The overall diet for a pregnant woman should consist of many fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
However, there are a few nutrients in a pregnancy diet that deserve special attention.
The first is folate or folic acid. Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects and other serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Lack of folate in a pregnancy diet may also increase the risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery. Folic acid can be found naturally in leafy green vegetable, citrus fruits, and dried beans and peas.
Calcium is also very important to help make the baby’s bones and teeth strong. Calcium also helps your circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems run normally. Dairy products are the richest source of calcium. For those with a lactose intolerance the best option would be to eat green leafed vegetables and small fish that can be eaten with the bones.
Finally, vitamin D is important because it also helps build the baby’s bones. The best sources of vitamin D are fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, asparagus and eggs. It is also important that pregnant women avoid eating seafood high in mercury. Too much mercury could damage the baby’s nervous system. The highest are King Mackerel, Swordfish, Tilefish and Shark. It is also important to avoid eating raw or undercooked seafood, meat, poultry, or eggs as well as unpasteurized foods.
For those women who are using in-vitro fertilization, diet is an incredibly important part of a good outcome. They should be eating organic fruits and vegetables, organic dairy produce, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and drinking plenty of water. They should also avoid eating foods made with additives or preservatives because they are often high in saturated and trans fats.