If you were a healthy eater before you become pregnant, you probably just need to make a few adjustments. Pregnant women don’t need any extra calories in their first trimiester. But once you enter your second trimester, it’s recommended that you eat 340 more calories a day, and that number goes up to 450 more calories a day in your third trimester. (Source: American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA suggests that pregnant women eat a total of 2,500-2,700 calories daily.
So how do you know what you can eat? What’s off limits? We’ve made a couple of handy lists for you below.
Pregnant women need more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than pre-pregnancy. To get enough of the healthy stuff, make sure to take a pre-natal vitamin daily. If it makes you feel sick, take it with food. Or, you could split the pre-natal pill in half and take half with lunch, then half with dinner.
Foods you can eat:
- Up to 12 ounces per week of fish & shellfish that are low in mercury. This includes: salmon, tilapia, shrimp, and canned tuna.
- Keep drinking milk…if you’re allergic or feel bloated, try drinking smaller amounts of milk with meals, or buy lactose-free milk, hard cheeses, or yogurt.
- Up to 2 cups of coffee, or 5 cups of black tea each day (but no more)
- If you were a vegetarian before you got pregnant, make sure to keep eating eggs, milk, and milk products. If you’re a vegan, ask your doctor for their suggestions.
Foods to steer clear of:
(these ones aren’t safe for your growing baby)
- Raw/undercooked foods (sushi, fish, eggs)
- Unpasteurized juices or raw milk
- Soft cheeses, like Brie, feta, queso blanco or queso fesco. You want to look at the label and make sure it says “made with pasteurized milk.”
- Fish with high levels of mercury, like king mackerel, tilefish, shark, and swordfish.
- Alfalfa sprouts and other raw sprouts
- Beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.