- Stages of Pregnancy Slideshow Pictures
- Slideshow of Early Pregnancy Symptoms
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms Quiz
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
- Pregnancy diet plan definition and facts
- Is there a pre-pregnancy diet plan?
- What is a healthy pregnancy diet plan?
- What foods are part of a pregnancy diet menu plan?
- How much weight is OK to gain during pregnancy?
- Is it OK to diet during pregnancy?
- Low carb diet menu plans during pregnancy
- Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet
- Holistic diet menu plan during pregnancy
- Vegetarian and vegan diet menu plans during pregnancy
- Protein needs during pregnancy
- Iron needs during pregnancy
- Folate needs during pregnancy
- Calcium during pregnancy
- Iodine needs during pregnancy
- Zinc needs during pregnancy
- Vitamin D needs during pregnancy
- Are supplements, herbs, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications safe to take during pregnancy?
- What foods and exercise help morning sickness and heartburn symptoms?
- What about a post pregnancy diet?
- What foods, drinks, or medicatons should be avoided during pregnancy?
Quick GuideWhat Not to Eat When Pregnant Pictures: Alcohol, Fish, Fruit Juice, Sushi
Holistic diet menu plan during pregnancy
Healthy breakfast options may include:
- Fresh fruit and unsweetened Greek yogurt (higher in protein and lower in fat that regular yogurt) with herbal tea or oatmeal (steel-cut or low-sugar) with walnuts and berries
- An omelet made with 2 hormone-free eggs, spinach, and tomato.
Healthy lunch options may include:
- Salads with added protein like garbanzo beans smoked salmon, diced chicken) or vegetable-based soups
- Bean and veggie tortilla wraps (as long as they don't have too much cheese)
- Vegetable based soups
Dinners should have half the plate filled with
- A quarter with protein (beans, lentils, lean meat or fish)
- A quarter with unrefined carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato)
- Add about 1 tablespoon of added healthy fats such as olive oil, chopped nuts or seeds, or hormone free butter to the dish.
Healthy snacks may include:
- Vegetable juices
- Protein shakes
- Peanut butter
- Hummus and carrots
- Whole grain crackers with hormone-free pasteurized cheese
Other important micronutrients during pregnancy are omega-3 fatty acids, DHA specifically, and probiotics. DHA is necessary for healthy development of brain and nervous system and may have beneficial effects on the cognitive development of the child.
Pregnancy superfoods may be included in a holistic pregnancy diet to ensure that optimal amounts of nutrients are enjoyed from food.
Vegetarian and vegan diet menu plans during pregnancy
Pregnant women can absolutely follow vegan or vegetarian diets during pregnancy. In fact, doing so may help them avoid some of the added hormones that are common in non-organic animal products. However, there are some nutrients that are commonly deficient in vegetarian diets. Pregnant women who are vegan or vegetarian should be extra careful to ensure they are getting enough calcium, iron, and B-12. Protein intake needs to be monitored too.
Vegetarian protein sources include:
- Nuts and nut butters
- Hemp milk/almond milk/soy milk
- Hormone-free unsweetened yogurt
- Hormone-free cheese
- Hormone-free eggs
These last three are not part of a vegan pregnancy diet, but are appropriate for a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet.
B-12 is needed for proper DNA expression in the growing embryo and fetus. Deficiencies cause anemia and are associated with low birth weight, pre-term delivery, preeclampsia, and neural tube defects8. Pregnant women need 30mcg a day according to the Recommended Daily Allowance, and the sources are all animal-based. Vegan women may want to ensure they get enough by taking a methylcobalamin supplement. Other B vitamins, specifically folate and B6, are important in pregnancy. A good-quality prenatal multi or B complex will provide these nutrients.
Protein needs during pregnancy
Protein requirements in pregnancy are increased by 50%. On average, a pregnant woman needs about 70 grams of protein per day. Protein will not only ensure good growth of the baby, it will help keep the mother's blood sugar stable and may help reduce morning sickness. Research studies have shown better birth outcomes (fewer underweight or early babies) when a mother's daily diet is at least 25% protein. Most people think of meat when they think about protein, but there are many excellent vegetarian sources. A vegan or vegetarian pregnancy diet can easily get enough protein from bean, nut, and grain sources. Additionally, relying only meat sources can increase your intake of saturated fat and other components of meat that are wise to limit in the diet. Here are some examples of good sources of healthy proteins.
- 1 egg, 6g
- 1 c Greek yogurt, 14g
- 11 c edamame, 29g
- 2T hummus, 9g
- 2T almond butter, 8g
- 1c cooked spinach, 5g
- 3.5oz chicken breast, 30g
- 3.5 oz. fish, 22g
- 1 scoop protein powder, 14g
- 1 c beans, 18g
- 1 oz. nuts, 6g
- 1 c cooked quinoa, 8g
Iron needs during pregnancy
Iron is a common deficiency during pregnancy. Iron is an essential mineral needed to transport oxygen to tissues. It is also necessary for DNA repair and mitochondrial energy production. Insufficient iron can cause anemia and symptoms of:
- hair loss,
- poor exercise tolerance,
- restless legs, and
- poor cognitive development in children.
Anemia has been linked to pre-term births, low birth weight, and even autism and increased maternal mortality10. Thus, it's really important to get enough iron during pregnancy. The RDA for iron is 27mg during pregnancy; your obstetrician or midwife may recommend 40mg per day to correct a deficiency. Cooking in cast-iron skillets can also increase iron intake – you can add 5mg of additional iron for each per saucy, vitamin C-rich dish you cook in cast iron.
These are some good food sources of iron:
- 3 oz. canned clams, 24mg
- 1 packet instant oatmeal, 11mg
- 1 oz. Floradix or other liquid herbal iron, 10mg
- 1 oz. pumpkin seeds, 4.5mg
- ½ c lentils, 3.5mg
- 1 cup spinach, 6mg
- ½ c chickpeas/garbanzos, 2.5mg
- 3 oz. duck, lamb, turkey or other DARK meat, 2.5mg
- 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses, 3.5mg