During pregnancy you require extra vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to support your own health and foster your baby's growth.
Remember that pregnancy is a time to eat "twice as healthy," not "twice as much."
You supply all the nutrients for your developing baby; however, most women only need to slightly increase their caloric intake during pregnancy. How much weight you should gain while pregnant depends on how much you weighed before you became pregnant. Talk with your health care provider to find out the healthy weight gain for your pregnancy.
- Follow Canada's Food Guide
- Eat three meals and two to three small snacks every day, choosing from the four food groups.
- Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement daily that is recommended for pregnancy.
- Make sure it contains 0.4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid and includes vitamin B12 and iron. Folic acid helps to develop an unborn baby's spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy.
- Choose fish
- Eat at least five ounces of cooked, low-mercury fish such as salmon, rainbow trout, Atlantic mackerel or sole each week. Fish contain essential fatty acids. These are needed so your baby's brain, nervous and visual systems can develop normally.
- Help your iron absorption
- To increase the amount of iron absorbed from food, include a source of vitamin C at your meals, such as a glass of orange juice or strawberries for dessert.
- Say "no" to junk food
- If you experience unhealthy cravings, try snacking instead on nuts, raisins, veggies and dip, fresh fruit, yogurt or crackers and cheese.
- Cut down on caffeine
- Limit your coffee intake to one cup per day.
Suggestions for Healthy Snacks
Raisins and nuts
Crackers and cheese
Cereal, with or without milk
Peanut butter on toast
Slice of pizza