Pregnancy is a biological situation of women in which nutrition and nutrient supply is essential for the proper development of the future baby and the health of the mother. The rapid growth of fetuses, which double their weight in just six weeks in the uterus, depends on the supply of nutrients they receive through the placenta.
It is well known that the contribution of folic acid during pregnancy reduces the incidence of neural disorders such as spina bifida in the fetus, a congenital malformation of the neural tube. Iron contributions during this period are also very important. Regarding calcium, it is recommended that pregnant women ingest 1,200 mg daily. Cramps that occur during pregnancy may be caused by a deficit of calcium or magnesium.
Recent studies indicate that daily calcium supplementation (non-generalized practice) may decrease the incidence of hypertension during pregnancy. Foods rich in calcium (from highest to lowest content) are cheeses, sardines, almonds, hazelnuts, prawns, yogurts, figs, chickpeas and other legumes.
In general, if the woman has a balanced and complete diet and the described requirements are met – 1,200 mg/day – nutritional supplements or vitamins would not be necessary, although, as we have said, folic acid is often supplemented, iron and a general vitamin complex.