A well-balanced diet is crucial to good health. It is even more important during pregnancy when there are added demands on your body to meet the needs of a growing fetus. A good diet can help ensure the health of your body and the growth of the baby. One way to be certain you are eating a balanced diet is to follow the food guide pyramid.
Eating a variety of healthy foods will help you to consume the right amount of vitamins and nutrients during each stage of the pregnancy.
Weight Gain Throughout Your Pregnancy
Weight gain and calorie intake during pregnancy varies from person to person, so talk with Women's Physicians and Surgeons about the amount of calories you need. Your obstetrician will monitor your weight to make sure you are gaining a healthy amount of weight throughout the pregnancy. Depending on your weight before becoming pregnant, it is typically healthy to gain 2 to 4 pounds during the first trimester, 3 to 4 pounds each month during the second and third trimesters.
Healthy Nutrition for Pregnant Women
In addition to eating a balanced diet, a prenatal or multivitamin with folic acid should be taken daily throughout your pregnancy. Getting enough iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12, helps the baby get the nutrients they need to develop.
Foods to Avoid When Pregnant
While it is recommended that you avoid certain foods that could be dangerous to eat when pregnant, discuss your diet with your obgyn first. Foods you should stay away from include:
- Refrigerated meat spreads
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
- Deli meats and hot dogs
- Raw sprouts
- Unpasteurized milk or juice
- Fish with high mercury levels, like swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark
Food Preparation Safety
Eating and handling food safely to is even more important when you are pregnant. To prevent foodborne illness, be careful to wash your hands after touching raw meat and prevent raw meat from touching other surfaces. Be sure to cook the meat completely or reheat to the appropriate temperature before eating.
If you are active now, pregnancy need not cause you to alter your fitness routine. If you have not been active, now is a good time to start. Exercise during pregnancy can benefit your health by increasing your energy, relieve constipation, leg cramps, bloating and swelling, lift your spirits, help you to relax, improve your posture, promote muscle tone and stamina, control gestational diabetes and improve your sleep.
Contact your obstetrician here at Women's Physicians and Surgeons with any questions or concerns about your nutrition during pregnancy.
Food Safety for Mom's To Be - US FDA