What Nutrients are Essential During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

During the first trimester of pregnancy or even 5 DPO, your body undergoes many changes. You’re likely to experience nausea and fatigue, making it hard to eat well. 

To keep yourself strong and healthy, you must ensure you get the right amount of nutrients daily.

In this article, we’ll explain what and how essential nutrients work in your body and why they are important during pregnancy so that you can make an informed decision about what supplements are right for you and your baby’s health during this critical stage in development.

Folic acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps keep the body healthy. Pregnant women need to get enough folic acid from foods and supplements, as it can help prevent miscarriage and congenital disabilities of the brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects).

Folate or folic acid is an essential nutrient found naturally in leafy green vegetables, beans, peas, citrus fruits, and fortified cereals. 

This nutrient also helps make the DNA—the genetic material that combines all of our cells into one person. Not having enough folate can lead to low iron levels, which may result in fatigue or weakness due to a lack of energy production.


The recommended daily amount of iron for pregnant women is 30mg, nearly double the amount a nonpregnant woman requires.

To get this amount, you should eat two servings of meat or fish daily, one serving of beans or lentils, and two servings of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale. If none of these foods suit you well, you may need to take an iron supplement until your baby arrives!

Iron deficiency during pregnancy can interfere with normal brain development in babies—so make sure you eat plenty!


Calcium is essential for your baby’s developing bones. You probably also know that you can generally get the recommended 1,000 milligrams per day through a well-balanced diet, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and dark leafy greens.

But if you’re still worried about falling short, ask your OB/GYN about taking a supplement. Not getting enough calcium at this stage could lead to brittle bones (osteoporosis) when you’re older.

And here’s the thing: It’s not just about getting enough calcium. It’s also about making sure it’s the right kind of calcium. That’s because most supplements contain only calcium carbonate—which isn’t very absorbable by our bodies. Our bones need a bioavailable form of calcium, like calcium citrate.


Choline is a nutrient found in many foods. It is found in eggs, meat and fish. It plays a vital role in brain development. 

Your baby’s cognitive development is crucial during the first trimester of your pregnancy. That’s why it’s so important to get enough choline at this time to ensure your baby’s brain stays healthy.

Vitamins D

Getting enough vitamin D is key to your health.

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for building strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in immune function. While you can get vitamin D from food like eggs and fortified milk, it’s hard to get enough through diet alone. Therefore, many doctors recommend taking a supplement containing 400 IU of vitamin D daily (unless you already get plenty of sunshine).

Vitamin C 

Pregnant women need at least 85 mg of vitamin C each day.

This essential nutrient helps you stay healthy and strong, boosts your immune system, and helps your body absorb iron. However, your body doesn’t store vitamin C, so getting enough from food every day is essential. Vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

You may have difficulty getting the right amount of Vitamin C if you develop food aversion during pregnancy. 

The good news? You can also get vitamin C from supplements if you don’t get enough from food.

During pregnancy, you should get at least 85 mg of vitamin C each day if you are older than 19, and 80 mg, if you are younger than 19, is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG).

You’re about to embark on a lifelong journey with your baby, so keeping yourself healthy and happy during pregnancy is important.

Keep in mind that while you’re pregnant, your body changes, making it easier for you to get very sick. This is all the more reason to ramp up your nutrient intake. These changes in the body can continue after pregnancy.

This means making small changes in your life that can lead to significant results. You’ll need a lot of nutrients during pregnancy to help you boost your immunity and prepare for delivery, and even after childbirth, to keep you healthy while you care for your little one.

So, if you’re planning to start a family now or soon, taking prenatal multivitamins is recommended to prepare your body. Growing babies need these nutrients, which will help keep mom healthy too!

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