Nutrients for Pregnant Women

For most women, there’s nothing more joyous than carrying a baby inside the womb. Women experience many changes in their body during pregnancy. You may not feel you’re really pregnant till the baby begins to move inside during the 4th month. You will experience lots of emotions, happiness, pain, excitement, and nervousness all at the same time. But the most important thing to remember is to keep up a healthy balanced diet to help your baby grow and develop appropriately.

Good nutrition for pregnant women is very important. Although morning sickness, vomiting and nausea are very common occurrences during pregnancy, it is important to consume a well-balanced diet and to take some prenatal vitamins as well. It is necessary to eat a varied healthy diet during pregnancy to get all the minerals and vitamins that your body needs. Though it is best to acquire minerals and vitamins from the food you eat, it is often better to make use of supplements as well during pregnancy to ensure your body gets all that it requires.

Recommended Supplements

Here are some recommended supplements to take throughout your pregnancy:

  • 10 micrograms of Vitamin D
  • 400 micrograms folic acid, starting from the day you find out about your pregnancy and till the time you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Folic Acid

Folic acid helps prevent neural tube problems, which is a basic form of birth defects like spina bifida. Approximately 400 micrograms of folic acid daily is recommended for pregnant women. You should start taking folic acid during the period you are trying to get pregnant and continue till you are 12 weeks into your pregnancy. In case a woman does not begin taking folic acid before getting pregnant, it is important that she does as soon as she discovers she is pregnant.

Consumption of food containing folate (the natural form of folic acid) is necessary.  Women with a higher risk of neural tube defects are advised to take an additional 5 micrograms of folic acid till they are 12 weeks pregnant.


Women with a deficiency of iron may suffer from anaemia and tend to get very tired. Foods that contain higher doses of iron include nuts, lean meat, dried fruits and leafy green vegetables. These should be a part of a healthy balanced diet of pregnant women on a daily basis. There are many breakfast cereals that contain iron as well. In case of iron deficiency in your blood, your doctor or midwife may prescribe some iron supplements for you.


Calcium is important for the proper development of the baby’s teeth and bones and for maintenance of mom’s body as well. Calcium is present in some prenatal vitamins. Food sources which are rich in calcium include fish with edible bones and dairy products. Some other sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables, bread, almonds and tofu, which is a special kind of vegetable protein made out of soya beans. Watercress, curly kale and broccoli are equally good sources.

Written by Team Health & Parenting

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

Eating Healthy: The Right Pregnancy Diet

During pregnancy, taking in the right amount of nutrition is essential for the health and safety of you and your baby. The food you are eating is not just a source of nutrition for you, but for your growing baby as well. To make sure you have a healthy baby, here are some nutritional guidelines to follow for your pregnancy diet.

What Nutrients Do You Need?

During pregnancy, there are certain nutrients that you will need more than others. Following the US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) ensures you do not overdo anything. Here are some nutrients you need to add to your diet:

  • Choline (minimum RDA 450 milligrams)
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (minimum RDA 200 milligrams)
  • Potassium (minimum RDA 4,700 milligrams)
  • Riboflavin (minimum RDA1.4 milligrams)
  • Vitamin B6 (minimum RDA 1.9 milligrams)
  • Vitamin B12 (minimum RDA 2.6 micrograms)
  • Vitamin C (minimum RDA 85 milligrams)
  • Vitamin D (minimum RDA 15 micrograms)
  • Zinc (minimum RDA 11 milligrams)

Foods You Should Add To Your Diet

During pregnancy, you need to add more sources of protein and calcium to your diet in order to strengthen your child’s tissues and bones. Similarly, folic acid can help protect your growing baby from birth defects. More iron can help cells carry adequate oxygen to your baby. Considering all these factors, here are some types of foods you should add to your diet when you are pregnant. Remember to indulge, but not over-indulge!

  • Whole Grains and Beans: Eating whole grain bread and cereal can help you keep up the levels of folic acid and iron in your body. Moreover, they have more fiber compared to white bread and rice. Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, and whole grain bread are the best ways to incorporate whole grains into your diet. Beans are a source of various nutrients such as protein, fiber, calcium, zinc, folate, and iron. Beans that you should commonly use include soy, lentils, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, kidney, pinto, white and black beans.
  • Eggs: Eggs also contain a number of essential proteins, minerals and vitamins, most importantly choline that helps the brain development of your baby. Therefore, you should make eggs a necessary part of your diet during pregnancy. However, you should take your eggs well-cooked and avoid eating undercooked or raw eggs completely.
  • Berries: You can add berries in your diet regimen as the best possible snacks because they are a rich source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are the ideal choice for you to have during pregnancy
  • SalmonFish – specifically salmon, light tuna and trout – is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, protein, and other important nutrients. However, fish that is high in mercury should be completely avoided including shark, swordfish, tilefish, and mackerel. If you eat a lot of seafood, you can consult your doctor in regard to what is healthy for you and your baby.

While you should add these items to your diet, you will need to cut back on the amount of caffeine you take every day as it can be harmful for your baby. Moreover, make sure that everything you eat is well-cooked and avoid eating under-cooked food items. With these few dietary changes, you can keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Written by Team Health & Parenting

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.