ASK, ANSWER, LEARN
I just learned I’m pregnant. What changes can I make in my diet to help keep my baby healthy?
Melissa Wolf, MD answered:You have the opportunity in pregnancy to dramatically improve your health and make nutrition and lifestyle choices that will set a lifelong example for your child. If you smoke, drink alcohol, eat junk food, work too much, or have generally neglected yourself, pregnancy is a terrific time to turn things around. In fact, caring for yourself during pregnancy is the best way to care for your baby. Here are four nutrition tips to get you started.
1. It is not necessary to “eat for two.” During pregnancy, you only need 300 extra calories a day. Examples of 300 calories include: 24 Doritos, 2 apples, or 2 pieces of bacon. Additionally, if you are starting pregnancy already overweight or obese, you may not need to take in any extra calories.
2. Avoid raw fish, undercooked meat, and be sure to heat deli meats and cheeses to lower the risk of Listeria infection. You can still enjoy your steak and sandwiches, just be sure they are cooked thoroughly.
3. Take 1000 IU Vitamin D3 daily in addition to your prenatal vitamin. If you live in Montana, you are most likely Vitamin D deficient. This vitamin supports the baby’s immune, bone, and brain health and can help boost your mood as well, especially during winter.
4. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates. Pregnant women are particularly sensitive to sugar because of factors secreted by the placenta. Sugar intake, even in small amounts, can cause rapid weight gain and increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
If you would like more information, talk to your doctor or call us at Bozeman Deaconess Women’s Specialists.
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