Fact checkedFact Checked

This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.

Best Iron Supplement For Pregnancy 2023: Top Brand Reviews

Mitchelle Morgan

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

All articles are produced independently. When you click our links for purchasing products, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more about how we earn revenue by reading our advertise disclaimer.

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate

  • Gluten, soy, dairy free.
  • NSF certified for sport.
  • Highly recommended.

Mary Ruth’s Prenatal and Postnatal Liquid Iron

Mary Ruth’s Prenatal and Postnatal Liquid Iron

  • Liquid supplement.
  • Prenatal and postnatal supplement.
  • Gluten-free.
Floravital Liquid Iron

Floravital Liquid Iron

  • Herbals and vitamin-rich.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Numerous vitamins and minerals.

Iron is right on top of the many prenatal nutrients prescribed to a pregnant mother.

During pregnancy, the demand for iron in a woman’s body increases significantly due to the increased blood volume required to support the growth and development of the fetus. Iron is essential for forming hemoglobin.

Without enough iron, a pregnant woman can develop iron deficiency anemia, leading to various adverse health outcomes for both the mother and the developing fetus. Therefore, taking daily iron supplements during pregnancy is highly recommended to support optimal iron absorption and health outcomes for both mother and child.

We will review the best iron supplement for pregnancy currently available in the market. We cover their effectiveness, ease of use, and other key factors to help expectant mothers decide when choosing the best iron supplement for their needs.

5 Best Iron Supplement For Pregnancy On The Market In (June. 2023)

Do Pregnant Women Need To Take Iron Supplements?

Iron supplementation is essential during pregnancy to support the increased demand for iron in the mother’s body, which is necessary for the proper development of the fetus. Here are other benefits associated with iron intake for a pregnant woman:

Iron is essential for forming hemoglobin,[1] a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues of the expectant mother and to the tissues in the developing fetus.

Iron supports neurodevelopmental[2] processes like speech, cognition, and overall brain health.

Iron helps to prevent preterm birth, low birth weight, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Another major reason pregnant women need iron supplementation is to mitigate iron deficiency. Iron supplementation during pregnancy can reduce the risk of iron deficiency anemia[3] in the mother. Iron deficiency is a common problem during pregnancy. It contributes to almost 40% of pregnant[4] women experiencing anemia worldwide

Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath.

What Types Of Iron Supplements Are Used During Pregnancy?

Several forms of iron supplements that replenish the body’s iron stores are available. They include tablets, capsules, and liquid iron supplements. And when it comes to selecting what you need, the best dietary iron supplement for pregnancy will depend on individual preferences and needs.

For instance, liquid iron supplements may be the best for women who have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules. Additionally, those who require higher levels of iron supplementation may benefit from the higher concentration of iron in liquid supplements.

Finally, as a pregnant woman, you should consult with your healthcare providers to determine the appropriate form of iron, how much iron to consume, and the specific brand that best suits you and your baby’s needs.

Below are five of the best that you may ask your obstetrician about on your next visit.

5 Best Iron Supplements For Pregnant Women In 2023

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate is an iron supplement that provides a well-absorbed form of iron, making it a fantastic choice for those who want to support healthy red blood cell development and blood supply during pregnancy.

  • Well-absorbed iron.
  • Derived from natural ingredients.
  • Dairy, soy, and gluten-free.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Allergy warning.

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate has an optimal delivery format for iron, which can help to treat the fatigue and other effects of iron deficiency in women, athletes, and others. It is certified gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, derived from natural flavors and colors. It is also National Science Foundation Certified for Sport, ensuring it is free from banned substances.

The brand suggests that individuals with a history of hypersensitivity to any ingredients should avoid their use. Each product intake provides 25 milligrams of chelated elemental iron for maximum absorption, reducing gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and constipation

One downside is that the 25 milligrams of iron might not meet the 27 milligrams daily iron intake recommended for pregnant women.

Nonetheless, Thorne Iron Bisglycinate may be helpful for pregnant women looking to support healthy red blood cells. Its chelated form of iron[5] ensures optimal absorption and reduces gastrointestinal side effects, while its certification and natural ingredients provide peace of mind. 

At a price of $14 for 60 capsules, this supplement is a cost-effective way to support iron levels and promote overall health.

