• Top Nutrition Tips for A Healthy Pregnancy by Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN

    Without a doubt, a nutritious, well-balanced diet is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your developing baby.  Follow these four easy steps, to make sure you are getting the nutrition you need for a happy and healthy pregnancy: 

    1. Make sure you eat enough.

    While it is true that you do not need to eat any more than you did pre-pregnancy during your first trimester, you will need to eat a little more during your second and third trimester.  While everybody is different, women need an average of about 340 more calories during the second trimester and 450 more calories during the third trimester.  You do not need to count calories to make sure you are meeting these requirements, but you should listen to your body and eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.  Don’t worry mama, your body will let you know what it needs for your growing baby, you just have to listen. 

    2. Make sure you get enough nutrients.

    Calories are not the only thing you need more of during pregnancy.  Your needs for iron, folate, vitamin D, zinc and many other nutrients increase during pregnancy.  In order to make sure you are meeting your increased micronutrient requirements, it is important to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and take your prenatal vitamins.  Focus on increasing your intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes to meet your growing micronutrient needs in a healthy way.  Without a doubt, a nutritious, well-balanced diet is one of the greatest gifts you can give your developing baby. 

    3. Make sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids.

    Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, are crucial for your baby’s brain development and are a must during pregnancy.  The current recommended amount of DHA need during pregnancy is 200 mg/day, however, there is some research that suggests higher amounts (~600-1000 mg/day) may be beneficial in increasing birth weight and decreasing the risk of pre-term delivery.  The main source of DHA in the diet is fish.  You can get enough DHA for your growing baby by consuming two servings of low-mercury fish per week such as salmon or tilapia and/or take a fish oil supplement.  If you do not consume fish, no need to worry, you can take algae oil supplements to meet your DHA requirement. 

    4. Make sure to stay hydrated.

    Good hydration is crucial for both your body and your growing baby during pregnancy.  Water and other non-alcoholic fluids keep your blood properly hydrated, making it easier for your heart to pump and oxygenate your organs and muscles, which decreases the risk of cramping, straining, and circulatory problems during pregnancy.  Adequate hydration also helps support digestion and bowel regularity which gets out of whack during pregnancy.  Your growing baby also demands that you drink enough fluid.  The amount of fluid you drink can actually impact the volume of amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby which is what keeps your baby warm and safe in the womb.  It is recommended that you drink 8 cups of water/day while pregnant.  So mamas, whip out that water bottle and make sure it’s attached to your hip at all times. 

    As always, if you have any specific nutrition-related questions or concerns, make sure to contact your physician and a dietitian.
    If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me anytime. 

    Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN
    maternal and child registered dietitian/nutritionist
    www.jessicadiamondrdn.com
    jessica@jessicadiamondrdn.com