Pregnancy Diet and Nutrition

Make simple, consistent improvements to your diet and nutrition to optimize your baby's development and experience a safe, healthy pregnancy.

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You came to the right place!  Our nutritionists for pregnancy can be the perfect partner to your primary care doctor and OB to help you throughout your pregnancy. Our evidence-based process helps you implement proven strategies to give birth to a happy, healthy, baby, and keep you sane during the process!

Pregnancy-Diet-Nutrition-learn the keys to a healthy pregnancy, both for you and for baby
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Build a thoughtful nutrition plan to help you develop a healthy baby and keep you feeling great during your pregnancy.  

We teach you the keys of pregnancy nutrition: what to eat, how much to eat, and how to deal with quirks like food cravings and morning sickness - all with a meal plan customized to your individual needs.

Although everyone's pregnancy is unique to them, we help you pair traditional medicine with the recommendations from our Registered Dietitians to help you optimize your nutrition and give your developing baby all of the nutrients he/she needs to flourish.

Our Registered Dietitians help you determine:

 


The Basics: Food to Eat and Foods to Avoid when Pregnant

We encourage our clients to stick to the basics.  Our pregnancy dietitians help you simplify your eating patterns and focus on foods that you enjoy eating and support a health pregnancy.

We focus on incorporating:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Complex Carbohydrates
  • Lean Proteins
  • Healthy Fats
  • Micronutrients (Iron, Folate)
  • Proper Hydration

Our dietitians also guide you through what to avoid while you are pregnant.  This includes:

  • Eating seafood that tends to be high in mercury and other contaminants
  • Certain food preparation techniques  
  • Cheeses and dairy that may pose risks during pregnancy
  • Large amounts of caffeine
  • Alcohol

Our summary of what to eat and what to avoid is below.  You can also find more information here:

  Healthy Foods for Pregnancy Foods to Avoid

Fruits and Vegetables
rich in calcium, folate, iron, fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants

Unwashed produce can contain toxins and pollutants that are especially harmful when you are pregnant.  Pay special attention to raw sprouts such as:

  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Radish
  • Mung Bean

Complex Carbohydrates
packed with fiber, Vitamin A, protein, calcium, folate and iron

  • Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats
  • Whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans and lentils
  • Simple sugars
  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods

Lean Proteins
rich in choline, iron, and vitamin D

  • Lean meats: meats which are 90-95% lean
  • Poultry: chicken, turkey
  • Eggs: cooked until both yolks and whites are firm in order to protect against potential salmonella exposure
  • Undercooked meats, poultry, and eggs, as they increase the risk of foodborne illness.
  • If you choose to consume deli meats, cook them until they are steaming to prevent Listeria, a rare, but serious foodborne illness.

Healthy Fats

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish: low mercury options such as salmon
  • Saturated fats should be consumed in moderation

 


Take the first step to a healthy pregnancy — today!

Take your reading on the go and download the PDF, included with your downloadable guide is a 7-day meal plan complete with easy-to-follow recipes.

Download the Guide

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Are there specific Superfoods I should eat during my pregnancy?

What you eat, your baby eats, so optimizing nutrition during pregnancy is vital for both moms-to-be and their babies. While there isn’t a magic formula for perfect pregnancy nutrition, including key foods and beneficial nutrients will nourish you and your baby through this important time in both of your lives.

Certain foods pack an especially strong nutrient punch and can help you achieve your nutritional goals during pregnancy. We consider these to be pregnancy superfoods.


Food Type Examples

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber and vitamin A. They also contain vitamin C and folate.
  • Brown rice, quinoa, oats, as well as whole wheat bread and pasta, are good fiber sources.
  • These grains also contain various B vitamins.
  • Beans and legumes provide your body with fiber, protein, calcium, folate, and iron. They are also great foods to include if you are experiencing aversions to animal proteins, which is common during pregnancy.

Protein

  • Salmon and other fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids for your baby’s brain development.
  • Fatty fish are also good protein, calcium, and vitamin D sources.
  • Lean meats and poultry are dense sources of protein, choline, and iron sources.
  • While all meats are high in iron, red meats contain more iron than poultry and may help you meet your increased iron needs throughout pregnancy.
  • Eggs are one of the densest choline sources.  Regularly eating eggs helps ensure you get enough choline, as well as protein and vitamin D.

