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What to Eat While Pregnant

It is very important for you and your baby that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet. While pregnant you should consume about 300 more calories per day than you normally do (about 2,300 calories total). Nausea and vomiting can make this difficult but it is important to have good nutrition, and plenty of it, to help your baby develop fully and correctly.

Things to Include in Your Diet

• You should eat a variety of foods everyday while pregnant to keep a balanced diet. Be sure to have six to eleven servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy and three servings of protein sources (meat, eggs, fish, poultry, or nuts).

• Eat plenty of high fiber foods like cereals, whole-grain bread, pastas, rice, fruits and vegetables.

• Take your prenatal vitamins! You should make sure that you are getting enough of vitamins and minerals in your diet as well.

• Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily.

• Eat or drink at least four serving of dairy or calcium products to ensure that you are getting at least 1000-1300 mg of your necessary calcium while pregnant.

• It is also important to get at least one good source of Vitamin C because pregnant women should get about 70 mg of it in their bodies per day. God sources of Vitamin C include grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, cauliflower, broccoli, honey dew and papaya.

• Eat one source of Vitamin A every OTHER day. If you absorb too much of this vitamin it can cause fetal malformations. Good sources of Vitamin A include carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, and turnip and beet greens.

• Each pregnant woman should have 0.4mg of folic acid per day to help protect their baby from developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Good sources of folic acid are dark green leafy vegetables and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas).

Things to Avoid Eating While Pregnant

• It is imperative that you avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol has been proven to cause, premature births, low birth weights, mental retardation and other birth defects.

• You should also limit your caffeine intact while you are pregnant to no more than 300 mg a day. Remember that chocolate contains caffeine and you be careful how much at of that as well as monitoring your coffee, tea an soda intake.

• You should decrease your total fat intake by about 30% as well. So if you are have a regular calorie in take of about 2000 calories, you shout limit yourself to maybe about 65 mg of fat.

• Avoid raw fish, especially shellfish like oysters or clams.

• Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. Because these cheeses are often unpasteurized and can cause a bacterial disease. You don’t have to avoid hard cheese, processed cheeses, yogurt, cream cheese or cottage cheese.

• Do not eat foods with high levels of mercury like shark or swordfish.

• You should also limit your cholesterol intake to about 300 mg per day.

• It is highly discouraged for pregnant women to use saccharin because it can cross the placenta and remain in the fetal tissue. However the use of other FDA-approved non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners is okay. These include Equal, Splenda, NutraSweet, or Sunett.

What to Eat When You Don’t Feel Well

Common times when you are pregnant you will feel nauseous, have diarrhea, be constipated, or have severe heartburn. Here are some things you can intake that will help you keep a healthy and balanced diet while you are not feeling your best.

• Nausea- Eat crackers, cereals, breads or pretzels before you get out of bed or when you feel nauseous. Eat smaller meals more frequently during the day. Avoid greasy, fried foods.

• Diarrhea- Eat foods that contain dietary fibers such as pectin and gums which can absorb extra water in the body. Foods that contain these include applesauce, white rice and oatmeal.

• Constipation- Eat more fresh fruit an d vegetables and drink at least eight glasses of water daily.

• Heartburn- Try drinking milk before meals and avoiding caffeinated beverages.

Dieting While Pregnant

You should avoid going on diets while pregnant, you might be cutting out necessary food groups that are necessary for your baby to develop fully and healthily. High-protein diets (Atkins) while not showing any adverse effects are also not always recommended because again, you might be depriving your baby of some of the nutrients they need from a variety of different foods. While you are pregnant you should eat a balanced diet from a variety of different food groups.

Pregnant Vegetarians

You can remain a vegetarian and be pregnant and have a completely healthy and developed baby. It is just very important to make sure that all the foods that are eating are providing the entire nutrients that your baby needs. Make sure you are getting enough protein to make up for the protein you are not receiving from meat products.

Importance of Calcium Intake While Pregnant

Calcium is a necessary nutrient that helps to build strong bones and teeth, allows muscles to form and function properly, blood to clot and the heart to beat correctly. Most of it is stored in your bones. So you can see that is it vital in the development of your baby, who absorbs what nutrients they need to develop from the food you eat, but also from where you store them in your body. If you do not consume enough calcium, your baby will take it from your bones which can lead to you developing osteoporosis later in life.

