Best food for baby skin during pregnancy

What to eat when pregnant


Tips for nourishing your growing baby.



Congratulations on your pregnancy! With all of the excitement comes a lot of questions, a common one being: What do I eat?

It is important to follow a healthy diet at any time in your life, but it’s especially necessary during pregnancy. A balanced diet will help your baby to grow, develop and maintain a healthy weight.

Read on for our tips on how to shift your diet to accommodate and nurture your new family member.


How do I follow a balanced diet during pregnancy?

A nutritious diet is one that includes a variety of healthy foods from each food group (click to expand):


Fresh, frozen or dried fruit are all great choices. During mealtimes, half of your plate should contain fruit and vegetables.


You can eat raw, canned, frozen or dried vegetables. For salads, dark leafy greens are a nutritious choice. During mealtimes, half of your plate should contain fruit and vegetables.


During mealtimes, make half of your grain servings whole grains. Whole grains are those that haven’t been processed and include the whole grain kernel. Some examples are oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice and bulgur.


It is important to eat a variety of proteins each day. Meat, poultry, beans, peas, eggs, nuts and seeds are all examples of protein-rich foods.

When choosing dairy products, make sure they are pasteurized. Milk and milk products, such as cheese and plain yoghurt are good options to choose.

Oils and fats

Limit solid fats, such as those from animal sources such as duck fat. Healthier fats can be found in other foods, such as some fish, avocados and nuts. Oils in food come mainly from plant sources (such as olive oil and canola oil).

What vitamins and minerals do I need during pregnancy?

The key vitamins and minerals you should make sure you’re getting throughout your pregnancy are (click to expand):


Calcium is important for building your baby’s teeth and bones – aim for 1,000 mg each day. Some great sources include plain yoghurt, milk, cheese and dark green leafy vegetables.

Try for 27 mg of iron every day. Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your growing little one. You can find it in lean red meat, poultry, peas and beans.


220 mcg of iodine daily essential for your baby’s healthy brain development. Sources of iodine include dairy products, seafood, meat and eggs.


Choline is integral to the development of your fetus’s brain and spinal cord, and you should be getting 450 mg per day. Milk, eggs, peanuts and soy products are good choices to add to your plate.

Vitamin A

Carrots, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables all contain vitamin A, which helps your baby’s bones grow and forms healthy eyesight and skin. 770 mcg a day should be your goal.

Vitamin C

85 mg of vitamin C every day helps to promote healthy gum, teeth and bone development. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries.

Vitamin D

Sunlight, fortified milk and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines all help to provide the 600 international units of vitamin D you should consume every day while pregnant. Vitamin D helps to build your baby’s bones and teeth and helps to promote healthy eyesight and skin.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps your baby to form red blood cells – aim for 1.9 mg a day. Beef, pork, whole-grain cereals and bananas are all good sources of vitamin B6.

Vitamin B12

The development and maintenance of your little one’s nervous system and the formation of red blood cells are just some of the benefits of vitamin B12. Meat, fish, poultry and milk will help you to reach the recommended 2. 6 mcg per day.

Folic acid

Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women. This B vitamin helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine and supports the growth and development of the fetus and placenta. Peanuts, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and orange juice will help you toward your goal of 600 mcg per day. However, food alone is not enough to reach 600 mcg daily.

How can I make sure I’m getting enough folic acid?

Because it’s hard to get 600 mcg folic acid from food alone, you should take a daily prenatal vitamin or folic acid supplement with at least 400 mcg to make sure you are getting everything you need. If you are planning a pregnancy, start taking these as soon as possible or as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. Speak to your healthcare provider to learn more about the right supplement for you.


What foods should I avoid when pregnant?

Pregnant women may be more susceptible to certain food-borne illnesses, which can result in pregnancy complications. During your pregnancy, foods to avoid include:

  • Raw, unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. These may contain Listeria, a bacteria that can cause an illness called listeriosis.
  • Food past its expiration date, as they can contain bacteria. 
  • Raw and undercooked meat products such as sausages and cold cuts. These can contain parasites like Toxoplasma gondii or bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria.
  • Uncooked fish and seafood as it can contain high levels of bacteria and parasites.
  • Some varieties of fish are high in mercury and should be avoided. This includes most predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, marlin and king mackerel. 
  • Smoked but uncooked fish such as smoked salmon.
  • Uncooked sprouted seeds, grains and beans. Raw sprouts (such as bean, alfalfa and radish sprouts, as well as ready-to-eat salads) can contain harmful bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli.
  • Raw or undercooked eggs, which can carry the Salmonella bacteria.
  • Liver and other organ meats. Although liver is very rich in iron, it is not recommended for a pregnant woman to consume because of its very high content of vitamin A and the potential risk for toxicity.


