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What vitamins does a pregnant woman need

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What supplements do I need in pregnancy?

How can I plan healthy meals during pregnancy? Why are vitamins and minerals important in my diet? How can I get the extra amounts of vitamins and minerals I need during pregnancy?

What is folic acid and how much do I need daily? Why is iron important during pregnancy and how much do I need daily? Why is calcium important during pregnancy and how much do I need daily? Why is vitamin D important during pregnancy and how much do I need daily?

How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? Can being overweight or obese affect my pregnancy? What are the benefits of including fish and shellfish in my diet during pregnancy?

What should I know about eating fish during pregnancy? How can food poisoning affect my pregnancy? What is listeriosis and how can it affect my pregnancy? The United States Department of Agriculture has made it easier to plan meals during pregnancy by creating www. This website helps everyone from dieters and children to pregnant women learn how to make healthy food choices at each mealtime.

This program is based on five food groups and shows you the amounts that you need to eat each day from each group during each trimester of pregnancy. The amounts are calculated according to your height, prepregnancy weight, due date, and how much you exercise during the week.

The amounts of food are given in standard sizes that most people are familiar with, such as cups and ounces. Although they are not a food group, oils and fats do give you important nutrients.

During pregnancy, the fats that you eat provide energy and help build many fetal organs and the placenta. Most of the fats and oils in your diet should come from plant sources. Limit solid fats, such as those from animal sources.

Solid fats also can be found in processed foods. Vitamins and minerals play important roles in all of your body functions. During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than a woman who is not pregnant. Taking a prenatal vitamin supplement can ensure that you are getting these extra amounts. A well-rounded diet should supply all of the other vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin that is important for pregnant women.

Before pregnancy and during pregnancy, you need micrograms of folic acid daily to help prevent major birth defects of the fetal brain and spine called neural tube defects. Current dietary guidelines recommend that pregnant women get at least micrograms of folic acid daily from all sources. It may be hard to get the recommended amount of folic acid from food alone. For this reason, all pregnant women and all women who may become pregnant should take a daily vitamin supplement that contains folic acid.

Iron is used by your body to make a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your organs and tissues. During pregnancy, you need extra iron—about double the amount that a nonpregnant woman needs. This extra iron helps your body make more blood to supply oxygen to your fetus. The daily recommended dose of iron during pregnancy is 27 mg, which is found in most prenatal vitamin supplements.

You also can eat iron-rich foods, including lean red meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereals, and prune juice. Iron also can be absorbed more easily if iron-rich foods are eaten with vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. Calcium is used to build your fetus's bones and teeth. All women, including pregnant women, aged 19 years and older should get 1, mg of calcium daily; those aged 14—18 years should get 1, mg daily.

Milk and other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, are the best sources of calcium. If you have trouble digesting milk products, you can get calcium from other sources, such as broccoli; dark, leafy greens; sardines; or a calcium supplement.

It also is essential for healthy skin and eyesight. All women, including those who are pregnant, need international units of vitamin D a day.

Good sources are milk fortified with vitamin D and fatty fish such as salmon. Exposure to sunlight also converts a chemical in the skin to vitamin D. The amount of weight gain that is recommended depends on your health and your body mass index before you were pregnant.

If you were a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain between 25 pounds and 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you were underweight before pregnancy, you should gain more weight than a woman who was a normal weight before pregnancy.

If you were overweight or obese before pregnancy, you should gain less weight. Overweight and obese women are at an increased risk of several pregnancy problems. These problems include gestational diabetes , high blood pressure, preeclampsia , preterm birth, and cesarean delivery.

Babies of overweight and obese women also are at greater risk of certain problems, such as birth defects, macrosomia with possible birth injury, and childhood obesity. Although there have been many studies on whether caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage , the results are unclear.

Most experts state that consuming fewer than mg of caffeine one ounce cup of coffee a day during pregnancy is safe. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat found naturally in many kinds of fish. To get the most benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, women should eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish about 8—12 ounces per week before getting pregnant, while pregnant, and while breastfeeding.

Some types of fish have higher levels of a metal called mercury than others. Mercury has been linked to birth defects. To limit your exposure to mercury, follow a few simple guidelines. Choose fish and shellfish such as shrimp, salmon, catfish, and pollock. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marin, orange roughy, or tilefish. Limit white albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week.

You also should check advisories about fish caught in local waters. Food poisoning in a pregnant woman can cause serious problems for both her and her fetus. To prevent food poisoning, follow these general guidelines:. Listeriosis is a type of food-borne illness caused by bacteria. Pregnant women are 13 times more likely to get listeriosis than the general population. Listeriosis can cause mild, flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea, but it also may not cause any symptoms.

Listeriosis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery. Antibiotics can be given to treat the infection and to protect your fetus.

To help prevent listeriosis, avoid eating the following foods during pregnancy:. Body Mass Index: A number calculated from height and weight that is used to determine whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Fetus: The stage of prenatal development that starts 8 weeks after fertilization and lasts until the end of pregnancy. Macrosomia: A condition in which a fetus is estimated to weigh between 9 pounds and 10 pounds. Miscarriage: Loss of a pregnancy that occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Neural Tube Defects: Birth defects that result from incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, or their coverings. Nutrients: Nourishing substances supplied through food, such as vitamins and minerals.

