Folic Acid & Other Vitamins

During pregnancy you need extra nutrients, such as iron and folic acid. Whether you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, take a daily multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid , which is a type of B vitamin, to prevent birth defects. Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby's brain and spine ( anencephaly and spina bifida ) by 50% to 70 %.

*See the Parenthood Plus nutrition site .

Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Stay away from junk food. Talk to your doctor about what you should eat and how much weight you should gain durring your pregnancy. Most doctors recommend gaining around 25 to 35 pounds, depending on how much you weighed before pregnancy.

Read more about nutrition during pregnancy:

Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet helps you stay strong while you're pregnant and after your baby's born. Regular exercise also relieves stress-just walking for 30 minutes every day can make a big difference in how you feel. Talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise is right for you.

Learn more about how important folic acid is for pregnant women.