• You should consume at least four servings of dairy or calcium products a day while you are pregnant. Dairy Products including milk, cheese, costtage cheese, yogurt, cream soups and pudding, are the best sources of calcium. Other foods with calcium include green vegetables, beans, dried peas and seafood.

• If you are lactose intolerant is best to see your doctor bout ways you can make sure you and your baby are getting enough calcium. You should eat the non-dairy foods above that contain calcium and try to have a little milk with food, because you might be able to tolerate the lactose better with food. You should also use lactaid milk that is fortified with calcium and see your dietitian or doctor about other substitute products.

• If you are experiencing difficulties absorbing calcium your doctor may suggest taking calcium supplements to help make you are getting enough calcium. Certain calcium supplements and some antacids with calcium, like Tums, can complement an already balanced diet by giving them just a little more calcium.

Importance of Iron Intake during Pregnancy

Iron is a mineral that makes up part of the hemoglobin in your blood, which helps transport the oxygen throughout your body, including to your muscles and helps them function properly. Iron also helps your body resist disease and helps keep you stress level in check. Your body uses more iron when you are pregnant therefore, it is important for you to increase your intake while pregnant. Doing so will help you and your baby receive enough oxygen and can also lessen your susceptibility to becoming depressed, excessively tired or irritable, or feeling weak while you are pregnant.

• The best sources of iron include enriched grain products, lean meat, poultry, fish, and leafy green vegetables.

• Your doctor may suggest that you take an iron supplement if you are not absorbing enough iron in your daily diet. This will be especially necessary if you are or become anemic (when your red blood cells grow smaller in size and number).

• Vitamin C helps your body use iron so you should make sure that you get enough of this Vitamin as well as enough iron.

• Caffeine makes it more difficult for you baby to adsorb iron so you should decrease the amount of it you drink during pregnancy.
• When cooking certain foods, you should remember that doing so might cause there to be less iron in the foods. To retain the most iron while still cooking your food, cook for the shortest possible time and in a minimal amount of water.

• Constipation may be an effect of taking iron supplements, to deal with this you should increase your fiber intact gradually and remember to drink plenty of water each day.

Food Cravings

Having food cravings while pregnant is completely normal, in fact about two-thirds of pregnant women have them. If you are having food cravings, go ahead and indulge in them. Just remember to keep a balanced diet and not partake in too much of this craved item if it means that you are cutting out other necessary nutrients. Some women also find that they have cravings for non-food items such as ice, dirt, clay, paint chips, ashes, chalk or laundry starch. Do not give into these cravings and consult your doctor or dietitian because these cravings can sometimes mean that you are iron deficient or anemic.

Problems With Your Diet?

If you are experiencing any problems with gaining weight or keeping a balanced diet you should consult you doctor or dietitian to ensure the health of you and your baby. Remember good nutrition and plenty of it, is necessary for you and your baby to remain safe and healthy while you are pregnant.

Comments »

  1. chris braddock says:

    Thanks for a very informative website. Thought you should know that “pregnancy” is misspelled in the top left corner of every page on the site. Says Let’s proofread, people!

  2. florence says:

    i would like to give birth to a brave clever baby what should i eat or what should i do send my answers to the above mail i appreciated this lesson

  3. Mimi says:

    I am 10 weeks pregnant with my second baby. This pregnancy is never like before. The previous one was so smooth. But Now I had to throw up 3-5 times per day. I can’t take my pre natal vitamin. The thought of it makes me throw up!! So, if anything gets in, gets out and if I can’t take the vitamins, what is gonna happen? Any advise?

  4. Kenzie says:

    To Chris Braddock…. SHUT UP!!!

  5. Samantha says:

    Chris Braddock is right we need to proof read especially if you are giving out information that is suppose to be helpful!!

  6. joel says:

    you should never consume artificial sweeteners!! pregnant or not, as they contain Aspartame, shame on who ever wrote the above comment

  7. joel says:

    not you kenzie, shame on who ever wrote that artificial sweeteners were ok (FDA does not care about YOU they get PAID to pass food and drugs)

  8. joel says:

    the more i read the more i conclude that this site should not be counted on.


    I WILL FOLLOW THIS As my guide.
    When I foud Out i was pregnant all the docter
    Did was tell me the news but not what to eat
    or what to as a young woman am researching on my own.

  10. Raina says:

    Great content. Seeing a clear-cut list would be a great aid as well–One I could just print out and take with me to the grocery store.