Placenta: Tissue that provides nourishment to and takes waste away from the fetus. Preeclampsia: A disorder that can occur during pregnancy or after childbirth in which there is high blood pressure and other signs of organ injury, such as an abnormal amount of protein in the urine, a low number of platelets, abnormal kidney or liver function, pain over the upper abdomen, fluid in the lungs, or a severe headache or changes in vision.

Trimester: Any of the three 3-month periods into which pregnancy is divided. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. Bulk pricing was not found for item. Please try reloading page. Clinical Topics. How does MyPlate work? What are the five food groups? Are oils and fats part of healthy eating? Can caffeine in my diet affect my pregnancy?

Glossary How can I plan healthy meals during pregnancy? Grains—Bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, and tortillas are all grains. Fruits—Fruits can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Protein foods—Protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds.

To prevent food poisoning, follow these general guidelines: Wash food. Rinse all raw produce thoroughly under running tap water before eating, cutting, or cooking. Keep your kitchen clean. Wash your hands, knives, countertops, and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.

Avoid all raw and undercooked seafood, eggs, and meat. Do not eat sushi made with raw fish cooked sushi is safe.

Should women take supplements while pregnant?

Any woman who has been pregnant will remember how much effort she put into eating a healthy diet. Once the pregnancies were over, the babies were tested at regular intervals until they were seven years old. These latest findings back up other research published in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin last year , which found no evidence that pregnancy supplements improve the health of women or their babies. The Department of Health recommends that women of child-bearing age take micrograms of folic acid tablet every day while trying to get pregnant and until 12 weeks pregnant.

Although a healthy diet will give you most of the vitamins and minerals you need, folic acid and vitamin D are so important for your baby that you should take supplements in pregnancy to be sure that you are getting the full amount you need. If your blood tests show that you are anaemic in pregnancy then your doctor or midwife will prescribe an iron supplement.

Wonder if you need to take prenatal vitamins? Which brand is best? Or what to do if they make you queasy? Get answers to these questions and more.

What supplements do I need in pregnancy?

F or decades, pregnant women have been advised to take prenatal vitamins in order to ensure that they get the nutrients the fetus needs for a healthy nine-month growing period. These vitamins typically contain folic acid, which is critical for neural development, and other B vitamins that can be hard to get from diet alone. But a slate of recent reports are casting some doubt on the advice that all pregnant women need all those other daily vitamins. Now, a new report published in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin adds to the confusion. James Cave and his colleagues reviewed the available data on the effects of various key nutrients on pregnancy outcomes. The U. The scientific evidence supporting folic acid supplementation, which can prevent neural tube defects, is relatively robust and includes randomized controlled trials in which women were randomly assigned to add folic acid to their diet or not and the rates of neural tube abnormalities in their children were tracked. The data for vitamin D is less conclusive, with often conflicting results about whether vitamin D can actually prevent rickets among newborns. Still, Dr.

Do you really need to take supplements during pregnancy?

It seems there's an endless amount of online information related to what supplements a woman should take when pregnant. As a result, searching for reliable information related to supplements during pregnancy can be difficult at best. It's recommended that women should not use dietary and herbal supplements during pregnancy. In addition, dietary and herbal supplements should be used with caution in women of reproductive age due to the risk of taking these supplements before knowledge of pregnancy. Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements are not reviewed by the U.

What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby's main source of nourishment.

Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. But when you're pregnant, or there's a chance you might get pregnant, you should take a folic acid supplement. This is to reduce the risk of problems in the baby's development in the early weeks of pregnancy. Do not take vitamin A supplements or any supplements containing vitamin A retinol , as too much vitamin A could harm your baby.

Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition: What to Eat, What Not to Eat

How can I plan healthy meals during pregnancy? Why are vitamins and minerals important in my diet? How can I get the extra amounts of vitamins and minerals I need during pregnancy? What is folic acid and how much do I need daily?

For future moms, at least four weeks before conception is the most important time to start taking prenatal multivitamins for nutritional support for a healthy baby. For future dads, taking our pre-conception multivitamin at least three months before conception can help support healthy sperm. Prenatal multivitamins are specifically designed to provide key nutrients needed by pregnant women, such as folic acid. Experts recommend that women take a prenatal multivitamin with Folic Acid starting at least four weeks before pregnancy. Adults: 1 softgel daily, with food.

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Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. During pregnancy your baby gets all the nutrients she needs from you. So you may need more during pregnancy than you did before pregnancy. Taking prenatal vitamins and eating healthy foods can help give you all the nutrients you and your baby need during pregnancy. Make sure your prenatal vitamin has folic acid, iron and calcium in it.

Jun 3, - Prenatal vitamins support the health of both the fetus and the mother. We've researched the best options so you can have a healthy pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, you need to be careful about taking vitamins or any other type of supplements. Only certain supplements are recommended for pregnant women; they include folic acid, which helps prevent neural tube defects. Your body needs a variety of nutrients for good health: vitamins, minerals , protein , carbohydrates , fats and fibre. Apart from vitamin D , which is mostly sourced from sunlight, most of the vitamins you need come from food. Dietary supplements are complementary medicines which contain nutrients that may fill a deficiency a gap in your diet.

Vitamins and other nutrients during pregnancy

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