Prenatal Period Nutrition: How Vitamins and Minerals Support Your Baby's Development

Proper guided care during the prenatal period is crucial for the health of the mother and the development of the baby.

Many Filipino couples who are thinking of adding new members to their family often begin their journey to parenthood with a doctor’s appointment to discuss their options. In these appointments, doctors can answer any health-related questions and help identify potential issues that may affect fertility or pregnancy. However, the reality is many Filipina would-be mothers may not be going to regular prenatal visits with healthcare professionals.

To up your chances for a safe and healthy pregnancy, some lifestyle changes must be made. Modifying one’s regular diet and some habits can be a good place to start. Still, visits to the doctor during the prenatal period are crucial for mothers to learn about nutritional and maternal care advice that are tailor-fit to their specific needs.

Maternal care tips for mothers and their families

The nine months of a pregnancy has both ups and downs. As you prepare to welcome your little one into your life, here are a few tips to help you along the way if this is your first pregnancy, or a gentle reminder if you have been pregnant before.

Attend doctor’s appointments

Be sure to schedule regular visits to the doctor in order to monitor your health as well as your baby’s. These visits may also be an avenue for you to ask a healthcare professional about any questions or concerns related to your pregnancy.

Exercise regularly

Light to moderate exercise like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga help you manage weight gain and stress, while decreasing the risk of conditions such as gestational diabetes.

Avoid caffeine, do not drink alcoholic beverages and do not smoke

Smoking and drinking coffee, soda, and alcohol may be lifestyle habits that you usually partake in, but these are activities you must not do while you are pregnant.

Eat well-balanced, healthy meals

Because you are also supporting your future child, you must get enough nutrients by having a diverse diet made up of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.

While preparing and eating healthy meals are integral part of maternal care, there are certain nutrients that are particularly important during pregnancy.

Which nutrients are vital during the prenatal period?

The following nutrients are important for the healthy growth and development of the infant and provide mothers with what they need to maintain their own health. While it is best to get the proper nutrition from well-balanced meals, a doctor may suggest prenatal supplements to address any nutrient gaps in a mother’s regular diet.

Folic Acid (Folate)

Folate, the natural form of folic acid, can be found in green leafy vegetables, beans, animal liver and several other whole foods. Taking folic acid supplements supports the development of the embryo’s brain and spine.


Iron is a necessary mineral found in meat and fish that allows red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body. Since pregnant women are in a period of growth, they may need to supplement with iron, especially if they live in areas where iron deficiency anemia is common.


The most abundant mineral in charge of strong bones and teeth and other essential bodily functions is Calcium. Taking a calcium supplement can support both the mother and the infant’s bone and muscle health.

For added support, try these prenatal supplements

Prenatal supplements contain essential vitamins and minerals which help to prevent complications throughout the pregnancy before the birth of the baby. Aside from eating more folate-, iron-, and calcium-rich food, consider the following supplements at your doctor’s advice:

  • Appetite OB is a prenatal multivitamin with iron that helps to prevent and treat vitamin B, vitamin C, and iron deficiencies for pregnant women.
  • CAD3 FS contains dietary calcium and vitamin D3 which work together to support the bone health of pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as other adults and adolescents.

Seeking regular prenatal care from your doctor makes sure that you are guided every step of the way throughout the nine months. Whether you already have a little one in your home and especially if you are a first-time mother, there are many resources to help you get the proper care you deserve. Taking care of yourself during your pregnancy gives your baby the best possible start in life. Remember that your doctor, family, friends, and community are there to support you on this wonderful journey. —(Nurturemed)