Newport Hospital obstetrician tips to stay healthy while pregnant

Emily G. Blosser, MD, PhD

Many women have questions about diet and exercise during pregnancy. It is important to understand how your needs change so you can optimize your energy and your baby’s development.

Let’s start with nutrition and the role of vitamins. A daily prenatal vitamin is the first step to ensure you have the vitamins and minerals your baby needs. These are sold over the counter, but your doctor may also prescribe them.

There are a few things to consider. One is when you should begin taking a prenatal vitamin. It can actually be beneficial to start before you’re even pregnant. That’s because some critical fetal development happens in the weeks before you know you are pregnant. Starting with prenatal vitamins as soon as you begin trying to conceive is a good idea. Otherwise, begin after your first positive pregnancy test.

Emily Blosser, MD

Should your prenatal vitamin include iron? The answer may be yes, especially if you have a history of anemia. About 300 mg is an appropriate amount to take daily. If you suffer from constipation when taking oral iron, it’s best to consult with your doctor. Folate (the natural form of vitamin B9) is also important. Most prenatal vitamins include this supplement.

Prenatal vitamins can sometimes make nausea and vomiting worse, especially in the first trimester. Here are a few helpful tips: