Eating for a Healthy Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, there are many nutrition tips that can help you feel better, decrease your risk of complications, and improve your baby’s health. In a recent survey, 70 percent of women stated they started eating more healthfully when they found out they were pregnant. That’s great news, and we hope to get that to 100 percent. So even if you are not expecting, share this with someone who is!

Pregnancy Nutrition: True or False

  • Here are some tips for eating for a healthy pregnancy.You are eating for two.False. It may seem natural to eat extra helpings at meals and load up on your favorite treats, but your calorie needs do not increase until the second trimester. In the second and third trimesters, you and your baby need extra nutrients; instead of just eating more, listen to your hunger and fullness, and see the next page for specific nutrient suggestions.
  • You need more fluids.True. Did you know you have up to 40% more blood and fluid in your body when pregnant? Experts recommend 10 cups of fluids daily during pregnancy. Water, juice, milk, nondairy milk substitutes and tea all count. You may even have a cup or two of coffee.
  • Only 1/3 of pregnant women eat the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits.True. That is unfortunate, because vegetables and fruits provide fiber, vitamins and minerals to boost growth, immunity, and the digestive process. Aim for 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day. Visit the ChooseMyPlate website for more information.

Walking for Two

Wondering if you can exercise during pregnancy? Experts recommend maintaining your fitness level if you were exercising before expecting. If you were not exercising before, you can and should still add physical activity! Just start slowly – go for 15 minutes at low intensity and build up gradually. Benefits include stress relief, better sleep, lower risk of diabetes, fewer back aches, less constipation, reduced swelling in feet and ankles, and better ability to return to normal activity after childbirth. What are you waiting for? Ask your doctor, dietitian or certified personal trainer for specific recommendations.

For delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and to find cooking and nutrition classes, go to the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center website. More great info also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.