Veggies

  • Asparagus contains folate necessary for your baby’s nervous system. It is also high in iron.
  • Leafy greens, including spinach, kale, and broccoli, are great for pregnancy. These vegetables contain calcium, folate, iron, fiber, plus vitamins A and C

Dairy

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • These dairy products provide your body with protein, calcium, and vitamin D
  • Full-fat dairy provides your body with the fat needed to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K

Fat

  • Pumpkin seeds are a great fiber, protein, and iron source. They also provide the body with magnesium, which has many functions in your and your baby’s body. Adding pumpkin seeds to salads with dark leafy greens or trail mix boosts your meals and snacks.

 

What are Real Foods and why are they important?

Consuming real, nutrient-dense, whole foods gives your body the nourishment it needs to grow a healthy baby.

Here are a few ways to evaluate how “real” your diet is.

  • Nutrient-rich foods, also referred to as nutrient-dense foods, contain many nutrients. Nutrients are broken down into two categories: macronutrients which include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals. If a food is high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and/or healthy fatty acids, it is considered nutrient-rich. On the flip side, if the food does not contain many of these components, it is considered nutrient-poor. Most real foods are nutrient-dense foods that help nourish your body.
  • Whole foods are foods that are consumed in a similar form to how they appear in nature. Most whole foods do not contain added sugars, processed carbohydrates, added colors or flavors, or other manufactured ingredients. Most whole foods are naturally nutrient-dense; real foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, dairy, meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Unprocessed foods, like whole foods, are not modified and they appear similar to how they do in nature. In our society, many foods are processed until they are barely recognizable from their original form and wouldn’t fit the real food definition.

You can use these concepts to build a healthy, well-balanced pregnancy diet. Well-balanced meals and snacks are an important part of a healthy diet for everyone, but even more important during pregnancy. Generally, combining real foods into nourishing meals and snacks is a healthy way to approach nourishing your body throughout pregnancy.

Try out these tips for incorporating real foods into your Pregnancy Diet.

  • Consume fruits and vegetables in their whole form.
    Frozen fruits and vegetables also retain their nutrients and are a great option. Unsweetened dried fruit also provides beneficial nutrients. However, be sure to look for unsweetened and no-added -sugar options to avoid added sugars.
  • Prioritize whole grains.
    Carbohydrates fall into two main categories – whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains include whole-wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oats, and quinoa. These grains are less processed and contain more beneficial nutrients.
  • Consume lean cuts of beef or pork, poultry, and seafood.
    These are all good sources of protein during pregnancy. Plant-based proteins such as tofu and beans are also healthy choices.
  • Include eggs.
    Eggs are one of the only dense food sources of choline, which is crucial for your baby's brain. Eating the whole egg provides you with the most choline.
  • Stick with full-fat dairy products.
    Consuming full-fat, whole-milk dairy provides your body with the fat needed to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Incorporate healthy fats at every meal.
    Nuts, seeds, avocado, and fatty fish are all great sources of healthy fats during pregnancy. Although fish and shellfish are good sources of protein, healthy fats, and iron, there are risks of consuming certain types of seafood that may be high in mercury while pregnant.

Pregnancy Food Cravings and Food Aversions

Cravings

Pregnancy often brings changes in taste preferences, which may include both cravings and food aversions. Food cravings are a desire for a specific food or food combination that feels impossible to resist. While pregnancy often comes with an increased appetite as well, cravings do not always coincide with hunger. Research suggests that between 50 and 90 percent of pregnant women in the United States experience specific food cravings during pregnancy. Whether you are experiencing cravings or aversions, listening to your body is important throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Every woman and every pregnancy are different, and you may find yourself craving any food or food combination at any time. Pregnancy cravings may be linked to specific tastes, textures, flavor combinations, or the feelings associated with that food; for example, comforting foods.

Scientists speculate that cravings represent an unmet nutritional need for you or your baby, but research has not made a firm conclusion on this idea. Experts hypothesize that the cravings you experience for specific foods may not signal that your body needs that specific food; rather, your body needs a nutrient found in that food. For example, craving pickles may be linked to needing additional sodium, or craving ice cream may be linked to needing more fat in your diet.

The most common pregnancy cravings in the United Stated include:

  • Sweets and desserts
  • Dairy, specifically cheese
  • Starchy carbohydrates
  • Fast food
  • Pizza
  • Chinese food

Research shows that cravings vary greatly between cultures. For example, women in the United Kingdom often crave chocolate, fruit, and ice pops during pregnancy, whereas women in Japan often crave rice.

