Vitamin Requirements for Pregnancy?

Kimberly A. Tessmer's picture

QUESTION

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

Cindy

ANSWER

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