A positive pregnancy test indicates many changes in your future, and it also warrants changes in your life to prepare for the new member of your family. Avoiding alcohol and taking prenatal vitamins are just part of the dietary changes recommended for pregnant women. To protect and prepare for your baby, try adding and avoiding these foods.
At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, our team of women’s health specialists, including gynecologists, board-certified obstetricians, and certified nurse midwives, helps you stay healthy during your pregnancy by offering guidance on diet and fitness.
Building your pregnancy diet
It’s generally understood that you should stop smoking and drinking after becoming pregnant, but there’s plenty of misinformation and old wives’ tales surrounding what ordinary foods and drinks are safe, and which are actually beneficial.
If you’re not sure where to begin planning meals for the next nine months, here are five foods worth adding, and five you should avoid.
Foods to add
If your diet is balanced and you’re taking prenatal vitamins, there’s a good chance you’re already meeting pregnancy nutrition standards.
However, it’s never a bad idea to add some superfoods to your daily meals. Examples include:
- Berries, which are rich in antioxidants and a healthy alternative to sweets
- Pasteurized dairy products, which provide extra protein and calcium
- Broccoli and dark greens, which are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Salmon, a safe seafood with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids
- Avocados and bananas, which are excellent sources of potassium
Ingredients in these foods not only reinforce your and your baby’s diets, but they also ease pregnancy symptoms like constipation, leg cramps, and morning sickness.
Foods to avoid
The important thing to remember while pregnant is that while your body is fully developed and capable of processing certain things, your baby’s is not. The strain of pregnancy also leaves you vulnerable to food poisoning, putting both parties at risk.
While eating for two, here are some things to look out for:
- Uncooked fish (including sushi) or seafood high in mercury
- Raw eggs, undercooked meat, and other sources of salmonella
- Excess caffeine, especially from coffee and energy drinks
- Unpasteurized milk and cheeses made from raw milk
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
You should try to eat small, frequent, healthy meals, as only a fraction of what you derive from your diet is making it to your baby. This is why it’s important to increase the nutritional value of what you’re eating and avoid anything that could be taking away from your baby’s growth.
Finding the right care team
Plenty of early preparation can be done by yourself, but you’ll need helping hands as you get farther along in your pregnancy. This is why it’s important to find the right obstetrician and/or midwife early into your term.
At Physicians for Women, we provide obstetric care and midwifery for women through all stages of pregnancy and beyond. You’ll be introduced to every member of our team during your time with us, so you’ll be surrounded by familiar faces when you’re ready to deliver.
To learn more and receive your prenatal welcome package, call 608-227-7007, or book an appointment online.