Taking your prenatal vitamins is important for your baby’s health, especially during the first trimester to help prevent birth defects.
However, prenatals can’t do anything if they’re left of your counter and you forget to take them. If you’re not someone that already takes vitamins or medication, you may find it difficult to remember to take the capsules once or twice daily. That’s why we’re teaching you how you can make it an effortless habit.
In this post, we’re outlining 7 hacks you can use to remember to take your prenatal vitamins.
What Prenatal Vitamins Do You Need?
The hacks in this post can be helpful regardless of which prenatal vitamin you choose. However, we recommend MamaNurture’s Prenatal +DHA because it contains a curated compilation of 25 vitamins and nutrients. It also has 300 mg of DHA, which is necessary for your baby’s brain, eye and nervous system development.
To learn the basics about prenatals, see our other guides:
- Vitamins You Need For a Safe Pregnancy
- 10 Prenatal Vitamin Questions Answered
- 5 Prenatal Vitamin Side Effects Every Expecting Woman Should Know
7 Hacks for Remembering to Take Medication or Prenatal Vitamins
Can’t remember to take your prenatal vitamin every day? Here’s a few ways you can make it easier.
#1 Add Prenatal Vitamins Into a Routine
One of the simplest ways to remember to take your prenatal vitamin is to work it into an existing routine or habit. A routine is a set of steps you follow every day (ex. working out, showering, eating, going to work). Since you’ve already solidified this routine, it doesn’t take much effort or thought anymore. The idea is that by adding an additional step into that routine, it will become easier to remember. Instead of consciously taking your vitamin, soon you won’t even need to think about it. In other words, it will become almost automatic—leading to a healthier you.
First, consider whether you need to take your prenatal once or twice a day. If you need two doses, you’ll need to work them into two separate routines daily. If you’ve had trouble remembering to take prenatals at certain times of the day, factor that in too (ex. some women get nauseated if they take it first thing in the morning).
Next, think about your routines. Here are some examples:
- Waking up, eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, getting dressed and leaving for work.
- Going to the staff kitchen, eating lunch, going to the bathroom and starting work again.
- Finishing work, going to the gym, eating a snack and going home.
- Making dinner, eating, doing the dishes and showering.
Choose a routine to add the new habit to (ex. taking your pill before brushing your teeth every morning or after eating dinner every night). Set an alarm on your phone for the same time each day to make sure you’re sticking to the habit. After a while, you won’t need the alarm: You’ll reach for the bottle without thinking—and just like the rest of your routine—you’ll do it mindlessly.
#2 Use a Pillbox
Pillboxes may not be a new hack—but it’s one that works. Sold at most pharmacies and dollar stores, pillboxes are made up of small boxes for each day of the week. Some also include separate AM and PM storage if you need to take 2 prenatals a day. If you can’t remember whether you’ve taken your pill, you just need to check the box.
Another tip is to place it somewhere you’ll see daily—or, preferably—several times each day. This way, each time you glance at it, you can quickly check or remind yourself. Good places to put a pillbox could include:
- Nightstand table
- Bathroom vanity
- Makeup vanity (if you use it every day)
- Desk at work
- Next to the remote (if you watch TV every night)
#3 Use a Pill Reminder App
If you want something a little more advanced than a simple phone alarm, you can try a pill reminder app. It can be especially helpful if you need to take additional medications during your pregnancy. There’s no shortage of ones to choose from, but here’s a quick roundup:
- Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker-Medisafe— Medisafe allows you to set pill reminders, do drug-to-drug interaction checks, set refill reminders, manage doctor appointments and share data with caregivers, if needed. Free in the Google Play and App Store.
- Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker MyTherapy— MyTherapy has additional features that allow you to also track your mood and activities in a health journal. Free in the Google Play and App Store.
- Mango Health— Mango Health allows you to track and schedule your prenatal vitamins as well as set other healthy habit reminders. As a bonus, you earn points when you take your medicine correctly. Those points can unlock chances to win prizes. Free in the Google Playand App Store.
#4 Tag On to Someone Else’s Habit
If you have a family member that takes medication, ask to tag onto their habit. Every time they take their medication at morning or night, have them remind you to take it with them. Since it’s already a habit for them, they won’t forget, and it will soon become a habit for you too! This can work if you have a partner or another family member you live with who takes medication or vitamins. You can also consider coworkers who take theirs when they get into work in the morning, at night before leaving or during lunch break.
#5 Put Your Vitamin Bottle or Box Somewhere Strange but Noticeable
If you’re a visual person or a type-A personality who immediately notices when something is out of place, this is a good tip for you. If you take your prenatal vitamins twice a day, think of a weird place to put them that will make you think “why are those there?”. That will be your reminder to take your vitamin.
For example, put your pill bottle in a breakfast bowl on your counter. When you get up in the morning and see them, take one and transfer it to the second location, perhaps on top of the TV. When you get home in the evening and notice the bottle on the TV, take one and put it back in the breakfast bowl for the next morning. Continue this pattern each day. If you start to get used to the strange locations, switch it up. If you have trouble noticing them, try making the bottle bright by sticking a colored sticky note on top or painting the cap with some nail polish.
#6 Flip the Bottle or Box
Another version of the hack above can help you if you have trouble remembering whether you’ve already taken your vitamin. This can be especially helpful on busy days or when pregnancy brain leaves you feeling foggy.
Simply flip the bottle every time you take your AM and PM prenatal vitamin. Start with your pill bottle upright. After taking your AM vitamin, flip it so the cap is facing down. When you take your PM vitamin, flip it so the bottle is upright. You’ll start every day with the bottle upright, so it will be easy to know whether you still need to take your first or second pill.
If your prenatal vitamins come in a box, you can use the same trick (unless both sides are the same). Start each day with the front of the box facing up and flip it so that the back nutrition label is facing upward after taking your AM pill.
#7 Vitamin Tracker
Despite your best efforts at tracking both your prenatal vitamin intake and those you’re getting from food, it still may not be accurate. One way of seeing how much of which nutrients your body is getting is to invest in a pen-like tracker.
The Vitastiq tracks the levels of 26 vitamins and minerals in your body. The test is non-invasive and painless. You simply download the connecting app and follow the instructions. Different nutrients have different points on the body where you place the pen tip. It works by using Electroacupuncture (EAV), which uses electrical resistance of the skin at specific points to develop a reading. The results are accurate and 70% compatible with blood tests. It also saves the history of your previous readings, meaning that you can see how your health is improving over time.
For example, say you’re not getting enough iron in your diet and you make the decision to eat more green leafy vegetables to help. You can use your tracker to learn how much those changes are helping and whether you need to make additional changes.
If you’re planning on using the tracker on yourself only, you can get the Vitastiq Personal Vitamin Tracker for $149.99.
However, if you want to use it on the rest of the family, for an extra $50, you can get the Vitastiq Family Vitamin Tracker. This model comes with an additional tool that’s used to take other people’s readings. This way, you can know the levels of your kids, partner, grandparents and whoever else needs a quick health check.
P.S. Have you tried our fetal heartbeat monitors yet? These handheld devices allow you to hear your baby’s heartbeat—similar to an ultrasound. They’re known to reassure parents and create magical family bonding moments. Get yours today for $49.95.