5 Healthy Pregnancy Diet Tips
Want to know what to eat for a healthy pregnancy diet? On this week’s episode of The Sitch, I’m sharing five tips for proper prenatal nutrition!
While I was pregnant, I got a lot of questions about proper pregnancy nutrition for moms to be. So on today’s episode of The Sitch, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of basic prenatal nutrition.
What you eat during pregnancy is so important for your baby’s development and future health.
Research shows that fetal malnutrition – both overnutrition and undernutrition – puts babies at higher risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease later in life.
So to set your baby up for success, here are five tips to support a healthy pregnancy.
HEALTHY PREGNANCY DIET TIPS
1. Eat more.
During the first trimester, you should continue eating the same amount you did pre-pregnancy, but later, you’ll need a bit more.
Intake should increase by about 340 calories during the second trimester and 450 calories in the third trimester.
These are just estimates though and you don’t need to count calories. Simply listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Your body will let you know what it needs to help baby grow.
2. Eat more protein – but not a lot more.
Pregnant women need 71 grams of protein a day. This is about 25 grams more than usual.
Six ounces of extra firm tofu will provide that or one cup of lentils plus one cup of quinoa.
You don’t want to go overboard on the protein though.
Excessive protein intake during pregnancy may even decrease baby’s growth.
Therefore, experts recommend meeting these protein needs with real food versus protein powders or beverages.
3. Take your prenatal vitamins.
While most nutrient needs can be met through a healthy diet, experts recommend that you cover all your bases with a prenatal vitamin.
Nutrient needs for iron, zinc, folate, vitamin D, and many other vitamins and minerals are increased during pregnancy. Taking a prenatal will ensure that you’re getting the right amount of each.
I like the new series from Rainbow Light, For The First Thousand Days. The multivitamins cover each stage of pregnancy from pre-conception all the way through postnatal. Fyi – you need to keep taking a multivitamin while you’re breastfeeding.
The vitamins also contain critical nutrients for baby’s brain development like choline that isn’t found in all prenatal vitamins, but should be!
They also contain pre and probiotics to support digestion, something that gets a little out of whack for many of us during pregnancy!
4. Don’t skimp on carbs.
I always stress the importance of complex carbs for a healthy diet, and pregnancy is no different.
Pregnant women need a minimum of 175 grams of carbohydrates per day. Even women suffering from gestational diabetes need to eat this amount and sometimes more.
Pregnancy is not the time to go keto or low-carb – both dietary patterns could be seriously harmful to your baby.
Aim to get your carbs from healthy sources like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Check out my Pregnancy Toast video for tasty, healthy ideas!
5. Make sure you’re getting your omega 3’s.
Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for baby’s brain development – specifically DHA.
DHA is mainly found in fish and derived from the algae that they eat.
While the current recommended intake for DHA is 200 mg/day, some research suggests that 600-1000 mg/day might be more beneficial for preventing pre-term delivery and increasing birth weight.
Either way, make sure you’re getting some!
Two servings of low-mercury fish/week will help you hit this amount. Low-mercury fish include salmon or chunk light tuna.
You can also get your DHA with a daily fish oil supplement.
For those following a plant-based diet, algae oil supplements can provide an equally effective source of DHA.
And that’s The Sitch!
Eating for a healthy pregnancy really isn’t that hard.
Just listen to your body and balance your plate with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes and you’ll be fine! And don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamin.
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And if you missed my video about Sushi During Pregnancy, be sure to check that out!
And for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know to have a happy, healthy plant-based pregnancy, be sure to check out Plant-Based Juniors’ Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!
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Weigh in: What foods are you including in your pregnancy diet? Are you taking a prenatal vitamin?
*This post is sponsored by Rainbow Light but all opinions are my own. I thank you for your support of Whitney E. RD-approved partnerships that make this website possible.