If this is your first time pregnant, you’re probably just starting to figure out your new eating habits and learning what your body does and doesn’t agree with. Most women’s diets change a lot during pregnancy. And, that’s nothing unexpected. Your hormones are changing, your belly is growing, and there’s a little one developing inside of you who has some nutritional needs as well.
Since everything that you eat, your growing baby eats too, you want to embrace a mostly healthy diet that’s packed with nutrients. Every woman’s needs are different, so the most important thing to do is listen to your own body.
Here are some common pregnancy eating habits to embrace and avoid. And, read till the end of this post to enter a fun contest!
Include These Superfoods in Your Diet
You want to make sure that your baby gets all of the vitamins and antioxidants he or she needs to properly develop.
Here are some of the most highly recommended foods to eat during pregnancy:
- Whole grains
- Oranges or other fruits that are high in Vitamin C
- Lean beef and leafy greens for iron
- Greek yogurt or milk for calcium
Check out our post on the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns for more detailed information about the above list.
Avoid Dangerous Foods
Doctors usually tell you to avoid eating certain foods while you’re pregnant and there’s good reason for that. Here are some big ones to avoid.
Wild salmon is the best choice of seafood to eat while you’re pregnant. It’s high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. However, you should limit your seafood intake in general. The bottom line is that anything that comes from the ocean contains some amount of mercury. The FDA advises pregnant women to avoid the following types of seafood altogether since they contain the highest mercury levels: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Consider taking a high-quality fish oil supplement instead.
Avoid Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, or Anything Else
While there are some benefits to drinking unpasteurized milk, you’ll definitely want to avoid it while pregnant. In rare cases, unpasteurized dairy products or juices can lead to bacterial infections.
Stay Away From Raw or Undercooked Meats
You probably already know the risk in consuming undercooked meats, so we won’t go into detail about that here. The potential risks are even greater to an unborn baby with a weak immune system.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends sticking to less than 200mg of caffeine per day, which converts to 12 ounces. Caffeine increases both your blood pressure and heart rate, which is not ideal during pregnancy. A lot of docs will recommend that you switch from coffee to tea since it has less caffeine. If you absolutely can’t live without your coffee, limit consumption to just one cup per day.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Hydration is even more important during pregnancy, so drink up. You can try supplementing water with sparkling water, low-sugar juice, or caffeine-free tea if that will encourage you to drink more. But, make sure you drink plenty of plain old water too.
Cravings happen during pregnancy due to increased hormones. All women have different cravings and that’s totally normal. Some women even have healthy cravings i.e. salad. If that’s the case for you, you’ll absolutely want to indulge that one. Your body might be trying to tell you that you’re deficient in some key nutrients.
But let’s be honest, most cravings are not healthy at all. As long as your diet is otherwise healthful, it’s ok to indulge your cravings. If you’re craving a donut, just go get one already (or better yet, send your significant other). If you avoid that craving, you’ll probably end up eating lots of other things in an attempt to satisfy it. It’s better to just eat what you really want and be done with it.
Now, Here’s a Contest!
Every pregnant woman has her own weird eating habits and cravings. What are yours? Fill out the Rafflecopter below and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card.