Call: (616) 459-9139 | Text: (616) 459-9139

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

Eating well is crucial during pregnancy. The importance of good nutrition for your baby starts from the moment you get pregnant. By choosing healthier foods, you can:

– Lower risk of birth defects
– Support your baby’s brain development
– Increase the likelihood of a healthy birth weight when your baby is born

WHAT’S IN IT FOR MOM?

Minimize nausea and extreme fatigue pregnancy symptoms!

  • Instead of big meals, try eating smaller meals throughout the day
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Ginger can help with nausea (try ginger chews, ginger ale, or ginger teas)
  • Use gummy prenatals
  • Get enough rest

WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

During pregnancy, you often hear “You’re eating for two now.” While that may be true, it doesn’t mean that you are required to eat double the amount of food. Instead, aim for 300 extra calories a day in the first trimester.

Here are some simple food suggestions for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Veggies: Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, kale, tomatoes, and sweet red peppers are great choices for Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Fruit: Cantaloupe, honeydew, prunes, bananas, oranges, and grapefruit are good fruit options.
  • Protein: Beans, peas, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish like salmon, trout, and herring are good protein sources.
  • Dairy: Low-fat yogurt, skim milk, and soymilk are healthy dairy options.
  • Whole Grains: Oatmeal and cooked cereal are high-fiber choices for pregnancy.

WHAT ABOUT CAFFEINE?

  • When it comes to caffeine during pregnancy, many doctors say it’s safe to have around 12 ounces of coffee or 2.5 shots of espresso. So, no need to ditch your morning coffee! The same goes for caffeinated teas and sodas.
  • Herbal teas are caffeine-free, but be cautious during pregnancy as there’s limited info on the effects of herbs on a developing fetus. Stick to safe teas like lemon balm, red raspberry leaf, and peppermint.

WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?

  • Raw fish – Especially tuna, shark, and swordfish which are higher in mercury*.  These fish should be avoided completely or eaten no more than one time per week during the entirety of the pregnancy.  

*Mercury is a dangerous heavy metal that, if passed onto an unborn baby in too high a quantity, can negatively impact the baby’s developing brain and other organs. 

  • Unpasteurized cheeses – cheeses such as Feta, Brie, Gorgonzola, and Camembert are on the ‘do not eat’ list.  
  • Juices and unpasteurized milk – should also be avoided as they have higher levels of listeria.  
  • Raw, unpasteurized eggs – these are more likely to carry salmonella so they should be avoided.
  • Raw and undercooked meat – meat can carry harmful parasites like toxoplasmosis and salmonella.
  • Cold deli meats – this includes raw hot dogs and cold, cured meats (like salami and smoked fish). These cold meats contain higher levels of listeria. If you choose to eat deli meats, you’ll want to make sure that they are cooked or heated completely first. 
  • Certain vegetables like sprouts and alfalfa can carry higher levels of bacteria and should be avoided.

Practice safe food handling by washing both your hands and your food thoroughly, especially after handling raw meat. Keep the kitchen and the refrigerator as sanitary as possible, and cook all your food until it is well done.  

MORE QUESTIONS?

We’re here if you need help! We offer caring, confidential support before, during, and after pregnancy. We offer many classes on various pregnancy topics and are always here to help if you need support during your pregnancy!

Receive the HELP you deserve on your unexpected motherhood journey! Schedule a complimentary appointment for a pregnancy test, or ultrasound, or receive essential pregnancy items to take charge, make choices, and embark on a confident path with us. Your well-being is our priority – schedule your appointment now and let’s navigate this journey together.

You're Not Alone.

HELP exists as a place where all options can be explored.