(KUTV) Eat this, avoid that. The advice is endless for expecting mothers when it comes to nutrition and pregnancy. However, we break down what is truly essential for women who are pregnant or wanting to be.
Women want to begin thinking about pregnancy nutrition before they get pregnant.
“Our most common recommendation for women who are thinking about becoming pregnant is actually starting to take a prenatal vitamin with extra folic acid at least three months before you get pregnant,” says Dr. Jennifer Parker, OB/GYN at Sevier Valley Hospital.
This helps replenish and build nutrients your body is lacking. Folic Acid reduces your baby’s risk of neural tube defects, which typically form before you even know you’re pregnant.
“We’ve also found it actually decreases first trimester nausea as well,” says Dr. Parker.
If taking a prenatal vitamin initially causes you to not feel well, try taking it later in the day.
“Having a little bit of food with it and taking it at night will usually help with that,” says Tara Heath, pregnant mother of four.
Next, pay close attention to how you fuel your body.
“Obviously we want a very healthy, well-balanced diet. Fried foods are not very good at building a baby,” says Dr. Parker.
Even though you’ve probably heard you’re eating for two, sadly, it’s a myth.
“I did that with my first. If I had a cheeseburger, he had a cheeseburger and gained a lot of weight; and it does not come of like that,” recalls Tara.
In your first trimester, most women don’t need any extra calories. In your second and third trimesters, an extra 300-400 calories per day Is recommended.
It’s important to use caution with several types of food if you’re pregnant. Deli meat should be avoided completely because there’s a risk of listeria. Fish on the other hand is okay, but should be limited to one or two servings per week due to an increased risk of mercury poisoning.