How do I safely prepare foods while pregnant?

  • Wash hands with soap before eating
  • Wash all eating utensils thoroughly after use
  • Cook meat thoroughly
  • Wash uncooked vegetables, salad leaves and fruit carefully before eating
  • Store food at the appropriate temperature
  • Consume food immediately after cooking


How much more do I need to eat when pregnant?

During the first trimester, you don’t need to eat any extra portions. In the second trimester, you will need an extra 340 calories per day, and in the third trimester, about 450 extra calories a day. To get the extra energy you need, try to keep healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts, plain yoghurt and fresh fruit. To find a plan that works for you, speak to your healthcare provider. 


Can I follow a vegetarian or vegan diet while I’m pregnant?

If you are following a vegetarian or a vegan diet, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough iron, zinc, calcium and vitamins B12 and D. To find a solution that works for you, speak to your healthcare provider or registered dietitian/nutritionist. 

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Best Food During Pregnancy For Fair Baby

Pregnancy is a time of change in a woman’s life. Pregnancy is also a time that has some special nutritional requirements, which is why it’s important to eat the right foods during this time of change. The food that a pregnant woman eats has an impact on her baby’s health, appearance, and development during pregnancy. Hence, many parents end up searching for the Best Food During Pregnancy For Fair Baby. This blog will help such parents to know about the best options that can be included in the diet of a pregnant woman.

A woman’s body also needs some extra nutrients during pregnancy which she may not be getting in her diet. Genetic traits such as hair color, eye color, skin color, and height of the baby may be influenced by what a pregnant woman eats. Thus, if you are pregnant, it is important to start planning your diet as soon as possible. You need to know what foods to eat and which ones to avoid, whether it is a boy or a girl. For this, have a look at our list of the best foods during pregnancy that are proven to help you conceive a baby with a fair complexion.

In This Article

  • 9 Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy:
  • 1. Coconut Water
  • 2. Avocado
  • 3. Saffron Milk
  • 4. Oranges
  • 5. Sweet Potatoes
  • 6. Berries

Eating right is one of the most important things you can do throughout your pregnancy. By eating healthy foods, you can give your baby all the nutrients that are needed to stay healthy. At the same time, you will be filling your body with essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you feeling energized and help you have a healthy pregnancy. Here are the 9 Best Foods During Pregnancy to get your baby off to the best start possible.

1. Coconut Water

Coconut water is not only helpful in hydrating the body, but it offers other benefits as well. It is good for providing the necessary nutrients and vitamins to the baby. Coconut water is an isotonic fluid that contains most of the minerals and electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. Similarly, many people believe that it is helpful in improving the complexion of the baby as well and therefore is the Best Food During Pregnancy For Fair Baby.

2. Avocado

Avocados are a rich source of fiber, vitamin K, Copper, Vitamin E, potassium, and Vitamin B. Because of such high nutritional value, avocados are a great food to be added to the meals of pregnant women. The potassium in avocados helps in reducing the side effects of pregnancy like relieving leg cramps, etc. Moreover, because avocado is high in many nutrients such as vitamin C, it helps in the development of fair and glowing skin in babies.

3. Saffron Milk

Saffron milk can serve many benefits during pregnancy. Saffron is an aromatic, perennial plant with purple flowers and orange-red stigmas. Saffron’s supposed impact on a baby’s skin tone is one of the reasons for its popularity. Some cultures believe that saffron can lighten your baby’s skin. However, before consuming saffron you must consult your doctor to know whether it is safe to eat during pregnancy or not.

4. Oranges

Oranges are the Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy for a fair baby because of their high Vitamin C content. This sweet and tangy fruit has a wide variety of nutritional benefits that can be added to your diet and good for boosting your immune system. They have essential nutrients that you need during pregnancy, such as Vitamins, Folic Acid, and Potassium. Oranges are delicious on their own, or you can juice them to make a healthy drink. They are also a good alternative to keep the women hydrated and prevent potential health issues in babies. Additionally, studies say that eating oranges also helps in increasing iron absorption.

5. Sweet Potatoes

During your pregnancy, there are certain foods that you should eat to ensure that both you and the baby are healthy. Eating sweet potatoes is a great way to consume beta-carotene. The fiber present in sweet potatoes helps in improving digestion in pregnant women. Consuming sweet potatoes during pregnancy can help prevent gestational diabetes and reduce the risk of contracting other illnesses. Thus, sweet potatoes are a healthier option for you and your baby.

