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You are here: Home -> Nutrition and Exercise -> Vitamins and Minerals in Pregnancy Today: Sunday, April 30
Pregnancy Topics
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Cravings During Pregnancy
Artificial Sweeteners
A Healthy Eating Plan During Pregnancy
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Vitamins and Minerals in Pregnancy
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Feeding Your Baby

Vitamins and Minerals in Pregnancy

As I said before, it's very important to take your prenatal vitamin throughout pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. They are taken to ensure your health and your baby's health. However, they aren't a substitute for food or a good diet.
The main difference between prenatal vitamins and multivitamins is that prenatal vitamins also contain iron and folic-acid supplements.
The only mineral that needs to be supplemented during pregnancy is iron. The average woman's diet seldom contains enough iron to meet the increased demands of pregnancy. Blood volume increases by 50% in a normal pregnancy, and iron is an important part of blood production in your body.

Iron

You may be advised to take iron supplements during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain some iron but you may need to take extra iron. Your healthcare provider will test you for anemia early in your pregnancy. If he or she determines you need an iron supplement, you must take it for your health and your baby's health. Most prenatal vitamins contain 60mg of elemental iron.
Some women worry that taking iron may cause constipation. Constipation can be a side effect. Work with your doctor to find the correct amount of iron to help lessen side effects.

Fluoride

The use of fluoride and fluoride supplementation during pregnancy is controversial. Some researchers believe fluoride supplementation during pregnancy results in improved teeth in your child, but not everyone agrees. However, no harm to the baby has been shown from fluoride supplementation in a pregnant woman. Some prenatal vitamins contain fluoride.

Sodium

Sodium is a chemical that works to maintain the proper amount of fluid in your body. During pregnancy, it can also affect your baby's system. Sodium is found in salty foods (such as potato chips and dill pickles) and in processed foods, from soups to meats. You need some sodium; you just don't need too much. Read food labels to discover just how much you're getting!
During pregnancy, keep your consumption of sodium under 3g (3000mg) a day. Too much sodium causes water retention, swelling and high blood pressure. Any of these can be a problem for you.
It's difficult to avoid something unless you know where to find it. With sodium, that can be tricky. It's in the salt shaker and in salty-tasting foods, such as pretzels, chips and salted nuts. (Table salt is about half sodium.) You may be surprised by the amount of sodium present in foods that don't taste salty.
Sodium is found in canned and processed products, fast foods, cereals, desserts and even soft drinks and some medications! See the chart opposite for a listing of the sodium content in a variety of foods. Read labels!

Sodium Content of Some Foods

Fresh or Minimally Prepared Foods
1 cup apple juice...................2 mg
3 apricots (fresh) .................1 mg
1 medium banana.....................1 mg
8 ounces of bluefish..............170 mg
1 head Boston lettuce .............15 mg
1 medium carrot....................35 mg
1 large egg .......................70 mg
1 cup green beans (frozen)..........2 mg
3 ounces ground beef...............60 mg
1 lemon.............................1 mg
1 cup whole milk..................120 mg
1 cup oatmeal (long-cooked)........10 mg
1 cup orange juice..................2 mg
1 peach.............................1 mg
3 ounces pork......................65 mg

Prepared Foods
3 ounces bacon ..................1400 mg
1 cup baked beans.................100 mg
1 slice white bread...............100 mg
1 frozen chicken dinner .........1400 mg
1 cup chicken-noodle soup........1050 mg
1 cinnamon roll...................630 mg
1 tablespoon cooking oil............0 mg
3 ounces corned beef.............1500 mg
1 cup corn flakes.................305 mg
1 cup green beans (canned)........320 mg
1 cup all-purpose flour.............2 mg
1 cup self-rising flour..........1565 mg
1 tablespoon Italian dressing ... 250 mg
1 tablespoon catsup ..............155 mg
1 olive...........................165 mg
1 dill pickle ...................1930 mg
1 cup pudding, instant ...........335 mg
1 cup puffed rice...................1 mg
1 cup tomato juice................640 mg

Fast Foods
1 Arby's turkey sandwich ........1060 mg
1 Burger King Whopper.............675 mg
1 Dairy Queen hot dog.............990 mg
1 KFC dinner (3 pes chicken) ... 2285 mg
1 Taco Bell Enchirito............1175 mg
1 McDonald's Big Mac.............1010 mg
Nutrition and Exercise Articles:
Cravings During Pregnancy | Artificial Sweeteners | A Healthy Eating Plan During Pregnancy | Drinking During Pregnancy | Eating Out | Drinking Coffee During Pregnancy | Vitamins and Minerals in Pregnancy | Exercise During Pregnancy | Pregnancy Weight Management | Some Weight Gain Each Week
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