During pregnancy, what you eat and drink is the primary source of nutrition for your baby. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with nutrient-rich foods to ensure you are getting the boost you need during pregnancy, namely -- B6, B12, iron, calcium and folic acid.
You should start in the produce section. Bananas and whole grains, rich in vitamin B6, encourage red blood cell formation. Sweet potatoes have vitamin A for growing bones. Spinach and salmon are full of calcium, which helps prevent bone loss during your pregnancy and aids the growth of your developing baby's bones [source: KidsHealth.org]. Don't like something on this short list of "power" foods? Don't worry. There are plenty of substitutions to get the nutrition you need.
If you think swallowing a prenatal vitamin every day has your nutrition needs covered, think again. Your body -- and your baby -- simply needs more nutrition than a single vitamin can offer. For example, you won't receive the recommended daily allowance of calcium from a prenatal vitamin alone. Why? If it were included, the pill would be too big to swallow [source: March of Dimes: Multivitamin]. While your prenatal vitamin supplies extra folic acid and other nutrients to help prevent birth defects, be sure to eat a complementary diet to boost your baby's growth and protect your own health.
Which foods can pose a health risk to your baby? Next, we'll uncover a few dangerous ingredients you should avoid.