Diet in Pregnancy: iVillage Pregnancy & Parenting

Do I need to take prenatal vitamins?
If you are feeling well enough to eat a well-balanced, varied diet, and if you started your pregnancy in a very healthy state, then you may be able to limit your supplemental intake to a critical few nutrients. Pregnant women need more of some nutrients, particularly folic acid, iron and calcium. Discuss your concerns with your care provider. Learn more.

Is folic acid important?
Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin that is necessary for proper cell growth and development of the embryo. When taken one month before conception and throughout the first trimester it has been proven to reduce the risk for a neural tube defect-affected pregnancy by 50 to 70 percent. Two-thirds of women in the United States are not getting enough of this important vitamin. Learn more.

Do I need an iron supplement?
An iron supplement is recommended during pregnancy since it is so difficult to get enough in your diet. The National Academy of Science recommends pregnant women take a supplement containing 30 milligrams of iron a day during the second and third trimesters. Learn more.

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