A Healthy Pregnancy

Eating healthy foods during pregnancy is one thing you can do to give your baby a good chance of being born healthy.

The food you eat helps your baby grow.
  • Good nutrition can help prevent birth defects and help your baby have a healthy birth weight
Each day, eat a variety of healthy foods.
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains such as bread, cereal, pasta, or tortillas
  • Milk, cheese or yogurt
  • Meat or other protein foods such as beans, peanut butter or tofu

A serving may be ½ cup of vegetables, one piece of fruit, one slice of bread or an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Get plenty of calcium, iron and zinc.
  • For calcium, eat three to four servings of milk, cheese, yogurt, firm tofu or dark green leafy vegetables each day.
  • For iron and zinc, eat red meats, beans and whole grains.
Eat foods high in folic acid.
  • Getting enough folic acid can help prevent certain types of birth defects.  It’s important to get enough folic acid before you become pregnant and in early pregnancy.
  • Foods with folic acid include spinach, turnip greens, beans, oranges and fortified breads, cereals and rice.
  • You need to get about 400 micrograms of folic acid each day.
Ask you health care provider if you should take a prenatal vitamin.
  • It is one way to make sure you are getting enough folic acid, calcium and other important vitamins and minerals.
Drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day.
  • You may need to drink even more in hot weather.
Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine.
  • Beer, wine and other kinds of alcohol can hurt your baby.  It’s best not to drink it at all.
  • Too much caffeine in coffee, soda, tea and chocolate may harm your baby.  Limit yourself to one food or drink that contains caffeine each day.
Make sure your food is fully cooked.
  • Food poisoning from raw or undercooked meat, chicken, turkey, fish, or eggs can be very dangerous to your baby.
Eat four to six small meals a day.
  • This can help with morning sickness and indigestion.
Most women need to eat about 300 extra calories each day.
  • This is like having an extra glass of low-fat milk and a turkey sandwich.
  • Most women need to gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.
  • Ask your health care provider how much weight you should gain.