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
9/12/2017
Is an Occasional Drink OK During Pregnancy?

Evidence isn't yet clear, but a new review says there's a slight chance of possible harm

8/1/2017
Women Who Gain Weight Between Babies at Higher Risk for Diabetes

Danger is greatest for women whose weight was normal before they got pregnant, study finds

7/21/2017
Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy

Healthy eating and exercise may lower a pregnant woman's risk of C-section, new study finds

7/20/2017
Good Diet, Exercise While Pregnant Could Cut C-section Risk

These healthy habits also lower odds for other obstetric complications, study shows

7/10/2017
Sugary Drinks in Pregnancy Tied to Heavier Kids Later

2 or more sweet drinks a day in second trimester linked to an extra 2 pounds in 8-year-olds

6/15/2017
Higher Pregnancy Weight Tied to Raised Odds for Birth Defects

But researchers say absolute risk is low

4/3/2017
Obesity in Early Pregnancy May Raise Child's Risk of Epilepsy

The heavier the mom, the greater the odds of the seizure disorder, study suggests

3/21/2017
No Evidence Fish Oil in Pregnancy Makes for Brainier Kids

No intellectual benefits seen at age 7, researchers say

3/17/2017
Eating for Two Often Doesn't Translate Into a Healthier Diet

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

3/8/2017
More Folic Acid in Pregnancy May Protect Kids From High Blood Pressure

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

3/6/2017
Can Mom's Vitamin E Head Off Child's Asthma Risk?

Association only significant with type of nutrient found in highest amounts of safflower, sunflower oils

2/22/2017
Little Weight Gain in Pregnancy Tied to Schizophrenia Risk in Kids: Study

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

2/3/2017
Obese Couples May Take Longer to Conceive

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

1/10/2017
New Guidelines Reaffirm Prenatal Folic Acid to Curb Birth Defects

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

12/29/2016
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

11/9/2016
Premature Calcium Deposits May Trigger Premature Births

Mother's water can break too soon, researchers report

9/8/2016
8/31/2016
3 Steps to Lower a Woman's Risk of Premature Birth

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

8/29/2016
Heart Birth Defects Dropped After Folic Acid Was Added to Food

Canadian study found that structural problems saw biggest declines

8/24/2016
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

8/18/2016
Could Diet in Pregnancy Raise Child's Odds for ADHD?

Study underscores importance of good prenatal nutrition

8/9/2016
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

5/12/2016
Gestational Diabetes May Lead to More Body Fat on Babies

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

5/11/2016
Too Much Folic Acid in Pregnancy Tied to Raised Autism Risk in Study

But researchers stress that women should not throw away their supplements

5/9/2016
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

4/27/2016
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

4/19/2016
After Pregnancy-Linked Diabetes, Healthy Diet May Ease Blood Pressure

Eating nutritious foods seems to counter higher risk, researchers find

4/8/2016
Mom's Obesity, Diabetes May Spur Fetus to Grow Too Fast

Finding suggests doctors might want to screen at-risk women sooner

3/22/2016
2/26/2016
Health Tip: Prepping for Pregnancy

Get to a healthy body weight

2/17/2016
Prenatal Diet Rich in Vitamin D May Cut Allergy Risk in Kids: Study

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

2/4/2016
Daily Bit of Chocolate in Pregnancy May Help Mom, Baby

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

2/4/2016
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

2/3/2016
Diabetes Drug May Not Help Obese Women Have Normal-Weight Babies

But study says metformin did reduce weight gain, lower risk of dangerously high blood pressure in moms-to-be

1/19/2016
Stillbirths Still Too Common Worldwide

Nearly 7,200 deaths occur each day, research shows

1/13/2016
Pre-Pregnancy Potato Consumption Linked to Gestational Diabetes

Five cups of spuds weekly boosts odds by 50 percent, research suggests

12/9/2015
Moms-to-Be Smoking Tied to Poorer Fitness in Sons

Higher body mass index in mother also linked to worse performance by young men on running test

11/23/2015
Too Many Pregnant Women Gain Too Much Weight: Doctors' Group

Obesity can lead to complications for both mom and baby, experts say

11/23/2015
Caffeine in Pregnancy May Not Harm Baby's IQ, Study Finds

Study looked at moderate amounts -- about one to two cups of coffee

10/20/2015
Kids More Likely to Be Overweight If Mom Gains Too Much in Pregnancy or After

Child's weight influenced by environments in 'womb and living room,' expert says

8/28/2015
Obesity May Be Linked to Greater Risk of Stillbirth

High blood pressure, placental problems could be the connection, researchers say

8/25/2015
Mom's Healthy Diet Linked to Lower Heart Defect Risk at Birth

Researchers looked at what women ate before getting pregnant

7/28/2015
Weight at First Pregnancy Linked to Complications Next Time

Risk remains even for women who get to a healthy size, researchers say

6/9/2015
Like Mother, Like Child: Study Hints at Why Obesity May Run in Families

Cells might be programmed in the womb to accumulate extra fat, researchers suggest

3/31/2015
Benefits of Iron Supplements Unclear for Pregnant Women, Young Children

Task force concludes there's too little information to recommend screening for deficiencies

3/13/2015
Pregnancy Weight Has Lasting Effect on Child, Study Finds

Kids of obese moms more likely to be too heavy themselves

3/11/2015
Many Women Gain Too Much Weight While Pregnant, Study Finds

This increases risks for baby and mother, experts say

2/27/2015
Poor Diet Linked to Gestational Diabetes: Study

Women with history of the disorder eat fewer beans and green vegetables

1/21/2015
Could Nutrients in Fish Shield Fetus From Mercury's Harms?

No developmental problems seen in kids of frequent seafood eaters from Seychelles islands, study says

1/8/2015
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Risk of Preterm Birth in Study

Women with lowest levels of the 'sunshine vitamin' most likely to deliver early, researchers found