Eating Smart When You’re Pregnant

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We all know about pregnancy cravings like pickles and ice cream in the middle of the night. But if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, it’s important to have a base knowledge of foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy. Pickles and ice cream are fine – in moderation!

“I like to advise my pregnant patients to eat whole foods and minimize eating anything processed,” says Dr. Allana Oak, family practice physician at St. Elizabeth Physicians. “It’s also important to eat 75-100g of protein each day to help with your baby’s growth, as well as supporting the growth of your uterine and breast tissue.”

Our St. Elizabeth OBGYN experts weigh in with some helpful pregnancy food tips to help you eat smart when you’re pregnant.

Fish

Fish with high mercury like tuna, swordfish, shark and tilefish should be avoided during pregnancy. Salmon, cod and tilapia are all great fish options that are high in omega-3/ DHA, which helps your baby’s eyes and brain develop.

Seafood

Raw or undercooked seafood like oysters or clams could contain seafood-borne illnesses and should be avoided during pregnancy. Check with your doctor to determine if sushi is safe to eat as long as the vegetables and fish are cooked.

Fruits and vegetables

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are great for both you and baby – just make sure you are thoroughly washing all of your produce to avoid any exposure to toxins. Eating green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale provides lots of nutrients and help to increase iron levels, which helps to combat anemia.

Cheese and other dairy products

Pasteurized cheese is fine, but avoid imported soft cheeses or anything made with unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk may contain listeria, which can be harmful to both you and the baby.

Alcohol

Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, as it can impact the growth and development of your baby. If you plan to breastfeed once your baby is born, be aware that alcohol can be passed on to the baby during nursing.

Caffeine

For many, giving up caffeine is not an easy task. Discuss the risks of consuming caffeine with your OB/GYN . In general, caffeine in moderation is fine during pregnancy.

Vitamins

It’s important to get your nutrients from fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products, but make sure to take a prenatal vitamin as well. Prenatal vitamins will boost any nutrient level that might be lagging and ensures that your baby is getting everything he or she needs to grow and develop.

Stay hydrated

We all know to stay hydrated during the summer months – but it’s important year-round, especially when pregnant. Staying hydrated gives your body what it needs to help your baby grow. It can also impact your amniotic fluid levels, which is how your baby practices breathing.

We’re Here to Help

As always, if you have any specific questions or concerns, the OB/GYN experts at St. Elizabeth Healthcare are here to help. Schedule an appointment today by calling (800) 737-7900.