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Diet and Pregnancy

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.)