Pregnancy Tips: Eating for Two

If you are pregnant you are building a baby!

Does that mean you get to eat for TWO?

What you eat during your pregnancy helps your baby to grow from a single cell to a cuddly newborn.  When you are growing a baby you do need to increase you number of calories per day by 300-500 calories.  That really isn’t much at all.  This is definitely NOT the same as doubling what you eat.

What you are feeding yourself is also feeding your baby.  It is essential that you feed him/her very well so that he/she can grow into a healthy newborn.

Women who have good to excellent diets during and before pregnancy have a better chance of having babies with good to excellent health as opposed to women who eat lots of junk food.

The new nutrition diagram called My Plate is the perfect answer to how you should eat during pregnancy.  The website is if you would like to learn more.

Below is the diagram for what portions you should eat.

The following chart is also helpful.

1-3 months 3-6 months 6-9 months
Grains 6 ounces 8 ounces 8 ounces
Vegetables 2 ½ cups 3 cups 3cups
Fruit 2 cups 2 cups 2cups
Milk 3 cups 3 cups 3cups
Meat 5 ½ ounces 6 ½ ounces 6 ½ cups

Grains include bread, cereal, rice, pasta.  These foods provide energy and fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Vegetables include potatoes, green leafy or dark yellow vegetables, carrots, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes and lots more.  These provide fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, potassium, and iron.

Fruits include citrus, apple, pear, grapes, etc. as well as fruit juice.  These provide fiber, vitamin D and potassium.  They help to fight off infections and promote healthy skin.

Protein includes meat, poultry, fish, beans and nuts.  They provide protein, vitamins A and B, fiber, iron and zinc to help build new body tissue and prevent anemia.

Dairy products include cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese.  They provide calcium, protein, vitamin A, zinc, magnesium and iodine.  These build bones and teeth and aid in growth of new tissue and repair of body cells.

Special nutritional needs during pregnancy include:

  • Iron usually found in prenatal vitamins your doctor will prescribe.
  • Folic acid – during pregnancy twice as much as usual is needed.  This helps to prevent a birth defect called spina bifida
  • Calcium
  • Water

Food to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Empty calories – foods with lots of sugar and no nutritional value
  • Additives – artificial colors, flavors, preservatives.  Eat natural foods as much as possible.
  • Cured meats – avoid processed lunch meats, hot dogs etc. that contain nitrites and nitrates.
  • Sprouts – can harbor salmonella – a cause of food poisoning
  • Caffeine – limit to 1-2 cups of coffee, 1 can or bottle of  soda/cola per day
  • Soft unpasteurized cheese and milk – Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta – can contain listeriosis – another form of food poisoning
  • Raw or undercooked meat, fish , eggs
  • Drugs unless prescribed or approved by doctor – No street drugs
  • Herbal teas that contain blue or black cohosh, pennyroyal, mugwort, tansy, slippery elm, sassafras, goldenseal, feverfew comfrey, yarrow, kava
  • Some fish which may contain high levels of mercury – sword fish, shark, and fresh tuna.  Ocean fish are better than fresh water fish.

Does this all sound difficult?  Maybe, but it is worth it. YOU are the only source of nutrition for your baby. Eating healthy not only helps you to be healthier but gives you a much greater chance of having a healthy and cuddly newborn.

Women’s Center-Sidney serves women in Shelby and Miami Counties (Ohio) and is located behind Culver’s Restaurant at 2579 Michigan Avenue near Wal-Mart in Sidney, Ohio.  Women can make a free initial appointment online by going to To schedule an appointment over the phone or to learn more about the services we provide, call 937-498-4425.  We can be reached by email at  All Women’s Center-Sidney’s services are free and confidential.

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