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Key Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy

Nutrient (Daily Recommended Amount) Why You and Your Fetus Need It Best Sources
Calcium (1,300 milligrams for ages 14 to 18; 1,000 milligrams for ages 19 to 50) Builds strong bones and teeth Milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, dark green leafy vegetables
Iron (27 milligrams) Helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your fetus Lean red meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereals, prune juice
Iodine (220 micrograms) Essential for healthy brain development Iodized table salt, dairy products, seafood, meat, some breads, eggs
Choline (450 milligrams) Important for development of your fetus’s brain and spinal cord Milk, beef liver, eggs, peanuts, soy products
Vitamin A (750 micrograms for ages 14 to 18; 770 micrograms for ages 19 to 50) Forms healthy skin and eyesight. Helps with bone growth Carrots, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes
Vitamin C (80 milligrams for ages 14 to 18; 85 milligrams for ages 19 to 50) Promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones Citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries
Vitamin D (600 international units) Builds your fetus’s bones and teeth. Helps promote healthy eyesight and skin Sunlight, fortified milk, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines
Vitamin B6 (1.9 milligrams) Helps form red blood cells. Helps body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates Beef, liver, pork, ham, whole-grain cereals, bananas
Vitamin B12 (2.6 micrograms) Maintains nervous system. Helps form red blood cells Meat, fish, poultry, milk (vegetarians should take a supplement)
Folic acid (600 micrograms) Helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Supports the general growth and development of the fetus and placenta Fortified cereal, enriched bread and pasta, peanuts, dark green leafy vegetables, orange juice, beans. Also, take a daily prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid.
Take only one serving of your prenatal supplement each day. Read the bottle to see how many pills make up one daily serving. If your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) thinks you need an extra amount of a vitamin or mineral, your ob-gyn may recommend it as a separate supplement.

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