6. Berries

Berries are a favorite fruit of many people due to their nutritious value that makes them one of the healthy foods during pregnancy. Also, they are a good choice for healthy snacking and for adding to your favorite desserts. With high fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, it is no surprise that berries are good for pregnant women. However, berries are low in calories but they are good for providing a great flavor and nutrition. You can choose to add raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries as a snack in your diet plan.

7. Grapes

Grapes are low in calories and high in nutrients. They contain fiber, folate, manganese, pectin, vitamin C, vitamin K, sodium, and organic acids. The anti-oxidants that are present in grapes are good for boosting immunity and are helpful in preventing infections. Thus they are counted among the healthy foods during pregnancy. In addition, there are many different ways to enjoy grapes as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

8. Dried Fruits

It is a great source of energy for pregnant women. Pregnant women should include dried fruits in their diet for good health. But at the same time, do not forget that dried fruits contain a high amount of sugar. Also, unlike fresh fruits, they do not contain water. Thus, dried fruits are healthy for a pregnant woman if consumed in moderation. Likewise, do not eat dried fruits in place of fresh fruits. Fresh fruits are equally important for providing essential nutrition to the baby.

9. A lot of Water

It is important for expectant mothers to stay hydrated in pregnancy, and especially to make sure they drink plenty of water in the third trimester. Water is an essential source of nutrients and helps to flush out waste from your body. Staying hydrated has many benefits. Many studies have shown that drinking plenty of water in pregnancy can have a positive impact on your and your baby’s health. Besides, drinking enough water aids in the removal of toxins from the body, as well as providing you with healthy skin.


Pregnant women are always worried about the baby’s health. During pregnancy, women must be mindful of the food they eat and it is essential for them to have a proper diet for the baby’s development. This is because every food has its own positive or negative impact on the baby. However, fruits like oranges, grapes, berries are essentially rich in Vitamin C and thus are found to be effective in improving the skin tone of the baby. Therefore, eating fresh fruits is the Best Food During Pregnancy For Fair Baby. You can add these fresh fruit juices to your regular diet to give birth to a healthy baby.

Proper nutrition during pregnancy - advice on proper nutrition


≈ 10 min read time


  • Pregnancy and nutrition
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Water and other liquids
  • Essentials for a Healthy Pregnancy
  • Folic acid prevents birth defects.
  • Calcium strengthens bone tissue.
  • Vitamin D helps strengthen bones.
  • Iron prevents anemia.
  • Iodine prevents malformations.
  • Vitamin C enhances the protective functions of the body.
  • Some features of nutrition in different trimesters
  • Weight during pregnancy
  • Normal weight gain during pregnancy

How to eat right during pregnancy, what foods to avoid, how much to drink, how to choose vitamins and how to monitor weight? Let's study this topic and answer all the questions.

Good nutrition before and during pregnancy increases your chances of having a healthy baby and, moreover, reduces your baby's risk of certain adverse health conditions later in life.

Find out what principles should be based on the diet of a pregnant woman, what nutrients are most necessary for the health of mother and child, what can and cannot be eaten while expecting a baby, and what weight gain is considered normal.

During pregnancy, it is better for the expectant mother to be happy, contented and healthy in order to give birth to a happy, contented and healthy baby. And her diet should contain the necessary amount of vitamins and nutrients that will contribute to this.

During pregnancy, you should follow the general principles of a healthy diet, then you will provide yourself with the best diet for pregnant women. The menu should contain the main food groups:

  • Vegetables and fruits (fresh, frozen, canned, dried; greens and leafy salads). They deliver antioxidants, vitamins A, C, folic acid, dietary fiber, potassium to the body. 7-8 servings per day (one serving is 250 ml (cup) chopped vegetables or 125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fruit).
  • Cereals (oatmeal, millet, corn, buckwheat, rice, bread - preferably grain or with bran, pasta, etc.), potatoes. They are sources of carbohydrates (starch), dietary fiber, thiamine and niacin. 6-7 servings per day (one serving is 1 slice of bread (35 g) or 125 ml (1/2 cup) of rice or pasta).
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, cheese, etc.). Sources of calcium, protein, vitamins A, D, B2 and riboflavin. 3 servings a day (one serving is 250 ml of milk, or 175 g of yogurt, or 75 g of cheese).
  • Protein foods: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts. They provide the body with iron, protein, B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. 2 servings per day (one serving is 75 g or 125 ml).
  • Fats (vegetable oil, butter, fish oil, nuts). Saturate the body with essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E. 30 - 45 ml (2 - 3 tablespoons) per day.

It is recommended to eat food in small portions 5-6 times a day. And here is a list of the most useful foods for the nine most important months.

