Pregnancy Nutrition and Diet

A baby’s health begins in the mother’s womb. The umbilical cord is like a direct feeding tube from mother to baby. This also means that the unborn baby is exposed to everything the mother eats and drinks.

  • Diets with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meats, nuts, seeds and water are best for you and your baby.
  • When choosing to eat rice products, noodles and breads, try to choose whole grains. Try to eat only a little amount of sugary, greasy or very salty snacks.
  • Avoid caffeine in tea, coffee and soft drinks or drink in very small amount.s
  • Eat foods high in iron. Iron helps build healthy blood cells for you and your baby.
  • Iron also helps to carry oxygen to your developing baby, and helps to build a healthy immune system to protect against infections.
  • Ask your doctor before taking any herbs or over-the-counter medicines, even aspirin.
  • Every pregnant woman needs additional calcium for the baby. Foods high in calcium include milk and milk products, cheese, calcium fortified juices, broccoli and spinach.
  • Protein is also important. Meat and fish are great sources of protein.
  • Good vegetable protein foods include beans, peas, peanut butter and tofu.
  • Low income pregnant women can get help to buy healthy foods. Ask your doctor or clinic about the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.
  • Fish is generally a good protein food. However, some fish has mercury in it. Eat only a maximum of one-two servings per week of fish that has lower levels of mercury. Don’t eat any shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish, which are high in mercury.
  • Avoid uncooked foods that can cause food poisoning, including raw eggs, meat, shellfish, or fish; and dishes with any of these foods, such as sashimi or sushi.
CATEGORYGrainsVegetablesFruitsOilsMilkMeat & Beans
Half of all grains consumed should be whole grains.Vary the types of vegetables you eat.Eat a variety of fruits. Go easy on juices.Most fat should be from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy products.Eat lean cuts, seafood and beans. Avoid frying.
DAILY AMOUNT6 oz.2.5 cups2.5 cups3 cups5.5 oz.
Limit solid fats, such as butter, margarine or lard. Keep consumption of saturated fats and sodium low. Choose foods low in added sugar.
(Daily amount based on a 2,000 calorie diet)

—- from First5 Advice for New Parents

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