One of my favorite memories from my first pregnancy was going on a cruise when I was 22 weeks pregnant. While everyone around me was complaining about their expanding waistlines, I relished in the fact that I was under doctors’ orders to gain a few pounds.
The secret to healthy eating patterns is “everything in moderation,” which can be quite a challenge when cravings take control. The idea that helped me the most was remembering that “eating for two” doesn’t just mean calories; it’s about nutrients.
Aim for Balance.
Sometimes the best way to improve your diet is to eat more whole foods and fewer packaged foods. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in your favorite frozen pizza, but try starting your meal with a salad of colorful vegetables and dark leafy greens, have a fruit salad for dessert instead of ice cream, and opt for wholesome protein choices like eggs, beans, legumes, and lean meats.
Whether you prefer several small meals throughout the day or the typical “three square meals,” keep in mind the recommendations of your doctor and the American Pregnancy Association, and check out My Pregnancy Plate for a visual representation of a balanced pregnancy diet.
Some women struggle to get enough fluids even when they’re not pregnant. Touch base with your medical team to find out how much water is right for you, and ask if milk or other low-sugar, non-caffeinated liquids might count towards your goals, too.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin.
I focused first on eating a well-balanced diet, and considered vitamins as insurance “just in case” I didn’t get enough of the right nutrients. Check in with your health care team and follow their recommendations, and experiment to find one that is gently on your digestive system
Since every woman and every pregnancy is different the right balance of nutrients can vary from person to person (and even day to day). Make sure talk to your healthcare team and make sure to follow their recommendations.
Be you bravely,