Healthy You, Healthy Baby
By taking care of yourself now, you are more likely to have a healthier baby and less likely to have problems during labor and delivery.
Your Changing Body
The amount of weight to gain during pregnancy is different for every woman. Your pre-pregnancy weight, the number of babies you are having, and medical conditions may affect how much weight you should gain. Ask your doctor what’s right for you.
- Most women gain between 25 and 35 pounds.
- Women who are underweight or carrying multiple babies may need to gain more.
- Women who are overweight may need to gain less.
- Weight gain is slow at first — you may only gain one to five pounds in the first three months of pregnancy. You may expect to gain one pound per week in the last six months of pregnancy until your baby comes.
How Much Should I Eat?
Eating well will not only help you stay healthy and feel your best, it will provide your growing baby with the best nutrition. Many women think they need to eat double the amount of food they ate before pregnancy, but that is not true.
- Eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy.
- Most women only need about 350-450 extra calories (about one or two extra healthy snacks) per day during the last 6 months of pregnancy.
Foods to Avoid
While it is important to eat a variety of healthy foods, there are some foods that pregnant women should limit or avoid.
- Avoid raw or unpasteurized milk, cheese, and juice. They may have harmful germs.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks.
- Limit caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks.
- Avoid raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and fish because of the risk of bacteria.
- Always heat hot dogs and lunch meats until steaming hot.
What about fish? Fish has many health benefits, and pregnant women can continue to eat most types of fish. Enjoy eating up to 12 ounces per week (about 2-3 meals) of lower mercury fish such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon and catfish. Limit Albacore tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces per week.
Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish because they are high in mercury, which can be harmful to your baby.