With all the hormonal changes during pregnancy it is common to crave foods you once disliked or be averse to foods you previously loved. Both cravings and aversions may change at any time during or after pregnancy.

Do not beat yourself up over your cravings during pregnancy. Experiencing and indulging pregnancy cravings is normal. When you are eating a food you crave, practice mindful eating. Focus on what you are eating and truly enjoy its taste, texture, smell and other characteristics. Try to avoid mindlessly consuming foods as you crave them.

Cravings may be harmful when nutrient-dense foods are crowded out of your diet by the less healthy foods you find yourself craving. If you find yourself eating large quantities of high fat, high sugar, high salt, or highly processed foods, it is a good idea to discuss your eating habits with your doctor or dietitian.

Aversions

During the first trimester, the hormones human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen rise. The rapid increase in hCG may cause nausea, often referred to as morning sickness, as well as food cravings and food aversions. HCG levels peak and level off toward the end of the first trimester, typically at week eleven. However, hormonal changes continue to affect both taste preferences and appetite throughout pregnancy.

Every woman and every pregnancy is different, and any food may trigger an aversion at any time. Oftentimes, foods with strong smells cause aversions during pregnancy, as your changing hormones impact both taste and small. Increased saliva production during pregnancy may also cause a metallic taste in your mouth that will not go away. This taste may cause or exacerbate food aversions. Finally, many women are more sensitive to food textures when pregnant, so foods that are slimy, thick, or chewy may not be appetizing.

Common pregnancy food aversions include:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Spicy foods
  • Greasy foods

Considering all the hormonal changes during pregnancy, it is common to be averse to foods you once loved or crave foods you previously disliked. Aversions and cravings may change at any time during or after pregnancy.

How To Manage Food Aversions

For the most part, avoiding foods you are averse to and eating foods you are craving is perfectly healthy. However, if you find that you are averse to foods that include essential nutrients for pregnancy, be mindful of other ways to get those nutrients. For example, if you are averse to meat, eat other iron-rich foods such as tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, among others.

Some women also find success by hiding foods they are averse to in more desirable foods. For example, make a smoothie with spinach or frozen cauliflower to boost your vegetable intake if you are struggling to consume enough veggies each day.

Many women find that cold foods and bland foods are much easier to tolerate during pregnancy, and do not cause nausea. Choosing these foods may improve your tolerance.

Another strategy is to have someone else cook whenever possible (seriously!). For many women, the scent of food cooking is too much for them to tolerate. Ordering healthy takeout meals may also be a good option when being close to food preparation is hard for your stomach to handle.

What can I eat to get specific minerals such as Iron and Folate?

Iron

During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. Among these changes is an increase in the amount of blood circulating through your body. This increase in blood volume leads to an increase in red blood cells, which are needed to supply your body and your baby’s body with oxygen. Red blood cells require iron to make hemoglobin, which is the specific protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and your baby’s developing tissues.

However, human bodies cannot make iron, so it is important to get enough through the food you eat. Without enough iron, your body will not produce enough red blood cells, which causes the condition iron deficiency anemia. If you develop iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy, your risk for premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression increases.

If you are pregnant and are experiencing the following symptoms, we recommend discussing potential of anemia with your doctor and dietitian:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches

Your doctor can determine if you have an iron deficiency.  As part of a well-rounded diet, focus on the following high-iron foods:

  • Lean beef
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Beans and lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Dark leafy greens, including spinach and kale
  • Broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Various grains and cereals are fortified with iron and can be useful in meeting your daily iron intake goals
  • Nuts, specifically cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Raisins
  • Dark chocolate

Read our full write up on good iron food sources for more details on each of these foods.

Folate and Folic Acid

Folate is the natural form of B9 and is part of the B vitamin group. Folate is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods. It is also added to foods and sold as a supplement in the form of folic acid. Folic acid is more readily absorbed than folate found in food sources. 85% of folic acid added into foods or found in supplements is absorbed, compared to 50% of folate found naturally in foods.

Folate is an important nutrient that helps form DNA and RNA. It is involved in protein metabolism and plays a key role in breaking down an amino acid called homocysteine, which can have harmful effects if it is present in high amounts in your body. Your body also uses Folate to produce red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth (pregnancy and fetal development).

