How Much Should Pregnant Woman Eat

Simple Tips To Add Fruits In Your Pregnancy Diet

Should pregnant women eat tuna?
  • You can mix sliced fruits or frozen berries with yoghurt or cereal in your breakfast
  • You can also add pieces of apple, grapes or raisins to salads for a pre-lunch snack
  • If you dont have time to cut fruits, make smoothies or shakes by blending fruit with yoghurt or milk
  • You can add dried or fresh fruit in oatmeal, pancakes and waffles
  • The best option is to keep a bowl of fruit within your reach and sight so that you remember to grab a piece of fruit whenever hungry
  • Keep dried fruit or fruits like grapes and strawberries handy, and snack on them instead of on
  • You can also bake yourself a fruit cake and include lots of fruits such as kiwi and berries. This is a delicious way to add fruits to your diet
  • These super fruits in pregnancy can help you sail smoothly through the nine months of your pregnancy. So, tuck into them to your hearts content and have a healthy pregnancy.

A Pregnant Woman Should Include In Their Daily Diet At Least:

  • Five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Six servings of enriched, whole-grain breads and cereals. Three servings of nonfat or low-fat milk or milk products
  • Two to three servings of extra-lean meats, chicken without the skin, fish, or cooked dried beans and peas
  • Eight glasses of water

The guidelines for eating well for a healthy pregnancy are simple and easy to follow. When, where, and how much they eat is flexible, and often is governed by necessity. A pregnant woman in their first trimester might choose a snack for breakfast and a large evening meal if they suffer from morning sickness, but select a larger breakfast and a light evening meal in the last trimester when heartburn is more of a problem. Avoid or limit caffeine and avoid alcohol and tobacco. Since no safe limit has been established for alcohol, abstinence is a woman’s best bet.

Online Resources For Clinicians

. Calculators for daily energy needs and interactive dietary reference intakes for healthcare professionals

Allows health care professionals to estimate energy and nutrient requirements during pregnancy and lactation Resource for general prenatal dietary guidelines from the March of Dimes

Review on how to implement the IOM gestational weight gain guidelines

Webinar that reviews a toolkit on implementing the IOM gestational weight gain guidelines

Myths for providers to dispel during the course of prenatal care

Checklist of foods to avoid during pregnancy

Resource from the FDA on fish consumption during pregnancy

Summary and Future Considerations

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Food And Drinks To Avoid While Pregnant

No level of alcohol consumption is considered safe during pregnancy. Also, check with your doctor before you take any vitamins or herbal products. Some of these can be harmful to the developing fetus.

And although many doctors feel that one or two 6- to 8-ounce cups per day of coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine won’t harm your baby, it’s probably wise to avoid caffeine altogether if you can. High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and other problems, so limit your intake or switch to decaffeinated products.

When you’re pregnant, it’s also important to avoid food-borne illnesses, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, which can be life threatening to an unborn baby and may cause birth defects or miscarriage. Foods to steer clear of include:

  • soft, unpasteurized cheeses such as feta, goat, Brie, Camembert, and blue cheese
  • unpasteurized milk, juices, and apple cider
  • raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs, including mousse and tiramisu
  • raw or undercooked meats, fish, or shellfish
  • processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats
  • fish that are high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, tuna steak , and tilefish

If you’ve eaten these foods at some point during your pregnancy, try not to worry too much about it now just avoid them for the remainder of the pregnancy. If you’re really concerned, talk to your doctor.

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Good Food Hygiene Reduces The Risk Of Infection

What should I eat during pregnancy?

Good food hygiene is the best way to reduce the risk of salmonella and listeria infections. Suggestions include:

  • Always wash your hands before and after preparing food.
  • Keep your kitchen surfaces clean.
  • Do not let uncooked food contaminate cooked food.
  • Wash fruit, vegetables and salad before eating.
  • Cook food thoroughly.
  • Keep pets away from kitchen surfaces.
  • Wear rubber gloves when handling cat litter trays or gardening.
  • Store food at correct temperatures.

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Energy Needs Of Breastfeeding Women

Breastfeeding women also have higher energy requirements than non-pregnant women. How much they need depends on how much milk they produce and how quickly they lose their pregnancy weight . Women need about 350 to 400 extra calories each day for the first year of breastfeeding.

Women who are breastfeeding and who have gained an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy need to eat about the same amount of food as they did during their pregnancy. Canada’s Food Guide therefore recommends that breastfeeding women eat two or three extra Food Guide Servings from any food group. This gives women the additional energy they need while breastfeeding.

Folic Acid And Pregnancy

Folate is a B-group vitamin found in a variety of foods. Folic acid helps protect against neural tube defects in the developing foetus. It is important for pregnant women to make sure they are receiving enough of this important vitamin. For women who are planning a pregnancy, and during the first three months of pregnancy, a daily folic acid supplement of 500 micrograms is recommended, as well as eating foods that are naturally rich in folate or are fortified with folic acid.

