Meat Fish Eggs Beans And Other Plant
Protein builds new tissue for bones, muscles and organs, so it is vital to help your baby grow. There are lots of good sources of protein:
Plant-based sources of protein like beans, chickpeas and lentils are great for your diet. They are naturally low in fat, and provide protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They can also count as one portion of your 5-a-day. If you follow a plant-based diet, you may need a supplement of vitmain B12, as meat is usually the main source. We have more information about having a healthy, balanced diet if you follow a vegetarian, vegan or plant-based diet.
If it is in your diet, aim to have 2 portions of fish each week. One of them should be an oily fish like salmon, sardines or mackerel. There are some types of fish you should avoid if you’re pregnant, or trying to conceive.
Eggs produced under the British Lion Code of Practice are safe for pregnant women to eat raw or partially cooked. If they are not red lion stamped, eggs should be cooked through. Find out more about eating eggs during pregnancy.
If you eat meat, choose lean cuts and try to eat less red and processed meat . Find out more about some healthy food swaps you can try during pregnancy. Make sure all meat is cooked thoroughly and that there is no pink meat.
Foods And Drinks To Avoid During Pregnancy
We like to focus on the positive what you can have rather than what you cant. And there are so many wonderful foods you can eat! However, there are some foods that need to be avoided during pregnancy because they could put your baby at risk.
The foods you should avoid while youre pregnant are those that could contain harmful bacteria, such as listeria, E. coli, salmonella, and toxoplasma, or parasites. Listeria could lead to a serious infection which could result in the loss of your baby. This is why we urge you to avoid unpasteurized foods, milks and juices, and raw or undercooked fish, eggs, and meat.
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Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
While were on the subject of the best foods to eat when pregnant, remember that there are some items that should be taken off the menu. Certain foods are more likely to harbor bacteria or chemicals that could make you sick, so you should steer clear until after giving birth.
For the time being, youll want to take a break from:
- Unpasteurized juice
- Hot dogs and deli meats
- Raw eggs
- High-mercury fish like swordfish, king mackerel, orange roughy, bigeye tuna and tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
- Raw sprouts
Its normal to worry that your pregnancy diet isnt quite hitting the mark. But sticking with good-for-you foods especially ones rich in key nutrients like folate, protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, DHA and iodine and limiting empty-calorie snacks will help you and baby get the nourishment you both need.
And if at any point during your pregnancy youre concerned that you’re not getting enough of certain vitamins or minerals, talk with your practitioner. Together, you can determine where you might be falling short and how to fill the gaps.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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What Should I Eat For A Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Most European countries have their own food-based dietary guidelines , often represented as a food pyramid or food plate. Following the guidelines developed by your own country can help you get the nutrition you need during pregnancy for you and your baby.2
Just like the general dietary guidelines, during pregnancy you are advised to eat a variety of foods from each food group represented within the guidelines every day, including grains and starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, dairy foods or plant-based alternatives, and fats and oils.
Here are some general principles to help you stick to a healthy diet during pregnancy:2
What Is Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by eating food that has been contaminated by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Food can become contaminated by these microorganisms at any time before you eat it, including at home during:
There are many signs of food poisoning, but most types cause one or more of the following:
- stomach pain and cramps
- fever and chills
Symptoms can start within hours after eating the contaminated food, or sometimes not until days or even weeks later. Usually, people recover quickly and completely.
However, food poisoning sometimes causes serious complications, including death. This is the case for people who are more at risk for both food poisoning and related health complications, like pregnant women.
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Foods That Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy
Raw meat and poultry
During pregnancy, there is an increased risk of bacterial food poisoning from food like uncooked raw meat. Salmonella is a bacteria harmful bacterium that increases the risk of food poisoning and causes toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis can lead to miscarriage and fetal death. Pregnant women should eat well-cooked meat and chicken and homemade varieties of chicken breast.
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Starchy Foods In Pregnancy
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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What If I Have Other Concerns About My Diet
Some women may be lactose intolerant, they cant fully digest lactose in dairy products. Others are unable to eat things like gluten due to Celiac Disease. Your provider can help you plan your diet or advise you take certain supplements. Other helpful tips for healthy eating are:
- For lactose intolerant women, calcium can be found in other foods like seeds, nuts and soy. There are also lactose-free milks, cheeses and other dairy products.
