During pregnancy, the baby is relying on mom to provide the nutrients needed to grow and develop. For this reason, it is especially important to follow a well-balanced healthy diet which includes food from each food group. However, pregnant women do have increased needs of calcium, iron, and folate, so a daily prenatal vitamin is recommended prior to conception, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. It may also be beneficial to take a DHA supplement containing omega 3 fatty acid which helps in proper brain development in the baby.
When you are pregnant, your immune system isn’t operating at full capacity and that puts you at risk for food-borne illness.
Food to limit or avoid include:
- Unpasteurized cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Blue cheese, and Feta
- Processed meats such as hot dogs and lunch meat
- Undercooked eggs such as in Caesar salad dressing (only consume fully cooked yolks)
- Raw fish (sushi)
- Raw shellfish (clams, oysters)
Caffeine in pregnancy should be limited to only 300 mg per day or about 2 cups of coffee. Other sources of caffeine such as tea, chocolate, and soda should also be minimized. Adequate hydration is key during pregnancy. A pregnant woman should aim to consume at least 12 cups of water a day.
Although mom is providing all the nutritional needs during pregnancy, the baby is small and therefore has only small caloric needs. Typically, during the first trimester, no extra calories need to be consumed. During the second trimester mom should take an extra 340 calories a day, and during the third trimester an extra 450 calories per day. If mom has a normal healthy bodyweight, she should aim to gain about 15-25 pounds during the pregnancy.
Following a healthy diet is also very important during breastfeeding because even though you no longer have the baby inside of you, you still are putting nutrients in the milk that you are providing to your baby. A lot of parents complain about baby having colic or diarrhea. As everything that the baby is getting is from the breast milk, it may be caused due to the mother’s diet. While breastfeeding your baby, continue to eat a very balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed and fried foods. Make sure you are getting enough of protein and fiber. The healthy foods containing antioxidants and other important nutrients will be transmitted through the breast milk and strengthen your baby’s immunity.
ReproMed Fertility Center offers personalized fertility treatments in four convenient locations in the Dallas metroplex and one in Tyler. Please contact us at (214) 827-8777 for all appointments and information.
Dr. Anil Pinto is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Pinto has a special interest in the treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), recurrent pregnancy loss, and advanced reproductive technologies, such as IVF. He is actively involved in research and has several publications in peer-reviewed journals. He also lectures and teaches frequently on various topics related to reproductive endocrinology and has several teaching awards to his credit. Dr. Pinto is a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University of Texas, Southwestern School of Medicine and is a member of several professional associations. His peers recently selected him as one of the Best Doctors in Dallas in the field of reproductive endocrinonology and infertility. Dr. Pinto is married to Karen Pinto, M.D., a pathologist at Baylor University Medical Center. They live in Dallas with their son and daughter. Dr. Pinto enjoys fly fishing, classical music, and playing the flute.