Diet & Exercise During Pregnancy
Staying healthy during pregnancy is very important!
Should I change my diet during my pregnancy?
It is important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet incorporating all the food groups. There are several things that you should eliminate or pay special attention to during pregnancy and they are as follows:
- Alcohol – We do not know what a safe amount of alcohol is during pregnancy. The amount of alcohol consumption it takes to cause fetal alcohol syndrome in an infant is unknown. Therefore, we recommend that you abstain from alcohol during your pregnancy.
- Caffeine – You should limit your caffeine consumption to approximately one serving per day.
- Fish – Because of mercury contamination in certain fish that may harm a baby’s brain or nervous system, you should avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish during your pregnancy. You can safely eat 12 ounces a week of other fish such as tuna, shellfish, canned fish, smaller ocean fish, or farm-raised fish. We recommend that you avoid sushi or raw/rare fish during your pregnancy.
- Meats – You should avoid raw or undercooked meat and poultry to prevent listeriosis. Listeriosis is an illness caused by bacteria in certain foods. In women, it often causes no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms, but it can cause serious problems in a fetus including miscarriage or stillbirth. To prevent listeriosis from meat products, make sure all meat is thoroughly cooked and avoid prepared meats such as hot dogs or deli meats unless they are reheated and steaming hot. As always, take care when preparing foods
and handling raw meats.
- Cheeses – Avoid soft cheeses like Brie, blue, or feta cheese and any unpasteurized cheeses. Soft or unpasteurized cheeses can cause listeriosis. Pasteurized or hard cheeses are fine to eat.
- Fruits and Vegetables – To prevent listeriosis, make sure to wash all fruits and vegetables before eating them.
How much weight should I gain?
We recommend a weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy for most women. If you were significantly overweight or underweight prior to your pregnancy, we may modify this recommendation and discuss specific guidelines for your situation.
Gaining an appropriate amount of weight is an important part of a healthy pregnancy but remember you do not have to “eat for two!”
Can I exercise while pregnant?
Unless you are having pregnancy, complications or are advised otherwise by us, most women can exercise throughout their pregnancy. The things that women often find the most
comfortable to do are swimming, cycling on a stationary bike, walking, pregnancy yoga classes, or low-impact aerobics classes designed specifically for pregnancy. You should refrain from downhill skiing, contact sports, scuba diving, high impact aerobics, weightlifting, horseback riding, and most racquet sports. After 20 weeks, do not attempt any activities that require you to lie flat on your back. Your weight could press on the major blood supply to the uterus. Do not push yourself physically – if you are uncomfortable or tired, you should stop and rest. Always make sure you wear appropriate clothing and drink plenty of fluids.