The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals
During Pregnancy

See also: Pregnancy and Babies

Pregnancy is truly a magical time for mothers. However, through physical complications and mood swings, many to-be mothers cannot enjoy it, especially in the third trimester when the body goes through the biggest changes.

This is why fuelling the body with the right nutrients is essential, not only for the growing baby but also for the well-being of the mother herself.

In this article, we will discuss some of the vitamins and minerals that should be a regular addition to a pregnant woman’s diet to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

The Most Important Vitamins & Minerals During Pregnancy

Here is a list of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy for a woman's diet and why.

Orange and vitamin C tablets.

1. Vitamin C

Maintaining healthy cells will help mothers, their bodies and their skin to be healthy. It will also assist in your body's healing postpartum. A healthy and balanced diet should include Vitamin C since it has anti-inflammatory properties and helps heal cuts and wounds more quickly.

Food items you can get Vitamin C from include:

  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Red and green peppers

2. Vitamin D

This vitamin is especially important for pregnant women with highly melanized skin. You might not be getting the appropriate Vitamin D required for this time through sun exposure, and taking the right diet or supplement is important.

Vitamin D helps in regulating the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body. This is important not only for your own bones (since you will require all the strength to hold a baby inside) but also for the baby’s overall growth.

You can get Vitamin D from the following foods:

  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring
  • Eggs

3. Folic Acid

Folic acid is an important addition to a pregnant woman’s diet for the following reasons:

  • Healthy growth and development of the baby.
  • If the mother has a history of, or is prone to, neural tube defects.

Neural tube defects are when the child is born with a defect in the brain or spinal cord. Here are some of the reasons a newborn could be enduring an NTD in the fetus.

  • You have had a child with NTD before
  • You or your partner has a history of NTD in the family

Talk to your doctor, and try taking a supplement of 400mcg of folic acid every day.

4. Iron

Iron is one of the most important minerals your body should produce in abundance when you are pregnant. It is responsible for producing haemoglobin, the substance which is solely responsible for taking oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

When a pregnant woman’s body feels excessively fatigued, it could lack haemoglobin since the body is producing twice the oxygen. Eating iron-rich food is the right way to deal with the deficiency.

Food items which are high in iron include:

  • Poultry and meat
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Beans
  • Raisins, nuts, and other dried fruits
  • Some pasta may have a high iron content, but do check the label before buying

5. Iodine

Storing the energy from food for use later is one of the key functions of a pregnant body. The body is doing twice the work to sustain another being. Therefore, if the pregnant woman has to reserve energy for daily activities without succumbing to fatigue, then iodine has to be a part of the diet.

One of the main functions of iodine is to manage the homeostasis (balance) of thyroid hormones. The development of a baby’s nervous system highly depends on sufficient iodine in the diet. Food items which are rich in iodine are:

  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Iodized salt

What To Expect When Pregnant

Is it your first pregnancy? Here are some of the bodily changes which you might notice from the very first trimester onwards:

  • Morning sickness and nausea, sometimes lead to vomiting.

  • An increased heartbeat.

  • Pressure on the uterus that can cause inadvertent pressure on the bladder, leading to frequent urination.

  • Light-headedness due to the body working overtime to support the growing baby.

  • Muscles becoming more relaxed; this can lead to food not breaking into much finer particles for better digestion. This is why many pregnant women suffer from heartburn and gastric issues.

  • Pregnancy can lead to excess oil production in the skin that causes that pregnancy glow. However, this can also lead to acne on acne-prone skin.

Pregnant stomach.

Apart from these, you can also expect some other issues to occur on a weekly basis in during your pregnancy period. Here’s what you need to know about it:

  • During 1st and the 2nd Week: These are the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle. In this stage, the most mature egg (created in your ovary) will travel through your fallopian tube to the uterus. Now, if it meets with a sperm during the process, they will combine and the fertilization period will begin. It might occur after six of days of you having unprotected vaginal sex (the duration could include the day of ovulation, too).

  • During 3rd and the 4th Week: During this phase, the fertilized egg will start moving down from your fallopian tube and start dividing into more cells. It’s basically the time when the pregnancy period begins positively. You might feel a little bloated during this period. But it might be easy to take care of these issues with some prescribed medications.

Most people consider missing a period to be the first sign of pregnancy. However, besides that, you might also feel bloated and tired. Mood swings and a feeling of nausea will also be common or prevalent during this phase. So, if you are experiencing either of these things, make sure to talk to your doctor as soon as you can as they will be able to do some tests to determine what’s wrong (or right) with you.

About the Author

Mashum Mollah loves sharing his experiences, knowledge, ideas by publishing informative, data-driven articles in various media such as Search Engine Magazine, Blogstellar, and Social Media Magazine. He blogs at