Below there are a few suggestions that I found particularly helpful and a few things to avoid. This is by no means an exhaustive diet plan that spells out every meal in carbohydrates, fats, and sugars – just common sense tips and favourites.
- Eat 5-6 smaller meals instead of 2-3 larger ones. This will help in case of morning sickness or heartburn and will aid digestion.
- Eat sufficient fiber (such as fruits and vegetables) to aid digestion. Eat prunes, figs, or dried apricots if constipation is an issue.
- Eat some pineapple, papaya, or a few unbleached almonds right after a meal to prevent heartburn.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid alcohol. There is research showing that large quantities of alcohol cause premature delivery and low birth weight. There is no research that determines a “safe” dose during pregnancy. So even if having one drink once in a while is not proven to cause issues, we do not yet know when it becomes one drink too many.
- Avoid uncooked meat (such as deli meats) and undercooked meat.
- Avoid soft cheeses.
- Avoid raw/undercooked eggs.
- Avoid raw fish (unfortunately that means sushi).
- Avoid seafood that is high in mercury and PCBs. See the Toronto Public Health’s “Guide to Eating Fish for Women, Children and Families”. Take purified/distilled (free from PCBs) Omega3 supplement.
- If you are a vegetarian, make sure you are getting enough vitamin B12. See more dietary guidelines for vegetarians.
My personal favourite pregnancy foods:
- Plain yogurt with raisins or fresh berries
- Baby greens
- Spicy Thai dishes
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh corn
- Various nuts
- Carrots and hummus
- Gouda cheese and crackers
- Bean borsch
- Steamed green beans
- Fresh vegetables
Pregnancy drink ideas
- Iced teas made at home – I steep 2 different teas with aromas that complement each other, mix them, add cold water and a few slices of lemon and cool
- Pure cranberry juice
- Fruit juices
No real substitute for alcohol
- I have not found a substitute for wine better than grape juice
- Non-alcoholic sparkling wines tend to be way too sweet for my taste, although mulled apple cider is not bad
- Non-alcoholic beer is ok if what you actually want is the bitter taste
- At parties virgin piña coladas work well: coconut cream, pineapple juice and ice mixed in desired proportions, can be garnished with maraschino cherries or pineapple slices