Good nutrition is important for the healthy development of your baby. The focus on a
healthy diet should start even before the pregnancy since overweight mothers have
more pregnancy complications. Furthermore, the pregnancy weight gain
recommendations will vary according to your prepregnancy body mass index (BMI). The
recommended weight gains are as follows:
BMI <18.5: 28-40Ibs
BMI 18.5-24.9: 25-35Ibs
BMI 25-29.9: 15-25Ibs
BMI >30: 11-20Ibs
It is true that during your pregnancy you are eating for two. That said, this has
commonly led to the misconception that a mother needs many more calories during
pregnancy. This is far from the truth, since the actual increase needed is only 300
calories. This can easily accomplished by adding a healthy snack to your diet.
The following general principles should serve as a guide to choose a healthy diet
o Choose foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, fruits, and
o Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day (oranges, grapefruit,
broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries).
o Decrease the amount of fat consumed to no more than 30% of your total calories
(65 grams of fat or less a day).
o Take the recommended prenatal vitamins.
Fish intake recommendations
Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. However, nearly
all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. Because of this the FDA recommends
pregnant women and nursing mothers to avoid types of fish with high mercury content
and to eat those with lower amount of mercury with moderation.
This can be summarized as follows:
1. Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain
high levels of mercury.
2. Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meal) a week of a variety offish and shellfish
that are lower in mercury. (shrimp, canned fight tuna, pollock. catfish.)