Health Fitness

Women’s health: nutrition during pregnancy is for all women of childbearing age

During pregnancy your nutritional needs will increase. Even before you get pregnant, it’s a good idea to do everything you can to start eating healthy and taking a women’s multivitamin. A prenatal multivitamin is a better choice during pregnancy.

Let’s start with the recommended daily food intake during pregnancy.


7 or more fruits and vegetables (3 fruits/4 vegetables)

Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are the best. These include strawberries, melons, oranges, papaya, tomatoes, bell peppers, greens, and broccoli.

9 or more whole grain products

A fortified breakfast cereal that contains iron and folic acid is the best way to start each day. Enriched bread, rice, pasta, and any whole grain products are your other options.

4 or more dairy products

Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese are the obvious choices.

60 grams of protein (two or more 2-3 ounce servings of lean meat)

Other sources of protein include eggs, nuts, dried beans, and peas. Do not eat undercooked or raw meat or fish. (NO SUSHI) Do not eat cold cuts



Some fish have a higher mercury content than others. Mercury can cause problems with your growing baby’s brain and nervous system.

Fish to completely avoid:

King Mackerel
golden snapper
white snapper

Limitations to eat fish:
Limit your fish intake to 12 ounces a week
Limit your consumption of albacore tuna or tuna steak to 6 ounces per week

Safest fish to eat:

light tuna


Calorie intake should only be increased by 300 per day during pregnancy for the average woman.
Weight gain should be around 28 to 40 pounds for women who are underweight during pregnancy.
Women who are overweight in pregnancy should only gain 15 to 25 pounds.
Weight gain should be about 2 to 4 pounds in the first trimester and 3 to 4 pounds per month the rest of the time.
It is difficult to lose excess weight after pregnancy because body fat increases by up to a third during pregnancy.
Breastfeeding burns 500 or more calories per day, which makes it easier to lose weight.
Check with your health care provider for your specific healthy weight gain.

Vitamins and minerals

See the RDA table for your needs during pregnancy.

Folic acid it is of particular concern because a deficiency can lead to neural tube birth defects. Your multivitamin should contain 400 mcg of folic acid. Birth defects happen even before you know you’re pregnant, so always take a multivitamin with folic acid during your childbearing years.

Vitamin C taken in doses higher than 500 mg/d can cause your baby to be born dependent on large amounts of vitamin C.

Iron It is also of particular concern because the average American diet does not provide enough iron during pregnancy. If your prenatal multivitamin does not contain enough iron, your doctor will prescribe an additional supplement. Iron is necessary for you and your baby to have healthy teeth, bones, and blood.

Water It’s often overlooked during pregnancy, but it’s vital for you and your baby. It carries nutrients from your body to the baby and helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, bloating, and urinary tract infection. A minimum of 6 eight-ounce glasses per day is required. The juice can count toward your 6 glasses, but watch out for the extra calories. Any drink that contains caffeine actually depletes the fluid in your body and can’t count toward your 6 glasses.

Calcium you and your baby need it for strong teeth and bones. During pregnancy you need 1000 mg/d and 1300 mg/d if you are under 18 years old.

alcohol consumption

There is no safe time or amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. Not drinking alcohol is the only way to ensure your baby’s health. The alcohol you drink reaches your baby through the umbilical cord. Alcohol affects the baby’s growth, the baby’s brain, and can cause birth defects. These effects will stay with your unborn child throughout their lives. FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) is the name given to anyone affected by their mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy. Learning problems, memory retention, and hearing problems are just some of the things that alcohol can do to your child.


Caffeine in large amounts can cause underweight babies. It also reduces the amount of vital water in your body. Although not yet proven, some studies suggest that it may harm the fetus. Although it is not as dangerous as alcohol, it should be avoided.


Diabetics can have perfectly normal babies just like any other woman. There are just a few things you need to be careful about.
1. Keep your blood sugar under control for at least 3 months before you get pregnant.
2. Make sure you get enough folic acid at all times during your childbearing years (400 mcg/d).
3. Don’t let your blood sugar level get too high during pregnancy. This can cause birth defects or your baby to have blood sugar problems.

Ways to control morning sickness

*Eat 6 small meals instead of 3 large ones

* Do not stay without eating for long periods of time.

*Do not drink liquids with meals

* Do not eat greasy, spicy or fried foods.

*Avoid unpleasant odors

* Do not get tired

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