Every mom’s nutritional needs are special when it comes to her pregnancy. But some circumstances may require a little extra attention. Read below to see if any of these apply to you. Other special circumstances exist. Be sure to get regular prenatal visits with your doctor.

Special Nutritional Needs

Are You Over 35?

More and more women are having babies later in life. And when it comes to the risk of complications in pregnancy, healthy lifestyle is a more significant factor than biological age.

If you are over 35 and pregnant, you have the same general caloric and nutritional needs as someone younger. But know that women tend to store fat more easily as they age. And there is a slightly higher risk for high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Fortunately, watching what you eat can control gestational diabetes. Be sure to get a protein-rich, balanced diet, and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

Are You a Vegetarian?

As a pregnant vegetarian, you need to be sure you're getting enough protein, vitamins D, B12, and calcium.

Consult our Nutrient Guide to find alternative sources for these important nutrients and calories. Asking your doctor about a vitamin supplement might be a good idea as well.

Do You Have Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes affects 5%-7% of women in the US. It carries the risk of raising your blood sugar. The good news is, if managed properly, you can deliver a healthy baby.

How do you manage the risk of gestational diabetes? By a carefully planned diet. By gentle exercise. And most of all, by working with your doctor.

Are You Pregnant with Twins?

The more babies you have in your belly, the more competition there will be for your nutrition to help them grow. This is one reason why many twins and multiples are at a higher risk for low birth weight and pre-term delivery. Work with your doctor to make sure you're eating a quality diet that can support them all. Iron is especially important to women carrying twins, so check with your doctor about a prenatal vitamin mineral supplement and fill up on lean meat and leafy greens.

Are You On Pregnancy Bed Rest?

If your doctor has put you on pregnancy bed rest, you need to keep your nutrition up and your weight under control. Balanced nutrition can help. Ask your husband or helpers to prepare light meals and healthy snacks to keep by the bed, along with a pitcher of water.

To keep your blood circulating to the placenta, lie on your left side as much as possible. Avoid lying on your back, which puts pressure on the vein that brings blood from your lower body to your heart.