The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Vitamin B12 This vitamin aids in the normal formation of proteins.
Best sources: extra-lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, tempeh and miso.
Daily requirement: 2.3 milligrams.
Vitamin C This water-soluble antioxidant protects the tissues from free-radical damage.
Best sources: citrus fruit, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, green and red peppers, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Daily requirement: 70 milligrams.
Calcium This mineral helps build and maintain bones. Studies show that it also may help prevent preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
Best sources: nonfat and low-fat milk products, sardines, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, canned salmon with bones, and cooked dried beans and peas.
Daily requirement: 1,000 milligrams.
Chromium Both you and your baby need chromium to regulate blood sugar. It also builds proteins in baby’s developing tissues.
Best sources: whole grains, wheat germ and orange juice.
Daily requirement: 50–200 micrograms.
Copper This trace mineral is essential for energy metabolism and the formation of connective tissue and red blood cells.
Best sources: chicken, fish, extra-lean meat, organ meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, soybeans and dark green leafy vegetables.
Daily requirement: 1.5–3 milligrams.
Iron Besides preventing anemia, iron helps your baby develop and gain weight and might help prevent premature delivery.
Best sources: extra-lean meat, fish, poultry, cooked dried beans and peas, dried apricots, dark green leafy vegetables, raisins and whole grains.
Daily requirement: 30 milligrams.
Magnesium You need this mineral for energy metabolism, blood sugar regulation, normal muscle contraction and nerve transmission, and uterine relaxation during pregnancy and contraction during labor.
Best sources: nonfat or low-fat milk, peanuts, bananas, wheat germ, whole grains, cooked dried beans and peas, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Daily requirement: 320 milligrams.
Selenium This antioxidant mineral is essential to growth and protects tissues from free-radical damage.
Best sources: whole grains, seafood, lean meat, and nonfat or low-fat milk products.
Daily requirement: 65 micrograms.
Zinc This trace mineral reduces the risk of spontaneous abortion and premature delivery, helps prevent birth defects and aids in normal growth.
Best sources: extra-lean meat, turkey, cooked dried beans and peas, wheat germ and whole grains.
Daily requirement: 15 milligrams.