USC Fertility


Dieting to Stay Healthy in Pregnancy

It is recommended that you eat a balanced diet of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Pregnancy requires an extra 300 calories per day. A healthy amount of weight gain for most women is about 25-35 pounds during the pregnancy.

Prenatal vitamins are recommended in the preconceptual period as well as throughout pregnancy. A variety of prenatal vitamins are available and they are basically equivalent, but make sure that the one you are taking has enough folic acid (at least 400 micrograms is recommended for most women).
In addition:
• Limit caffeine to two cups per day.

• Avoid alcohol except an occasional glass of wine or beer.

• Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, soft cheeses, and raw meat or fish (i.e. sushi).

• Avoid shark, swordfish, mackerel, tilefish, and limit canned albacore tuna to 2 cans per week. These particular types of fish contain high amounts of a form of mercury which can harm the baby’s developing brain. However, other types of fish such as shellfish, sea bass and cod, are a healthy source of protein and other essential nutrients.

• Avoid cold deli meats, especially if they have been sitting out for a while.

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