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How May Breastfeeding Help

Breastfeeding may or may not make it easier for you to lose weight because your body uses extra calories to produce milk. Even if breastfeeding does not help you lose weight, its linked to many other benefits for mother and child.

For mothers who breastfeed, experts advise feeding their babies only breast milk for the first 6 monthsno other foods or drinks during this time. Experts suggest that those women continue breastfeeding at least until their baby reaches 12 months.

Calorie needs when youre breastfeeding depend on how much body fat you have and how active you are. Talk with your health care professional about your calorie needs while you are breastfeeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby

  • likely gives him or her an appropriate mix of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients in a liquid that is easy to digest
  • helps boost his or her immune system
  • helps protect your baby from common problems, like ear infections and diarrhea

Do Limit Your Exposure To Pesticides By Choosing Organic And Locally Grown Foods When Possible

Foods You Should Eat during First Pregnancy –

“The developing immune system is so much more sensitive than the adult’s,” says Rodney Dietert, Ph.D., professor of immunotoxicology at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, whose research has linked prenatal pesticide exposure to later- in-life immune dysfunctions.

Other research has connected pesticides in the water supply to premature births and possibly birth defects. “We have a lot of evidence now that nitrates and pesticides have the ability in very small doses to interact with the hormonal milieu of the pregnancy,” says Paul Winchester, M.D., a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Washing your produce helps, Winchester says, but may not be enough. The types of produce harboring the highest pesticide concentrations tend to be fruits and vegetables with thin skins, such as peaches, apples, bell peppers and strawberries. Also know that foods imported from other countries, such as Mexico or Chile, may contain pesticides that are prohibited in the U.S.

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Don’t Go More Than Two Or Three Hours Without Eating

Grazing not only pumps a steady stream of nutrients to your baby, it also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so you don’t “crash” or become lightheaded. “If you don’t fill the tank frequently, you can bottom out,” says Ricciotti. Smaller meals also minimize heartburn, a common and painful problem as pregnancy progresses and your stomach gets squeezed.

Can You Lose Weight While Pregnant

Fortunately, growing research suggests that losing some weight during pregnancy might be possible and even beneficial for some women who are extremely overweight or obese . Losing weight , on the other hand, isnt appropriate for pregnant women who were at a healthy weight before pregnancy .

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What Foods And Drinks Should I Avoid

Certain foods and drinks can harm your baby if you have them while youre pregnant. Heres a list of items you should avoid.

  • Alcohol. Do not drink alcohol, such as wine, beer, or hard liquor.
  • Caffeine. Enjoy decaf coffee or tea, drinks not sweetened with sugar, or water with a dash of juice. Avoid diet drinks, and limit drinks with caffeine to less than 200 mg per daythe amount in about 12 ounces of coffee.3
  • Fish that may have high levels of mercury . Limit white tuna to 6 ounces per week. Do not eat king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, or tilefish. To get the helpful nutrients in fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 12 ounces of seafood per week, choosing from many safe seafood choices, such as cod, salmon, and shrimp.3
  • Foods that may cause illness in you or your baby . Avoid soft cheeses made from unpasteurized or raw milk raw cookie dough undercooked meats, eggs, and seafood and deli salads. Take care in choosing and preparing lunch meats, egg dishes, and meat spreads. See more food safety guidelines during pregnancy.
  • Anything that is not food. Some pregnant women may crave something that is not food, such as laundry starch, clay, ashes, or paint chips. This may mean that youre not getting the right amount of a nutrient. Talk to your health care professional if you crave something that isnt food. He or she can help you get the right amount of nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All

Myths About Eating During Pregnancy
  • What is folic acid?

    Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin that is important for pregnant women. Folic acid may help prevent major birth defects of the fetuss brain and spine called neural tube defects .

  • How much folic acid should I take?

    When you are pregnant you need 600 micrograms of folic acid each day. Because its hard to get this much folic acid from food alone, you should take a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms starting at least 1 month before pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

    Women who have had a child with an NTD should take 4 milligrams of folic acid each day as a separate supplement at least 3 months before pregnancy and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. You and your ob-gyn or other obstetric care provider can discuss whether you need to supplement with more than 400 micrograms daily.

  • Why is iron important during pregnancy?

    Iron is used by your body to make the extra blood that you and your fetus need during pregnancy. Women who are not pregnant need 18 mg of iron per day. Pregnant women need more, 27 mg per day. This increased amount is found in most prenatal vitamins.

  • What is calcium?

    Calcium is a mineral that builds your fetuss bones and teeth. Women who are age 18 or younger need 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Women who are 19 or older need 1,000 mg per day.

