According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should have a diet that consists of a variety foods including:
From these you should get the right nutrients and vitamins for pregnancy health and your baby’s development.
The right vitamin supplements can be beneficial if you are not able to prepare healthy meals regularly.
It is important to note that pregnant women should only take vitamin supplements on a health care provider’s direct recommendation.
Supplements do not replace a healthy diet, but rather ensure that a woman is receiving enough daily nutrients.
Vitamin supplements work best when taken as part of a healthy diet. It should be understood that taking vitamins are by no means a substitute for a healthy diet.
Nutrients and Vitamins for Pregnancy
|Essential Vitamin/Mineral:||Why You Need It:||Where You Find It:|
|Vitamin A & Beta Carotene (770 mcg)||Helps bones and teeth grow||Liver, milk, eggs, carrots, spinach, green and yellow vegetables, broccoli, potatoes, pumpkin, yellow fruits, cantaloupe|
|Vitamin D (5 mcg)||Helps body use calcium and phosphorus; promotes strong teeth and bones||Milk, fatty fish, sunshine|
|Vitamin E (15 mg)||Helps body form and use red blood cells and muscles||Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach, fortified cereals|
|Vitamin C (80 – 85 mg)||An antioxidant that protects tissues from damage and helps body absorb iron; builds healthy immune system||Citrus fruits, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes|
|Thiamin/B1 (1.4 mg)||Raises energy level and regulates nervous system||Whole grain, fortified cereals, wheat germ, organ meats, eggs, rice, pasta, berries, nuts, legumes, pork|
|Riboflavin/B2 (1.4 mg)||Maintains energy, good eyesight, healthy skin||Meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, fortified cereals, eggs|
|Niacin/B3 (18 mg)||Promotes healthy skin, nerves and digestion||High-protein foods, fortified cereals and breads, meats, fish, milk, eggs, peanuts|
|Pyridoxine/B6 (1.9 mg)||Helps form red blood cells; helps with morning sickness||Chicken, fish, liver, pork, eggs, soybeans, carrots, cabbage, cantaloupe, peas, spinach, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown rice, oats, bran, peanuts,walnuts|
|Folic Acid/Folate (600 mcg)||Helps support the placenta, and prevents spina bifida and other neural tube defects||Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, fortified cereals, peas, pasta, beans, nuts|
|Calcium (1,000 – 1,300 mg)||Creates strong bones and teeth, helps prevent blood clots, helps muscles and nerves function||Yogurt, milk, cheddar cheese, calcium-fortified foods like soy milk, juices, breads, cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, canned fish with bones|
|Iron (27 mg)||Helps in the production of hemoglobin; prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery||Beef, pork, dried beans, spinach, dried fruits, wheat germ, oatmeal or grains fortified with iron|
|Protein (71 g)||Helps in the production of amino acids; repairs cells||Most animal foods, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, veggie burgers, beans, legumes, nuts|
|Zinc (11-12 mg)||Helps produce insulin and enzymes||Red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified cereals, oysters, dairy products|
Last Updated: 12/2015
Compiled using information from these sources:
Your Pregnancy and Birth, Month to Month, Fifth Ed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ch. 13.
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, http://www.iom.edu/