Did you know nutritional considerations for pregnant women should actually begin before conception? One important supplement for women of childbearing age is folic acid. A 400-microgram folic acid supplement should be taken for at least 4 months prior to conception and throughout pregnancy. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing child.
Another important nutrient for women of childbearing age is iron. Iron is critical for pregnant women because the amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy to almost 50 percent more than usual. Iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy is associated with premature birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality. Iron rich foods include red meat, beans, and dark green vegetables. Consuming fruits and other foods rich in vitamin C will help iron absorption.
By Gage Livingston
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
ACE Lifestyle and Weight Managment Consultant Manual