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Nutrition During Pregnancy: Eat This, Not That

Posted on May 9, 2023 at 1:55 PM by Gabrielson Clinic

Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet while pregnant is vital to having a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby. Eating foods that have extra protein, calcium, iron, and essential vitamins and avoiding foods that can be harmful during pregnancy is crucial. 

Eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding smoking and drinking when you’re pregnant is common knowledge in this day and age. However, there are many myths and uncertainties when it comes to a healthy pregnancy diet. When building your pregnancy meal plans, here are a few foods to seek out and some items you should avoid. 

The Best Foods To Eat While Pregnant

A diet rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and protein is important for the healthy development of your baby while in the womb. The right foods can also help reduce pesky pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, and more.

Some of the best foods to eat during pregnancy include:

  • Pasteurized dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt 
  • High-protein meats like turkey and chicken
  • Green vegetables (broccoli, kale, and spinach) 
  • Fresh fruits 
  • Eggs
  • Salmon 

Getting lots of good sources of protein, calcium, and vitamins is the key to healthy pregnancy meals. However, it is important to note that even if you eat a healthy diet, you can miss out on key nutrients. Your obstetrician can recommend the best prenatal vitamin for you based on your unique circumstances (such as special dietary observances or chronic health conditions). 

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

The things you shouldn’t eat during pregnancy are just as important as the things you should. Eating foods that are undercooked, unwashed, or that contain elements that are harmful to a developing baby can lead to serious health complications. While not as dangerous, foods that don’t contain enough nutrients can prevent you and your baby from getting the fuel you need to thrive and can cause excess weight gain, which can also create health complications during and after pregnancy. 

  • Raw fish and fish with a high mercury content like sushi, smoked seafood, raw shellfish, etc.
  • Undercooked meat and eggs
  • Unpasteurized dairy products such as raw milk and soft-ripened cheeses 
  • Foods with lots of saturated fats, salts, and sugars (soda pop, candy, junk food, etc.)
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, and excess caffeine 

Fueling A Healthy Pregnancy

While proper nutrition is always important, it’s especially true during pregnancy. Eating the right food gives your baby the nutrients it needs to grow. Avoiding foods that could harm your baby can seem like a challenge, but it all comes down to balance. As long as you and your baby are getting enough of the right nutrients and dangerous drinks and foods are avoided (such as raw fish and alcohol), a salty bag of chips or a second bowl of ice cream every once in a while is perfectly fine. Finding the balance between eating healthy and still enjoying the occasional treat is crucial to a healthy pregnancy, both physically and mentally. 

Premier Prenatal Care From A Compassionate Women’s Clinic 

At the Gabrielson Clinic for Women, we offer personalized, comprehensive prenatal care aimed at ensuring both mom and baby are as happy and healthy as possible. As a dedicated women's clinic and experienced pregnancy center, we provide premier women’s health services in Iowa for every stage of life. From pregnancy care to pediatrics and women's healthcare after delivery, we’re here to support your growing family!

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