  • Green and yellow vegetables and fruits, and the queen among them is broccoli. The pretty inflorescences of this cabbage contain an impressive number of substances that are absolutely necessary during pregnancy. Folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, beta-carotene, selenium, vitamins PP, K, E. This low-calorie vegetable is rich in fiber, which helps to normalize digestion. In addition to broccoli, pregnant women should include more greens and spinach, other green and yellow vegetables in their diet - it is better to stew, steam or bake them, but not fry them. Of the fruits, you should pay attention to green apples, which usually do not cause allergies.
  • Lentils and other legumes are also an important part of the expectant mother's diet. They contain a large amount of vegetable protein and useful trace elements: iron, calcium, zinc. And fiber - even more than in the "usual" vegetables! Low-fat, spicy lentil soup with chicken broth can be a great main course for the whole family. It is good to add a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream to it. However, the use of legumes should be treated with some caution, as they can cause increased gas formation and flatulence, which is already a problem for expectant mothers. Therefore, it is worth including dishes from lentils, beans, peas in the diet after a "test drive" of a small portion.
  • Eggs contain folic acid, which is so important for the proper development of the fetus, as well as selenium, choline, biotin, easily digestible proteins and amino acids, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. Eggs are rich in vitamins A, E, D, B12, B3. But attention! Before eating eggs must be subjected to heat treatment, they should never be eaten raw! Quail eggs are good for diet food. The body temperature of quails is so high that it does not allow the development of such a dangerous disease as salmonellosis. The content of vitamins A, B1 and B2 in them is almost twice as high as in chicken, and in five quail eggs, which roughly correspond to one chicken in weight, there are almost five times more iron, phosphorus and potassium. On the day you can eat no more than 2 chicken and no more than 6 - 10 quail eggs.
  • Fermented milk products such as yogurt and kefir promote harmonious digestion and create favorable microflora in the stomach and intestines. Expectant mothers should definitely include in the diet various low-fat types of cheeses and cottage cheese, which include a lot of calcium and phosphorus. During pregnancy or breastfeeding, special attention should be paid to the correct choice of fermented milk products, because right now its optimal composition and “reliability” are so important. An excellent solution are products in this category, specially created for baby food. "Children's" dairy products, as a rule, contain prebiotics and probiotics that support the normal intestinal microflora and promote comfortable digestion, which is so important for the expectant mother.
  • Fish is a slightly less "heavy" product than meat, which is also better absorbed. Expectant mothers are recommended low-fat varieties of sea fish: cod, navaga, hake, ice fish, sea bream, sea bass. It contains minerals, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for the healthy development of the baby and the proper course of pregnancy. Only marine varieties of fish are rich in such acids, and river fish should be treated with great care, because it may contain parasites. Raw fish is prohibited during pregnancy, and varieties such as king mackerel, swordfish, shark and tuna should be consumed in limited quantities. Fish of these varieties may contain methylmercury, which is dangerous to the nervous system of the fetus if it accumulates in the mother's body. Therefore, nutritionists recommend eating such fish no more than once a week, and the approximate weight of a steak in finished form should be about 150 g.
  • Dietary meats - rabbit, turkey, veal - are useful during pregnancy, as they are rich in protein and at the same time lean. Rabbit meat is called the latest trend in modern cooking, and it is considered optimal for dietary nutrition. It contains many vitamins B6, B12, PP, as well as iron, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, etc. An excellent traditional recipe is rabbit stewed in sour cream with seasonal vegetables. Expectant mothers who love delicious food will also like steamed veal cooked in a slow cooker with prunes, or a Moroccan turkey stewed with a mixture of spices and orange juice.
  • Whole grains and cereals, such as wild rice, wholemeal bread, oatmeal, sprouted wheat, bran, buckwheat, are extremely important for digestion because they contain a lot of plant fiber, complex carbohydrates, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins of group B. Cereals can be an interesting side dish and act as a main dish. So, almost each of them can be cooked in the manner of a vegetarian pilaf: first, stew the vegetables in olive oil, and then cover them with washed cereals and stew until tender.
  • Butter, both butter and vegetable, is also useful for expectant mothers. Butter contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamin A has regenerative properties, is important for vision, as well as for the growth of the fetus. Vitamin D regulates the processes of cell division, promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the body (which is especially necessary during pregnancy), and is involved in the synthesis of a number of hormones. Vitamin K affects metabolism and blood clotting. However, due to the high cholesterol content in butter, the norm of its use is no more than 15 - 30 g per day. Vegetable oils contain a lot of fatty acids, vitamins E, A, P. Vitamin E is absolutely necessary during pregnancy and is prescribed when there is a threat of miscarriage. Pay special attention to unrefined cold-pressed oils: olive, grape seed, pumpkin, corn, sunflower.

