One of the most important factors for baby’s health as well as your own has to do with the food you eat throughout pregnancy. Eating well will give your baby the best chance of a healthy beginning.
This section will help you to:
- Learn about what makes up a healthy diet
- Know how much weight is good to gain in pregnancy
- Discover the nutrients critical to baby during pregnancy, including which foods are good sources of these nutrients
- Choose an appropriate multivitamin and mineral supplement
- Identify the foods you’ll need to avoid or modify to keep you and your baby safe
A healthy diet throughout pregnancy
A healthy diet for everyone means eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods.
Now that you are pregnant you will need a little more food than you did before you were pregnant, and you only need this extra food during your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
If you are pregnant with one baby: during your 1st trimester, you most likely don’t need any extra food or calories. During the 2nd and 3rd trimester, you will need a small amount of additional food, equivalent to a large snack or small meal. In terms of calories, if you had a pre-pregnancy BMI between 18.5-24.9, you will need to eat an extra 350 calories in the 2nd trimester and 450 calories in the 3rd trimester.
Some examples of snacks with 350 and 450 calories include:
350 Calorie Snacks:
Fruit Parfait – containing 3/4 cup (175 ml) yogurt, 1/2 cup berries and 2 Tbsp of chopped walnuts
One slice rye toast, 2 large eggs mixed with 1 Tbsp mayonnaise and a medium orange
The need for calories only increases a little. The need for nutrients increases a lot!
Eat twice as healthy, and not twice as much
450 Calorie Snack:
A small whole grain pita, ½ an avocado, a medium tomato and 1 ½ oz of cheddar cheese
For advice about eating when you are pregnant with twins triplets or more click here.
If you are pregnant with twins, triplets or more, you will need even more food than if you were only carrying one baby. Call Health Link Alberta at 8-1-1. A registered dietitian is part of the team and can help answer your questions and connect you with the appropriate resources or specialized services.
Other ways to eat well when you are pregnant include:
Eat every 2 to 4 hours when you’re awake to help you feel better and to provide a steady supply of nutrients to your growing baby. Skipping meals makes it hard to get all the nutrients you and your baby need.
Although you may have cravings or an appetite for sugary foods, limit foods like pop, chips, ice cream, chocolate, and cookies to less than 2 times per week. They are low in nutrients and high in calories.
Drink plenty of fluids (about 9-10 cups) every day. This could include milk, water, and soup.
If you are limiting the amount of coffee you have, replace it with milk or water