When you’re pregnant, there are certain things that you shouldn’t eat. On the flip side, there are many things that are just fine to eat, and are great to eat even when you’re not pregnant. You may have to give up some of the things you like the most, but you’ll be able to eat them again once you deliver the baby, so you don’t have to give up these foods forever. Here is a look at foods that are on the yes list, and foods on the no list. There’s also information on when to eat these things and how much to eat.
What should my diet consist of?
Since you’re now eating for two, you have to be concerned with getting a proper diet. This means it should largely consist of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. You also have to be sure that you are taking in enough water. This is essential to you not getting things like headaches or becoming dehydrated, and it’s good for your body and skin when you stay hydrated.
What can I eat?
You are safe eating pretty much all the healthy foods that are recommended for a healthy diet. This includes things like leafy greens, eggs, and even things like nuts, which are great for a snack option.
Here are some of the foods that are especially great for expectant mothers to eat.
Foods with Calcium
Calcium is especially important to take in while you’re pregnant, so foods like yogurt, milk, and beans are excellent ways to take in the calcium you need.
Foods with Iron
You also need to take in iron, which does great things for the body. Some foods that have iron are different types of meat, like chicken or steak, and whole grain breads.
This is another substance that is good for your body and is found mostly in fish and eggs. Just be careful when you’re eating fish. You may want to stick to wild caught salmon.
Sweets or desserts
While it isn’t important that you have these things, it is important that you stay relaxed and happy. This is why you shouldn’t deny yourself when it comes to wanting desserts or sweets. As long as you don’t overindulge, there’s no problem with satisfying your sweet tooth. It can also help you relax or relieve stress when you’re able to eat something you really like.
If you are concerned that you aren’t getting the correct foods or the right amount of food, you can make a spreadsheet or chart to be sure that you’re taking in all the proper foods. This can really help if your pregnancy is making you forget things and you need a record of what’s going on from day to day. Simply write down or type up all the foods and drinks you need to be taking in each day, and put check marks down next to them when you eat them. Alternatively, you can keep a food diary, so you’ll be able to keep track of your calorie and water intake. These things can be helpful when you’re talking to your doctor too, in case a problem comes up or you aren’t gaining enough weight at the right times.
What should I not eat?
You’ve probably heard many of the foods you have to stay away from when you heard stories from your friends, or even saw programs on television. A great amount of the foods that should be avoided carry a risk of having listeria, which is harmful to an unborn child. These foods include saw seafood or fish, lunchmeat, and cheeses. In the case of the lunchmeat, it can be heated up and eaten, but you should not eat it cold as you would normally do.
You should also limit your caffeine intake, which includes chocolate, and abstain completely from alcohol. You should also try your best to eat only real foods, as in not anything too processed, like snack cakes or things like that. Those items can be eaten if you have a craving or really want them, but not in large quantities or often.
How much should I eat?
If you were eating the correct amount of calories before you got pregnant, this is a good place to start. As your baby starts to grow, you’ll need to take in a few more calories as well. For example, you may need about 300 extra calories in the 2nd trimester, and 400 in the 3rd. You should, however, discuss this with your doctor, to see what their advice is.
How often should I be eating?
It is fine to eat when you’re hungry, as long as you are really hungry and not just wanting to munch on something. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t cater to your cravings sometimes.
As a general rule, you should eat small meals 4-6 times a day. It doesn’t matter when you eat them, since you probably will have to work around your job, family life, and maybe even morning sickness or other things that pregnancy causes that can keep you from worrying about food.
What about supplements?
A lot of doctors and healthcare professionals recommend taking prenatal vitamins. However, you should be very careful when you are looking at these supplements because they are designed to quickly add vitamins and minerals to your diet. If you are already eating healthy foods and drinking the proper amount of water, many of these substances are already in your body because of this. That means taking a supplement could give you too much of a good thing. When you have too much of some vitamins, it counteracts all the positive effects, and could harm you or your child. This is another good thing to talk about with your doctor, so you can make an informed decision.
If you were a normal weight when you got pregnant, the general consensus is that you should gain around 4 pounds during the first trimester, and about 1 pound every week after that. This changes a bit if you were underweight or overweight to begin with. However, it is a good template because it doesn’t involve you gaining that much weight in total. Remember that around half of this weight will leave immediately when the baby is born because of the weight of the placenta and baby combined.
At first it may seem like you have to follow a strict diet while pregnant, but that’s not really the case. Instead, you just have to focus on the foods you know are healthy and that you should be eating anyway. There are some things that you have to stay away from, such as many types of fish and soft cheeses, but most things are still good to eat. You should be more concerned with how much and how often you’re eating, which can be as important as the foods you’re putting in your body. If you ever have questions or concerns about eating or gaining weight, you should always check with your doctor or ask your support system for advice.