Pay special attention to the liquids that you consume during pregnancy: their quantity and quality is no less important for your and your baby's health than nutrition.

First of all, we are talking, of course, about drinking water. Water is necessary to maintain proper metabolism, absorption of trace elements and removal of toxins from the body. In addition, a sufficient amount of fluid you drink helps to avoid the problem that almost every pregnant woman faces - constipation.

More fluid is needed in the first trimester, especially if the expectant mother has toxicosis, which, among other things, may be due to dehydration. The symptoms of the latter include severe dryness of the skin of the face, hands, feet and even lips, constipation, irritability, early onset of toxicosis. And in the case of morning sickness, and on ordinary days, you should definitely maintain water balance. The required amount of fluid consumed will be determined by the doctor, taking into account the characteristics of the course of your pregnancy.

When the baby has already grown up in the tummy, his body begins to remove metabolic products, and the mother's organs work with a greater load. More blood circulates in the vessels of a pregnant woman, its flow to the tissues increases, their saturation with water increases, which contributes to a more intensive metabolism and the removal of metabolic products.

Puffiness, which is characteristic of all pregnant women in the later stages, is, in fact, the process of formation of water reserves by the body. Due to the fact that a large amount of blood is spent during childbirth, the body prudently prepares to replenish the fluid supply after the birth of the baby. To avoid excessive swelling, in the second half of pregnancy, you should eat more vegetables and fruits, drink yogurt and kefir and try to reduce the intake of salt, which provokes thirst.

For expectant mothers, freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices and smoothies (prepared at home), cocktails based on fermented milk products (lassi) are very useful. Before drinking any herbal tea, you should consult with your doctor.

Sugary drinks, juices, carbonated water - minimize the use of these liquids: the high doses of sugar contained in the first two cases and minerals in the third are likely to be excessive against the background of a balanced diet and taking additional vitamin complexes.

There is no magic formula for a healthy diet during pregnancy. In general, the general principles of proper nutrition remain the same as in normal circumstances - eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats and fish, healthy fats. However, there are some nutrients in the pregnancy diet that deserve special attention from the mother-to-be. Let's list them.

Folic acid is a vitamin B9, taking it in the first months of pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects, the organ that forms the brain and spinal cord of the embryo. This element can be obtained from food, due to the synthesis that occurs in the intestine, as well as in synthetic form as a water-soluble vitamin or dietary supplement.

How much is needed: 0.4 mg per day for 3 months before pregnancy and throughout the first trimester.

Best Natural Sources: Lentils, beef liver, cod liver, legumes, green leafy vegetables, whole grains.

You and your child need calcium for strong and healthy bones and teeth. This element is also necessary for the normal functioning of the muscular and nervous systems, the regulation of intracellular processes.

Compared to normal conditions, the need for calcium in a woman who is expecting a child increases by almost 50%. By nature, if your body becomes deficient in calcium during pregnancy, it will take it from your bones, which can contribute to the development of osteoporosis at an older age.

The absorption of calcium doubles in the second half of pregnancy, which allows not to increase the volume of its consumption. Please note that calcium absorption requires vitamin D and vitamin K2, which is contained, for example, in Agusha curds.

How much you need: 1200 mg per day.

Best Natural Sources: Dairy products, grains, legumes, citrus fruits, dark leafy vegetables and leafy greens, nuts.

Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the body. Together with calcium, it serves as an excellent prevention of rickets in newborns.

Vitamin D is synthesized subcutaneously under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. If you live in an area with low insolation and do not consume enough eggs, dairy, and fish products, you may need to supplement with chemically synthesized vitamin D.

How much you need: 10 - 15 mcg (or 400 - 600 IU) per day.

Best Natural Sources: Seaweed and fatty seaweed fish (salmon), fish oil, cod liver, butter, egg yolk.

The human body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in blood cells that delivers oxygen to organ tissues. Iron also makes you more resistant to stress and disease, and prevents fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression.

During pregnancy, a woman's total blood volume increases. Thus, the body “adjusts” to the new physiological situation, and the child’s circulatory system is also launched. As a result, the expectant mother's need for this mineral doubles.

With iron deficiency, a pregnant woman may experience fatigue and be more prone to infections. In addition, the lack of this element is dangerous for the fetus: the risk of premature birth and low birth weight of the baby increases.

How much you need: 20 mg per day.

Best Natural Sources: Liver, lean red meat (especially beef), poultry, fish, whole grains, eggs, legumes, buckwheat, pomegranate, apples, beets, peaches, apricots.

Iodine is essential for the normal development of the fetus. Sufficient intake during pregnancy is important to prevent hypothyroidism in the mother and newborn. Iodine deficiency can have a negative effect on the fetus from the 8th to 10th week of pregnancy.

