Women's Healthcare Topics

What Should My Diet Be Like During Pregnancy?

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Key Success Factors for Healthy Eating

Take the mystery out of healthy eating and learn what it takes to ensure the health and well being of your unborn child! There is a wealth of information available today that offers tips for eating well during pregnancy.

Sometimes it almost seems as if there is too much advice available. Fortunately there is hope; you can eat healthy and nutritiously during your pregnancy if you follow a healthy pregnancy diet.

Eating well can be a challenge, given the tremendous cravings you might be having mingled with morning sickness you might be feeling, particularly during the first trimester. However it is vital that you do everything possible to ensure your baby's health and well being, and that includes eating a healthy diet.

So what exactly do you need to know to eat a healthy and well balanced diet during pregnancy?

Consume 200-300 additional calories per day during the second and third trimesters. It is not vital that you have these extra calories during the first trimester, particularly if you are nauseous or have severe morning sickness. 300 calories does not amount to much, and certainly does not equate to eating for two! You can gain the extra calories from a snack, which may include a cup of yogurt and 1/2 bagel, a granola bar and 1 oz piece of cheese, and extra glass of orange juice or milk and handful of nuts.

Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods. During your pregnancy it is best that you eat as many foods as possible in their natural state. This includes whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, meats and other products that don't have added sugar and other chemicals which may be harmful to your developing baby.

Take a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and 30 mg of iron. You can generally purchase an over the counter prenatal supplement with adequate supplies of vitamins and nutrients to ensure that you are meeting your nutritional requirements during pregnancy.

Eat an adequate amount of protein. Protein rich foods include beans, meat and tofu. You should be trying to eat at least three servings a day. Adequate protein consumption will not only ensure that you have a strong reserve of energy for the day, it will also help your baby's tissues develop.

Eat calcium rich foods at least three times per day. You should be getting at least 1200 mg of calcium every day. Calcium can be found in many foods including dairy products and fortified juices such as orange juice. Calcium is critical particularly during the third trimester when your baby's bones are developing.

Pregnancy Health Section

Tips for Eating Well During Each Month of Pregnancy

Learn about a healthy pregnancy diet.

As your belly expands you may find it easier to eat several “mini-meals” during the day instead of three large meals. This will improve your digestion and also prevent excessive heartburn.

Consider breaking your three meals into six smaller meals per day. Also stock your refrigerator with lots of healthy and nutritious snacks, so you are less tempted to grab for something that is full of sugar and empty calories in a moment of hunger.

Healthy eating is also as important as fitness and exercise during pregnancy. If given the opportunity, you should engage in some sort of light physical activity as well during your pregnancy, which will not only improve your mood but prepare your body for labor.

When combined with a healthy pregnancy diet, adequate fitness and exercise will help you feel and look your best throughout your pregnancy!

Pregnancy nutrition is easy when you are armed with the knowledge and power necessary to make smart choices!

Remember that everything you put into your mouth goes into the mouth of your little one. Thus, it is vital you do everything in your power to ensure that you get adequate nutrition during pregnancy!


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