Reduce or stop consuming caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as they are known to cause miscarriages and damage the foetal brain.
Cook all foods thoroughly to avoid bacterial contamination. That means raw fish or meat is strictly off limits.
You need 1000 - 1200 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day to build your baby's bones and teeth; a healthy heart, muscles and nerves. Top sources of calcium-rich foods include milk and dairy products. However, stay away from unpasteurised milk and dairy products as they may contain bacteria that can harm your child. You may also boost your intake with calcium tablets.
You need 27 milligrams (mg) of iron a day to make more haemoglobin (red blood cells) and placenta growth. Fish and meats such as chicken and lean beef contain large amounts of iron. Non-meat products that are rich in iron are beans, vegetables and grains. However, avoid liver products as they contain high amount of Vitamin A, which is harmful to the unborn child; and swordfish, marlin, shark and tuna as they are known to contain mercury.
You need 70 grams (g) of protein a day to develop your baby's body. Try beans, lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products. However, avoid swordfish, marlin, shark and tuna as they are known to contain mercury.
Folic Acid (Folate)
You need 600 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day to reduce your baby's risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and other defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate and heart defects. Folic acid can be found in green vegetables like cabbage, beans and broccoli; and fruits such as bananas and oranges.
Vitamin B reduces the risk of foetal deformities and congenital heart disease; develops brain and nervous system; and may relieve nausea. Essential Vitamin Bs include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin). They can be found in fortified breads, cereal, whole grain products, beans and peas.
Your daily intake of Vitamin B is as follows:
Vitamin B1:1.4 milligrams (mg)
Vitamin B12:2.6 micrograms (mcg)
You need 85 milligrams (mg) a day for tissue repair, bone growth and repair, and healthy skin. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits; and vegetables such as broccoli and cabbages are excellent sources of Vitamin C.
You need 200 IUs (5 micrograms) of Vitamin D to maintain optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus. Fish liver oil, fatty fish, eggs, milk and cereal products contain Vitamin D.
You need 450 milligrams (mg) of choline a day to boost your baby's brainpower and protect him against neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Choline can be found in spinach, poultry products, beans and fish. However, avoid swordfish, marlin, shark and tuna as they are known to contain mercury.