How Much You Need: 150 – 200 mcg per day.

Best natural sources: iodized salt, marine products.

Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant sources such as buckwheat. One of those elements that cannot be synthesized and stored in the human body. And this means that you need to consume foods rich in this vitamin daily.

How much you need: 50 – 70 mg per day.

The best natural sources are: kiwi, orange, some vegetables (tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cabbage), berries (especially rose hips), herbs (especially parsley, spinach).

One orange or one green bell pepper per day is enough. It is important to remember that when heated, vitamin C in foods is destroyed, take this into account when cooking.

When thinking about the diet of a pregnant woman, it is important to remember that the food she eats should ensure, on the one hand, the growth and development of the fetus, and on the other hand, the needs of the woman herself, taking into account all the changes that the body of the expectant mother is going through.

The volume and ratio of biologically and energetically useful substances necessary to meet the needs of the expectant mother depends on the period. In the first half of pregnancy (especially in the first trimester), the needs of the body practically do not change.

Such changes begin to occur in the second half of pregnancy. This is due to a noticeable growth of the fetus and placenta, as well as changes in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys, which ensure the circulation and excretion of metabolic products of both the mother and the fetus.

In accordance with these features in the second half of pregnancy, it is important to increase the content of protein, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, vitamins and trace elements in the diet and limit salt intake.

During the first months of pregnancy, you should not notice any weight gain. Some women may even find weight loss due to ailments that are quite common (according to some reports, in 70% of cases) occurring in the first trimester and affecting established eating and drinking habits. So-called morning sickness can continue throughout pregnancy, although it usually goes away or at least begins to subside by the end of the first trimester.

Talk to your pregnancy doctor if you experience severe nausea as your body may become dehydrated. Do not forget that along with the liquid, there is also a loss of vitamins and trace elements that are so necessary for you and your baby.

As the baby grows in the second and third trimesters, the nutritional needs of the mother-to-be also increase. Nevertheless, pregnancy is not a reason to overeat, “eat for two,” as they used to say. In fact, pregnant women need only 200 to 300 extra calories per day, and then only in the last trimester. They can be obtained by eating an additional 2 fruits, 2 handfuls of berries, a cheese sandwich or a serving of cottage cheese casserole.

If you entered a pregnancy at a healthy weight, then an increase of 10 to 13.6 kg is considered normal, and this additional mass is distributed in the body as follows:

  • fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid - 5 kg;
  • mother's circulating blood volume - 1 - 1.5 kg;
  • extracellular fluid - 1 - 1.5 kg;
  • uterus, mammary glands - 1 - 1.5 kg;
  • adipose tissue - 4 kg.

In women with a deficit or excess of body weight before pregnancy, the indicators will be somewhat different, and an increase of 12 to 15.2 kg and 7 to 9.1 kg, respectively, is acceptable.

If your weight was previously significantly different from the norm, it is better for you to consult with a specialist leading your pregnancy about the diet and desired weight gain.

Recommendations should be given taking into account age, body size (height, weight, mass index), level of physical activity, individual metabolic characteristics, and some others.

As an indicator of underweight or overweight, an indicator such as BMI (body mass index) is commonly used. It is calculated as follows:

BMI = weight (kg) / height (m)2.

The recommended weight gain, calculated on the basis of BMI, is the most personalized, taking into account the individual characteristics of a particular woman.

On average, you can gain 1-2 kg in the first trimester. In the 2nd - 3rd trimesters, the following weight gain is considered the norm:

  • at normal weight - 0.4 kg per week;
  • underweight - 0.5 kg per week;
  • overweight - 0.3 kg per week.

Weight gain of less than 1 kg or more than 3 kg per month should be the basis for a careful study of the circumstances of the course of pregnancy by an obstetrician. What not to drink and eat when you are pregnant

