Learn what to eat during pregnancy

The nine months of pregnancy are a wondrous time in a woman’s life. As the baby grows and delivery day approaches, her body undergoes an amazing transformation. The decisions she makes in regard to her diet influence the health of her baby. Knowing how to eat during pregnancy and beyond helps ensure the best beginning possible for her baby. If you’re unsure which foods to eat and which ones to avoid, a registered dietitian nutritionist at St. Charles Health System in Central Oregon can help.

Ensure a healthy pregnancy

A balanced diet provides vital nutrients for the growing fetus. Moms-to-be should keep the following foods in mind when eating or preparing their meals each day:

  1. Vegetables: Colorful vegetables that are fresh, canned or frozen.
  2. Fruits: All fresh, canned or frozen fruits.
  3. Healthy fats: Seeds, nuts and avocados.
  4. Lean proteins: Beans, fish, eggs and meats (turkey, chicken and some beef). Deli meats and hot dogs should be heated to kill possible bacteria that might harm your baby. Certain fish that are known to be high in mercury such as swordfish, tilefish and white tuna should be eaten sparingly.
  5. Fat-free or low-fat dairy: Yogurt, cheese and milk. Unpasteurized dairy should be avoided.

Empty calories from foods high in sugar such as soda, cakes and cookies should be avoided, as well as solid fats and fried foods.

Pregnancy diet? Check! What about a breastfeeding diet?

When it comes to eating during breastfeeding, many of the same food choices apply that are recommended during pregnancy. Lean meats, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats are crucial to your baby’s development. Drinking plenty of water is important, too. The foods to avoid also remain the same, such as sugary drinks, alcohol, certain types of fish and caffeinated beverages.

If you’re still unsure, nutrition counseling at St. Charles can help

Overall, there’s no need to go on a special diet during your pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Making healthy food choices and reducing or avoiding unhealthy foods are what matter to your baby’s growth and development. If you have questions or concerns about what foods to eat, we encourage you to call us today at 541-706-3752.

The registered dietitian nutritionists at St. Charles Health System can help ensure your baby’s healthy development during pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond.