Getting Your Pregnancy Off To a Healthy Start //
If you are choosing to continue your pregnancy and parent, your obstetrics doctor (OB) most likely won’t schedule an appointment to see you until you are around 11-12 weeks along. This will be the end of the first trimester! The first trimester is the most important time for the development of the fetus. He/she will require certain vitamins and minerals for proper, healthy development.
If you can begin eating healthy and taking some simple steps as soon as you find out you are pregnant it will significantly help the baby not only before birth, but also in child development and future educational development.
Prenatal Vitamins – these can be purchased at any pharmacy or grocery store. In fact if you are trying to get pregnant, it is a good idea to be taking a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin regularly. Make sure the vitamin has
- folic acid: 400mg – which prevent birth defects such as spina bifida
- iron blood: 17mg – which carries oxygen and helps both mother and baby
- vitamin D: 400IU
- calcium: 200-300mg
- iodine: 150 mcg – deficiencies could affect the baby’s mental and physical growth
Good Foods to Eat:
- Drink plenty of water. At least 8 (8oz) glasses a day
- Green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and citrus fruits all have folic acid
- Variety of seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, but low in mercury such as salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, trout, Atlantic & Pacific mackerel, shrimp, tilapia, cod. Limit white/albacore tuna and tuna steaks to 6 ounces a week.
- A balanced, healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and grains.
Foods to Avoid:
- Uncooked or rare meats (beef, chicken or seafood)
- Deli meats – contaminated with listeria which can cause miscarriage. They must be reheated until steaming in order to eat safely
- Fish with high levels of mercury – linked to developmental delays and brain damage (ex. shark, swordfish, tilefish)
- Smoked seafood
- Raw shellfish
- Raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs like homemade caesar dressings, mayonnaise, ice cream and hollandaise sauce
- Imported soft cheese may contain brie, camembert, feta, gorgonzola, queso, queso blanco unless they clearly state that they are made from pasteurized milk
- Unpasteurized milk
- Pate or meat spreads
- Caffeine – moderate intake/200mg per day – some studies show increased caffeine intake may be connected to miscarriage
- Unwashed vegetables
Do not smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy. There is no amount of alcohol that is safe for pregnancy.
Visit Choose My Plate or the American Pregnancy Association for more information.