  • Unpasteurized milk. Any dairy and sour-milk products that you will consume during pregnancy must be labeled "Pasteurized" on the packaging.
  • Soft cheeses. You can enjoy parmesan on pizza, but soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk (brie, camembert, feta, blue cheeses) are best avoided. The bacteria they contain can have an adverse effect on your current condition.
  • Raw and underdone meat. May contain pathogenic bacteria. This also includes all raw smoked products. Leaving aside the question of whether they are useful in principle, let's focus on the fact that the Listeria bacterium, which can live in raw meat, continues to exist even when these foods are in your refrigerator. They become relatively safe only when eaten immediately after cooking at high temperatures.
  • Raw, dried fish, seafood and dishes from them (sushi, etc.). If you are a fan of sushi, oysters, mussels or lightly salted salmon, you will have to forget about these delicacies for the entire duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Only carefully processed and cooked at high temperatures, fish and seafood are allowed to be consumed by pregnant women.
  • Raw eggs and egg dishes (before heat treatment), eg raw dough. If you are kneading the dough with eggs, give up the habit of tasting it. Even a small amount of raw dough poses a risk: the same Salmonella bacterium is very dangerous for any healthy body, not to mention your special situation. In the same category - homemade mayonnaise and other salad dressings ("Caesar", etc.). And let's not forget about sweet dishes: mousse, eggnog, meringues, tiramisu, etc.
  • Shoots and germinated grains. Avoid any: pathogenic organisms can enter them at an early stage of growth, and it will not be possible to wash them off with water before eating.
  • Fish with mercury. Tuna, swordfish, mackerel, shark may contain high doses of mercury. It is considered safe to take no more than 300 g per week of seafood or fish containing minimal doses of mercury: catfish, salmon, cod, canned tuna.
  • Fresh juices. Juices squeezed in restaurants and other public places may also contain disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. The bottled raw, unpasteurized juices you see in supermarket refrigerators fall into the same category.
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables. Toxoplasma bacteria, which is dangerous for you and your baby, can live on them.
  • Caffeine. Many mothers are interested in the question of whether it is possible to drink coffee during pregnancy. Recent studies show that small amounts of caffeine are safe for pregnant women. However, the question is still being studied whether high doses of this substance can lead to risks of miscarriage, as was recently thought. As research is ongoing on this subject, the current limit for caffeine consumption is 200mg per day – that’s one cup of coffee. Remember that this element is also found in cola, tea, chocolate and energy drinks.
  • Alcohol. The topic of alcohol consumption during pregnancy continues to be relevant. You are well aware that the abuse of strong drinks leads to serious malformations of the fetus. However, not everyone knows that even small doses can be dangerous. No safe amount of alcohol is allowed during pregnancy yet. Therefore, it is best to abandon any "hot products" for the entire time of waiting for the baby and breastfeeding.

The waiting period for a child is a time when you should pay special attention to your health and the needs of the body. And although you may have to give up some of your eating habits, be happy about this - because you are not only making the necessary contribution to the health of the baby, setting the right direction for his development in the next 40 weeks, but also, most likely, laying the foundation to keep the body in shape after childbirth.


  1. Surkova L. M. It's great to be a mother! Pregnancy and the first year of a baby's life. Moscow: Astrel Publishing House, 2016 - 256 p.
  2. Roizen Michael, Oz Mehmet. The road to happy motherhood. Guide to pregnancy and childbirth for expectant mothers. Moscow: Astrel Publishing House, 2012 - 432 p.
  3. Karpenko T. I am expecting a baby. Your personal guide to pregnancy and the first month of your baby's life. Moscow: AST Publishing House, 2014 - 512 p.

Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation

05 October 2016

Borovkova Ekaterina

Oncologist, Obstetrician-gynecologist, Doctor of the highest category, MD, Professor

A woman's nutrition during pregnancy determines not only her health, but also significantly affects the course of pregnancy, the development of the fetus and the future health of the newborn. The birth of small children is associated with malnutrition, and a deficiency of certain micronutrients can lead to fetal malformations. Macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, macro- and microelements) must be balanced. During pregnancy, the need for macro- and micronutrients increases, therefore, vitamin-mineral complexes are often prescribed to pregnant and lactating women, especially if the regularity of food intake or its composition is not optimal.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A BALANCED NUTRITION It has been proven that the consumption of multivitamins with a high content of vitamin A (more than 10,000 IU per day) has a teratogenic effect (causes fetal malformations), and frequent consumption (more than 3 times a week) of liver in an amount of more than 100g also increases the risk of developing hypervitaminosis A and carries a potential danger to the fetus. At the same time, the use of folic acid can reduce the risk of developing neural tube defects, and a balanced intake of calcium and iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and bone tissue.

Taking too little or too much iodine during pregnancy can cause goiter in the fetus.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES Eating during pregnancy may also be associated with the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, listeriosis and brucellosis. To reduce it, in addition to washing hands, it is recommended to thoroughly fry meat and fish, exclude unpasteurized dairy products and juices, wash fruits and vegetables, and exclude raw green beans, radishes, clover.

PREGNANCY NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT To tailor your diet, it is recommended to keep a food diary for 7-14 days. You should pay attention to direct or indirect signs of beriberi (fatigue, dry skin, bleeding gums, brittle nails, etc.). It is important to exclude diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and the endocrine system (diabetes, dysfunction of the thyroid gland, etc.). At the first visit of a pregnant woman, a body mass index (BMI) is assessed to understand how much is the maximum acceptable weight gain during pregnancy. This factor affects the outcome of pregnancy and childbirth, the health of the newborn and the woman herself.


