Knowing what to eat when pregnant can be somewhat confusing. It seems like everyone from your great aunt to the morning television announcer is offering advice on prenatal nutrition. While some myths such as “you should eat for two” can cause problems, many recommendations contain at least a grain of truth. For a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby, concentrate on getting enough of key nutrients like folic acid and iron, avoiding substances that could harm your baby’s development, like alcohol and caffeine, and otherwise eating a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed, fresh foods.

1. Make sure you get enough folic acid

Folic acid, a B vitamin, is important both before and after you conceive. Having an adequate supply of this substance in your body helps prevent birth defects, such as spinal malformations and neural-tube defects, by 50 to 70 percent. Plus, upping your intake of folic acid a year before conception can help prevent preterm delivery.

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