- For women with Celiac Disease, many gluten-free options can be found in grocery stores and include a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats potatoes, poultry and beans.
How Much Weight Should I Gain
Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy by eating a balanced diet is a good sign that your baby is getting all of the nutrients he or she needs and is growing at a healthy rate.
Weight gain should be slow and gradual. In general, you should gain about 2 to 4 pounds during your first 3 months of pregnancy and 1 pound a week for the remainder of the pregnancy. A woman of average weight before pregnancy can expect to gain 15 to 35 pounds during the pregnancy. You may need to gain more or less depending on whether you are underweight or overweight when you get pregnant. Recommendations also differ if you are carrying more than 1 baby.
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Nutrition For Expectant Moms
A healthy diet includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and plenty of water. The U.S. government publishes dietary guidelines that can help you determine how many servings of each kind of food to eat every day. Eating a variety of foods in the proportions indicated is a good step toward staying healthy.
Food labels can tell you what kinds of nutrients are in the foods you eat. The letters RDA, which you find on food labeling, stand for recommended daily allowance, or the amount of a nutrient recommended for your daily diet. When you’re pregnant, the RDAs for most nutrients are higher.
Here are some of the most common nutrients you need and the foods that contain them:
|meat, whole-milk dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, margarine, vegetable oils|
Color Your Diet With Fruits
Some people will warn you against fruit consumption when you ask them about what not to eat during pregnancy. This is a myth. Fruit isnt just delicious it can help curb your sugar cravings and supply you and your baby the necessary nutrients. As long as you arent eating them in juice form too often, fruits are an important part of your pregnancy diet. If canned, choose unsweetened.
Be cautious in your preparation of fruit. Dont use knives used for other raw foods that may have bacteria, and always thoroughly rinse raw fruit under running water. Rinsing your fruit is important since bacteria can be found on the outer rind or peel, which can cause illness or be harmful to you and baby. Cut off damaged or bruised spots to help remove any bacteria hiding out in these areas.
It is worth noting that eating fruits should be done with care. Observing how your body reacts every time you have some will help. For example, if you have a spike in your blood sugar or notice abnormal weight gain, you should cut back.
You can have moderate servings of the following fruits:
- Dried fruits
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How Can I Eat Healthy If I Am A Vegetarian
If youre a vegetarian and pregnant, its possible to get the nutrients you need. Talk to your provider about how to get the nutrients you and your baby need during pregnancy. Some helpful tips are:
- Make sure you get enough protein from sources like soy milk, tofu and beans. If youre on a diet that allows for animal products, you can also eat eggs, milk and cheese.
- Eat lots of foods that have good amounts of iron such as vegetables and legumes like spinach, white beans, kidney beans and chickpeas.
- For calcium if you cannot have dairy foods, eat dark leafy greens, calcium-enriched tofu and other products enriched with calcium such as soy milk, rice milk or orange juice.
- Some cereals and milk may also be fortified with Vitamin B12.
Important Reminders During Your Pregnancy
It doesnt matter whether you are a first-timer or well familiar with pregnancyyou need to evaluate your diet for each pregnancy. Everything changes when you become pregnant and each pregnancy can be different from the previous one. You may need to re-educate yourself about what foods are good to eat during pregnancy or what foods to avoid while pregnant.
Professional assistance plays an important role in ensuring you and your childs safety. It would help if you have someone you can call whenever you have questions or concerns regarding your diet or condition someone to guide you throughout or warn you against bad eating decisions, big or small.
Below are some of the things you need to consider when eating:
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Leafy Greens The Darker The Better
You have free rein to enjoy plentiful broccoli, spinach and kale during pregnancy, and by doing so youll be getting a big dose of nearly every mineral you could possibly need.
Aim for one or two portions of greens per day and you and baby will both be in tip top health.
Why?Broccoli and dark leafy greens will give you a big hit of vitamins C, K, and A, as well as fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. Then theres the B vitamins, copper, calcium, zinc and choline.
There isnt much on that list weve missed out from your entire nutrition needs. There are extra antioxidants to add in too which can help boost your immune system.
In fact, studies have shown that regular consumption of these types of greens can help you avoid the problem of low birth weight.
Another good reason to eat broccoli and other dark leafy greens, is that they can help you avoid pregnancy constipation.
