While pregnant, eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for your baby. However, your body has a higher need for certain vitamins and minerals, like folate and calcium, during this time. Your doctor will prescribe prenatal vitamins to help your body meet these requirements.
Folate is very important for the growth of your baby. It is most vital to get enough folate in the months before you get pregnant and in the early months of your pregnancy. When you get enough folate, it lowers the chances of your baby having birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
If you’re taking a prenatal vitamin, you probably get all the folate you need. But you can also get folate from food. Foods high in folate include:
- Vegetables, especially brussels sprouts and green, leafy vegetables like spinach
- Whole grains, enriched breads and fortified cereals
- Fruits like bananas and oranges
- Peas and beans
Calcium helps keep bones strong and healthy. When you’re pregnant, your baby takes calcium from your body to develop and grow bones. If you don’t get enough calcium, your bones could become weak. Prenatal vitamins have calcium, but you can get some from foods too. Milk and milk products are filled with calcium. Dark green, leafy vegetables, like broccoli, and sardines also are high in calcium.
As soon as you think you’re pregnant, see your doctor.
Call 504.897.7777 or visit touro.com/findadoc to find a physician.
Dr. Brianne Anderson specializes in OB/GYN at Crescent City Physicians, Inc., a subsidiary of Touro Infirmary. After earning her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Dr. Anderson completed residency at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. Dr. Anderson is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Anderson values the physician/patient relationship because she strives to understand what is important to her patients and become a confidant to guide them through varying stages of life.