    On a side note, I agree with Chris: professionalism DOES count, words should be spelled correctly.

  11. Mosele Cassandra says:

    I’m 11 weeks pregnant, with my first child. my problems is dat i’m constantly throwing up.Nothing i eat stays in. Even a simple water or tea,I’m forever having a heartburn.

    Any advise regarding all of this.

    Much appreciated.

  12. Mona lisa says:

    Thanks for the such useful information. Pregnancy is a very dificult state where you don’t know what to do or not to do!!! This gives us the full concept on how to takecare ourselves and child expect.

    Thanks a million!!

  13. Thophie M says:

    I’m 5 weeks pregnant, can I keep wearing ma tight clothes or ma baby will get affected?

  14. Poornima says:

    Cassandra & Mimi ,

    Ask your doctor to give you a sample of different multivitamins. I had the same issue with my 1st pregnancy , after I changed my multivitamins the I was throwing up less .

    Joel thanks for the update on artificial sweeteners .

  15. jaime says:

    this webiste hepl me im during a age where i cant figure whats improant and today i found this page its making my life so much eaiser thank you

  16. miss cass says:

    I am pregnant with my second bub to be. I can’t believe how different i feel second time around .I mean crazy huh to go second time but thinking better now then later.
    To some of the comments. tight clothes early on are ok but you will find that it will get really uncomfortable a little bit down the track and you will be looking for that loose elastic.
    cass and mimi. same here. I was told that it’s the high dose in vitamin b in the multi’s that make you sicker then other. Try natures own. be aware to of multivitamins that aren’t chelated. this means the body is able to absorb the vitamins. i spoke to blackmores rep the other day who couldn’t even tell me whether there’s were or not. you may as well not take them at all as you bod get’s no benefit. it will say it on the label.

  17. PMS says:


    Your an idiot. Why do you come on this site and bitch. Aren’t you a man? Good luck getting pregnant. They are trying to be helpfull and tell us not to use sweetners. I am so glad that we live in a world filled with such ignorant people.

  18. Aname A. Degamo says:

    What are some recommendations to replace prenatal vitmins and milk for pregnant women,,,,,i really can’t take them.

    Thnk you.

  19. RoCks*!77 says:

    Hi umm I’m not pregnant I’m only 13 but im doing a sfty pmphlet for class and i just want to give advice to some people if you can berally keep anything down than try the B.R.A.T diet B- bread R- rice A-applesuace T-toast another for (B) is bananas its great to eat these things when nausea because its easy on your stomach good nutrents for the baby and if it come back up its easy on your throat I get sick alot from a bacteria in my blood so i know what to do also if you can get this from your doctor for pain on your stomach its a medicine called Omepralole or prilosec (prilosec is brand name) given to H-pylori pateints such as myself! lol! it took me so long to remember the name but this should help best of luck too all pregant 2010 year of the babies!!!! yeah!!!

  20. Lina says:

    This is great thank you

  21. AMANDA ABREU says:

    Hi, thanks for the info. I had 5 healthy babies and one of them is 28 now and having her first baby. She asked me for some advise and I thought it better to check first – you know with the new technology and science! I agree with what you said and with the comment of the sugar. Sweetners is a no no!
    I can add that I believe fluoride toothpaste is also not good to use while pregnant and tin foods as well.
    Now when your baby is born the best advice I can give to all would be mothers is: BREAST FEED your baby! After keeping the baby healthy inside you, this is the only way to keep the baby a head start.
    Even if you are working you can still do it!

    Thanks Amanda

  22. Brent says:

    I’m a teenage dad, my girlfriend who’s about one week pregnant, any advice?

  23. FANCY says:

    I don’t understand why bored people have to worry about the smallest insignificant things. You noticed and had something negative to say about 1 insignificant thing missing out the whole article which was great! Why do people sucks?
    kudos to this very useful and well put together info!

  24. priti says:

    i m pregnant for 6wks and i keep throwing even i drink heart also some time burns.

  25. Rachel says:

    Just found out I was pregnant, thanks for the sweetner info, I use it all the time in my tea, but no more.

  26. Elizabeth Griffin says:

    “pregnancy” is spelled wrong in the upper left corner… just FYI

  27. Lisha says:

    This article is pretty much a word for word rip off of the WebMD site.

