Do I Need a Prenatal Vitamin?

I think I eat pretty healthy.  Do I still need to take a prenatal vitamin if I’m pregnant?

The answer depends on how balanced your diet is to begin with.  A woman of average weight and height, approximately 163 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches tall, should gain 25-35 pounds during her pregnancy.

During pregnancy, an average woman should consume the following foods daily:

  • 8 ounces of grains, with at least half of these grains coming from whole grains
  • 3 cups of vegetables
  • 2 cups of fruit, with the majority coming from whole fruit instead of juice
  • 3 servings of dairy: milk or yogurt (1 cup per serving) or cheese (1 ½ ounces per serving)
  • 6.5 ounces of protein, including 8 ounces of low mercury fatty fish per week

Even if you eat a well balanced diet, most doctors recommend a prenatal vitamin to ensure you get enough folic acid and iron. Folic acid helps protect your growing baby from a number of birth defects and although grains are now fortified with folic acid, a prenatal vitamin helps ensure you receive the recommended 600 micrograms daily. A woman also needs more iron while pregnant to protect her from anemia and to help the baby grow properly, especially during the second and third trimesters. A blood test ordered by your doctor will confirm if you are getting enough iron through your diet.  Talk to your doctor about which prenatal vitamin may be right for you.


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1 Comment

  1. weerah says:

    Yes,very nice blog.. We should eat a healthy and pure food and take vitamins as well. Organic multi vitamins
    are the best vitamins.

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