Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life. This is an important time to take care of yourself and your growing baby.

Here are some nutrition tips for a healthy baby:
  • Go for a Doctor’s visit as soon as you think you are pregnant.
  • Sign up for the WIC program for yourself to receive extra milk, eggs, cheese, cereal, and dried beans. These foods will automatically increase important nutrition in your diet such as iron (beans and WIC cereal), calcium (milk and cheese), folic acid (WIC cereal), and protein (beans, eggs, and milk)
  • Eat well and take your prenatal vitamin.
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. Try to limit caffeine.
  • Continue with exercise.
  • Drink plenty of fluids like water.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

The Positive Side of Pregnancy

  • Thick, shiny hair
  • That warm, healthy glow of pregnancy
  • Weight gain without guilt!
  • A larger bra.
  • Now you have an excuse for a nap!
  • People open the door for you.
  • You feel good about taking care of yourself.
  • You have a special reason to eat right.
  • Your are part of a miracle.
  • You feel your baby grow and move.

Gaining Weight During Pregnancy

Where does the weight go?

  • If you were a normal weight before you became pregnant: gain 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy.
  • If you were overweight before you became pregnant: gain 15 to 25 pounds during your pregnancy.
  • If you were underweight before you became pregnant: gain 28 to 40 pounds during your pregnancy.
  • If you are having twins, triplets or more: talk to your health care provider.

Gaining the right amount of weight is important!

These are just some of the reasons why gaining enough weight is important for your health and the health of your baby:

  • Childbirth can be easier.
  • Your body will be ready for breastfeeding.
  • Helps to protect the health of your baby.
  • Helps to protect your health.
  • It will be easier to lose weight after your baby is born.

Talk to your health care provider about your weight. They can help you decide the amount of weight gain that is right for you and your baby. The list below includes all the extra weight you will gain during pregnancy:

3 pounds of Blood
2 pounds for Larger Breasts
2 pounds for the Womb
7.5 pounds for the Baby
1.5 pounds for the Placenta
2 pounds of Amniotic Fluid
7 pounds of Fat, protein, other
4 pounds of Retained water

Constipation Relief: High Fiber Foods

Many pregnant women suffer from constipation. One of the best ways to avoid constipation is by eating plenty of high fiber foods. When you increase your fiber, you will need to increase your fluid intake too, so keep that in mind.

Fiber is found in natural food sources like many fruits and vegetables, beans (like navy, pinto, black, and kidney beans), and in whole grains. Remember, if you are trying to add whole grain foods to your diet, look for "100% whole wheat" or “whole grain” on the label. Try to eat whole grains for at least 1/2 of your grain foods.

10 ways to increase your fiber:

  1. Eat a bowl of whole grain breakfast cereal.
  2. Try oatmeal for breakfast.
  3. Snack on whole grain breakfast cereal or use it as a topper for your yogurt.
  4. Use whole grain bread for your sandwich. Make sure that the first ingredient in a whole grain product has the word, “whole” in it.
  5. Buy whole grain tortillas or a whole grain bagel.
  6. Snack on popcorn.
  7. Buy crackers made with whole grains.
  8. Add whole grain pasta to your dinner.
  9. Cook with brown rice.
  10. Add kidney beans or chickpeas to your next salad.

Be sure and get enough water each day and you will find you have less trouble with constipation.

Sneak calcium in your diet

You need more Calcium in your diet for strong bones and teeth for the baby. Your prenatal vitamin probably doesn’t have much calcium in it because calcium is “bulky.” The vitamin would have to be huge! If you don’t like milk the following tips will help sneak calcium in your diet.

  • Make creamy soups (homemade or canned) with milk or evaporated milk.
  • Use evaporated milk (which has twice the calcium) in food preparation such as when making mashed potatoes, pudding, cream sauces, etc.
  • Add cheese (or reduced fat cheese) to your mashed potatoes, vegetables, pasta, sandwiches and sauces.
  • Prepare quiche, or egg custard, which contain milk. Eat more vegetables which are good
  • sources of calcium.
    Choose calcium fortified orange juice (this is not allowed with WIC coupons,
    but is still a good choice if you do not drink milk).
  • Add powdered nonfat milk to your pancake and cake batter, etc.
  • Make yourself a milkshake.

Sources of Calcium
Firm tofu (with calcium) 1/2 cup…………………...230 mg.
Yogurt (fat free, fruit or vanilla) 1 cup……………...400 mg.
Cheese, 2 oz………………………………………...350 mg.
Milk (fat free or low-fat)…………………………....300 mg.
Canned salmon, 4 oz. (with the bones)……………..277 mg.
Orange juice with added calcium, 1 cup……………300 mg.
Greens (collard, kale, etc.), 1/2 cup…………………100 mg.
Broccoli, 1 cup……………………………………….90 mg.

Early Head Start

Nutrition News: September 2007

From Your Nutritionist, Ann