  28. liz usa says:

    im 8 weeks pregnant i really like this website but what i didnt understod was about eating a seafood to get a iron i thought the pregnant women is not suposed to eat seafood…..

  29. rani says:

    hey women never let your self to be come pregnant

  30. rani says:

    hey women never let your self to be come pregnant. men are all stupid

  31. Expecting 01/15/11! says:

    @Brent…. One week pregnant? Are you Stupid? Thats impossible to know after just a week. most women find out between 4-12 weeks gestation. Either she playing you. Or you mean she found out a week ago which would make her alot more pregnant than one week.

  32. Cindy says:

    Um just wanted to say pregnancy is spelled
    correctly! To Chris before you say something about such an awesome article please think before you say something! Go back to school ! Check your grammar! Thanks!!

  33. katie says:

    I just found out that i am pregnant. I haven’t gone to the gyno yet as i just found out this weekend. I took three EP tests and thy all came out positive. I have Lupus Nephritis and this is my first baby. Of course, naturally I am scared for my health as well as the baby’s.
    Since before I found out i was pregnant I have been drinking coffee just about every day and too excedrine the other day due to a really bad migrane. Will any of that affect the fetus??
    I haven’t thrown up at al but have had bouts of nausea. For me the symptoms were high blood pressure and some cramping and the nausea.
    For the nausea ( and this goes for those who have been having worse symptoms than I) I have been drinking caffeine free ginger ale because when I was going through my treatments in 2004 the ginger helps with the sick feeling.
    Thank you for this site!

  34. Thank you for the information. Ahead of time
    My 19 year daughter is about 4 to 6 weeks
    and she is always complaining about being tire and also gets cramps and tingles in her tummy. She works standing, 4 to 6 hour per day 5 days of the week. She is lactose intolarant since she was born. She does not get hungry, and forces herself to eat. Any suggestions for her.

  35. abram mutale says:

    my wife is 24weeks pregnant, i want her to have a very healthy baby, what balanced food should i buy for her? please send to the email address above.

  36. Darcy says:

    To Chris Braddock… Pregnancy was misspelled on PURPOSE for this site. It’s an often used tactic to get traffic to sites when common words are spelled wrong in the search engines by people. (We in the Internet Marketing world know this well ;) The site owner is all about making money with this site, which is fine, if good information is provided.

  37. Emily says:

    I am not currently pregnant, but i really have been thinking about having a baby a lot lately and i want to get a head start and be safe, this page was really helpful thank you so much ^_^

  38. linda says:

    im 7 weeks preagnet and i just found out what not to eat and what to eat thanks for the tips and i hope to all the other preganet women there babys come out healthy and safe

  39. humera says:

    hi, i am 3 week pregnant this is my second pregnancy i want healthy baby for that what i have to eat and drink

  40. Shenna says:

    Thank you that was very helpful, because im going through alot with this pregnacy im having twins an I cant hold down anything at all but im getting through it.

  41. Crystal says:

    To aname just blend it in a milk shake u won’t taste it

  42. haha says:

    lol chris and brent! funny stuff. good luck all

  43. haha says:

    oh and joel too!!!

  44. Delila says:

    Thank you for this website. It seems very good and reliable. I have read many nutrition books and this puts lots of it in a nutshell.Well done. What I also wanted to add is that nuts are full of good nutrition especially the more expensive nuts such as Brazil and almonds etc.Very good source of calcium and protein also for vegetarians.Greens leavey vegetables are also excellent fore iron for vegetarians and some of them also have folic acid. Foods that have lots of antioxidants to combat cancer for example are broccoli,beetroot,spinach as raw as possible.Cooked as little as possible,lowest heat and short cooking duration with little water preferably steamed.(Careful of too much Vitamin A in pregnancy like they said it can cause malformation of sorts) Google more on vitamin A excess in pregnancy .Careful of food containing hormones like some milks and some meats!!(Read the food labels!!)Read what hormones in foods can do to your developing baby -google it.Perhaps hormones in meat and milk is particularly a thing that is done in the USA meat industry( as far as I am aware)Eat as naturally as possible just like our ancestors did and like nature intended.Drink plenty of clean and filtered drinking water.You can buy filters with jugs that are effective at taking out chemicals and metals that are in the water due to the water screening people killing germs and metals due to old water pipes.8 glasses of water purifies the body and helps transport vitamins.

