While your pregnancy may have been unplanned, what you can do to make sure that you and your baby are healthy doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of things to plan out. The biggest now being this — knowing what foods are safe to consume and what vitamins are needed.
Here at Adoption Choices of Nevada, we want to help! That’s why we compiled a list of helpful vitamins, food, and unplanned pregnancy tips. Please know that the following resource is for informational and educational purposes only. Any questions or concerns you have must be directed towards your doctor.
Vitamins & Unplanned Pregnancy
Vitamins play a key part in your pregnancy because your baby is getting all of his or her nutrients from you. In other words, you may have to take in more than normal to keep up with your baby’s needs. Remember, though, always speak with your health care provider about which vitamins to take as too much can be a bad thing. You and your doctors are a team, and teams work best when working together!
So, what is the difference between everyday vitamins and prenatal ones? The main difference is that prenatal vitamins contain more nutrients than regular ones. If you are carrying more than one baby, you may need even more than normal. Prenatal vitamins’ jobs are to help ensure that you and your little one remain as healthy as humanly possible.
What are some of the key vitamins and minerals you need? We’ll break down that list for you and, in addition, explain why you need them in the first place!
Vitamins to Take
- Iron: An important mineral you need that makes hemoglobin, which is what carries oxygen in your blood to get around your body. When you are carrying a baby in your belly, not having enough iron can hurt you and your baby. Low iron levels have a higher risk for infections, anemia, premature birth — a baby who is born before 37 weeks — and low birth weight. The recommended dose of iron is 27 milligrams per day.
- Folic Acid: Necessary for healthy growth and development! Taking this vitamin can help prevent birth defects called neural tube defects (NTDs) in your baby’s brain and spine. Before you start taking anything, talk to your health care professional about the dose that you need for your body. Not having enough folic acid in your system can increase the risk of your baby developing possible heart defects or a cleft lip and palate.
- Calcium: Got Milk? Remember that ad about how important milk is for calcium? It holds as true today as it did then. However, if you are lactose intolerant or just don’t like milk, there are other ways for you to get calcium. Calcium is important for your baby because it helps your little one’s teeth, bones, heart and muscles form while in the womb. It is recommended you get 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. If you do not take enough, your baby could steal his or her supply from your bones. This could lead to health conditions later in life, such as osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D: Another important vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and aids your immune system in protecting you from infection. Your baby needs Vitamin D to grow healthy as well! Low Vitamin D can cause you to become sick during pregnancy, and allow for issues with the growth of your baby’s bones and teeth.
- DHA: This stands for docosahexaenoic acid, but as that is pretty hard to say, it is known as DHA for short. This vitamin helps your baby’s eyes and brain develop both inside and outside the womb. It is important to ask your health care provider if you need DHA, or if you can take a supplement of it. You need 200 milligrams of DHA a day to meet the needs of you and your baby.
Foods & Unplanned Pregnancy
A girl’s gotta eat, right? Of course! Hold on there, though. Just because you have a little one inside doesn’t mean you can eat anything or act like you’re “eating for two.” You only need about 300-350 more calories a day while pregnant. Your body is working extra hard to create your son or daughter. Thankfully, there are not many foods you need to avoid during your three trimesters. All the same, it’s best to check with your health care provider to verify.
Safe Foods & Appropriate Serving Sizes
Here are the general food groups to pay attention to during your pregnancy:
- Fruit and Vegetables: about 2-4 servings of each daily
- Bread and Grains: about 6-11 servings each day
- Protein: at least 3 servings daily
- Dairy (for Calcium): at least 3 servings per day
Make sure that you and your doctor work out exactly what your body and your baby need daily. After all, everyone is different, and you may need more or less of each.
Foods to Avoid
It’s best for mothers-to-be to avoid the following food items. It’s a much larger list, but is still important and must be paid attention to. These include, but are not limited to:
- Raw Meat
- Unpasteurized milk or juices
- Fish with high levels of mercury
- Unpasteurized soft cheeses
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
- Raw shellfish
- Raw eggs or food that contains raw eggs (homemade ice cream, mayonnaise, and some homemade Caesar dressings)
- Raw sprouts
- Store-made salads like chicken, egg, or tuna
Lastly, there’s one more item that belongs on this list. It’s a tough one — caffeine! Some say to avoid it. Others insist that, as long as you keep your intake under 200 mg per day, you’ll be okay. As always, when in doubt, ask your doctor or healthcare provider!
Vitamins, Food, and Unplanned Pregnancy
You’ve got this! While facing your unplanned pregnancy seems a tad daunting and overall intimidating, you can handle this. You are not alone on this journey, and we here at Adoption Choices of Nevada are here to help in any way we can. Just as we did with this list of helpful vitamins, food, and unplanned pregnancy tips! Remind yourself to take it one step at a time. Soon enough, you’ll be able to take on this pregnancy and all that accompanies it with confidence.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Tia Kitchens is a college graduate with a B.S in Psychology from Capella University who has always had a passion for three things: animals, writing, and mac ‘n cheese. Two of these three are things she has based her work around. Animals are a big impact on her life due to her love for helping others through difficult situations. Through her studies, she has found the human-animal bond is strong enough to help others. This, paired with her writing, helps her record her findings and teach others through her words.
She is excited to join Adoption Choices as an Editorial Intern because she’s wanted to adopt since she was little, and is excited to learn about the industry and the adoption journey.
Her goal is to make a change in the world with her words and end up on someone’s inspiration Pinterest board! Being a key quote on someone’s Pinterest board it shows her words have a huge impact on people. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that picture is just words it surely means more that way! To learn more about her, follow her on Twitter and Instagram!
“Diet During Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association, 30 Oct. 2019, americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/diet-during-pregnancy/.
“Eating Healthy During Pregnancy.” March of Dimes, www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/eating-healthy-during-pregnancy.aspx.
“Pregnancy Nutrition: Healthy-Eating Basics.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 Nov. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/art-20046955.