Pregnancy Diet News

A healthy diet is critical for a woman during pregnancy. The growing fetus derives its nutrition from its mother. Eating certain foods (while avoiding others) can give the baby a solid foundation as it develops in the womb.

Pregnancy Diet Basics

''Eating for two'' is a common phrase heard during pregnancy. And while it's true that a woman needs more calories and certain vitamins and minerals, she definitely doesn’t need to eat twice as much. Rather, it’s best to stick to sensible, balanced meals in order to meet these nutrition goals. For most pregnant women, that means about 1,800 calories a day during the first trimester, 2,200 during the second trimester and 2,400 during the third trimester.

There are also certain vitamins and minerals that a woman should get in order to ensure healthy development of the baby. The most critical for early development is folic acid. Iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin D are also very important. Pregnant women may want to speak to a doctor about taking some of these vitamins and minerals through supplements. In particular, all women who are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant should take a multivitamin with 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid each day.

What to Eat and Avoid

Good nutrition during pregnancy is similar to a typical healthy diet plan for most people. Pregnant women should strive for variety and a healthy balance of grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and lean sources of protein. But there are certain foods to avoid. For example, deli meats, hot dogs and refrigerated meat spreads all may pose risks. So do unpasteurized juices and dairy products. Some seafood is recommended for the healthy omega-3 fats, but use caution. Don’t eat more than 6 ounces of white tuna each week, and avoid smoked refrigerated seafood, raw seafood and fish high in mercury such as tilefish, king mackerel, shark and swordfish. It’s also important to avoid soft cheeses and raw sprouts.

Alcohol consumption is not recommended during pregnancy under any circumstances. While caffeine intake is a matter of some debate, less than 200 milligrams of caffeine each day is generally considered to be safe.

SOURCE U.S. Office on Women's Health; U.S. National Library of Medicine

Date Posted
Article Title
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The heavier the mom, the greater the odds of the seizure disorder, study suggests

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Many pregnant women don't meet national nutritional guidelines, U.S. study finds

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If mothers have heart disease risk factors, nutrient benefits children, study suggests

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Malnutrition may cut levels of essential nutrients that prevent some mental disorders

Obese Couples May Take Longer to Conceive

His weight appears to affect pregnancy success, too, study finds

New Guidelines Reaffirm Prenatal Folic Acid to Curb Birth Defects

Women of childbearing age should take 400 to 800 micrograms daily, task force recommends

Fish Oil During Pregnancy May Cut Kids' Asthma Risk

High doses linked to 30 percent drop in children's odds of developing the airway disease, study finds

Premature Calcium Deposits May Trigger Premature Births

Mother's water can break too soon, researchers report

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Study finds there's lots mothers-to-be can do to help ensure they deliver at full-term

Heart Birth Defects Dropped After Folic Acid Was Added to Food

Canadian study found that structural problems saw biggest declines

Season of Conception May Affect Fetal Brain Growth

Babies conceived in winter more apt to have learning problems and vitamin D might play a role, study finds

Could Diet in Pregnancy Raise Child's Odds for ADHD?

Study underscores importance of good prenatal nutrition

What Mom-to-Be Eats Determines Bugs in Baby's Gut: Study

Scientists say finding is key because these microbes play role in immune system development and more

Gestational Diabetes May Lead to More Body Fat on Babies

Finding held even when mom-to-be's blood sugar condition was well-controlled

Too Much Folic Acid in Pregnancy Tied to Raised Autism Risk in Study

But researchers stress that women should not throw away their supplements

Artificial Sweeteners During Pregnancy May Make for Heavier Infants

Study found women who used them every day had babies who were twice as likely to be overweight by age 1 year

Mom's Pre-Pregnancy Weight May Help Predict Child's Size

Study also found six months of breast-feeding offered protection against excess pounds in child

After Pregnancy-Linked Diabetes, Healthy Diet May Ease Blood Pressure

Eating nutritious foods seems to counter higher risk, researchers find

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Prenatal Diet Rich in Vitamin D May Cut Allergy Risk in Kids: Study

But supplements don't offer the same protection, researchers say

Daily Bit of Chocolate in Pregnancy May Help Mom, Baby

No matter what the level of healthy flavanols, improvements seen in circulatory health

Too Much, Too Little Sleep During Pregnancy May Prompt Weight Gain

Finding points to why sleep problems may be linked to poor pregnancy outcomes, researcher says