As I wind down the last few weeks of my pregnancy with baby Ficek, I thought it might be a good idea to jot down a few tips for all those women who are about to become pregnant or those in the throws of pregnancy themselves. Many questions women have during pregnancy are focused on these subjects…I hope you find this helpful.
Gain a Healthy Amount of Weight
Know the right amount of additional calories to eat each day to avoid gaining too much weight (or not enough). Your health care provider and you can determine this at your first appointment and use this as a guide throughout the 40 weeks.
Cook Foods Properly
Avoid food-borne illnesses, because they can be particularly devastating to pregnant women. Food safety is key, and properly prepared foods will help reduce your risk for these illnesses. If you are dining out and the establishment is questionable in any capacity, it is advisable to pass on eating or drinking and look elsewhere for nourishment.
Limit Caffeine Intake
It’s an age-old controversy, but it’s true that there is a safe amount of caffeine for pregnant women to consume. Limit it to no more than a cup a day of java or caffeinated beverage of your choice (or food containing caffeine) is what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends for pregnant women.
Avoid Unpasteurized Products
More than just milk contains unpasteurized dairy, such as soft cheeses (blue, feta, brie and etc.), and eating these foods while pregnant can lead to life-threatening infections. Read labels carefully and know what you are putting in your body.
Avoid Foods High in Mercury
Seafood can be a great source of nutrients for promoting your baby's brain and eye development, but too much could harm your baby. Check out the Food and Drug Administration’s list of “safe fish” for pregnant and nursing women.
Consume Enough Iron, Folic Acid, & Protein
Now and pre-conception is the time, to make sure you and your baby are getting enough of these three essential nutrients. To be sure your diet is rich in these, make sure you include dark leafy greens, beans, nuts and seeds, legumes, broccoli and citrus fruit to name a few.
Pregnancy is a confusing time for many people with so much information out there and often conflicting, even people in the health and medical field. If in doubt or uncertain about something, always check with your OBGYN first and foremost. And, if you are still uncertain, then avoidance is the best practice for peace of mind.