Why This nutrient is essential because it helps in the manufacture of collagen, a protein that provides structure to your baby's bones, cartilage, muscles, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which means that it helps prevent disease.
Where Your body can't store vitamin C, so it's crucial that you consume the necessary 65 milligrams daily. Get it by eating two to three of the following servings: 1/2 cup citrus-fruit juice, 1/2 grapefruit, 1 medium orange, 1/2 cup cantaloupe, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage or coleslaw, 2/3 cup cooked broccoli, 3/4 cup cooked cauliflower, 1 1/2 large tomatoes.
Why This B vitamin is used to produce the extra blood you and your baby need and helps some enzymes function. Taken before conception and early in pregnancy, folic acid also helps prevent neural-tube defects (which occur when the brain, spinal cord, or their coverings do not form normally) and cleft lip or palate (a gap in the lip or roof of the mouth).
Where Good sources of folic acid include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, lean beef, oranges, lentils, and peanuts. The FDA now requires that pastas, breads, and grains be enriched with folic acid, so be sure to eat plenty of these complex carbs. Your doctor may also prescribe a supplement -- 0.4 milligram a day for most women, 4.0 milligrams if you are at risk of having a baby with a neural-tube defect.
Why This nutrient is vital to healthy skin, bones, and eyes and helps to create the cells that will make up your baby's internal organs.
Where You'll get all you need each day (800 micrograms) with just four servings of the following: 3/4 cup vegetable juice, 3/4 cup dark yellow vegetables, 8 ounces milk, 1/2 cup cantaloupe, 1 large peach or nectarine, 1 cup dark leafy vegetables. Caution: Excessive levels of vitamin A (over 10,000 IU) can be harmful to you and your baby, so don't overdo it with supplements.
Why Vitamin D helps build bone, tissue, and teeth. It also enables your body to use calcium and phosphorus.
Where Your four 8-ounce servings of skim milk are about the best source of the 10 micrograms you need daily. Egg yolks, sardines, and canned salmon also provide vitamin D. Or get a little sunshine, which helps your skin manufacture it.
Why This new addition to the must-have pregnancy diet has recently proved to aid fetal growth.
Where You can get the necessary 20 milligrams a day in your recommended amount of whole grains, meat, and milk, as well as oysters, shellfish, and other seafood.
Why Water is essential for developing new cells, maintaining blood volume, and processing other nutrients. It also minimizes swelling, constipation, and your risk of urinary tract infections.
Where Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, including milk, fruit juices, and decaffeinated tea or coffee.