Foods that naturally contain folate include:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus
  • Beans, legumes, peas, and lentils 
  • Fresh citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruit, papaya
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Beef liver is one of the most concentrated sources of folate. A 3oz serving of liver contains 212mcg of folate as well as having high levels of vitamin A, B12, copper and 24g of protein.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains such as wheat germ

Read our full write up on healthy folic acid food sources for more details on each of these foods.

 

Take the first steps to a healthy pregnancy — today!

Take your reading on the go and download the PDF, included with your downloadable guide is a 7-day meal plan complete with easy-to-follow recipes.

Download the Guide

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Diabetes and Pregnancy

Managing diabetes while you are pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) can be confusing and frustrating. Finding the right guidance and support is important, as it will help you and your baby stay safe and healthy.

How to manage Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes During Pregnancy

Plan for pregnancy beforehand, so your doctor can evaluate the effects diabetes has had on your body. Blood sugar control is key, and may include updating your medications. It is important to see your doctor more frequently if you have diabetes and are pregnant. That way, you will prevent and catch problems quickly.

Control your blood sugar through diet and exercise. Eating a balanced diet filled with a mix of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables will aid in controlling blood sugar. Pair carbohydrates with protein and fat to reduce a high blood sugar spike. Also, eat your starches throughout the day in small amounts to keep blood sugar stable. Along with a balanced diet, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. This exercise can include a brisk walk or light workout.

In addition to diet and exercise, take diabetes medications as directed by your doctor. When taking diabetes medications, you may also be at risk of low blood sugar. Undoubtedly, it is important to control and treat low blood sugar quickly. Keep hard candy or glucose tablets available to correct low blood sugar. You should also consider monitoring your blood sugar to detect changes that can be especially pertinent during pregnancy. Pregnancy changes your body’s energy needs; therefore, blood sugar levels can change quickly.

Gestational Diabetes Causes and Symptoms

Gestational Diabetes is diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. Similar to Type 1 and Type 2, Gestational Diabetes affects how your body uses glucose. It causes high blood sugar that can affect mom and baby’s health.

Managing gestational diabetes is similar to managing Type 1 & 2 diabetes while pregnant. Gestational diabetes does not cause noticeable symptoms; common symptoms are increased thirst and more frequent urination. When pregnant, you should get checked for gestational diabetes as part of general prenatal care. If you develop gestational diabetes, schedule frequent checkups with your doctor to monitor your blood sugar and your baby’s health.

Causes of gestation diabetes are not yet fully understood. However, excess weight gain before pregnancy could play a role in its development. Some women have a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes. Risk factors include excess weight gain before pregnancy, lack of physical activity, previous diagnoses of gestational diabetes or prediabetes, PCOS, diabetes in an immediate family member, previously delivering a baby weighing more than nine pounds, and race. Black, Indian, and Asian American women have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Read an even more detailed explanation of managing diabetes while pregnant on our in-depth resource page.


Pregnancy Diet FAQs

What Fish are Safe to Eat?

Fish and shellfish are both high in protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, which are all crucial during pregnancy. Your daily iron needs increase during pregnancy, which makes getting iron in your food even more important. Salmon specifically contains 0.8 milligrams of iron per four-ounce serving.

Fish is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for your baby’s growth and development. Specifically, the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays an important role in fetal brain development. Salmon, sardines, oysters, and shrimp are all good sources of DHA.

Although fish and shellfish are good protein, healthy fat, and iron sources, there are risks when consuming certain types of seafood while pregnant. Some seafood is high in mercury, which builds up in your system over time, and may harm your baby’s brain and nervous system development. Avoiding fish with high mercury concentrations is best for your baby’s health.

Uncooked seafood is also considered risky because it may contain bacteria or viruses that could pose a threat to your baby. Avoid ray oysters, sushi, sashimi, and lox while pregnant (link to food poisoning during pregnancy blog).  When cooking seafood, be sure to cook to an internal temperature of 145 degrees to avoid foodborne illnesses. Fish should appear opaque and separate into flakes when cooked through. Shrimp and lobster should appear pearly and opaque when done. Clams, mussels, and oysters should be cooked until all shells are opened.

Other food safety practices may help to limit the likelihood of developing a foodborne illness from seafood. Buy only properly refrigerated or frozen fish. Use separate cutting boards for raw fish and raw fruits and vegetables to help reduce contamination risk. If you are using a marinade for fish, throw away any marinade that has come in contact with raw fish after cooking.

