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Pregnancy Weeks 13-18 - Page 7

Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter
Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter - Healthy Habits

Well-balanced diet

Now that your appetite is back, this is a great opportunity to focus on eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. About 300 extra calories each day are needed for women of normal weight to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The calories and weight gain you'll need depend on your body mass index (BMI), your due date, and how much you exercise. Most women with a normal BMI need 2100 to 2400 calories each day. Overweight women usually need fewer calories, and underweight women may need more, but check with your health care provider for advice about your specific needs. These calories provide an expectant mother with energy and help her unborn baby gain the proper weight. Calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with sweets and fats kept to a minimum.

Nutrition is a primary factor in the health of the mother and the baby. The following daily food amounts are for a pregnant woman as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

  • 6 to 8 ounces of bread and whole grains
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit
  • 3 cups of milk and milk products
  • 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of meat and protein foods
  • 290 to 410 calories from extra foods
  • 6 to 8 teaspoons of fats and oils
  • 6 to 8 glasses of water

Fluid intake is also an important part of healthy pregnancy nutrition. Women can take in enough fluids by drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day, in addition to the fluids in juices and soups. An expectant mother should talk with her health care provider about restricting her intake of caffeine and artificial sweeteners. All alcohol should be avoided in pregnancy.

Healthy snack ideas

Sunflower seeds
Fresh or dried fruit
Hard-boiled egg
Low-fat cheese
Fresh vegetables with dip
Bran muffins
Whole grain cereal
Whole grain crackers
Plain pretzels
Lightly salted popcorn
Bread sticks
Graham crackers
Fruit smoothie made with skim milk

Are you staying active?

Generally, women who exercise and are physically fit before pregnancy can safely continue exercising throughout the pregnancy. Exercise is an important part of pregnancy health, and with the approval of your health care provider, can often minimize the physical discomforts of pregnancy and help with your recovery after your baby is born. However, exercise may not be possible with certain pregnancy conditions such as preterm labor or high blood pressure. And, there are some physical activities that are not safe during pregnancy. So talk with your health care provider and find out if you can continue your current exercise regimen.

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