Eating healthy is important for everyone. A healthy diet
helps protect against certain diseases and provides energy
to the body. Poor nutrition during pregnancy can cause a
baby to grow too slowly during pregnancy (growth retardation).
Growth retardation can lead to premature (early) birth, fetal
distress, or death. Dieting (or trying to lose weight) while
you are pregnant is not recommended.
Your doctor can talk to you about how much weight you should
gain to keep you and your baby healthy.
Follow these daily guidelines for a healthy diet:
- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables
- New guidelines recommend you eat two cups of fruit
and two and a half cups of vegetables a day
- Serving sizes are small: a medium-sized piece of
fresh fruit, a half cup of canned or frozen fruit or
a half cup cooked, canned or raw vegetables
- Limit the amount of fat you eat
- Choose meats lower in fat
- Cut down on or cut out fried foods
- Get enough fiber
- Whole grains (such as whole wheat bread, bran muffins,
and oatmeal), beans, fruits and vegetables are good
sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Eat 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day
- Include calcium in your diet every day.
- Low-fat dairy products such as 1% milk, yogurt and
low-fat cheeses are good choices
Pay particular attention to getting enough calcium,
iron and folic acid. For more specific information,
talk to your doctor or nurse, or ask them to refer you
to a nutritionist in their practice or at the local health
Morning sickness is that sick-to-your-stomach feeling (nausea)
that you get in the morning but may also feel time-to-time
throughout the day. Morning sickness is often caused by changes
in your hormones. The good news is that morning sickness
is usually gone (or at least greatly reduced) by the 12th
week of pregnancy (end of first trimester).
Some women have severe morning sickness. If you have constant
or severe nausea or vomiting, call your healthcare
provider at once. You may be at risk of dehydration.
Suggestions for mild morning sickness:
(adapted from "Planning for Pregnancy,
Birth, and Beyond"
- Keep dry toast, crackers or dry cereal next to your
bed. Eat a little before getting up
- Avoid sudden movements. Rest until the nausea passes.
- Avoid greasy, fried and spicy foods, or any food that
makes you feel nauseated
- Eat five to six small meals a day instead of three big
- Drink liquids between meals, not with them
- Open windows or use a fan while cooking
- Avoid strong food smells until nausea passes
Infants, and Children (WIC) - Provides food to low-income
pregnant, post-partum and breastfeeding women, infants
and children until the age of five. Call your local
county health department or the NC Family Health Resource
Line at 1-800-367-2229 for more information.
Carolina Folic Acid Council Web site- Information on
the importance of folic acid in English and in Spanish.
of Dimes - Information on Folic Acid
For more health information, search MedlinePlus
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Last updated: August 2014