Mary Ruth’s Prenatal and Postnatal Liquid Iron

Mary Ruth’s Prenatal and Postnatal Liquid Iron is a highly effective and convenient iron supplement for pregnant women. The liquid form of the supplement makes it easy to take, and the delicious berry flavor makes it a pleasure to consume.

  • High bioavailability.
  • Gluten, dairy, nut, and soy-free.
  • Multiple shipping options.
  • Supports immune and cellular health.
  • Expensive.
  • It needs refrigeration.

The supplement contains 27 milligrams of iron in the most easily absorbed form called ferrous bisglycinate chelate. This is because it is chelated, or bound, to an amino acid called glycine.[6] This chelation process enhances the solubility and stability of the iron, making it easier for the body to absorb.

Compared to other forms of iron, such as ferrous sulfate or fumarate, ferrous bis-glycinate chelate is less likely to cause digestive problems.[7] It also does not interact with dietary factors that can inhibit iron absorption, such as calcium[8] and phytates[9] in plant foods.

The supplement is free from genetically modified organisms or non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and sugar-free, making it suitable for individuals with food sensitivities or special diets.

Pregnant women should use 15 milliliters, and lactating mothers 5 milliliters. It is a high-quality iron supplement that is safe and effective to use and is sold at $37.95 on a one-time purchase arrangement.

Floravital Liquid Iron Supplement

Floravital Liquid Iron Supplement is a great vegan supplement that offers a balanced combination of herbals, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and C. The supplement is suitable for various people: pregnant and lactating mothers, children, and adolescents.

  • Alcohol, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients-free.
  • Lactose-, gluten-, and yeast-free.
  • Contains numerous vitamins, herbals, and minerals.
  • Supports energy metabolism.
  • Some people do not find the taste appealing.

Floravital is easily absorbable, thanks to the iron from ferrous gluconate,[10] another highly bioavailable form. The product claims to help reduce tiredness and fatigue while contributing to normal energy-yielding metabolism.

Vitamin B1, i.e., thiamine,[11] plays a role in promoting the growth and development of the fetus.[12] Vitamin B2, i.e., riboflavin, is involved in healthy red blood cell production and helps prevent anemia and neonatal metabolic disease[13] in pregnant women. Vitamin B6, i.e., pyridoxine, produces neurotransmitters that regulate mood and may help alleviate morning sickness[14] during pregnancy. Vitamin B12, i.e., cobalamin, is important for a healthy nervous system and may prevent spina bifida[15] plus other spinal and central nervous system[16] congenital disabilities.

Vitamin C, i.e., ascorbic acid, plays a role in the placenta’s health and helps the body absorb non-heme iron,[17] i.e., plant-based[18] iron.

And the herbals and fruit juice concentrate like roselle flower, camomile flower, fennel fruit, grape, carrot, pear, cherry, blackcurrant juice, blackberry, and spinach leaf make for a pleasant taste.

The 250-milliliter bottle retails for around $14, while the 500-milliliter bottle goes for around $23.

Nature Made Iron 65 mg Tablets

This supplement may be recommended if your physician suggests you need extra iron to counter a significant iron deficiency. It is formulated with naturally sourced ingredients, is gluten-free, and is devoid of synthetic ingredients making it among the best iron supplements for women.

  • High iron dosage.
  • Well-studied iron form.
  • No artificial ingredients.
  • It may prevent iron deficiency anemia.
  • Easy to consume too much iron at once.
  • Expires four weeks after opening.

Nature Made® Iron supplement individual servings provide 65 milligrams of elemental iron, which is a vital component of hemoglobin and helps to support the formation of red blood cells. The brand advertises that it is essential for women in their reproductive years to maintain adequate levels of iron to support overall and pregnancy health.

The only ingredient in Nature Made® Iron supplement is iron as ferrous sulfate,[19] a well-known and highly absorbable form of iron. Ferrous sulfate is well-studied and has been shown to effectively improve iron levels in pregnant women with iron deficiency anemia. However, it may result in some gastrointestinal effects.[20]

Nature Made® Iron supplement is devoid of any artificial ingredients or additives and is gluten-free.

Taking this supplement with a meal is recommended to help avoid stomach upset; otherwise, it’s best absorbed on an empty stomach. It retails for $10.59, making it a very affordable pick.

