Eating for TWO?! What to Eat When You’re Pregnant

Stumped on what you should be eating?!  Use our FITmama pregnancy diet guide.

8338A208D5AD4C69B949643794938979.ashxThe benefits of eating healthy during pregnancy are undeniable.  Read here about nutritional interventions in pregnancy.  The outcomes of healthy diets in the study significantly reduced the risk of pre-eclamsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preterm births.  Wow!! That’s definitely a reason to eat healthy, but what exactly should you be eating??

During my first pregnancy and now my second, I have had people say it must be nice “eating for two!”  I like to respond with the facts… actually an “expectant mom only needs an extra 300 calories each day, where as, a nursing mom needs an extra 500 calories each day.”  I know it can be tempting to grab a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, however, there are much better nutrient-rich foods that support mom and her growing baby.  Believe me, during my pregnancies there are days when I cannot eat enough and other days I could skip dinner all together.  It is important to listen to your body and health practitioner and do what feels right for you!!

In my case, I’m a part of the GWMFA Midwifery practice in Washington DC that truly believes you can get all the nutrients you need to have a healthy pregnancy by eating healthy food.  The GW Medical Faculty claims that healthy food is food that your ancestors would recognize as food.   Our dietary guidelines are designed to do several very important things.  The first is to keep your blood sugar at an even level throughout the day.  This will minimize your experience of nausea, dizziness, and even syncope so common in pregnancy.  The second is to expand your blood volume properly so that you can circulate for both yourself and the baby.  Not accomplishing these things can make you feel poorly during pregnancy and can lead to serious complications.  Following our guidelines will also help you grow a baby that is appropriately sized for your body and pelvis: consuming the processed foods so readily available to us can contribute to the growth of a baby that is larger then your body can deliver.

40A96BFD104D40268DC64CB8F3A180EA.ashxFollow FITmama’s Daily Diet: created by GW Midwifery

10-12 glasses of fresh water

Fruits and veggies: 8-10 servings per day including two leafy greens, one yellow one and one orange one: Sweet potatoes and kale are excellent food choices!

Whole grains: 2-4 servings per day (Try to stay away from wheat, even whole wheat)

Calcium rich foods: 2-4 servings per day

Protein foods: eggs, lean meat, fish, chicken, legumes: 2-4 servings per day 

Flax seeds 1-2 Tbs ground daily as desired not required

Multivitamin: Talk to your OBGYN or Midwife about the best prenatal vitamins for you!

Eliminate from your diet

All refined sugar

All white/processed foods: white bread, white rice, white flour, white sugar, and potatoes.  We even consider “whole wheat bread” a processed food

No more than one glass of fruit juice, preferably orange, per day

Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil

Corn syrup and corn syrup solids


I know these diet busters may seem harsh but the idea is to be mindful of an overall healthy, nutrient-rich diet full of color and vitamins!  Obviously, if you’re first trimester presents challenges to eating according to these guidelines… It’s OK!  Focus on getting through that first trimester and then refocus on the food.  These guidelines will help promote a healthier pregnancy, baby, and let mama bounce back faster!!

Here’s to loads of salmon and kale!!!




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