There are not many dietary restrictions for a normal pregnancy. There are a few foods we ask you not to eat to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Other kinds of food we recommend that you prepare differently or limit the amount you eat.
During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than a woman who is not pregnant. A daily prenatal vitamin is an important supplement that can ensure you are getting these extra amounts. Otherwise, a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy should provide the other vitamins and minerals you need. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor.
What to avoid or limit:
- Avoid all raw or undercooked meats, eggs and seafood.
- Avoid soft, unpasteurized cheeses – brie, blue cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, etc. These have the potential to carry dangerous bacteria that can make you very sick during pregnancy. Hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss are fine.
- Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are very good for a baby’s brain development. However, fish caught in the ocean can have high levels of mercury. Do not eat swordfish, shark, mackerel and tilefish. Salmon, shrimp and catfish are okay about once a week. Limit tuna to one serving (6 ounces) per week.
- Heat up hot dogs, lunch meat and cold cuts until steaming. Have your sandwiches at your favorite sub shop toasted.
- Wash produce before eating. Clean counters, cutting boards, utensils and hands after contact with raw meat.
- Caffeine is okay in moderation; we usually recommend no more than one cup of coffee or one soda per day.
What to eat
- Fruit – fresh, canned, frozen, 100 percent juice
- Vegetables – fresh, canned, frozen, 100 percent juice
- Grains – bread, oatmeal, cereal, pasta
- Protein – meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, nuts and seeds
- Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream
- Lots and lots of water!