You and your baby need healthy foods. It's best to avoid junk foods. They may fill you up, but they don't give you the nutrition that you and your baby need. They same is true of food that has a lot of fat in it. Try to cut down on, or avoid, potato chips and other fried foods.
Water is very important. Talk with your doctor about how much you need to drink every day. Sometimes your regular meals won't provide everything you and you're baby need. Your doctor or nurse may have you take extra iron. Some women need other vitamins and minerals, too. Your doctor will tell you if you need to take a prenatal vitamin.
A word about weight
Doctors recommend that most pregnant women gain 25 to 35 pounds. If you are underweight, you should gain 28 - 40 pounds. If you are overweight, aim for 15 to 25 pounds. Talk to your doctor about the right amount of weight gain.
Why so much, if your baby will weigh only about 7 pounds? The weight doesn't just go to your baby. Your uterus gets bigger because it is full of fluid the baby needs, and it also holds the placenta, which provides food to the baby. Your breasts become heavier too, as they get ready to make milk.
You don't have to eat too much to get the nutrition you and your baby need. You only have to eat a little more each day than you did before you were pregnant.
It is very important for your baby that you eat healthy foods. If you don't, you can gain too much weight and still not get all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to be healthy. Also, if you gain too much weight, you could get high blood pressure or your baby could grow too larger. If you don't gain enough, your baby could be too small.
It's a good idea to carry a banana or a small bag of crackers with you in case you get hungry when you're out.
When you're sick to your stomach
In the early weeks of your pregnancy, you might feel sick to your stomach a lot of the time. This is called morning sickness, but it can happen any time of day. Even if you have morning sickness, it's important to eat to make sure your baby is healthy.
Eat whatever you can that doesn't upset your stomach. Here are some plain foods that are easy on your stomach:
- whole wheat toast
- low fat crackers
- cold cereal
- cottage cheese
- pasta or rice
- mozzarella cheese
You have to be very careful in choosing and preparing your food when you're pregnant. Spoiled foods, foods that aren't cooked long enough and certain raw foods can hurt you and your baby.
Be sure to wash your hands before you cook or eat and after you're touched raw meat, chicken, fish, or eggs. Always cook these foods all the way through. Be sure to wash fruits and vegetables under cold running water before you eat them.
After you cook, don't let food sit out before you eat it, because bacteria can form. If you are cooking foods ahead of time, put them in the refrigerator soon after cooking. Reheat them before serving.
Raw milk (unpasteurized) cheeses and certain types of fish are unsafe to eat now. Avoid all uncooked or undercooked meats and fish. Also, ask your doctor before taking any herbal medicine or tea, because most of these have not been tested on pregnant women. Ask your doctor for a complete list of foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Information from USDA