For the Pregnant Woman:

Special Dietary Recommendations for Pregnant Women

  • Eat enough food to gain weight at the rate recommended by your health care provider, as shown on your weight gain chart. Include fruits, vegetables, grains, meat or meat alternates, and milk products in your meals and snacks every day.

  • Eat small to moderate-sized meals at regular intervals, and eat nutritious snacks. This will help you to be comfortable and to have the best chance of getting all the nutrients you and your baby need.

  • Take 3 or more servings of milk products daily, either with or between meals. One cup (1/2 pint) of milk is an example of one serving. Choose low-fat or skim milk products often.

  • To absorb more iron, include some meat, poultry, fish, or vitamin-C-rich foods (such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries) in meals.

  • Salt your food to taste unless your physician advises you to curb your salt intake because of a medical problem. Your need for salt increases somewhat during pregnancy.

  • If you drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages such as cola, do so in moderation (2 to 3 servings or less daily).

  • While you are pregnant, the only sure way to avoid the possible harmful effects of alcohol on the fetus is to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages entirely.

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