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Nourishing Your Pregnancy: A Balanced Diet

Nutrients are crucial in the healthy development of the body for everyone. However, the transformative duration of pregnancy demands more careful attention to nutrition. When you become pregnant, your health requires more nutrients like several proteins, calcium, and vitamins. 

There is a famous saying that states, “You are what you eat,” which can be completely implemented during pregnancy. Your diet not only nourishes you but also has a great impact on your baby.

Your food choice helps you a lot to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Here are some basic ideas that will educate you on the beautiful journey of pregnancy.

Why is it important to have a balanced diet during pregnancy?

A balanced diet is very necessary for the healthy development of your body as well as for the baby. It helps to prevent complexities like preterm birth and certain birth defects.

A balanced diet not only nourishes your body but also nurtures a new life. That is why it is important to accomplish a nourishing or balanced diet that helps both the mother and the developing baby.

What nutrients are necessary in pregnancy for a balanced diet?

Here, we will delve into the essential nutrients that are required to attain a balanced diet:

  1. Protein:
  • It is a fundamental nutrient that plays an important part in healthy growth. For many tissues including cells, organs, and muscles, it behaves as a building block. 
  • During pregnancy, protein provides amino acid that is required when the baby’s cells multiply more rapidly.
  • It helps in the formation of structures like the heart, brain, and lungs.
  • Protein builds the placenta which is responsible for protecting and nourishing the fetus.
  • It helps to rebuild maternal tissues like breast tissues.
  • In pregnancy, blood volume increases to provide oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Protein helps to produce hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood.
  • More protein prevents you from anemia (a condition in pregnancy). 
  • Protein is an essential component to support the immune system because of antibodies.
  • When carbohydrates and fats are insufficient, protein helps to provide energy. 

What is the source of protein?

Sources of protein include chicken, eggs, tofu, dairy products, nuts, beans, and seeds. Intake of these foods confirms that you are getting enough amino acids for the healthy development of you and your baby.

What should be the daily intake of protein during pregnancy?

Protein needs vary from person to person. Mostly, a pregnant woman requires 71 gm of protein per day which is a bit higher than proteins used in normal conditions.

However, It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional or a dietitian to determine your requirements and needs.

Can we use protein supplements during pregnancy?

Yes, you can use it, if your healthcare provider recommends them. They recommend it because of insufficient dietary intake in some cases. That is why you should only use them under your doctor’s guidance.

  1. Vitamin B9 (folate):
  • Vitamin B9 is a vital nutrient that supports the development of the baby by reducing the risk of birth defects during pregnancy. 
  • During the first trimester of pregnancy, it is critical. It helps in the development of a baby’s neural tube which is essential in the formation of the spinal cord and brain.
  • It helps to prevent defects like anencephaly and spina bifida, which saves your baby from lifelong consequences. 
  • Folate is responsible for the production of red blood cells in both the mother and the baby which prevents fatigue including other complications.
  • DNA synthesis and repair are also done by folate. This is very important because of the division and growing cells of the baby.
  • Folate also helps in the development of genetic material.
  • Vitamin B9 overall helps the body during pregnancy and enables the body to accept all the changes.
  • It also prevents preeclampsia, a condition in which the kidneys and liver are damaged.

What is the source of folate or vitamin B9?

Their sources may include leafy green vegetables, cereals, citrus fruits, and legumes. It is necessary to include these foods in your diet so that you can take the required quantity of folate.

What should be the daily intake of folate or vitamin B9?

During pregnancy, It is recommended to intake around 600 to 800 micrograms of folate per day. Women who are affected by neural tube defects or certain other conditions in previous pregnancies generally require a high dosage of folate or vitamin B9.


  • It helps in the development of teeth, muscles, bones, and heart of the baby. It is also very important in preventing complications and maintaining mother bones.
  • Calcium helps in the fetal skeletal development of the baby. It is responsible for the working of muscles, and nerves in both mother and baby.
  • It is crucial in blood clotting and prevents excessive bleeding during childbirth.
  • It helps reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension. It also regulates blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Consumption of calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis and saves from postpartum bone loss during pregnancy.

What is the source of calcium?

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are sources of calcium. Almonds, rice milk, and soy are also great sources. Vegetables like kale and broccoli contain calcium. Daily calcium intake like orange juice and cereals contributes to healthy development.

What should be the daily intake of calcium during pregnancy?

Daily intake of calcium during pregnancy is 1000 to 1300 milligrams. However, it also depends on age and needs.


  • It ensures the transportation of oxygen needed for growth and development. It supports hemoglobin in both you and your baby.
  • Iron helps in the immune system and fights several infections and illnesses protecting both.
  • Helps in a baby’s fetal development like the brain and other organs.
  • It maintains your pregnancy by maintaining metabolism.

What is the source of iron?

Lean meats such as poultry and beef, seafood, and fish are the sources of iron. Plant-based sources are chickpeas and black beans, tofu, and spinach. Foods like strawberries, citrus foods, and bell peppers are rich sources of iron.

What is a daily intake of iron during pregnancy?

27 milligrams of iron is suggested per day during pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs more iron than a non-pregnant woman for the baby’s and mother’s growth.

A day of nourishment during pregnancy:

You can consider these things for your daily diet during your pregnancy:


The most important thing is to stay hydrated. You need to drink plenty of water throughout the day and use herbal teas would be a great choice.


You can take one glass of orange juice that helps in boosting calcium and vitamin C. One fresh bowl of oatmeal with berries and nuts can provide you with folate, fiber, and fats.


You can take yogurt mixed with honey and some amount of almonds which helps you to get calcium and proteins.


A grilled chicken with salad can provide you with folate and iron.


Steamed broccoli, brown rice, and salmon offer you protein and vital nutrients.


A small amount of dark chocolate can be a better idea to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Hannah Miller
Writer, Child Development Specialist Expertise Nutritional Needs for Growing Children Picky Eater Strategies Effective Communication Techniques Inclusive Education Techniques Preparing Kids for School Transitions Highlights Founder and Head of Content Strategy for Parenting and Childcare with a specialized focus on nutritional needs for growing children and picky eater strategies. Holds a Master's degree in Child Development from Queens University. Certified in Precision Nutrition, Child Development Associate, and New Parent Education. Experience Hannah Miller, M.Ed., combines academic insights with real-life parenting experience in her writing. Maria crafts articles on topics such as effective communication techniques, inclusive education, and preparing kids for school transitions that resonate deeply with parents and parents-to-be. She offers invaluable resources based on her extensive education, training, and firsthand experience as a parent. In her spare time, Maria enjoys hiking trails and experimenting in the kitchen with culinary delights.

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