How to Eat Right While Pregnant

Good nutrition during pregnancy, and enough of it, is very important for a baby to grow and develop. When you're pregnant you need to pay extra attention to what you eat, so both you and the baby will be happy and healthy.


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    Watch how much you eat. During pregnancy, the baby gets nourishment from what you eat. Remember that you don't need to eat for two, as your level of activity isn't as high as it was before.
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    Be careful with your intake of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can be dangerous for the unborn child. If you take extra vitamin tablets, read the label on the container. The National Research Council's recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A during pregnancy is 1,000 retinol equivalents (RE)/day, which is equivalent to 3,300 IU as retinol or 5,000 IU of vitamin A obtained from the typical American diet as a combination of retinol and carotenoids, e.g., beta-carotene. An average balanced diet contains approximately 7,000-8,000 IU of vitamin A derived from different sources. The USRDA (recommended daily allowance) established by the Food and Drug Administration is 8,000 IU/day. Supplementation of 8,000 IU vitamin A (as retinol/retinyl esters) per day should be considered the recommended maximum prior to or during pregnancy. [1]
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    Take a lot of vitamin D.Vitamin D helps your baby develop strong bones and teeth. Eat and drink at least four dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.[2]You can also take calcium tablets to ensure your intake on vitamin D.
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    Eat at least one good source of folic acid every day. Because the central nervous system begins to develop during the first weeks of pregnancy it's wise to take extra folic acid and continue until 8 weeks after conceiving. This reduces the chance of your baby getting neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
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    Avoid certain foods during pregnancy.
    • Avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol has been linked to premature delivery, intellectual disability, birth defects, and low birth weight in babies.
    • The Listeria bacteria can be harmful for the baby and can even cause a miscarriage. You can find the bacteria in milk, and raw meat or fish. That means that fillet American, half baked steak or carpaccio, and sushi are out.
    • Limit caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day. The caffeine content in various drinks depends on the beans or leaves used and how it was prepared. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine on average while black tea has typically about 80 mg. A 12-ounce glass of caffeinated soda contains anywhere from 30-60 mg of caffeine. Remember, chocolate contains caffeine -- the amount of caffeine in a chocolate bar is equal to 1/4 cup of coffee.[3]
    • Decrease the total amount of fat you eat to 30% or less of your total daily calories. For a person eating 2000 calories a day, this would be 65 grams of fat or less per day.[4]
    • You see the intestine bacteria Salmonella a lot with pigs and poultry. Handle meat products hygienically and prevent cross contamination. By cooking meats thoroughly, you are killing the bacteria.
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    Know that food cravings during pregnancy are normal. Do you have a huge craving in gherkins, chocolate or something else? You are not the only one! Although there is no widely accepted explanation for food cravings, almost two-thirds of all pregnant women have them. Be smart with it: give in now and then, but don't go crazy because you can spoil your appetite. [5]
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    If you love to substitute sugars use NutraSweet and avoid saccharin.
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    Eat seafood frequently. Studies have shown that eating two servings of seafood every week can help child development and even result in higher IQs [6].


  • Drink a lot of water, especially if you're vomiting constantly.
  • Eat little meals throughout the day; you might not have an appetite but its wiser to proceed and eat something. An empty stomach makes the nausea even worse.
  • Do you have nausea while getting up? You could have a low blood sugar level. You can solve this by eating a biscuit or cracker with sugar or jam before getting up. It's always a good idea to keep something sweet at hand to combat hypoglycemia.
  • Some vitamins or minerals may make women sick. If you're experiencing any unwanted side effects from your vitamins, talk to your doctor before changing vitamins.
  • Don't take food supplements on an empty stomach.


  • Don't diet while you are pregnant. Do not diet or try to lose weight during pregnancy -- both you and your baby need the proper nutrients in order to be healthy. Keep in mind that you will lose some weight the first week your baby is born. While you are pregnant, you should eat a balanced diet from all of the food groups.[7]

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Categories: Pregnancy