Before Birth


Healthy eating

Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods when you are pregnant or nursing.

  • 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.

Food safety

  • 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.
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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.