7 Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy

Important vitamins and minerals during pregnancy are folic acid, vitamin D, C and B12, iron, calcium, and iodine. Learn more.
7 Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy

Last update: 23 June, 2022

Vitamins and minerals during pregnancy are some of your greatest allies. These are nutrients that you and your baby need every day for proper development. But they also help reduce the chances of problems and complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, or malformations.

Food is crucial at any stage of life, and much more so in pregnant mothers. The need for some nutrients, as well as energy, is increased. This is why it’s crucial to know what and where the best sources are.

Apart from paying special attention to your diet, it’s necessary to follow all the recommendations of specialists. This is important because sometimes it may be appropriate to take supplements of some of these nutrients. Learn more details below.


Essential vitamins and minerals during pregnancy

Some of these nutrients that are needed in greater quantity during pregnancy are the following.

1. Folic acid

Folic acid is one of the vitamins that a pregnant woman needs the most. This product is also known as vitamin B9 and its action in the body helps the baby’s spinal cord and brain to form properly. It also prevents the appearance of cancer in pregnant women and counteracts the possibility that the future mother will suffer from a stroke.

Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are some of the foods rich in folic acid. These shouldn’t be lacking from the diet.

However, in this case, it’s also necessary to reinforce the levels of vitamin B9 by taking a supplement recommended by your doctor. Even for women who plan to become pregnant, it would be advisable to start supplementing with folic acid, due to its importance.

It’s very likely that during the first visits to the doctor who will accompany you throughout the process of your pregnancy, they’ll recommend taking vitamin supplements for pregnant women, which in addition to protecting your system, will contribute to the healthy development of the baby inside your womb.

These vitamins for pregnant women should be taken every day, preferably accompanied by orange juice or another citrus fruit, whose nutrients help to better absorb the components of these supplements.

A woman taking a vitamin.

Within the group of basic vitamins for pregnant women is vitamin B12, as it helps to form red blood cells and the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It’s present in meat, fish, eggs, shellfish, and milk.


This mineral helps prevent anemia and reduces the possibility of the child being born prematurely, in addition to strengthening your muscles and the formation of those of the baby.

Iron can be taken in the form of a vitamin supplement, and it can also be ingested through foods such as red meat, legumes, and shellfish. And precisely, vitamin C helps to optimize the absorption of iron, and this is just one of the reasons why it’s so important to eat citrus fruits during pregnancy.

When the needs are increased during pregnancy, it can be difficult to cover them with the diet. For this reason, supplements are usually administered from the second trimester. This is especially important in those women who don’t have adequate deposits before becoming pregnant.


Ensuring calcium intake is more than necessary during the gestation stage of the baby, who needs this micronutrient to develop its bones, teeth, muscles, and nerves. As with iron, it’s key again from the second trimester.

For this to happen without decalcifying you, you need to consume calcium in different forms. You can do it through supplements, which you can combine with a diet rich in dairy products such as cow’s milk, cheese, natural yogurt, vegetables such as broccoli and Brussel sprouts, and small oily fish.

You should also not forget to have optimal levels of vitamin D, as it contributes to calcium metabolism. And in addition, it prevents diseases such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, among others.

Also among the essential vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and lactation is iodine, whose action contributes to the formation of your baby’s nervous system. You should ingest 150 micrograms daily, which you can find in tablet form. It’s also good to keep in mind that there are many foods rich in iodine such as fish, eggs, seaweed, and iodized salt.

In conclusion, if you’re pregnant, you should eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and fish, which will provide you with all the vitamins and minerals necessary for you and your baby to enjoy good health.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Mayo Clinic. Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy: prevention tips. Febrero 2022.
  • Ministerio de Salud de Australia. Iodine supplements factsheet for consumers and health professionals. Marzo 2018.
  • Organización Mundial de la Salud. WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience. 2016.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Vitamin D: screening and supplementation during pregnancy. 2011.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Nutrition during pregnancy. FAQ. Marzo 2022.
  • von Websky, K., Hasan, A. A., Reichetzeder, C., Tsuprykov, O., & Hocher, B. (2018). Impact of vitamin D on pregnancy-related disorders and on offspring outcome. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology180, 51–64. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.11.008.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.