Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Choose high-fiber whole grains like oatmeal, whole wheat or brown rice.
- Choose heart-health dairy products like low fat milk, yogurt, or mozzarella cheese.
- Select lean protein sources like seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water and other unsweetened beverages.
- If you are on a special diet, continue to follow the recommendations of your provider.
- Take a daily Prenatal Vitamin with iron in addition to eating healthy.
- It you have concerns about your diet, ask your provider for a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist.
- Wash your hands with water and soap before preparing any foods.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating or processing.
- Avoid cold deli meats and unpasteurized soft cheeses as they may harbor listeria, a bacteria that is dangerous to pregnant women.
- Say ‘No’ to raw or undercooked foods (meats, eggs, fish).
- Tell your provider if you have cravings for non-food items like starch, clay dirt, cardboard or ice.
- Limit your intake of large fish to avoid ingesting mercury.
A note on exercise and weight gain
If your provider says it’s okay to exercise, aim for at least 30 minutes per day (moderate intensity). Avoid sports or activities with a high risk of falling or collision with others. Ask your provider how much weight is healthy to gain during pregnancy.