pregnant woman eating a bowl of healthy food

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Some sources recommend making healthy changes in your diet three to 12 months prior to conceiving. Pregnancy is not a time to diet. Talk with your provider to determine how much weight gain is acceptable for you. Pay closer attention to the amount of artificial sweeteners and caffeine you consume. It is recommended that you change to a vitamin supplement formulated for pregnant women whenever considering a pregnancy or pregnant.

Follow the food pyramid guidelines with the following points in mind:

  • Increase dairy servings to 3 - 4 per day
  • Increase protein servings to at least three per day
  • Drink at least 2 liters of water per day •Eat frequent small meals
  • Avoid fish, especially freshwater fish (contains mercury). Go light on canned tuna as well.   
  • Steer clear of unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses  (Brie, Blue cheese or Camembert), pate, and raw or undercooked meat or poultry.
  • Decrease or stop all caffeine intake 
  • Decrease or stop smoking.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Discuss iron supplements with your provider

Food Don’ts

There are three main dangers lurking in the food pregnant women eat. They are:

  • Listeria – a dangers bacterium that can grow even in cold refrigerators.
  • Mercury – a harmful metal found in high levels in some fish.
  • Toxoplasma – a risky parasite found in undercooked meat and unwashed-fruits and vegetables.

These things can cause serious illness or even death to you and your unborn baby. Follow these food facts to help you keep you and your baby healthy.

Do Not Eat:

  • Raw or uncooked meat, poultry, fish or shellfish (sushi or sashimi).
  • Swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark.
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood like whitefish, salmon and mackerel. These products are usually labeled “Nova-style,” lox, kippered or jerky.
  • Refrigerated patés or meat spreads. hot dogs and luncheon meats – unless they’re reheated until steaming hot.
  • Soft cheeses like feta, brie, camembert, “blue-veined cheeses,” “queso blanco,” “queso fresco,” and Panela unless the label says they are pasteurized or made from pasteurized milk.