  45. roritta says:

    thank you foe the terrific information, i am 10 weeks pregnant with my 1st child and i am embarrassed to ask my doctor too much questions

  46. Ryan says:

    Hi, I am about 6 weeks preggo, and to help out with the sweetener question- I’ve changed from splenda to agave nectar, and it seems to be a good match as far as flavor. Hope this helps!

  47. Jim says:

    The one thing that’s clear is that whoever maintains this site is not reading the comments … otherwise they would have fixed the infamous typo by now (over a year after it was identified).

    Proofreading IS important.

  48. siras says:

    thanks for these valuable informations

  49. lavashak says:

    im 25weeks pregnant ,what should i eat to have aclever baby?

  50. lizzy sathekge says:

    hi i’m 3 months pregnant i like eating sweet stuff but after eating i feel dizzy can you please help me

  51. Anne says:

    I appreciate the information provided as well as the comments. I do not enjoy people telling others to shut up or calling others names. Please keep your comments relevant and friendly.

  52. Tiffany says:

    Im about 5 weeks this is my 2nd baby i feel sick to my stomache everyday cant eat without feeling like puken! ugh heartburn as well any advice?

  53. nicole copeland says:

    this helped me out alot. im 16 and pregnant. i just print this out and went on.

  54. sandy says:

    How about a day or two expired foods?

    Should I throw away food that is expired a day or two and avoid them entirely while pregnant or it is ok to consume a day old food?

  55. lady says:

    If you are so sick you cant take your vitamins take the flinstones ones they are easyer to keep down. If it gets to the point where you lost 15-20 pounds like I did your doctor can prescribe you something for that.

  56. Crystal says:

    I really do appreciate what this website has provided for me. Am pregnant with my first baby and as a young mother am doing as much research as I can. thanx for the sweetener tip.

  57. Naveen says:

    Thanks a lot for the diet advice.

  58. Tammie says:

    I agree with Joel. Studies have been done to show how bad artificial sweeteners are for people regardless of pregnancy

    If you don’t want sugar – try a product called Stevia. It’s a completely natural sweetener. In fact even sweeter than sugar – so you barely need any and the calories are non existent compares to sugar.

  59. neha tickha says:

    these are really very useful tips to keep mother and babyy healthy as well.thankyou

  60. Jessica&Paul says:

    10 weeks pregant!!!I was just wondering about the tight jeans. is that a bad idea? i just unbutton and wear big shirts , but should i just go with the sweats? because i dont really have the money to buy maternity clothes :-/ . and EVERYONE STOP BEING MEAN lol

  61. Cindy & Kevin says:

    I am 8 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I keep hearing so much from friends and family but this site was so helpful.
    Thanks so much

  62. jennifer &aiden says:

    this is very helpful because the doctor dont tell you what to eat and what not i am pregnant with my first baby and im 15 years old so i want my baby to be healty when i give labor

  63. Trisha says:

    can we drink beer during pregnancy.

  64. Mommy2B says:

    This was a great article! I am 18 and this is my first pregnancy. I am 11 weeks and this took away some of my fears and concerns. The information was very helpful and I really appreciated it. A lot goes into having a baby and I’m just trying to get prepared for everything. I’m still in high school and I know it’s going to be hard but I know that it can be done! I hope everyone was helped by this information and I also hope that everyones’ baby comes out happy and healthy! Thanks :)

  65. riztys says:

    Better that you don’t. Ask your doctor.

  66. Connie says:

    Great Article.

    I always recommend my clients to increase the amount fiber in their diet, also fruits and vegetables are always in the menu.

  67. kiki says:

    thIs is PerfECt..

  68. Bess says:

    Hi, I am 8 weeks pregnant and this is my first pregnancy so I really appreciate all the advice on this site. Thank you for such informative material!

  69. jessica says:

    thanks for this information, now i will start eatting better cuz my midwife didnt give me anything on what i should and shouldnt be eatting:)

  70. Marissa says:

    Im 5 and half weeks pregnant im 16 fixing to be 17 on the 31st of oct. and im super excited the only down fall of my pregnacy is i feel like im going to throw up all the time but crackers kind calm my tummy down..

  71. Stubborn Momma says:

    To all you women who want to know what to eat in order to have a “clever baby” or “smart baby”, your dumb! It’s not what you eat while pregnant, it’s how you raise your child! You can eat all the right foods but if you dont love on your child or give them the time of day, then nothing else matters!

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