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Diet Nutrients for the Second Month of Pregnancy

By Erica Jacques ; Updated July 18, 2017

The second month of being pregnant begins at five weeks of pregnancy, which is approximately three weeks after conception. A mother may not even be aware that she is pregnant by this time, even though many important changes are already taking place in her unborn child. Certain nutrients are vital to the baby’s development during this time.

Folic Acid

Folic acid, also known as folate, is one of the B vitamins. Folic acid is vital during the first few weeks of pregnancy, as this is when the baby’s brain and spinal cord begin to develop. Expectant mothers who do not get the daily recommended dose of folic acid during this time risk of having a child with neural tube deficits, or having a preterm delivery. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or ACOG, recommends 400 micrograms daily early in pregnancy. ctual amounts may vary based on prior medical conditions and doctor recommendations. Some foods high in folic acid include spinach, beans and fortified cereals.

Iron

Early in her pregnancy, a woman’s blood supply increases to support her developing baby. A woman who does not get enough iron early in her pregnancy may feel fatigued and riskS developing anemia. ACOG recommends a pregnant woman get 27 milligrams of iron daily throughout the pregnancy, starting as soon as she knows she is pregnant. According to Ohio State University, most women cannot achieve this through food alone, and generally require a supplement. Fortunately, most prenatal vitamins contain a high amount of iron. Additional iron-rich foods include meats, poultry and beans.

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Calcium

Calcium is important for both baby’s and mom’s bones. Early in pregnancy, the skeletal system begins to form, growing and developing throughout the course of nine months. Women should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, starting when they discover they are pregnant, but pregnant teenagers require more calcium than the average expectant woman, up to 1,300 milligrams daily. Good sources of calcium include dairy products and leafy greens.

Protein

Protein is especially important during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy; however, mothers to be should start taking in extra protein as soon as they know they are pregnant. Ohio State University reports that protein helps build the blood supply, as well as the baby’s developing muscles. A pregnant woman who is a vegetarian or a vegan may need additional sources of protein throughout her pregnancy. The daily recommended amount of protein for pregnant women is 75 to 100 grams daily. Low-fat cottage cheese and low-mercury fish are good sources of protein, offering a third of the daily value each.

Counting Calories

During the second month of pregnancy, a woman does not need many extra calories per day to support her growing baby. Additional caloric needs come later in the pregnancy. However, to ensure that she is getting the vital nutrients she needs without packing on too many pounds, she should focus on low-calorie nutrient-rich foods and take a prenatal vitamin.

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