3 Weeks Pregnant
By week three, adequate vitamin intake is essential for nourishing your baby. It is important to get enough:
Ideally, you have been taking a 400-milligram folic acid supplement since before you conceived. Folic acid helps prevent defects of the neural tube (the head, spine, and related structures), which form very early in pregnancy. In addition, a daily intake of 1,200 milligrams of calcium is necessary for the development of bones and teeth.
Some foods high in calcium include:
- Dairy products, such as cheese, milk, and yogurt
- Leafy green vegetables
Iron is also essential during pregnancy as you support the continual increase of your baby's blood volume. You should consume at least 30 milligrams of iron daily. Iron-rich foods include:
- Red meat
- Leafy green vegetables.
Because it hard to know whether you are getting enough folic acid, calcium, and iron from food alone, taking a supplement is the best way to make sure that you get enough of these vitamins. It's important not to take iron supplements with calcium (or foods containing calcium); calcium can interfere with the absorption of iron.
If you have talked to your healthcare provider about your desire to become pregnant, he or she may have prescribed you prenatal vitamins. If not, you can buy them at the drug store or grocery store. Some prescription vitamins contain more iron than those available without a prescription.
Consuming enough protein in your diet during pregnancy is also crucial because protein is used to create new tissue. Therefore, your protein intake should double during pregnancy to at least 60 grams a day.
(Click Pregnancy Nutrition to learn more about healthy eating during pregnancy.)