The best seafood choices are the safest fish to consume during pregnancy. Consuming 8 to 12 ounces of these weekly is safe during pregnancy. The best choices include:

  • Anchovy
  • Atlantic croaker
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Black sea bass
  • Butterfish
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Cod
  • Crab
  • Crawfish
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Lobster
  • Mullet
  • Oyster
  • Pacific mackerel
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Plaice
  • Pollock
  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Scallop
  • Shad
  • Shrimp
  • Shake
  • Smelt
  • Sole
  • Squid
  • Tilapia
  • Trout (freshwater)
  • Tuna (canned light, skipjack)
  • Whitefish

Can I Eat Spicy Food?

Eating spicy foods during pregnancy is generally safe for both you and your baby. However, while there are no threats to you or your baby, spicy foods may cause some uncomfortable side effects for pregnant women, including heartburn and indigestion. Both issues are common in pregnant women regardless of what they eat, but spicy foods may make these issues even worse.

The effects spicy foods have on your body may vary by trimester. During the first trimester, spicy foods may aggravate morning sickness. Later in pregnancy (during the second and third trimesters), spicy food is more likely to cause unpleasant side effects including heartburn, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and gastroesophageal reflux.

Nausea is most common early in pregnancy, and is often called morning sickness, although it may last all day. Some women also experience vomiting paired with continued nausea. Spicy foods may make nausea more intense and may make vomiting more painful.

Heartburn is common during the second and third trimesters. Hormonal changes in your body relax the muscle that prevents stomach acid from leaking into the esophagus, which makes acid reflux more likely. Additionally, as your baby grows, your organs have less space and become squished together. Spicy foods, acidic foods, and high fat foods may all exacerbate heartburn throughout pregnancy.

Indigestion is also common later in pregnancy. As you get further into the pregnancy, your stomach empties more slowly. This delayed emptying, coupled with squished organs, may cause discomfort after you eat. Indigestion after consuming spicy foods is more common in women who did not consistently eat spicy foods before pregnancy.

While there is some caution against overdoing spicy foods during pregnancy, there are benefits to including a bit of spice in your pregnancy diet. Capsaicin, which gives peppers their spice, is anti-inflammatory, and believed to support your immune system and heart health.

Read the full download on spicy foods and pregnancy here!


How to Handle Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting are common during the first trimester of pregnancy. At least half of pregnant women experience these symptoms. Most often, nausea sets in during weeks 6 to 12 of pregnancy, which is caused by rapidly changing hormone levels.

These symptoms are commonly called morning sickness, which is an unfortunately misleading description. Many women find themselves nauseous sporadically throughout the day, or even all day long.

Below are our top tips for avoiding, managing, and preventing future morning sickness

  • Eat more Often: While eating may seem like the last thing that you want to do, many women find that nausea is worse when their stomach is completely empty. Eating small, frequent meals and snacks may help to minimize your nausea. Additionally, eating something small first thing in the morning, even before getting out of bed, may directly help with morning nausea. Some women choose to keep a small, dry, carbohydrate snack beside their bed to eat before rising in the morning.
  • Stick to Starches: Carbohydrates and starchy foods are the best-tolerated foods during early pregnancy. Carbohydrates are easy for the body to digest and give you quick energy when you need it most. Popular starchy carbohydrates include crackers, toast, bagels, oatmeal, dry cereals, plain pasta, pretzels, and popcorn.
  • Include a Nighttime Snack: Some women find that eating a snack before bed may alleviate nausea that presents overnight or early in the morning. A high-protein snack may be helpful to balance your blood sugar over night.
  • Separate Solids: Some women find that eating food and drinking liquids at the same time makes nausea worse. Hydration is key during pregnancy, so drinking water in between meals and snacks may be helpful.
  • Include Cold Foods: During the first trimester, some women find that cold foods are easier to stomach than warm foods. This is likely because colder foods have less strong scents, which many pregnant women are also sensitive to.

Foods to Try

Eggs contain protein and choline, which are both important for your baby’s growth and development. Cooking eggs all the way through is important to prevent foodborne illness (link foods to avoid blog). Cooked and cooled hard-boiled eggs are a great way to get some protein throughout the day.

Similarly, cooked and cooled chicken can be used in a sandwich or wrap. You can also put chicken onto a salad if cool, crisp vegetables sound appealing. 