Natures Plus Chewable Iron Supplement

Nature’s Plus Chewable Iron Supplement is a great option for pregnant women who want vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free iron pills. It contains an amino acid chelate form of 27 milligrams of iron, along with vitamin C and herbs such as beet and rose hip for prenatal nutritional support.

  • Vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Contains vitamin C.
  • Energy support.
  • Some users don’t like the taste.

The 100 milligrams of vitamin C is iron’s nutritional partner enhancing its absorption and providing immune and energy support. Beet is a good source of iron, folate, and other nutrients, significantly reducing prenatal blood pressure and improving general pregnancy health.

Rosehip[21] has antioxidant compounds and is a nutrient-dense herb that can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, which may be especially important during pregnancy. Rose hip contains vitamin C, which can enhance iron absorption and may help prevent iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy.

With other natural flavors, the cherry flavor is a plus point for those who dislike the iron taste. The allergen-free supplement provides nutritional support for healthy blood and natural energy production.

With 90 servings per container, the price of $15.95 is reasonable.

Choosing The Best Iron Supplements For Pregnancy

Choosing the best iron supplement for pregnancy is essential to meet the increased iron requirement during this period. It’s important to look for an iron supplement that is easily absorbed and contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and folate, which are necessary for the proper absorption and utilization of iron. By choosing the right iron supplement and following a balanced diet, pregnant women can maintain healthy iron levels to support their own health and the healthy development of their babies.

Here are some key points to consider when selecting the best:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider: It’s important to discuss iron supplementation with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage and type of prenatal iron supplement that is best for you — or if you even need it.
  • Look for quality products: Choose iron supplements made by reputable manufacturers that have third-party testing and are certified by regulatory bodies.
  • Read product reviews: Product reviews like this highlight the major advantages and disadvantages of using a specific iron supplement, helping you make an informed decision. Client reviews are equally, if not more, important.
  • Check the label: Look for iron supplements designed for pregnant women and labeled as such. Also, check the label for the type and amount of iron in the supplement and other added ingredients like artificial flavors, sugars, gluten, or allergens.
  • Consider the form of iron: The form of iron in the supplement can impact its effectiveness and side effects. Common forms of iron supplements include ferrous sulfate, iron bis-glycinate chelate, and ferric iron. Discuss the pros and cons of each with your healthcare provider.
  • Consider your preferences: Choose an iron supplement that is easy to take, fits your lifestyle, and naturally supports normal iron levels. For example, liquid supplements may be preferred by those who have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules.
  • Pay attention to potential side effects: Iron supplements can cause constipation, nausea, and other side effects. Also, they can cause a positive stool test for blood, indicating possible colon cancer; this would represent a false positive. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to minimize these side effects, such as taking the supplement with food or choosing a different iron supplement.
  • Be mindful of interactions: Taking iron supplements can interact with other medications and supplements. Before starting an iron supplement, discuss any other supplements or medications you take with your healthcare provider.
  • Please don’t overdo it: Pregnant women should not exceed the recommended daily dose of iron supplements, as excessive iron intake can lead to iron overload and toxicity.

How Much Iron Does A Pregnant Woman Need Daily?

The amount of iron a pregnant woman needs depends on various factors, including the stage of pregnancy, her age, and her general health. Pregnant women require 27 milligrams of iron daily,[22] almost double that of non-pregnant women. Lactating women need 9 milligrams of iron daily.

Potential Side Effects Of Iron Supplements

Supplemental ferrous and ferric iron products are commonly used to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy. Still, they can also cause side effects in some individuals.

Here are some potential side effects of iron supplements:

  • Constipation.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach pain and cramps.
  • Black stools.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Skin rash.
  • Difficulty breathing.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you experience any of these side effects, as they can recommend ways to manage or reduce them.

Additionally, taking some iron pills or liquids on an empty stomach may increase the risk of side effects, so following the instructions on the label or as directed by your healthcare provider is important. In rare cases, excessive iron intake can lead to iron toxicity,[23] which can cause serious health problems. Pregnant women should not exceed the recommended daily dose of iron supplements to avoid this potential risk.

And while doing this, an expectant lady should stick to eating foods rich in iron.

