4 Essential Nutrients to Eat While Pregnant

Essential-Nutrients-to-Eat-While-PregnantDr. Morice has a high success rate for tubal reversal surgeries. He is also an experienced OB-GYN in Morgan City, LA. Most of our patients at the Atchafalaya Clinic are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, and are concerned about getting enough essential nutrients in their diets.

A woman’s body needs more of some nutrients when she is pregnant than when she is not. This list touches on some ofthe most important nutrients, but there are many others that are needed. Be sure to discuss nutrition and diet with your physician to ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

1) Folate

Folate, also known as folic acid, is a B vitamin that is very important for the healthy development of your baby. Women are encouraged to have folate in their diet both before conception and throughout their pregnancy.  Adequate folate helps ensure the proper development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Inadequate folate can lead to serious birth defects such as spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele.

Aim for: 800 micrograms per day

Found in: Fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables (kale and spinach), and orange juice.

2) Calcium

Every woman needs adequate calcium to keep her bones and teeth strong throughout her life. When pregnant, however, calcium becomes even more important. Your baby needs calcium to build its bones, teeth, heart, nerves, and muscles. If your baby is not getting enough calcium from your diet, your body will leach calcium from your bones for your baby. This can lead to health problems later on for you.

Aim for: 1,000 milligrams per day

Found in: Milk, yogurt, cheese, spinach, and fortified cereals.

3) Iron

Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, which is the protein that carries oxygen to the cells in your body. During pregnancy, a woman needs more iron than when she’s not pregnant. This is because the amount of blood in a woman’s body increases by almost 50% during pregnancy. An increased blood volume requires more hemoglobin, and therefore more iron. A developing baby also needs iron, as does a woman’s placenta for healthy functioning. Not having enough iron can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, which can cause extreme fatigue and may lead to low birth weight and preterm birth.

Aim for: 27 milligrams per day

Found in: Red meat, poultry, fortified cereals, and spinach.  Note that iron from non-meat sources is less easily absorbed and should be eaten with food or a drink that’s high in vitamin C, such as orange juice or strawberries.

4) Protein

Protein is an important part of every woman’s diet. When a woman is pregnant, however, she needs almost twice the amount of protein as she does when she is not pregnant. A growing baby requires a lot of protein to develop, especially in the second and third trimesters. This is also when a woman’s breasts are getting larger to prepare for breastfeeding. All of these processes depend on proteins, making it a critical component of a pregnant woman’s diet.

Aim for: 70 grams per day

Found in: Red meat, poultry, eggs, tofu, yogurt, and beans.

Are you considering tubal reversal surgery? Are you looking for an experienced OB-GYN in Morgan City, Louisiana? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Morice by calling our office at (985) 702-BABY (2229) or emailing us at

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