What to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy

  • Topic Info:Whether you're pregnant already or trying, what you eat can be crucial for your baby's health.

    Are there certain foods can help you get pregnant?

    After much research, the short answer to that is no. But, it helps your chances of conception if you're as healthy as you can be. This means eating plenty of fruits, veggies and lean protein, and making sure you're hydrated. Eating in this way can also ensure you're at a healthy weight, which is best for both mom and baby.

    Once you DO get pregnant, are you really eating for two?

    While many women like to use that as an excuse to indulge, the truth is that you shouldn't be eating any additional calories in your first trimester (unless you're underweight), and then only add 350 calories/day in your second trimester and 500 calories/day in your third. If you're breastfeeding once you've given birth, you can keep those extra 500 calories.

    Keep in mind, even 500 calories is not that much more... you're definitely not eating for a whole other person.

    If you're pregnant, can you drink coffee? Do you really have to give up sushi?

    Caffeine is OK, as long as you're not taking in more than about 300 mgs or less per day of caffeine. (1-2 cups of coffee). You should stay away from raw sushi and rare meat. These meats can contain bacteria that wouldn't normally affect you, but can pass through your placenta and affect the fetus. Also, avoid fish with high mercury counts.

    What if you're so sick you don’t feel like eating anything? Many women find relief by eating some dry crackers and sipping water, before they even get out of bed. You can also try eating something very small every hour throughout the day, and avoid large, heavy meals. Finally, make sure you're drinking enough water.

    Tamara Melton, RD, joins host Melanie Cole, MS, to share information on what foods you should eat -- and what you should skip -- for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS