Foods high in calcium next on a marble countertop.

What are 3 top nutritional concerns in pregnancy?

We don’t like to generalize about expecting moms’ universal needs because every woman’s pregnancy experience is unique. Likewise, every woman’s dietary needs during pregnancy and after birth are unique. Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting the healthy development of the baby, supporting moms-to-be, helping Mom’s body prepare for breastfeeding, and helping accelerate healing after birth.

That said, nutrition plans that support those developmental stages are critical to reduce risks to both your child and you. Here are three nutritional concerns during pregnancy that all women should consider:

  1. Folate: Folate is a B vitamin that is essential for the healthy development of the fetus’s brain and spinal cord. Women should consume 600-800 mcg of folate per day during pregnancy. Foods rich in folate include leafy green vegetables, legumes, fortified cereals, and citrus fruits. When working with couples to optimize fertility, we recommend all moms-to-be take a folic acid supplement.
  2. Iron: Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the baby. During pregnancy, the body’s iron requirements increase, and deficiency can lead to anemia. Foods rich in iron include red meat, poultry, fish, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables. Depending on your primary healthcare physician and blood test results, you might need to take an iron supplement.
  3. Calcium: Calcium is necessary for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Pregnant women need 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium per day. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fortified cereals, and calcium-fortified juices.

Always consult with your ObGyn about your nutritional needs during pregnancy. Based on their recommendations, you can work with a prenatal nutritionist who can provide personalized dietary recommendations and support throughout your pregnancy journey.

Improving your nutrition status is always a great idea, no matter what stage of pregnancy you are.