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Eating Right When Pregnant

Good nutrition during pregnancy, and enough of it, is very important for your baby to grow and develop. Although nausea and vomiting during the first few months of pregnancy can make this difficult, try to eat a well-balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins.
Goals for Healthy Eating When Pregnant
  • Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need
  • Choose foods high in fiber that are enriched, such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice, as well as fruits and vegetables.
  • Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet while pregnant.
  • Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day.
  • Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, spinach, beans, and breakfast cereals.
  • Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower.
  • Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day.
Foods to Avoid When Pregnant
  • Avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Limit caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day.
  • The use of saccharin is strongly discouraged during pregnancy
  • Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish (also called white snapper), because they contain high levels of mercury.
  • Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. These cheeses are often unpasteurized and may cause Listeria infection.
  • Avoid raw fish, especially shellfish like oysters and clams.
What to Eat When Pregnant and Don't Feel Well:
During pregnancy you may have morning sickness, diarrhea, or constipation. You may find it hard to keep foods down, or you may feel too sick to even eat at all. Here are some suggestions:
  • Morning Sickness: Eat crackers, cereal, or pretzels before getting out of bed; eat small, frequent meals throughout the day; avoid fatty, fried, spicy, and greasy foods.
  • Constipation: Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day
  • Diarrhea:Eat more foods that contain pectin and gums (two types of dietary fiber) to help absorb excess water. Examples of these foods are applesauce, bananas, white rice, oatmeal, and refined wheat bread.
  • Heartburn: Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day; try drinking milk before eating; and limit caffeinated foods and beverages, citric beverages, and spicy foods.
Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients.
A few nutrients in a pregnancy diet deserve special attention. Here's what tops the list.
  • Folate and folic acid - Prevent birth defects
  • Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
Good sources: Fortified cereals are great sources of folic acid. Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and dried beans and peas are good sources of naturally occurring folate.
  • Calcium - Strengthen bone
You and your baby need calcium for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems run normally.
Good sources: Dairy products are the best absorbed sources of calcium. Non-dairy sources include broccoli and kale. Many fruit juices and breakfast cereals are fortified with calcium, too.
  • Vitamin D - Promote bone strength
Vitamin D also helps build your baby's bones and teeth.
Good sources: Fatty fish, such as salmon, is a great source of vitamin D. Other options include fortified milk and orange juice.
  • Protein - Promote growth
Protein is crucial for your baby's growth, especially during the second and third trimesters.
Good sources: Lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs are great sources of protein. Other options include dried beans and peas, tofu, dairy products, and peanut butter
  • Iron - Prevent anaemia
During pregnancy your blood volume expands to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her entire blood supply
Good sources: Lean red meat, poultry and fish are good sources of iron.
Supplements - Ask your health care provider
Even if you eat a healthy diet, you can miss out on key nutrients
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