5 Nutrition Tips for Moms-to-Be

Proper nutrition is crucial if you’re trying to conceive or if you’re pregnant. Start with these five tips.

Whether you’re trying to conceive or you’re already pregnant, there are certain things you should be doing to take care of yourself, including getting enough rest, getting enough exercise, and eating the right foods. Some foods are especially beneficial—like dark leafy vegetables, which contain folic acid—while others, such as caffeine, should be consumed in moderation. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these five pregnancy nutrition tips:

#1. Eat foods rich in a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients, especially folic acid.
It’s important to start eating well as soon as you’re ready to conceive. A minimum daily dose of at least 0.4 milligrams of folic acid has been found to be instrumental in helping to prevent neural tube defects, which often develop before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. However, your doctor will recommend the right daily level of folic acid, depending on your risk levels for neural tube defects.1 Folic acid is found in oranges and orange juice, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, beans, and nuts. Getting the recommended levels of calcium or vitamin D can also help ensure a healthy conception.2 While your body can make vitamin D with enough sunshine, you can also consume it by drinking milk or eating fatty fish. Good sources of calcium include yogurt, milk, cheddar cheese, dark green leafy vegetables, and canned fish with bones.

No matter how hard you try, though, you might occasionally find it hard to meet the recommended dietary guidelines. A daily supplement such as First Response Prenatal Multivitamin Gummies can help ensure you get the nutrients and vitamins you need, including the recommended daily intake of folic acid. Plus, some moms might find chewing gummies easier than swallowing large tablets—especially if they’re dealing with morning sickness.

#2. Get plenty of DHA.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an Omega-3 fatty acid necessary for human health that must be consumed through the foods we eat since our bodies can’t make it. Good sources include salmon, herring, and anchovies. Tuna is also a good source but pregnant women are advised to eat limited amounts because of high mercury levels. It’s generally recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish containing Omega-3 fatty acids per week.3 If you’re not sure, ask your doctor which types of fish are safe for you to eat during pregnancy.

#3. Go easy on your caffeine intake.
Coffee has taken on near-mythic proportions in society now and the mere thought of forgoing a morning cup of java is impossible for some people to consider. If this sounds like you, here is some good news: according to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, it’s okay to consume “moderate amounts of caffeine” during pregnancy, which is two cups or less per day. 4

#4. Limit the junk food.
Whether you’re trying to conceive or you’re already pregnant, you want to get your body into its healthiest state. Even before trying to conceive, women can improve their health by eating a balanced diet that has more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy while eating less refined grains, sugar, and red and processed meats. According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada,5 if you follow Canada’s Food Guide and take a daily prenatal vitamin, you’ll get all the nutrients you need to support a healthy pregnancy.

5. Dealing with morning sickness? Food can help.
If you’re suffering from mild nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, food is probably the last thing you want. But you might be surprised to hear that food can actually help relieve your symptoms. If you’re suffering regularly with bouts of morning sickness, try these tips, recommended by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada6:Sniff lemons or ginger to relieve symptoms

  • Sniff lemons or ginger to relieve symptoms
  • Don’t skip meals and eat frequently so your stomach doesn’t get empty
  • Eat whatever pregnancy-safe foods appeal to you when you’re hungry
  • Eat a handful of salty potato chips to settle your stomach so you can eat a meal

Remember, whether you’re trying to conceive or you’re already pregnant, it’s important to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and a daily prenatal vitamin can help. Learn more at firstresponse.com.


[References for Review Only:]
Sources listed on this page: American Pregnancy Association; Your Pregnancy and Birth, Month to Month, Fifth Ed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ch. 13; Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, http://www.iom.edu/

No outside sources. Blog post is credited to Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.

This page links to this: https://www.babycenter.com/0_caffeine-does-it-affect-your-fertility_4489.bc

Sources provided on this page include:
Mayo Clinic. 2015. Female fertility: Why lifestyle choices count. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/female-fertility/art-20045887 [Accessed November 2016]
Mayo Clinic. 2014. Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372 [Accessed November 2016]
National Infertility Association. 2009. Caffeine: Does it affect your fertility and pregnancy?http://www.resolve.org/about-infertility/optimizing-fertility/caffeine-does-it-affect-your-fertility-and-pregnancy.html [Accessed November 2016]

No outside sources. Blog post is credited to Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.


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