Of course, there are more than five essential pregnancy vitamins. In fact, you want to have the entire crew on board for this trip. And start early. The time to clean up your diet is when you realize that pregnancy is a real possibility. (No pressure or anything.)
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Folic acid plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, so it’s first on most lists of essential pregnancy vitamins. But it does its most important work in the first few weeks. If pregnancy is a possibility, be sure to start taking folic acid now (in consultation with your doctor).
Your doctor may recommend supplements. Nuts, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and legumes are high in folic acid.
More B Vitamins
This makes more than five, but these B vitamins get in under the family plan.
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) supports energy and the nervous system. Found in cereals, some vegetables, nuts, legumes, organ meats.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) helps develop body tissues. Found in eggs and dairy, meat, some vegetables, some fortified cereals.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) supports the skin, nerves, and digestive tract. Found in grains and legumes, fortified cereals, eggs, dairy, meat.
- Vitamin B12 supports the nervous system and blood cell formation. Found in dairy and meat. Vegans might consider supplements.
Vitamin D supports the development of bones and teeth. Your body can produce it from sunlight, but it’s worth checking into possible deficiencies with your doctor. It’s also found in dairy products, eggs, meat and fatty fish, and some fortified foods.
Vitamin C supports the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant. Strawberries and citrus fruits are high in C, as are tomatoes and potatoes, broccoli, and bell peppers.
Vitamin E is another important antioxidant and immune system contributor. It’s found in nuts, spinach, and some fortified cereals.
Supplementing is safer in consultation with your doctor. But eating foods rich in essential pregnancy vitamins can make both you and your baby healthier.