Pregnancy & Diet
The idea of mealtime being a free for all and “eat for two during pregnancy” has long been discouraged. The risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery is lowest when weight gain is within a healthy range. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle before, during and after pregnancy is key for the health of both baby and mother.
Diet during Pregnancy:
Each person’s nutritional needs depends on a number of different factors including:
- Activity level
- Pre-pregnancy body weight
Your dietitian will accompany you throughout this journey by tailoring your diet to each of your trimesters, making your diet complete and nutritious for both you and your baby. You and your dietitian will discuss the following:
- Opting for variety in your diet and making healthy choices will get you most nutrients that both you and your baby need: dairy products, vegetables and fruits, protein sources, bread and grains.
- Morning sickness (nausea and vomiting) and heartburn are very common during pregnancy. Your dietitian will assist you in adapting your diet to your symptoms.
- Multivitamin supplements may be required to complement a healthy diet during pregnancy. A folic acid supplement is crucial to prevent neural tube birth defects.
- A nutritious pregnancy will eventually build nutrient reserves that are necessary for lactation.
Gaining the right amount of weight!
Rapid weight gain and obesity during pregnancy are associated with gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension (high blood pressure), cesarean delivery and birth defects. Each of the Fakih Medical Center team members involved in your care will provide you with their expertise to maximize your future baby’s health and minimize pregnancy-related complications. This includes input from Obstetricians, Dietitians and Internists.
What is unsafe during pregnancy?
- Safe food practices are important, since pregnant women are at higher risk of food poisoning; for instance, raw vegetables and salads should be well-washed and other foods should be avoided during pregnancy like raw fish. Ask your dietitian about food safety.
- Avoid caffeine and caffeinated beverages.
- Stay away from smoking, alcohol and harmful substances.
Is exercise safe for me during pregnancy?
Being active during pregnancy is recommended in most cases if there are no other health conditions suggesting otherwise. Aiming for 15-30 minutes of aerobic or non-intensive activities on most days can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercise should not be done for weight loss purposes during pregnancy, but for the large array of benefits that it can provide, such as preventing gestational diabetes and improving muscular strength for labor. Consult our Pre & Postnatal sport nutrition expert before starting any new exercise routine.
Are you worried about your post-pregnancy care for you and your baby?
At Fakih Medical Center, a post-pregnancy program may assist you with this big transition and help you get back your energy and body shape. Breastfeeding is strongly supported for the multiple benefits that it conveys for both of you the mother-to be and your baby. Most importantly, breastfeeding is a free energy dispenser, which will help you lose the extra weight quicker than expected. Your dietitian will help you lose weight in a way that will not hinder the nutritive quality of breast milk.