This is a big problem for many women but the high fiber content of these types of vegetables can be a huge help.
Choose Fish Low In Mercury
Fish can provide important nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed for healthy growth and development. However, some types of fish contain mercury, which can harm your babys brain development. Vary the types of fish you eat and follow advice from Health Canada to limit your exposure to mercury in fish. Check with your local, provincial or territorial government for any advisories on local fish.
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Cut Back On The Caffeine
Many women ask me if they have to give up their morning cup of coffee or tea when theyre pregnant. The good news is, you dont need to give it up completely! Stick to just one or two cups a day . Consuming greater amounts of caffeine when youre pregnant could cause growth restriction or miscarriage.
Vegetables Salad And Fruit
You should base your meals on plenty of vegetables, salad and fruit. You need 6 servings a day.
You should only drink unsweetened fruit juice once a day. Foods you could regularly eat include:
- raw vegetables like salad or sliced carrots
- boiled or steamed vegetables like peas and broccoli
- vegetable soup
- 150mls pure unsweetened fruit juice
- pieces of fruit like bananas, apples and oranges
- fruit salad
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Foods To Avoid When Pregnant
There are some foods you should not eat when youre pregnant because they might make you ill or harm your baby. Make sure you know the important facts about which foods you should avoid or take extra care with when youre pregnant. The best foods to eat are freshly cooked or freshly prepared food.
Its always important to eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet, but especially during pregnancy. If youre expecting, you may be wondering how to make the most of your shopping for the health of you and your baby. Keep reading to learn how to create a healthy pregnancy grocery list.
One of the most important things a pregnant person can do to help the growth and development of their baby is to eat a healthy and balanced diet. A proper diet during pregnancy may help prevent the following:
- Gaining unneeded weight
- Preterm delivery
- Low birth weight
During pregnancy, you need more nutrients and calories to support a developing fetus. It takes around 300 extra calories per day to support a pregnancy. The source of those calories matters a lot.
When preparing your pregnancy grocery shopping list look for foods that have:
- High protein
- Low sugar and refined carbohydrates
- High omega-3 polyunsaturated fats and low saturated fats and trans fats
A pregnancy grocery list should include foods that contain the nutrients that are essential for fetal development:
These are the caloric recommendations for pregnant people with a healthy BMI:
Milk And Milk Products
Milk and milk products are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals especially calcium and iodine for pregnant women.
Aim for at least three servings of milk or milk products. Its a good idea to choose reduced- or low-fat products.
Talk to your midwife if you dont drink milk or milk products. If you choose to have nut or grain-based bread, for example, you could choose one thats fortified with calcium and other nutrients.
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Safe Food Alternatives For Pregnant Women
Some types of food can be a higher risk for pregnant women because of how they are produced and stored. To lower your chances of getting food poisoning, you should avoid those foods. The following chart can help you make safer food choices.Safe food alternatives for pregnant women
|Type of food|
|Unpasteurized fruit juice and cider.||Unpasteurized fruit juice and cider that are brought to a rolling boil and cooled. Pasteurized fruit juice and cider.|
How Important Is Nutrition In First Trimester
The first trimester of pregnancy is the first 12 weeks you are pregnant. While you may not yet be outwardly showing that you are pregnant, this is a crucial time for you and your baby. This is because both your body and your baby’s body will be rapidly changing.
The first trimester is the most sensitive time in your pregnancy. You must eat foods that nourish your body, and you should stay away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
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The Best Foods To Eat While Pregnant
Just like there isnt a best pregnancy diet, there isnt a list of the best foods to eat while youre pregnant. The same colorful, nutritious foods you would eat before you become pregnant are the same kinds of foods you should eat when you are expecting.
- Vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, greens, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, squash
- Fruits: melon, mangoes, plums, bananas, apricots, oranges, grapefruit, berries, nectarines, peaches, grapes
- Dairy: yogurt, pasteurized milk, pasteurized cheese
- Grains: cereal, bread, oatmeal, brown rice, pasta, quinoa
- Proteins: beans and peas, nuts and seeds, lean meats, most cooked seafood/fish
- Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, nuts
This is not a complete list of all the healthy foods you can eat but these ones are pretty easy to find in any grocery store. As much as possible, choose fresh or frozen produce instead of canned.
In addition, every woman should also take a daily prenatal vitamin containing folic acid.