more information on what should be in a prenatal multivitamin, see the following article.


Under the effect of pregnancy hormones, digestion and intestinal movement (transit) is slowed, which can cause nausea and constipation. While taking a prenatal multivitamin may also cause these side effects, it is important not to stop taking it. A deficiency of certain nutrients can cause the following:





Iron Anemia Anemia
Vitamin B12 Anemia Anemia
Memory problems
Other neurological problems
Calcium and Vitamin D Osteoporosis Dental defects
Rickets (bone deformities)
Folic acid Neural tube defects (spina bifida)


It seems that women taking a prenatal multivitamin before conception were generally less nauseated and vomited less during pregnancy than women who had not taken it. On a more positive note, there are solutions available for pregnant women who experience symptoms associated with taking prenatal multivitamins:


If one multivitamin does not work for you, try another brand. Ultimately, if the solutions do not work, before you stop taking the prenatal multivitamin, consult a nutritionist or a doctor.



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The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.