Nutrition & Pregnancy
Hello my name is Ann Berzinski, I’m a clinical
dietitian at St. Clair Hospital. Today I’m
going to be talking about nutrition in pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, you will be eating
for two. But don’t think of this as eating
twice as much. Think of it as eating twice
as well. In general, an additional 300 calories
are needed each day during the second and third
trimester to reach the recommended amount
of weight gain. Usually 25-35 pounds. But
it is important to talk to your physician
about how much weight you should gain. By
following a healthful diet and gaining the
appropriate amount of weight, you can help
prevent high blood pressure and other problems
during pregnancy. A pregnant woman also needs
additional iron and folic acid. Your doctor
will prescribe prenatal vitamins to help meet
these additional needs. During your pregnancy,
eating a variety of foods is beneficial to
meet the needs of you and your baby. Use Choose
My Plate as a great visual cue for healthy
eating. Visit the website at choosemyplate.gov,
which has many resources for you during pregnancy
and breastfeeding, as well as feeding your
family. Let’s review the guidelines for a
Grains are your body’s main source of energy.
You should choose a minimum of 5 servings
daily. Examples of 1 serving include
Examples 1 slice of whole wheat bread,
½ cup of cooked rice or pasta,
½ cup of hot cereal or 1 cup of cold cereal
For best nutrition make a least half of your
choices whole grains. Choose iron fortified
products to help meet these increased needs.
Vegetables and Fruits: These provide key vitamins,
minerals and fiber
Include 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of
fruits daily in your diet.
Choose vegetables and fruits with a variety
of colors because they provide different nutrients.
Include folate and vitamin C rich choices
daily. These include dark leafy greens and
Dairy: Dairy provides calcium to help build
your baby’s bones and teeth
Include 3 servings of low fat dairy daily.
Examples of one serving include 1.5 ounces of cheese, one
milk or 6oz. of yogurt
Meat, poultry and fish provide protein which
is crucial for baby’s growth.
Include at least 5 – 6 ounces daily in your
diet. A 3 ounce serving is the size of the
palm of your hand or a deck of cards.
Examples of 1 ounce protein equivalents are
1 tablespoon peanut butter, ½ cup cooked dry
beans, 1 egg and
Fat is needed to give you energy and help
your baby develop.
Sources of healthy fats include:
canola, olive, sunflower
nuts and fatty fish such as
fish such as salmon, trout and sardines
Now let’s discuss foods to avoid or limit.
Certain foods contain dangerous bacteria called
listeria that may cause problems for the baby.
These foods are:
unpasteurized milk or cheese.
Cold meats, such as uncooked hot dogs and
luncheon deli meats (can be eaten safely cooked
to steaming hot)
under cooked or raw eggs, meat, shellfish,
and fish, including sushi
Mercury is a metal that may be harmful to
your developing baby.
Avoid fish with high mercury levels such as:
shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tile fish
Eat no more 12 ounces per week of fish and
shellfish that have lower concentrations of
mercury, including shrimp, canned light tuna,
salmon, Pollock and catfish.
Albacore tuna has more mercury than canned
light tuna, so limit it to 6 ounce per week
Safe Food Handling:
During pregnancy, both you and your baby are
more vulnerable to harmful bacteria. Use safe
food handling practices.
For more information on food safety, visit
the USDA website, select food safety where
you will find food safety fact sheets.
Choose a variety of nutritious foods.
Choose foods that are low in added sugar,
salt, and saturated fats.
“My Plate” is an excellent source of information
on a balanced diet and portion sizes. Visit
the website, at choosemyplate.gov, to create
a personalized pregnancy diet plan.