The Best Pregnancy Diet: Are You Gaining Weight the Right Way?

hummus and veggies

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.

What do you think?

The Best Pregnancy Diet: Are You Gaining Weight the Right Way?

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    I love oranges when I got pregnant. I was taking folic acid even before I got pregnant

  2. Profile photo of Jenny Jenny says:

    It wasn’t until I was almost half way into my pregnancy where I really started gaining the weight. I had really horrible nausea up until about 15 or 16 weeks so it was hard for me to eat a whole lot, but I made myself for the baby 🙂

  3. Profile photo of Maytte Maytte says:

    I know I need to only add a few calories, but at seven months my appetite is ferocious. I try to fill up on water, veggies, and fruit before hitting the carbs and the fast food, but even after eating say two nectarines, a bowl of steam green beans, celery sticks, I’m still hungry and my butt keeps growing. Anyone have any tips?

  4. Profile photo of Jaquelin Jaquelin says:

    I’m in my 11th week and I’ve lost about 7 pounds. Hopefully I can begin to gain weight for the baby. I don’t even feel pregnant other than the all day sickness I’ve had.

  5. Profile photo of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    I should have done this with the first one. I gained 60 lbs. Mind you, I didn’t find out til I was 18 weeks! I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted because I could. I was always small so I just had the mentality that I would go right back once the baby was born. That didn’t happen! lol I am being much more careful this time.

  6. I was overweight before I got pregnant. The entire pregnancy so far (4 months) I haven’t gained anything at all. I have been losing weight rather than gain. I have been eating more than I used to, but I’m still not gaining anything even though I thought I had.

  7. Profile photo of nichole nichole says:

    im already overweight, so gaining anything during this pregnancy hasnt been a joy. but im not freaking out about it, but i am making sure that i make what i eat count toward my little ones development, and not just empty calories. so far ive been lucky, and only gained 6 pounds, and im 7 1/2 months along. hoping i wont gain anything else lol.

  8. Profile photo of KweenHarm KweenHarm says:

    im 39 weeks and stopped gaining weight but i still feel like i’ve gained too much. my doctor says im perfect but i can only agree to disagree

  9. Profile photo of verochka31 verochka31 says:

    weight gaining is important to me. 33 weeks and doing good according to my OBGYN………………me? more than I wanted to, but good 🙂

  10. Profile photo of Courtney Courtney says:

    My nutritionist said I gained weight way too fast. I’m already at 150 and I started around 125 and I still have a couple months to go. So I’m starting to exercise more, eat healthier and stay away from the sugary drinks. This is very helpful.

  11. Profile photo of Blaisesbaby Blaisesbaby says:

    I try to eat healthy foods but I love the junk food lol good tips good article

  12. Profile photo of Anber Anber says:

    I hate the weight gain, but I am not stopping myself. I do it for the baby! But, boy do I have to work out once my precious is here.

  13. Profile photo of Valerie Valerie says:

    I eat what I want, when I want. I eat plenty of nutrition filled foods. But I also eat alot of junk food, and sweet. I don’t care about weight gain.

  14. Profile photo of HMomOf4 HMomOf4 says:

    I try to eat healthy but the further along i get, the more of my self control I lose!!

  15. i always try to eat healthy =D

  16. great article. i have always been very strict about my eating – minimal sweets and no junk food. however, since being pregnant i can’t seem to control my eating! I don’t go eating a whole cake or bag or chips, but i do eat those items and i never did before. any suggestions on getting back to healthier eating?

  17. Profile photo of Anna Anna says:

    I gained most of my wait in the second trimester. Now being in my third trimester I can finally control my hunger and eat less without sacrificing needed calorie intake…

  18. Profile photo of Bhumphr6 Bhumphr6 says:

    Good info!! I am implementing some will have to try others

  19. Profile photo of tiffy tiffy says:

    whats hummus lol

  20. Profile photo of marichinno marichinno says:

    Good tips, sometimes I feel like its hard to add extra calories each day since I get full with the little I eat.

  21. Profile photo of brandy brandy says:

    all great tips for eating healthy


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