Top Tips for Pregnancy Nutrition
Which vitamins and nutrients are key to your baby's health?
Rethink Your Drink During Pregnancy
Pregnant women require about 10 cups of fluid every day. Although plain
water is preferable, milk and juice count toward your fluid quota too.
Beer, wine, and spirits work against a healthy baby, however. Drinking
alcohol during pregnancy promotes physical and mental birth defects.
"There is no known safe level for alcohol when you are expecting, so the
best thing to do is avoid it," Tracy says. If you're worried about taking a
drink before you knew you were expecting, talk with your doctor or midwife
about your concerns.
What about caffeine? Its effects on developing babies is a subject of
debate. Limit coffee to one or two eight-ounce cups a day to be on the safe
side, advises the March of Dimes.
Juice seems like a healthy alternative to soft drinks, and it is. However,
juice is laden with calories that can cause unwanted weight gain. Other soft
drinks, such as soda, supply about as many calories as juice, and may also
Your Pregnancy Eating Plan
Prescription prenatal pills may provide what your diet lacks on any given
day, but when you're pregnant, healthy eating takes center stage. A balance of
nutrients is key, according to Jirtle.
"Just because a little of something is good does not mean a lot is
necessarily better," Jirtle says.
Moderately active women who start pregnancy at a healthy weight need about
2,400 calories a day. Here are some ideas of what to include on a daily
Grains: 8 servings, such as 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1
cup whole grain cereal; 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice. (Choose high fiber whole
grains often to reduce pregnancy constipation.)
Vegetables: 4 or more servings, such as 2 medium whole raw
carrots; 1 cup dark leafy greens; 1 cup cooked broccoli or cauliflower.
Fruits: 2 to 4 servings, such as 1 small apple, orange,
pear, or banana or 1 cup berries.
Dairy: 3 servings, such as 8 ounces milk or yogurt or 1 1/2
ounces hard cheese.
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans: 2-3 servings,
such as 2-3 ounces cooked meat, poultry, or seafood.
Fats, oils and sweets: sparingly.