Helping Your Baby Grow

Healthier eating means a healthier pregnancy 

ChooseMyPlate.gov graphicThere are so many resources available to help you do the right things throughout your pregnancy and after. You can get your own interactive Daily Food Plan for Moms by visiting www.choosemyplate.gov. Your plan will show you the foods and amounts that are right for you. Enter your information for a quick estimate of what and how much you need to eat. 

Or, go to the Food Planner for Moms to see how your food choices compare to what you need.

Feet on scale

When it comes to food choices, remember that women who eat well and avoid known risks tend to have fewer complications during pregnancy and labor, and are more likely to deliver larger, healthier babies.

Gaining some weight

Weight gain is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. The nutritious food you eat helps your body support your growing baby. During your pregnancy, you’ll probably gain 25 to 35 pounds. If you’re very thin, you may need to gain a little more.

Usually, you will gain about 3 to 4 pounds during the first three months of pregnancy and will have gained about 10 pounds halfway through your pregnancy (20 weeks). After that, you will gain about one pound a week for the rest of your pregnancy. 

Where the weight goes chart

Food cautions

Certain raw or undercooked foods can make you ill and hurt your growing baby. While you are pregnant, don’t eat:

  • Alfalfa sprouts.
  • Raw eggs, raw fish, raw clams or raw oysters.
  • Unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses such as Brie and feta.
  • Hot dogs and deli meats.
  • Rare ground beef, chicken or sausage. 
  • More than 6 ounces per week of (white) tuna, due to high levels of mercury.

Fish that are low in mercury include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon and catfish.

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