Nutrition During Pregnancy 

Taking good care of yourself is good for both you and your baby. Nutrition and a calm attitude give your baby the best start on life. Everything you eat and experience, your baby is also processing and experiencing. While the placenta can filter some things, any kind of non-food chemicals such as prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vaccines, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or any kind of chemicals that are not food go directly to your baby. Your baby is also affected by the amount of stress around you. Here are some basic nutritional guidelines and things to avoid during pregnancy. 

What to Eat? 

Every day that you eat nutritious food improves your and your baby’s health. Here are some suggested amounts of foods that are good for you and your baby. Water is also important to keep you hydrated. 

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables (vitamins A, B, and C) - 5 to 9 servings 
  2. Protein (iron)– chicken, turkey, pork, beef, boiled eggs, nuts, beans - 2 to 3 servings 
  3. Dairy (calcium)—milk, yogurt, cheese - 3 to 4 servings 
  4. Whole grain cereals, breads, and brown rice – up to 8 servings 
  5. Healthy oils like olive oil 
  6. 8-ounce glasses of water—10 glasses of water 
  7. Prenatal vitamins containing 400 mg of folic acid 

What not to Eat? 

  1. Limit processed foods such as white bread, rice, boxed or frozen meals, fast and fried foods, and sugary items like juice, soda, and candy. 

Here are some healthier Fast-Food Choices: 

    • Grilled chicken instead of breaded or fried 
    • Fruit instead of French fires 
    • Fruit smoothie or water instead of soda 
  1. Avoid raw or undercooked meat, seafood, or eggs  
  2. Avoid processed meats like hot dogs, deli, or sandwich meat 
  3. Avoid fish that is high in mercury, including albacore and tuna 

What to Avoid? 

  1. Hot tubs 
  2. Cat litter boxes 
  3. Gases and fumes like exhaust and cleaning supplies 
  4. Over-the-counter medication, unless cleared by a medical professional 
  5. X-rays

No amount of alcohol in any form is considered safe at any point in pregnancy. 

Non-food chemicals, such as tabaco, are not healthy for you or your baby. 

Certain vaccines or exposure to certain diseases may not be proven safe during pregnancy. 

Calorie intake during pregnancy? 

  1. First trimester – no change 
  2. Second trimester – increase by 340 calories per day 
  3. Third trimester—increase by 450 calories per day 

Nutrition While Breastfeeding

There are many benefits to breast feeding for both you and your baby. While you want your baby to maintain proper weight gain, breastfed babies may not weigh as much as a formula fed baby, as breast milk is easily digestible and doesn’t cause baby to bloat, retain water, or have allergic reactions like formulas can.

Breast milk is specifically balanced for the needs of your baby. Breast milk also transfers your immunity to your baby. As you become exposed to viruses, your body creates antibodies that you then give to your baby through your milk. This helps your baby stay healthy.

While breast feeding does not guarantee a woman cannot become pregnant, it may help. Over a period of weeks and months, breast feeding your baby uses excess fat you may have stored for baby during pregnancy, and may even help you lose unwanted weight you had prior to pregnancy. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will produce as your baby grows.

What you eat and avoid during pregnancy, continue while breast feeding. In addition, you will want to avoid gassy foods such as beans and broccoli to help your baby avoid discomfort. Talk to experienced moms who have enjoyed breastfeeding. Or talk to your Personal Advisor at the pregnancy center who can connect you with a lactation specialist.