Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Maintaining Proper Nutrition While Pregnant

To maintain good health, a person must maintain a good nutritional status, whether they are pregnant or not. However, when a woman becomes pregnant, she must be cognizant that what she eats will affect the health of her unborn child. One of the best things a pregnant woman can do for her unborn child is to eat nutritious meals.

Planning meals should be based on a woman’s pre-pregnant weight. If a woman was overweight, underweight, or was of normal weight, calories should be taken into consideration in lieu of this fact. The doctor will inform her of how many pounds she should gain or lose. The woman should heed the doctor's advice because excess weight will make it difficult to get into good physical shape after the baby is born.

During pregnancy, a woman should not go on a strict diet because it may cause a deficiency in essential nutrients, such as calcium, folic acid, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. This would have an impact on both the mother and the unborn child. A vitamin is usually prescribed to make sure the mother and the unborn baby are getting all the required nutrients.

A pregnant woman should eat foods based on the five food groups:

• Whole grains, white bread, rice, and pasta
• Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peas, carrots, spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.
• Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, and apples
• Meat, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts, meat alternatives
• Milk, yogurt and cheese

Women who are strict vegetarians should talk with their doctor because they do not usually eat from all five groups. Foods from each group should be consumed each day because each food group provides certain
nutritional benefits.

Since a pregnant woman will be eating for two, a few extra calories may need to be added to their diet as the pregnancy progresses. However, meaningful calories should be added instead of “empty calories,” such as soft drinks, candy, potato chips, and such.

Foods that should be avoided or limited dramatically:

• Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, teas and some soft drinks
• Fish should be limited to about two servings a week
• Chocolate

Foods that should be totally avoided:

• Raw seafood such as oysters or sushi
• Milk and cheeses that have not been pasteurized
• Undercooked meat and poultry

Women who develop gestational diabetes, have diabetes, are anemic, or have delivered low-birth-weight babies in the past, might need to seek the advice of a registered dietitian.

A pregnant woman who eats nutritious meals, watches their weight, gets a moderate amount of exercise, avoids stress as much as possible, gets an adequate amount of rest, and keeps a positive attitude; increases their chances of delivering a healthy baby. Consulting with a doctor is very important in order to ensure pregnant women are taking healthy measures. They will be the best resource to provide advice. Never hesitate to ask questions even if they seem silly—questions about diet, exercise, pain management medicine,
cord blood banking, or even circumcision. Doctors know what is best for each individual woman.

By following the doctor’s advice it will help make a smooth transition from pregnancy into motherhood. This is a time of excitement as a woman prepares to be a mother!

“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.” 


  1. Hahah how many pregnant ladies do you know don't LOOVE empty calories??

    Thank you for the write up though, this is a good reference. :)

  2. I know I think it is so funny that people say you should eat more you are eating for two. I heard somewhere that really all you need to eat is like the equvilent calorie wise of an apple a day. :)

  3. I found that it was actually easier for me to eat healthy while pregnant than not pregnant. Mostly because I actually craved healthy stuff and my body rejected fatty and oily things.

  4. i wish i had the self control to eat healthier when i was pregnant haha i gave in to way too many cravings.

  5. I agree with Laurie, that I eat healthier when I'm pregnant. Fatty/greasy foods make my stomach feel terrible and too much caffeine gives me heartburn and jitters! Anne Sweden at Zephyr Hill

  6. i didn't know you're supposed to limit your fish... interesting
    taraz9 at excite dot com

  7. Very interesting info right there.

  8. I had a hard enough time keeping ANYTHING down, let alone the right things. Don't stress about this one, ladies. I ate what I could (pretty much no protein as it all made me vomit profusely) and gave birth to a 7lb6.5oz perfect baby boy. Do what you can, no mom is perfect!

  9. I have always tried to eat better when pregnant (for me that means not skipping meals! LOL). I have had gestational diabetes with my last 2 pregnancies (I may have had it with my 1st too but testing wasn't standard back then and I didn't fit the "profile"). It really sucked because I would always start craving sweets AFTER I found out! LOL I did find out I can't eat anything from Wendy's while pregnant because it cause my blood sugar to skyrocket! It has to have something to so with what's in their breads - that's the only thing I can think of! :-)

  10. this has some great info! i really missed sushi while pregnant, though!

  11. Proper nutrition is super important during pregnancy and while I'm a really healthy eater...pregnant or not, I do crave icecream! While I was pregnant with my son I ate quite well-and surprisingly didn't have any weird cravings. Although I did end my vegetarian eating and started eating meat again...I couldn't stop myself! lol. He is 19 mo old and I'm still eating meat. :)

  12. I had a hard time eating well while pregnant. All I wanted was Mexican food. Veggies made me feel bloated and grumpy.

  13. Nutrition is SO important whether pregnant or not. Thanks for the info.

  14. I really appreciated this info - although it is titled as being from pregnant women I think that it is applicable to me as a breastfeeding full-time working momma also!

  15. My biggest nutritional challenge during my most recent pregnancy was preparing the food. I was so fatigued all the time.

  16. This is so important and sometimes hard to do! I love the info! Thank you!

  17. While I think it's important to have a good diet while pregnant, let's face it. When you're nauseous and can't stand most things, you just whatever doesn't make you feel sick. These guidelines are great theoretically, but when you're working, have another child(ren), and are feeling tired and sick, maintaining a balanced diet while pregnatn is soooo hard!

  18. I'm hoping to be able to eat better once I get to tr second trimester. Right now, carbs seem to be the only thing I can eat. :(

  19. A lot of this is so much easier said than done. I wasn't one of those women who had morning sickness - I had unending nausea for six months straight. Pretty difficult to eat "balanced" when the smell and sight of most food ends with you fleeing the scene. :)

  20. So glad I don't have craved healthy food for most part pregnant. A few cravings and hard time giving up coffee. Was easier to limit when it made me sick. Now that he is here I have to make myself eat.