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Remembering to take a daily vitamin always seemed negotiable: You ate kale for lunch. You feel healthy. You…just can't remember. Then pregnancy enters the picture and everything changes.
For vitamin novices, though, talk about a steep learning curve when you study the label on most prenatals. When she was expecting her first child, Ritual's founder, Katerina Schneider, was struck by the realization that many of the unnecessary and questionable chemicals and additives she was trying to remove from her home were ingredients in the vitamins she was supposed to take.
Determined to find a better way for herself, her children and others, Schneider founded Ritual on the core belief that better ingredients make for better vitamins. After starting the company with their Essential for Women multivitamin, the team developed Ritual Essential Prenatal to further fulfill Schneider's mission to support women through every life stage.
And the name truly says it all: Each Ritual Essential Prenatal capsule contains nutrients expectant mamas and their babies need in the forms that work best in the body.
From the non-GMO, vegan-friendly nutrient forms to the new convenient format that's essenced with a lemon peel extract for a more enjoyable experience—here are four reasons why the prenatal was just reborn.
1. It rethinks traditional prenatal ingredients
Vitamins and minerals are good, so more vitamins and minerals must be better, right? Not so. An increasing number of studies indicate there is a "toxic consumption" threshold when it comes to some nutrients, including those often found in prenatals, such as folic acid, the synthetic version of folate that's often used in supplements.
By focusing on what expectant moms and developing babies really need—and are often otherwise missing from dietary consumption—the team at Ritual found the ingredient list should be significantly shorter than that on the back of other prenatal labels.
While most prenatals require women to take 5-7 large, often nauseating pills to satisfy all their nutrient needs, Essential Prenatal's two, small, once-daily capsules combine oily and dry ingredients all in one offering a more pleasant experience. It's one of the first prenatals of its kind to combine DHA Omega-3 with Choline, (along with the other essential nutrients you need), all in delayed-release capsules.
2. Get started with prenatals earlier than you think
The fact that you can feel good about taking Ritual's Essential Prenatal was no accident, either. By making it their mission to create a multivitamin that is tailored specifically for women, they hope women who have pregnancy on the horizon can be educated on the importance of prenatals and make it part of their daily routine before even becoming expectant mamas:
Because key fetal and neural tube development takes place before many women even know they are pregnant in the first 28 days of pregnancy, and because about 45% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, you'll want to start taking a prenatal sooner than you might've thought.
Ritual's survey of available research shows taking a prenatal vitamin at least three months before conception could occur is ideal. If you're even open to pregnancy (aka: you're doing the thing and off birth control), Ritual's prenatal is for you.
3. Create space for better quality
The market offers very few clean prenatals with no unwanted excipients—in other words, with nothing artificial or controversial, free of GMOs, and organic whenever possible. Essential Prenatal contains critical nutrients for mom and baby in clean and absorbable forms.
Ritual's in-house scientific team goes to great lengths to find the very best ingredients for each of their vitamins , and, as a result, you can trace exactly where each item on the label originated. (For example, next time you're in Ogden, Utah, stop in to say 'hi' to the iron supplier!)
There's absolutely no skimping on the quality, either. In fact, each $35 bottle of the Essential Prenatal includes $250+ worth of nutrients.
4. Making vitamins that work for everyone should be a no-brainer, right?
We all purchase vitamins under the impression they are actually benefiting us. The problem is, this isn't always the case: Research shows approximately 40% of women are unable to properly process folic acid —a key ingredient in prenatals that is linked to supporting neural tube development—and therefore unable to send the benefits along to their baby. By instead using MTHF folate (a methylated folate), Ritual's prenatal extends the benefits to every mama.*
Ritual added every ingredient thoughtfully, which makes them one of the first to combine omega-3 DHA with choline in the time-release capsule to support baby's brain development. By finding better alternatives—like the first vegan-certified vitamin D3, gentle iron, and lemon-essenced no-nausea design capsules tolerable for most women—they are making it easier not just to stomach the vitamins, but to actually feel good about taking them.
If you're open to pregnancy, trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant—learn more here and get started on your new Ritual with a simple delivery.
This article was sponsored by Ritual. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
A version of this article was originally posted November 10, 2018. It has been updated.