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Diet in Pregnancy

A healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do during pregnancy. Good nutrition helps your body handle the extra demands as your pregnancy progresses.

Women need to balance getting enough nutrients needed for fetal growth while maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. We recommend you increase your caloric consumption by about 250-300 calories per day (this doesn’t mean you are “eating for two”!).

Make sure to include fruits, vegetables, and protein into your diet while avoiding processed foods as much as possible.

Important Tips for Diet During Pregnancy

You should be taking a prenatal vitamin to supplement folic acid, calcium and iron which are important to your developing baby.

Limit caffeine intake to 1-2 caffeinated beverages a day (max 200mg/day). Avoid all energy drinks. Increased amounts of caffeine have been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage.

Stay hydrated throughout the day, drinking at least 80 oz of water per day.

Do not eat undercooked or raw meats, poultry or fish. This includes sushi.

Limit intake of fish to 1-2 servings per week to reduce mercury exposure. Avoid eating shark, swordfish, tilefish, or king mackerel. More information about fish consumption in pregnancy

Avoid unpasteurized products including raw milk, raw honey or soft cheeses (brie, blue, goat, feta).

Deli meat and hot dogs can be consumed in moderation. Hot dogs should be cooked completely, and deli meats should be microwaved for 30 seconds before eating since processed meats have a greater risk of listeria which is harmful in pregnancy.

Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. Try to choose organic produce from the “Dirty Dozen” list if possible.

Optimal weight gain in pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. If you start at a normal BMI, the optimal weight gain is 25-35 pounds. If your pre-pregnancy BMI was overweight, you should gain about 15 pounds.


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