Maintaining proper nutrition in pregnancy is vital to both mother and baby’s wellbeing. Proper nutrition includes not only a good diet but vitamins and supplements as well. They do not replace proper nutrients obtained from food but help to boost the good nutrients from the food. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet of protein, fat, and carbs combined with the proper exercise routine for optimal health.
Maintaining good nutrition during pregnancy is important for both mother and baby. Below we have key points to a healthy pregnancy.
Good balance of fruits, vegetables, protein and fat. You should aim for 70 grams protein/day. If you have PCOS or gestational diabetes you should try to limit carbohydrate consumption.
Limit Caffeine use to 2 cups/coffee day, 4 sodas/day
Lunch meats need to reheated to prevent Listeria contamination
Limit large fish such as swordfish/tuna to 1 12 ounce can/week. Shellfish is fine to eat.
Avoid unpasteurized cheeses or honey as they may contain Listeria which can be harmful to the baby.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight throughout pregnancy. At each visit we record the weight gained to make sure you are on target. Each specific week is not as important as the total overall as long as you are not losing weight. The amount of weight you gain depends on what you weighed prior to pregnancy.
If you are at your ideal body weight: 25 to 35lbs
If you are underweight: 35 to 45lbs
If you are overweight: 15 to 20lbs
If you are having twins: 45 to 55lbs
Remember there are no weight loss diets safe to do while pregnant. Try to maintain a healthy diet with exercise throughout the pregnancy.
Folate and folic acid — Prevents birth defects. Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Lack of folate in a pregnancy diet may also increase the risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery. The synthetic form of folate found in supplements and fortified foods is known as folic acid.
How much you need: 800 micrograms of folate or folic acid/day before conception and throughout pregnancy. 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 bones. You and your baby need calcium for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems run normally.
How much you need: 1,000 milligrams a day. Pregnant teenagers need 1,300 milligrams a day. Dairy products are the richest sources of calcium. 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.
How much you need: 600 IU a/day. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are great sources of vitamin D. Other options include fortified milk and orange juice.
The use of herbs in pregnancy is controversial. Herbal remedies over the counter are not FDA regulated, therefore, their safety in pregnancy is relatively unknown as there are limited studies. We have included a list below of those that are considered safe and those to avoid.
Ginger: can be useful for morning sickness
Oat: good source of calcium/magnesium
Alfalfa: useful for clotting
Raspberry leaf: can help leg cramps, morning sickness
Nettle: good source of folic acid
Dandelion root: useful for digestion, helps constipation
Omega 3 Supplements
They’re a family of fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health and development. Because they aren’t synthesized by the human body, they must be obtained dietarily or by supplement.
These Omega-3 fats maintain your body’s production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins regulate many important physiological functions including blood pressure, blood clotting, nerve transmission, the production of hormones, and much more. An imbalance in prostaglandin production can lead to disease.
Not only do these prostaglandins help regulate multiple body functions, but they also provide a multitude of health benefits. They improve cognitive function and help prevent heart disease, mood disorders, and come with a wide array of other benefits.
Omega-3s are crucial for both the neurological and early development of your baby. Omega-3s are also used after birth in breast milk. They also may reduce the risk of allergies in infants.
In addition to fetal development, these fatty acids also have positive effects on the pregnancy itself. Increased intake can prevent pre-term labor and delivery as well as decreasing the mother’s risk for postpartum depression.
The best sources are cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and herring. If you don’t like fish, purified fish oil supplements are a good replacement.
Caffeine is a stimulant and can raise your heart rate as well as the baby’s. It therefore should be consumed in moderation. Most studies suggest that pregnant women consume less than 300mg of caffeine/day.
1 Starbucks coffee
4 sodas (diet or regular)
8 cups of black tea.
Higher levels of this has been linked to infertility, miscarriage in the first trimester, and fetal heart rate changes in the later trimesters. Caffeine is found in not only coffee but black tea, green tea, chocolate, Mountain Dew, and some cold medicines. It can also be found in energy drinks. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
WIC stands for “women, infant and child” services and is provided by state funding. Follow the link below to find out if you qualify for WIC services.
Find out if you qualify here