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Pregnancy Diet

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is a healthy diet during pregnancy?

A healthy diet during pregnancy is a meal plan that provides the amount of calories and nutrients you need during pregnancy. Your body needs extra calories and nutrients to support your growing baby. You need to gain the right amount of weight for a healthy baby and pregnancy. Babies born at a healthy weight have a lower risk of certain health problems at birth and later in life. A healthy diet may help you avoid gaining too much weight. Too much weight gain may cause problems for you during your pregnancy and delivery.

What should I avoid or limit while I am pregnant?

Which foods can I eat while I am pregnant?

Eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups listed below. Eat healthy foods even if you take a prenatal vitamin every day. Your dietitian will tell you how many servings you should have from each food group each day to get enough calories. The amount of calories you need depends on your daily activity, your weight before pregnancy, and current weight gain. In the first trimester, you usually do not need extra calories. In the second and third trimesters, most women should eat about 300 extra calories each day.

Healthy Foods

What do I need to know about vitamin and mineral supplements?

Your healthcare provider will tell you if you need a supplement and the type you should take. Talk to your provider before you take any other kind of supplement, including herbal (natural) supplements. The following are general guidelines:

What diet changes may help morning sickness?

Morning sickness is common during the first few months of pregnancy. You may feel nauseated, and you may vomit several times each day. To improve symptoms of morning sickness, eat small meals often instead of 3 large meals. Foods high in carbohydrate, such as crackers, dry toast, and pasta, may be easier for you to eat. Drink liquids between meals rather than with meals.

What diet changes may help constipation?

A high-fiber diet can improve the symptoms of constipation. Whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-grain breads, and prune juice are high in fiber. Raw fruits and vegetables, and cooked beans are also good sources of fiber. It may also be helpful to increase your intake of fluids and get regular physical activity. Talk with your healthcare provider before you begin any exercise program.

What diet changes may help heartburn?

To improve the symptoms of heartburn, do not lie down right after you eat. When you do lie down, sleep with your head slightly elevated. Eat small, frequent meals instead of 3 large meals. It may also be helpful to avoid caffeine, chocolate, and spicy foods.

Prevent GERD

What other healthy guidelines should I follow?

When should I call my dietitian or obstetrician?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.