Iron-Rich Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Iron supplements can be obtained from various sources, including heme iron and non-heme iron.[24] Heme iron, derived from animal sources, is more bioavailable than non-heme iron, derived from plant sources. These two major types are then used to make various oral iron supplements like ferrous sulfate, ferric sulfate, ferric citrate, and ferrous gluconate.

There is also something we have mentioned in this piece called elemental iron which implies the total quantity of iron in a supplement available for absorption.

Iron absorption is influenced by various factors, including other dietary components that enhance iron absorption, such as vitamin C in orange juice. Taking iron supplements with vitamin C can increase the amount of iron absorbed by the body.

In summary, here are the best iron-fortified foods you can add to your diet to ensure you and your baby are getting enough iron:

Heme iron sources

  • Red meat: Beef, lamb, and pork.
  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey.
  • Fish: Salmon, tuna, and halibut.
  • Tofu.

Non-heme food iron sources for vegetarians and vegans

  • Beans and lentils.
  • Spinach.
  • Broccoli.

Other sources

  • Dark chocolate.
  • Fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Fortified bread. 

Final Thought

Iron during pregnancy is significant for pre-and postnatal health. In utero, it significantly ensures healthy red blood cells, proper neurodevelopment, and optimal placental health. It aids in preventing preterm birth and other congenital disabilities.

For a mum to ensure healthy iron levels throughout pregnancy, most of the iron should be sourced from iron-rich and iron-fortified foods. However, iron supplementation may be recommended for some women with low iron. When you get the go-ahead to take iron supplements from your doctor, the next step is selecting the best in the market.

This review covers five of the best iron supplements for pregnancy in varying quantities and additional iron-supportive herbals and vitamins. If your health care provider feels you need iron — you may not — it is up to you to ensure you get the authentic product and use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid taking too much or too little iron for you and your baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which iron tablet is best during pregnancy?

As per our list, the best tablets are the Nature Made Iron 65 mg Tablets, especially for women with deficient iron levels.

How can I raise my iron levels quickly while pregnant?

The first and best way is to introduce iron-rich and iron-fortified foods into your diet. The second way is to consider iron supplementation using the best iron supplements.

What can I eat to increase my iron during pregnancy?

You can consume red meat, poultry, fish, tofu, veggies like spinach and broccoli, iron-fortified cereals, and bread.

Which trimester is iron most important?

Because of the increase in total red blood cell mass in pregnancy and the increased need for iron transport to both the developing baby and the placental tissues, iron requirements noticeably rise throughout pregnancy, increasing each trimester.

Can too much iron hurt a fetus?

Yes, it can cause iron toxicity and contribute to free-radical diseases[25] in the fetus.

