Teen pregnancies do create certain higher risks than pregnancies of adult women. The fact that a teen may not be all the way through her growth process, plus the fact that her reproductive organs are in their early stages of development, can create increased dietary and nutritional needs that are not the same as a pregnancy for an adult woman.
A pregnant teen needs a diet that is sufficient in nutrition to not only support her growing baby, but also her own high nutritional needs. Pregnancy increases the need for vitamins, minerals, protein, water, and calories. In addition, if a teen is still growing, her body needs these things as well to develop the way that it needs to.
For a teen who is pregnant, it is important first of all to avoid dehydration and other problems by making sure to get enough fluids. A pregnant teen should be drinking around ten cups of water every day. If the weather is hot or the teen is physically active, she will need even more than this. To keep hydrated, a teen who is pregnant should focus on drinking water and avoid soda pop, caffeinated drinks, and more than a serving or two of fruit juice.
Fiber is another important part of a pregnant teen’s dietary and nutritional needs. Getting enough fiber will help keep the intestines moving and too avoid constipation.
A prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement is especially important for a pregnant teen. As with all prenatal vitamins, this should contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, and as much as 600 mg of folic acid may be recommended by your health care provider.
A pregnant teen’s body needs plenty of iron and calcium, particularly during the latter two thirds of pregnancy. Here again, your health care provider may wish to prescribe an iron and/or calcium supplement.
Because of the risks inherent in teen pregnancy, in particular the risk of premature or low-birthweight babies, it is important that a pregnant teen be under the care of a reliable health care provider, and may need to consult with a nutritionist, as well.