Nutrition during Pregnancy

Published on Author Yasmin Knowles

Expectant mothers should ensure that their diet has enough energy and nutrients for them to be able to handle body changes and for their baby to develop healthy and strong. Their diet should not only be healthy but it should also be balanced so that they get to eat a little bit of everything. If you are expectant and have to adhere to religious and cultural beliefs or health conditions then you will need to see a doctor so that you can be advised accordingly.


The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of every cell in your and your baby’s bodies. High-protein foods also keep your hunger at bay by stabilizing your blood sugar, which is why you should aim for three servings (that’s about 75 grams) of protein per day. Lean meat is an excellent option, since it’s also high in iron, critical to help your baby develop his red blood cell supply and support yours, too (blood volume can increase by as much as 50 percent when you’re pregnant, which is why anemia during pregnancy is so common). Iron also helps build baby’s brain by strengthening nerve connections. A little goes a long way, so add a bit of beef, pork or lamb to veggie-filled soups, salads and rice or noodle dishes.

Don’t eat meat? Check out these protein-rich foods for pregnant women. Iron-rich vegetarian options include dark leafy greens, cooked dried beans, quinoa, lentils, dried fruit and tofu.

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In many cultures, fish is a symbol of fertility unfortunately when you are expectant; you must limit your seafood consumption. This is because fish contains traces of certain mortal that could harm the unborn child.

Steer clear of raw seafood (such as oysters or uncooked sushi), unpasteurized milk and cheese made from unpasteurized milk soft cheeses, such as Brie or Camembert, and Mexican cheeses like queso blanco and panela), pâté, and raw and undercooked meat and poultry. All are possible sources of bacteria that can harm an unborn child.

Learn more about how to avoid listeriosis, a food-borne illness that’s particularly dangerous during pregnancy.

Nearly all fish contain traces of methylmercury, a metal believed to be harmful in high doses to the growing brains of fetuses and young children. The FDA recommends limiting your consumption of fish to about 12 ounces a week, the equivalent of about two servings.

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During pregnancy you might want to eat for two and this means that at times you will become the cookie jar monster with an insatiable appetite. Well this i0s where you need to be careful. Do not eat everything or anything.

What not to eat when pregnant

Deli Meat: Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby, which could lead to infection or blood poisoning and may be life-threatening. If you are pregnant and you are considering eating deli meats, make certain that you reheat the meat until it is steaming .

Soft Cheeses: Imported soft cheeses may contain listeria. You would need to avoid soft cheeses such as: brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta, Gorgonzola, and Mexican style cheeses that include queso blanco and queso fresco, unless they clearly state that they are made from pasteurized milk. All soft non-imported cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.

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