+ 25 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Health, U. (2019). Hemoglobin and Functions of Iron. [online] ucsfhealth.org. Available at: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/hemoglobin-and-functions-of-iron#:~:text=Iron%20is%20an%20essential%20element,the%20lungs%20to%20the%20tissues.
  2. McCann, S., Perapoch Amadó, M. and Moore, S.E. (2020). The Role of Iron in Brain Development: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, [online] 12(7), p.2001. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072001.
  3. Georgieff, M.K., Krebs, N.F. and Cusick, S.E. (2019). The Benefits and Risks of Iron Supplementation in Pregnancy and Childhood. Annual Review of Nutrition, [online] 39(1), pp.121–146. doi:https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-nutr-082018-124213.
  4. Karami, M., Chaleshgar, M., Salari, N., Akbari, H. and Mohammadi, M. (2022). Global Prevalence of Anemia in Pregnant Women: A Comprehensive Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Maternal and Child Health Journal, [online] 26(7), pp.1473–1487. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-022-03450-1.
  5. Jeppsen, R.B. and Borzelleca, J.F. (1999). Safety Evaluation of Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate. Food and Chemical Toxicology, [online] 37(7), pp.723–731. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0278-6915(99)00052-6.
  6. Clinicaltrials.gov. (2017). Efficacy of Iron Bisglycinate in Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Pregnant Women – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov. [online] Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03378791
  7. Jafarbegloo, E., Ahmari Tehran, H. and Dadkhah Tehrani, T. (2015). Gastrointestinal Complications of Ferrous Sulfate in Pregnant Women: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, [online] 17(8). doi:https://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.15001.
  8. Medlineplus.gov. (2018). Taking iron supplements: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [online] Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007478.htm
  9. Al Hasan, S.M., Hassan, M., Saha, S., Islam, M., Billah, M. and Islam, S. (2016). Dietary phytate intake inhibits the bioavailability of iron and calcium in the diets of pregnant women in rural Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study. BMC Nutrition, [online] 2(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-016-0064-8.
  10. Vesna Nikolić, Dušica Ilić, Nikolic, L.B. and Ilic-Stojanovic, S.S. (2014). The synthesis and characterization of iron(II): Gluconate. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279231727_The_synthesis_and_characterization_of_ironII_Gluconate
  11. Martel, J.L., Kerndt, C.C., Doshi, H. and Franklin, D.S. (2022). Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482360/
  12. Dias, F.M.V., Silva, D.M. de F., Doyle, F.C. de P. and Ribeiro, A.M. (2013). The connection between maternal thiamine shortcoming and offspring cognitive damage and poverty perpetuation in underprivileged communities across the world. Medical Hypotheses, [online] 80(1), pp.13–16. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2012.09.011.
  13. Spencer, M. (2017). Available at: https://neonatology.pediatrics.med.ufl.edu/files/2017/03/Inborn-Error-of-Metabolism.pdf.
  14. Kaiserpermanente.org. (2017). kp.org is temporarily unavailable. [online] Available at: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/failover/failover.htm#:~:text=Studies%20suggest%20that%20taking%20vitamin,fetus%20with%20vitamin%20B6%20use.&text=A%20typical%20dose%20of%20vitamin,mg%2C%203%20times%20a%20day.
  15. CDC (2020). Spina Bifida Research. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/spinabifida/research.html
  16. Finkelstein, J.L., Layden, A.J. and Stover, P.J. (2015). Vitamin B-12 and Perinatal Health. Advances in Nutrition, [online] 6(5), pp.552–563. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/an.115.008201.
  17. Saunders, A.V., Craig, W.J., Baines, S.K. and Posen, J.S. (2013). Iron and vegetarian diets. Medical Journal of Australia, [online] 199(S4). doi:https://doi.org/10.5694/mja11.11494.
  18. The Nutrition Source. (2019). Iron. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/iron/
  19. Two types of iron. (n.d.). Available at: https://www.swedish.org/~/media/files/providence%20swedish/pdfs/blood%20management/ns0808457%20nutritioniron%20flyer%20formerly%20ncc0304200fb2p.pdf.
  20. Tolkien, Z., Stecher, L., Mander, A.P. and Powell, J. (2015). Ferrous Sulfate Supplementation Causes Significant Gastrointestinal Side-Effects in Adults: A Systematic… [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272686126_Ferrous_Sulfate_Supplementation_Causes_Significant_Gastrointestinal_Side-Effects_in_Adults_A_Systematic_Review_and_Meta-Analysis
  21. Koczka, N., Stefanovits-Bányai, É. and Ombódi, A. (2018). Total Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Rosehips of Some Rosa Species. Medicines, [online] 5(3), p.84. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030084.
  22. The Nutrition Source. (2019). Iron. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/iron/#:~:text=RDA%3A%20The%20Recommended%20Dietary%20Allowance,fetus%20requiring%20extra%20blood%20circulation
  23. Mayo Clinic. (2023). Hemochromatosis – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemochromatosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351443#:~:text=Hemochromatosis%20(he%2Dmoe%2Dkroe,disease%2C%20heart%20problems%20and%20diabetes.
  24. Redcrossblood.org. (2023). Iron-Rich Foods. [online] Available at: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-process/before-during-after/iron-blood-donation/iron-rich-foods.html#:~:text=Heme%20iron%20is%20found%20in,than%20eating%20non%2Dheme%20iron.
  25. Perrone, S., Santacroce, A., Longini, M., Proietti, F., Bazzini, F. and Buonocore, G. (2018). The Free Radical Diseases of Prematurity: From Cellular Mechanisms to Bedside. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, [online] 2018, pp.1–14. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7483062.
Mitchelle Morgan

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All her work is backed by scientific evidence to ensure readers get valuable and actionable content.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Harvard Health Publishing

Database from Health Information and Medical Information

Harvard Medical School
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source


Database from World Health Organization

Go to source

Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology
Go to source


United Nations Global Compact
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. Federal Government
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Department of Health and Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source

Help us rate this article

Thank you for your feedback

Keep in touch to see our improvement