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Prenatal Nutrition Facts

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Nutrient and energy requirements differ during pregnancy from woman to woman.

PRENATAL NUTRITION FAQS:

  • Approximately 20-30% of women are deficient in a vitamin during pregnancy.
  • Vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium and zinc, are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and their deficiencies are associated with impaired fetal growth and development
  • Vegetarian diets often provide insufficient levels of vitamin B12, which may result in impaired red blood cell formation. 
  • Maternal iron levels affect iron stores in the developing fetus, and are necessary for the production of hemoglobin;  Prenatal vitamns help to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
  • Calcium demands also increase during pregnancy, leading to enhanced calcium absorption from the intestine and mobilization from bones.
  • Vitamin D helps absorb and use calcium and phosphorus for normal bone mineralization.  Deficiency of vitamin D during pregnancy may lead to impaired fetal bone development or osteomalacia, although 600 IU of vitamin D daily helps maximize bone health in pregnant adults.
  • Daily supplementation with 800 mcg of folic acid in the first trimester may help reduce the risk of neural tube defects by nearly 70%.

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  • Sue MacGregor