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Good Nutrition during Pregnancy

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Good Nutrition during Pregnancy

Pregnant women should eat a balanced, nutritional diet and increase their calorie intake to meet the needs of the developing fetus and their changing bodies. Eating a range of wholesome and nutritious foods during pregnancy is one of the most important things that women can do to ensure the normal development and growth of the developing fetus, and it can help to prevent prematurity and low birth weight. For the mother, good nutrition helps to prevent anemia, infection, difficult labor, and poor healing.

Good nutrition during pregnancy depends on eating a variety of wholesome foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. It is important for pregnant women to drink plenty of fluids and have an adequate intake of:

  • Protein: for proper development of the fetus and placenta
  • Calcium: for healthy development of the fetus
  • Iron: for the developing blood supply of the fetus and to prevent anemia in the mother
  • Folic acid: to reduce the risk of spina bifida, anencephaly, and related birth defects

It is recommended that women who wish to become pregnant take a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid and other essential vitamins and minerals. Pregnant women should also eat foods rich in protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid.

Good sources of protein include:
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Lean meats
Good sources of calcium include:
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Broccoli
  • Fish
Good sources of iron include:
  • Lean meats
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas)
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
  • Dried fruits (apricots, raisins)
  • Eggs
  • Prune juice
  • Molasses
Good sources of folic acid include:
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
  • Eggs

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[ || Pregnancy || Informed Choice || Infections and Diseases || Quality of Care || Emerging Issues ]
[ Home | About AVSC | Site index | Publications ] [ Version Française | Versión Español ]
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