Pregnancy: Vitamins and Minerals

Pregnancy: Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals help your body to use the energy provided from food for you and your baby. They also help you repair and maintain cells and tissues.

What you can do

Take your prenatal vitamin every day. Read the label and talk to your health care professional.

Do not consume more vitamins and minerals unless your health care professional has recommended it. Taking large amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, can be dangerous. Do not take more than 5,000 IU (international units) of vitamin A daily. Also do not take more than 1,000 micrograms (1 milligram) of folic acid without first talking to your health care professional.

Follow a diet that includes a wide variety of healthy and nutritious food. What are some good options? Fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, dairy products and protein sources low in fat, and low-fat red meat, beans, tofu, poultry and some fish.

If you have trouble digesting lactose (the natural sugar in milk), low lactose milk products and orange juice fortified with calcium can help you get the calcium you need.


Before taking any supplement, talk to your health professional to find out if you need it and how to take. Some supplements can be harmful during pregnancy. In addition, large amounts of some may be risky. For example, taking too much vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects. Do not take more than 5,000 IU (international units) of vitamin A daily.

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