The Best Pregnancy Diet: Are You Gaining Weight the Right Way?
By Monica Gullon for Baby + You
Boost your folate intake by eating extra foods like lean beef, legumes, spinach, whole grains, and pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Eating well during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for your growing baby.
But it can also be a source of anxiety, according to Melissa Dobbins, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and prenatal nutrition coordinator at the Centers for Maternal and Fetal Health at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill. “We spend our whole lives avoiding weight gain. Yet during pregnancy, we must gain weight healthfully,” says Dobbins. “It’s kind of freaky for a lot of women.” Here’s how to eat right:
Best Pregnancy Diet: First Trimester
Having a hard time keeping food down due to morning sickness? Relax; your body doesn’t need any additional calories yet. But you do need to consume more of the following vitamins:
- Folic acid, also known as folate, which is a B-vitamin that’s essential in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to avoid birth defects. Boost your folate intake by eating extra foods like lean beef, legumes, spinach, whole grains, and pumpkin and sesame seeds.
- Iron, which supports your baby’s growth and makes more blood to circulate in your bodies. Get it in iron-rich foods, like asparagus, avocados, broccoli, citrus, and fortified breads and cereals.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends that pregnant moms get 0.4 milligrams of folic acid and 27 mg of iron daily in a prenatal vitamin.