  • Give you energy

  • Supply energy for your fetuss development

  • Promote good vision

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    Do I Have Any Special Nutrition Needs Now That Im Pregnant

    Yes. During pregnancy, you need more vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, and calcium.

    Getting the appropriate amount of folate is very important. Folate, a B vitamin also known as folic acid, may help prevent birth defects. Before pregnancy, you need 400 mcg per day from supplements or fortified foods, in addition to the folate you get naturally from foods and beverages. During pregnancy, you need 600 mcg. While breastfeeding, you need 500 mcg of folate per day.2 Foods high in folate include orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified breads, and fortified low-sugar breakfast cereals. These foods may even provide 100% of the daily value of folic acid per serving.

    Most health care professionals tell women who are pregnant to take a prenatal vitamin every day and consume healthy foods, snacks, and beverages. Ask your doctor about what you should take.

    What Other New Habits May Help My Weight Gain

    Pregnancy can create some new food, beverage, and eating concerns. Meet the needs of your body and be more comfortable with these tips. Check with your health care professional with any concerns.

    • Eat breakfast every day. If you feel sick to your stomach in the morning, try dry whole-wheat toast or whole-grain crackers when you first wake up. Eat them even before you get out of bed. Eat the rest of your breakfast later in the morning.
    • Eat high-fiber foods. Eating high-fiber foods, drinking water, and getting daily physical activity may help prevent constipation. Try to eat whole-grain cereals, brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
    • If you have heartburn, eat small meals spread throughout the day. Try to eat slowly and avoid spicy and fatty foods . Have drinks between meals instead of with meals. Dont lie down soon after eating.

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    Dietary And Caloric Recommendations

    To maintain a healthy pregnancy, approximately 300 extra calories are needed each day. These calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sweets and fats should be kept to a minimum. A healthy, well-balanced diet can also help to reduce some pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea and constipation.

    Starchy Foods In Pregnancy

    Should pregnant women eat for two?

    Starchy foods are an important source of energy, some vitamins and fibre, and help you to feel full without containing too many calories. They include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, maize, millet, oats, yams and cornmeal. If you are having chips, go for oven chips lower in fat and salt.

    These foods should make up just over a 3rd of the food you eat. Instead of refined starchy food, choose wholegrain or higher-fibre options such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice or simply leaving the skins on potatoes.

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    How Can I Stay Safe While Being Active

    For your health and safety, and for your babys, you should not do certain physical activities while pregnant. Some of these are listed below. Talk to your health care professional about other physical activities you should not do.

    Safety dos and donts

    Follow these safety tips while being active.

    Do Dont
    Choose moderate activities that arent likely to hurt you, such as walking or water or chair aerobics. Dont engage in sports where you could fall or injure your abdomen, such as soccer or basketball.
    Drink fluids before, during, and after being physically active. Dont overdo it. Avoid brisk exercise outside during very hot weather.
    Wear comfortable clothing that fits well and supports and protects your breasts. Dont use steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas.
    Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, tired, or sick to your stomach. Avoid exercises that call for you to lie flat on your back after week 12 in your pregnancy.

    Should I Be Physically Active During My Pregnancy

    Almost all women can and should be physically active during pregnancy. According to current physical activity guidelines, regular physical activity may

    There’s also some evidence that physical activity may reduce the risk of problems during pregnancy such as preeclampsia , reduce the length of labor and postpartum recovery, and reduce the risk of having a cesarean section .

    If you were physically active before you became pregnant, you may not need to change your exercise habits. Talk with your health care professional about how to change your workouts during pregnancy.

    Being physically active can be hard if you dont have childcare for your other children, havent exercised before, or dont know what to do. Keep reading for tips about how you can work around these hurdles and be physically active.

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    Fish Provide Key Nutrients That Support A Childs Brain Development

    Fish are part of a healthy eating pattern and provide key nutrients during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or early childhood to support a childs brain development:

    • Omega-3 and omega-6 fats
    • Iron
    • Iodine
    • Choline

    Choline also supports development of the babys spinal cord. Fish provide iron and zinc to support childrens immune systems. Fish are a source of other nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium too.

    Nutrient Needs Are Different During Pregnancy

    Second trimester diet: Foods to eat and avoid

    Women need a lot more iron and folate during pregnancy . It is generally accepted that most women have difficulty getting enough of these two nutrients from food alone. Referring to the results of a recent population survey of dietary intake, this appears to be true for a large percentage of Canadian women . This is why women should take a supplement that contains folic acid and iron during pregnancy.

    There are other nutrients that pregnant women need to have in larger amounts. These nutrients can also be difficult to get enough of from food alone. Some of these are: zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. However, deficiencies of these nutrients are not seen in otherwise healthy North American women .

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