What to Eat During Pregnancy

Good nutrition is always important. Knowing what to eat during pregnancy can help you have a healthy baby.

However, most Americans diets are adequate in nutritional value with many being more than adequate. You should try to eat healthy in pregnancy and take this as an opportunity to clean your diet up if need be.

An important fact of pregnancy is that you only need an additional 300 calories a day for pregnancy. It is not carte blanche. You are eating for one, not two.

The following are recommendations for eating during pregnancy

Caffeine: Limit caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine on average while black tea has typically about 80 mg. A 12-ounce glass of caffeinated soda contains anywhere from 30-60 mg of caffeine. Remember, chocolate contains caffeine — the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar is equal to 1/4 cup of coffee.

Low calorie/no calorie sweeteners: Approved sweeteners include aspartame (Equal or NutraSweet), acesulfame-K (Sunett), and sucralose (Splenda). These sweeteners are considered safe in moderation.

Fish: Saltwater fish should be limited to two or three times a week. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish (also called white snapper), because they contain high levels of mercury. Freshwater fish is fine.

Fresh Cheeses: Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican-style cheese. These cheeses are often unpasteurized and may cause Listeria infection. There’s no need to avoid hard cheese, processed cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt.

Raw Meat & Shellfish: Avoid raw meats and fish, especially shellfish like oysters and clams.