Weight gain is determined not only by the diet of a pregnant woman, but also by physical activity, as well as by some pathological conditions of pregnancy.

The nutrition of healthy pregnant women depends on the timing of pregnancy, physical activity, height, weight, etc. As pregnancy progresses, the caloric content of the diet should increase. In the first trimester, the need for energy and nutrients is the same as for non-pregnant women. In the II trimester, energy requirements increase by 340 kcal/day, and in the III trimester by 452 kcal/day, reaching an average of 2900. The average weight gain in the second half of pregnancy should not exceed 300-350 g per week. A higher weight gain indicates overnutrition or, indirectly, edema. The calorie content of the diet is mainly achieved by increasing carbohydrate intake to 175g/day (outside of pregnancy 130g/day). Weight gain during pregnancy should be 12-18 kg for underweight patients (BMI29. 0).


In the second half of pregnancy, the need for proteins increases to 100 g per day, of which 60% should be complete animal proteins (due to meat and fish about 30%, dairy products - 25%, eggs - 5%). The need for fats in this period is 100-105 g per day, for carbohydrates - 400-420 g per day. Vegetable fat should be 30% of the total fat.

Sufficient protein (1.1 g/kg/day) is extremely important, as its consumption increases to 1 kg during the second half of pregnancy due to the functioning of the placenta.

The intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy should be 200 mg per day. Its sources are fatty fish or complex preparations. When choosing fish, keep in mind that some varieties may contain excess mercury. In this regard, the FDA and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that pregnant women avoid eating swordfish, mackerel, mackerel and consume more than 2 times a week low-mercury seafood (clams, shrimp, tuna, salmon, catfish). ). Eating enough fish is important as it contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for fetal brain development. A study covering 12,000 pregnant women at 32 weeks and ending 8 years after birth showed that newborns from mothers who consumed more than 340 g of seafood per week had the best psychomotor development and IQ at the age of 7-8 years!

In the second half of pregnancy, the need for vitamins increases by 20-30%, and for folic acid and vitamin D by 3 and 5 times, respectively.


Micronutrients alone do not affect the weight of the newborn, but the use of multivitamins during pregnancy reduces the risk of malnutrition in the fetus and reduces perinatal mortality.

IRON. Iron is necessary both for the functioning of the placenta and as a building material for red blood cells. Significant iron losses occur during both pregnancy and breastfeeding and amount to approximately 1000 mg. Of this amount, 300-500 mg is used to produce hemoglobin, 20-50 mg - to build the placenta, 250-350 mg for the needs of the fetus, 50 mg is deposited in the uterine muscle, 100-150 mg is lost during childbirth, 250-300 mg is used for 6 months of lactation. At the same time, the irreplaceable loss of iron during each pregnancy is 700-900 mg, which leads to depletion of the depot by 50%. Therefore, it is recommended to increase iron intake as pregnancy progresses from 15 mg/day to 30 mg/day. With the development of iron deficiency anemia, it is necessary to increase iron intake from 30 to 120 mg / day.

CALCIUM. Approximately 30 g of calcium is spent on the development of the fetal skeleton during the entire pregnancy, mainly in the third trimester. Such a small amount of calcium can be obtained from the maternal depot. The absorption of calcium during pregnancy increases. The daily requirement for calcium during pregnancy is 1000 mg per day.

FOLIC ACID. Refers to essential nutrients during pregnancy and lactation. The need for it during pregnancy doubles, and its deficiency can lead to malformations of the nervous system, genitourinary tract, heart defects and maxillofacial region in the fetus. A link has also been established between the lack of folic acid intake and the development of fetoplacental insufficiency, premature birth, fetal growth retardation and the birth of low birth weight children. Before pregnancy, you should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid per day and continue taking it during the first 3 months of pregnancy. If a woman has previously had a child with a neural tube defect (back bifida), then the daily intake of folic acid should be increased 10 times (4-5 mg / day)

MULTIVITAMINS. Pregnant women are advised to take multivitamin complexes if it is impossible to maintain a balanced diet, vegetarianism or concomitant diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, pathology of the gastrointestinal tract). The risk group for hypovitaminosis also includes women with twins (triplets), with continued smoking, alcohol intake, with a vegetarian diet, lactose deficiency. These patients are recommended to take multivitamin complexes with the following daily micronutrient content: iron - 30 mg, zinc - 15 mg, calcium - 250 mg, copper 2 mg, vitamin B6 - 2 g, folate - 600 mg, vitamin C-50 mg, vitamin D - 200 IU (or 5 mcg).

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