Nutrition and healthy eating are especially important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The saying “eating for two” doesn’t just mean eating big meals when you’re pregnant. It means watching what you eat for your health and the health of your baby. Support your baby’s health by learning how to eat right during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
While You’re Trying
Pregnancy nutrition begins before conception. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women need 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Adequate folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. Before and during pregnancy, be sure to take a folic acid supplement.
Safe Eating During Pregnancy
Ask your doctor about medication safety during pregnancy. Your doctor will weigh the risks of medications with you. When it comes to meals, pregnant women need to avoid certain foods. The Mayo Clinic suggests that pregnant women avoid:
- Seafood high in mercury
- Raw or undercooked seafood, meat, poultry and eggs
- Unpasteurized foods such as certain soft cheeses
- Unwashed vegetables and fruit
Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Focus on eating healthy, balanced meals during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about a good pre-natal vitamin to help you get all the important vitamins and minerals you and the baby need. Healthy meals should include adequate lean proteins and good sources of calcium, iron and folic acid. If you’re frequently sick to your stomach, especially during the first trimester, ask your health care provider for tips to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients. Weight gain is normal. If you’re worried about your weight, maintain a safe exercise routine. However, you should avoid dieting or trying to lose weight during pregnancy.
Healthy Eating While Breastfeeding
Continue to take your pre-natal vitamins while breastfeeding. Talk to your hospital’s lactation consultant and consider taking a breastfeeding class to learn techniques to help you through the most difficult initial stages of breastfeeding. As with pregnancy, safety restrictions apply during breastfeeding. Ask your health care provider which medications are safe and always tell you doctor you’re breastfeeding if you’re prescribed medication. Continue eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Get support from your partner and family if you need help preparing meals. Be sure to drink plenty of water and keep healthy snacks on hand—especially snacks you can eat with one hand.
To learn more about pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit Medical Center of Lewisville or give us a call at (972) 420-1000.