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Nutrition in Pregnancy: Should Your Diet Change While Pregnant?

With everyone being different, there are no hard and fast rules for a healthy pregnancy diet; instead, these are guidelines and best practices for you to consider.


Note that even during pregnancy, the basic principles of a healthy diet still apply -- eat vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, and lots of fruits; however, there are some changes you’ll need to pay attention to.


To help you stick to a balanced diet during pregnancy, we’ve compiled a short guide for you. Check it out below.


Caloric & Dietary Recommendations

To stay healthy during pregnancy, it would be best to consume an extra 300 calories per day. When taken from healthy foods, these extra calories will help reduce pregnancy symptoms, such as constipation and nausea.


Special Nutritional Needs

Now that you're pregnant, you'll need more iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin C than before.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a type of B vitamin that can prevent congenital disabilities. Before pregnancy, you should have been getting around 400 micrograms per day. However, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, you'll need to bump the number up to 600 micrograms per day.



Iron is an essential mineral for your baby’s brain development and growth. While pregnant, the amount of blood in your body increases; thus, you’ll need to take in more iron for both your growing baby and yourself. A good number to aim for would be 27 milligrams of iron each day.



Consuming calcium while pregnant can reduce your risk of preeclampsia, a medical condition that causes sudden increases in blood pressure. What’s more, calcium helps build up your baby’s teeth and bones. The following are good starting points for calcium consumption:



Vitamin D

Finally, you’ll need vitamin D. You can think of vitamin D as a complementary vitamin for calcium; it helps the calcium build up your baby’s teeth and bones.


All women -- pregnant or otherwise -- should be aiming for 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day.


Should I Be Taking Supplements?

Even when eating a healthy diet, it can be easy to miss out on essential nutrients. Taking a prenatal vitamin daily -- starting ideally a quarter before conception -- can help you fill nutritional gaps.


Note that before taking any supplements -- especially if you’re unsure whether they’re right for you -- you should consult your healthcare provider; they will be able to recommend the right supplements for your individual dietary needs.


What’s Next?

By minding your nutritional intake during pregnancy, you’re already on the right track for the benefit of yourself and your baby. To learn more about steps you can take for your baby's well-being, check out the other articles on our website.


If you need OB-GYN services in the Tri-Cities (Richland, Pasco, Kennewick), contact Complete Healthcare for Women today. Richard Lorenzo, DO & Kortney Jones, ARNP, our female provider, will be more than glad to extend their services to you for the benefit of you and your baby. (509) 392-6700.



John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Nutrition During Pregnancy. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019, December 19). Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients. Mayo Clinic.


MedlinePlus. (2017, January 3). Pregnancy and Nutrition. MedlinePlus.Gov.

Complete Healthcare for Women - Obstetrics and Gynecology

(509) 392-6700

Richard Lorenzo, D.O.

Kortney Jones ARNP

Dr. Lorenzo Richard Lorenzo, DO Dr. Lorenzo is also a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He provides gynecological and obstetric services, including prenatal care, pregnancy care, infertility, and gynecology. Dr. Lorenzo is proficient in advanced surgical techniques, including minimally-invasive procedures, as well as surgery for abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, and hysterectomy. He has specialized training in high-risk obstetrics and minimally invasive surgical techniques, including minimally invasive hysterectomy.

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