Nutrition during pregnancy is important to keep both you and your baby healthy!
As soon as you find out you are pregnant, you should begin to take prenatal vitamins. A generic brand is fine to take. Make sure that your prenatal vitamins have at least 400 mcg (micrograms) of folic acid per pill. Vitamins with folic acid may reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine, such as spina bifida, by as much as 70%.
What should you avoid eating during pregnancy?*
- Avoid seafood: it may have a high mercury content which can harm the baby
- Avoid undercooked meats and eggs
- Avoid unpasteurized dairy products
- Avoid excessive caffeine: the baby may become addicted to caffeine in the womb
- Avoid drinking alcohol: alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
*Mayo Clinic Staff. “Pregnancy Nutrition: Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy.” Retrieved July 13, 2010 from www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-nutrition/PR00109.
Smoking is a serious danger both for you and for your unborn child. Smoking can have negative effects on the baby’s weight, health, and development. For more information about the detriments of smoking during pregnancy, visit the March of Dimes website at www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1171.asp.
Check with your doctor if you have questions about exercise during pregnancy.
If you experience severe pain or heavy bleeding during your pregnancy, consult your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.