- 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
Vitamin D needs and pregnancy
Pregnant women need 600 IU of vitamin D according to the USDA RDA guidelines; however, many experts believe this estimate is far too low. Humans synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure and there are very few food sources. Additionally, factors such as skin pigmentation, obesity, and sunscreen usage impact the ability to make vitamin D from sunlight. In clinical practice, I measure patients' blood levels of vitamin D and find that many are deficient even if they are taking a 2000mcg vitamin D3 supplement every day. Pregnant women who are concerned about vitamin D can consult a midwife, naturopathic midwife, or obstetrician who is willing to test their vitamin D levels so they know how much they need. Here are a few food sources:
- 4 oz. salmon, 411 IU
- 3 oz. canned sardines, 231 IU
- 8 oz. fortified soy milk, 100 IU
- 8 oz. fortified cow milk, 98 IU
- 1 egg, 23 IU
- 1 cup mushrooms, 114 IU
Are supplements, herbs, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications safe to take during pregnancy?
- Pregnant women should take a good quality prenatal multivitamin that includes natural folate/methylfolate and iron. Most pregnant women may need supplemental vitamin D based on blood tests. Supplements should remain supplemental to a healthy diet and if the diet includes fruits and vegetables at every meal, most nutritional needs should be met.
- Some supplements and herbs can also be useful to manage some of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness. Ginger and vitamin B6 both have been studied and found helpful for nausea in some women14,15. While commonly used, some over the counter medications that have been recommended for nausea, like antihistamines, actually make it worse for some people16.
- Magnesium is helpful for constipation, and may reduce the risks of developing pre-eclampsia and other poor birth outcomes17.
- Herbals teas such as raspberry leaf, lemon balm, and chamomile have been traditionally used during pregnancy and are safe to consume, although mint can exacerbate heartburn, so use with care. Women should discuss all of the medications, supplements, and herbs with their midwife or obstetrician.
What foods and exercise help morning sickness and heartburn symptoms?
- While bland carbohydrates are commonly recommended for morning sickness and heartburn, studies have actually shown that protein helps more.
- Eat a low glycemic-load, healthy pregnancy diet to minimize the risks of feeling poorly.
- Eat regularly to keep blood sugars stable to minimize nausea.
- Make sure to consume enough water to stay hydrated and to keep bowels moving regularly.
- Exercise should be regular and not more vigorous that what the woman was used to before pregnancy.
- Long walks, prenatal yoga classes, and stretching are all excellent options for exercise while pregnant.
- Research has shown that all types of physical activity are safe in pregnancy except scuba diving, and extra care should be taken to avoid falling.
- Other healthy habits to help troublesome pregnancy symptoms include getting outside for fresh air, and ensuring good sleep also make a difference for both the pregnant woman and her baby.