Vitamin Requirements for Pregnancy?


Dear Nutritionist,
What is the optimal vitamin requirements for a healthy pregnancy?



Hi Cindy,
During pregnancy your need for most nutrients and calories increases. Ones of particular importance include folic acid, calcium, and iron. Of equal importance are protein and carbohydrates. Consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet and eating from all of the food groups daily as well as consuming an adequate amount of calories can help to ensure you are getting all the essential nutrients you need during pregnancy.

However, your OB/GYN may prescribe a prenatal vitamin to ensure you are getting all of the essential vitamins that you need during this time. As there are vitamins/minerals we need more of there are also nutrients to be aware of. Research suggests that excess vitamin A from supplements (10,000 IU or more daily) can increase the risk of birth defects.

For more information, read the tables of the Dietary Reference Intakes (formerly RDA's).

-- Kimberly A. Tessmer, R.D., L.D

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus", in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and, Inc as well as continuing education courses for She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.