Cool, fresh fruit is easy for some women to tolerate as well. Be sure to wash any produce you consume thoroughly before consuming. If you’re feeling up for it, a fruit smoothie is another good way to get a healthy dose of the beneficial nutrients you and your baby need.

Vitamin B6 has may also reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. While it may be a challenge to stomach some of these foods, try incorporating chicken, fish, tofu, chickpeas, potatoes, bananas, and fortified cereal into your diet as you are able. Your prenatal vitamin likely contains vitamin B6 as well.

During days or times that you are feeling better, try to expand your palette. Try your best to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats as tolerated.

Foods to Avoid

  • High fat foods such as fried foods and foods with heavy sauces are often not well-tolerated because they are harder for your body to digest
  • High acid foods and drinks like citrus and tomato products may make nausea worse
  • Spicy foods may cause heartburn, which may also make things worse
  • Gas producing foods including beans and cruciferous vegetables can cause gastrointestinal distress and contribute to the problem
  • Caffeine, coffee specifically, may also aggravate the symptoms you are experiencing. Although some caffeine is believed to be safe, you may feel better eliminating it all together (link to foods to avoid for pregnancy blog)

Potential Remedies

  • Ginger is often used as a remedy for nausea. Grating fresh ginger and steeping in hot water like tea is a common way to alleviate nausea.
  • Some women find that sipping water with a small amount of lemon is helpful.
  • Getting fresh air by sitting outside or going for a walk may also help you find relief from your nausea.

What If I get Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning happens when you consume something that contains bacteria, a virus, a parasite or a toxin that causes your body to have a negative reaction. Food poisoning symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Adequate hydration is the most important aspect of treatment, regardless of if you are pregnant or not. Most food poisoning is mild and resolves without treatment. When you are pregnant, take the following food poisoning precautions.

The most common types of food poisoning include norovirus, listeria, E. Coli, and salmonella. Left untreated, these can be dangerous during pregnancy. If you experience symptoms of foodborne illness, contact your doctor immediately. Foodborne illness during pregnancy can cause serious health problems, miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth and even death of the mother. Different microorganisms can affect mom and baby in various ways. Foodborne microorganisms can cross the placenta and cause harm to the developing fetus and cause a wide range of health problems or even death.

Food safety and prevention of a foodborne illness is extremely important during pregnancy. There are precautions you can take to avoid getting sick. Four simple steps you can take to ensure food safety are:

  • Cleaning hands and surfaces often
  • Separating raw foods from ready to eat foods (don’t cross contaminate!)
  • Cooking food to proper temperatures
  • Refrigerating food promptly after serving

In addition to these preventative measures, learn the foods that are most likely to cause food poisoning:

Read all the ways to avoid pregnancy food sickness in our full discussion.

Pregnancy and Bloating

Bloating and uncomfortable fullness are common during pregnancy. Unlike other pregnancy symptoms, this symptom may last through all three trimesters. Fullness and bloating may be accompanied with nausea and vomiting, often referred to as morning sickness, or may present on their own.

Fullness and bloating make it challenging to eat all the nutrients you and your growing baby need each day. You may not feel like eating or may struggle to consume a full meal in one sitting. Many women also report changes in hunger levels and appetite during pregnancy.

Progesterone is largely to blame for uncomfortable fullness during pregnancy. Progesterone is a hormone secreted in the ovaries and released during pregnancy. This hormone relaxes your smooth muscles, which is critical while growing and carrying a baby. However, progesterone also relaxes the muscles in your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, which slows your digestion significantly.

There are a few different things to try to alleviate your pregnancy bloating.  We recommend:

  1. Eat smaller meals, more frequently
  2. Incorporate fiber into your meals and snacks.  Having enough fiber is the main key to relieving bloating.
  3. Stay hydrated: Water is the second key to smooth digestion. Without enough water, the fiber you eat will not be able to pass smoothly through (and out) your body
  4. Sip something warm.  Warm beverages help activate your digestive system!
  5. Eat slowly and practice mindful eating
  6. Move more! Taking a walk or doing light exercise can also help relieve bloating and fullness
  7. Try a probiotic. Supporting healthy gut bacteria can relieve gas and bloating

We elaborate on each of these recommendations in our dedicated write-up. 

Click this link for a detailed walkthrough on each of these remedies for pregnancy bloating.

 

 

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