5 Pregnancy Nutrition Don’ts

The moment you begin telling people that you are expecting, you will get more advice than you’ve ever gotten before. This is a list of 5 things you should not do that most people forget to mention… These are good habits to take you through!

1. DON’T “EAT FOR TWO.”

Half of all women gain too much weight during pregnancy, research suggests that when moms-to-be gain excess weight, the babies have a higher risk of obesity later in life. Plus, the mothers tend to retain extra poundage after giving birth.

If you’re carrying a single baby, you need approximately 340 extra calories per day in the second trimester and 450 extra in the third trimester. Doctors disagree on whether you need more calories in the first trimester—if you’re overweight, you likely don’t.

But rather than count calories, simply eat until you feel satisfied, and not more. If you have a problem with portion control, seek the guidance of a registered dietitian.

2. DON’T OVERDOSE ON REFINED CARBS

White bread, white rice, sweets and sodas rush into your bloodstream, spiking your blood glucose levels. These spikes may result in fatter newborns, who are at greater risk of being overweight as they grow up. If you consume the same number of calories but just change what you eat, your baby may have less body fat at birth and a lower risk of future obesity.

Limit the white stuff and choose unrefined grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and whole-wheat tortillas and bread.

3. DON’T OVERLOOK FOOD SAFETY

To protect yourself and your baby from harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, don’t eat raw or under cooked meat, poultry, seafood or eggs, and don’t eat leftover food that has been sitting out for more than two hours. Heat deli meats until steaming hot. With Brie, blue cheese and other soft cheeses, check the label to make sure they are made with pasteurized milk; unpasteurized soft cheese can harbor Listeria, which can lead to premature delivery, miscarriage or stillbirth. If there’s no label, don’t take the chance.

4. DON’T GO MORE THAN TWO TO THREE HOURS WITHOUT EATING

Grazing not only pumps a steady stream of nutrients to your baby, it also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so you don’t “crash” or become lightheaded. If you don’t fill the tank frequently, you can bottom out. Smaller meals also minimize heartburn, a common and painful problem as pregnancy progresses and your stomach gets squeezed.

5. DON’T FORGET TO DRINK AT LEAST 12 8-OUNCE GLASSES OF FLUID A DAY

It’s hard to stay hydrated when you’re pregnant because a lot of the fluid you drink leaks from your blood vessels into your tissues. Yet hydration is essential for preventing preterm labor; when you’re short on fluids, the body makes a hormone that simulates contractions.

Staying hydrated also helps prevent headaches, kidney stones, dizziness and common pregnancy complaints such as constipation and hemorrhoids. You know you’re well hydrated when your urine is light yellow to clear.