You'll need higher levels of vitamin supplementation during pregnancy, so talk to your health-care provider about prenatal vitamins containing iron (for healthy blood) and calcium (for healthy bones). Also, pick fortified foods (such as fortified breakfast cereals or orange juice with calcium) -- these are easy ways to get extra vitamins into your diet.
It's also important to take folic acid right before conception and in the early weeks of pregnancy, to help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. All women of childbearing age should take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 milligrams of folic acid, and include in their diet natural food sources of folic acid. Natural sources include orange juice, green leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, broccoli, asparagus, peas, lentils, and enriched grain products.
To get the nutrients you and your unborn baby need, plan your meals to include these daily basics:
Source: The March of Dimes
Reviewed 12/00 by Jane Forester, MD
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.