Calcium is needed for the proper calcification of your growing baby's bones and teeth, so be sure to drink at least four cups of skim milk or the equivalent amount (i.e., one ounce of cheese, one cup of plain yogurt, or 1½ cups of cottage cheese) of dairy products each day during your second and third trimesters. If you don't eat enough calcium, your body will automatically draw it from your bones—making sure your baby gets what he needs, but at the expense of your skeleton. The recommended intake for calcium is 1,200 milligrams per day.
The other vitamin and mineral requirements for pregnancy can be met by a well-balanced diet that contains the appropriate increase in nutrient-dense calories combined with a prenatal vitamin/mineral complex.
Choosing the Right Foods in the Right Amounts
A well-balanced diet for pregnancy should contain these approximate amounts from four basic food groups:
1. From the meat, fish, poultry, and egg group: Choose approximately three two- to three-ounce servings of fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, beans, lentils, nut butters (i.e. peanut, almond, cashew, tahini, soy nut), seeds, and nuts.
2. From the dairy group: Choose approximately four one-cup servings of milk or the equivalent (i.e., one ounce of cheese, one cup plain yogurt, or 1½ cups of cottage cheese).