Pregnancy can be a wonderful time, but it can also be full of questions. Many women wonder about nutrition when they’re pregnant – what they can and SHOULD be eating.
Here are some tips from Brookwood Baptist Registered Dietitian Micah Madsen for all you mommies-to-be out there when you’re eating with your little bundle of joy:
Watch your portions.
The old saying, “you’re eating for two” is true, but keep in mind that one of the two is teeny tiny! “Most women only need around 300 extra calories a day, which isn’t much,” Madsen says. “You need a little more if you’re expecting multiples.”
Healthy before, healthy during.
“Most foods you consider healthy before your pregnancy are healthy during your pregnancy as well,” Madsen says. So be sure to stock up on fresh fruits, leafy greens, hearty vegetables, lean meats and filling whole grains. “A well-rounded diet now will keep you feeling good and make it easier to shed that baby weight down the road.”
Eat seafood with caution.
While many sources of seafood can be great lean protein, women who are expecting should use care when dining by the ocean. “Some fish and shellfish contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to your baby,” Madsen says. Seafoods to avoid during pregnancy include swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish. Other seafoods may be enjoyed in moderation. These include canned tuna, shrimp, crab, tilapia, cod, salmon, catfish and Pollock.
Heat your meat.
“Women who are expecting should avoid raw sushi, as it can harbor dangerous bacteria to your baby,” she says. Additionally, deli meats should be heated until they’re steaming hot to kill off a bacteria known as listeriosis, which can cause miscarriage.
Make sure cheeses are pasteurized.
We all love a good cheese, but pregnant women should make sure that any cheese they’re about to consume has been pasteurized. Most soft cheeses, including feta, brie, blue cheese, Camembert and soft Mexican cheeses that you’d find as a precursor to your enchilada meal, should be pasteurized before you dig in.
Give ‘em a wash.
“Before you enjoy a healthy serving of fruits or vegetables, give them a rinse with a produce spray, like Fit Fruit and Vegetable wash. This eliminates harmful chemicals that may remain on your produce as it’s made its way to your grocery store,” Madsen says.
Check your vices at the door.
Even though you may have loved a steaming cup of joe to get your day started or a glass of wine to cap off your dinner, caffeine and alcohol should take a sideline when you’re pregnant. “Try decaf coffee or club soda with lime as replacements for your ritual, and you’ll look forward to giving your baby the best start possible,” she says.
Brookwood Baptist obstetricians and nutritionists have a wealth of knowledge to ensure you’re eating right for nine months and beyond. For more information about pregnancy nutrition, as well as other hot topics for pregnancy, visit our online health resource at bwmc.com.
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