Nutrition in Pregnancy


Nutrition and pregnancy go hand in hand.  You should gain about 25-30 pounds during your pregnancy if you are at or near your ideal body weight at conception.  If you are underweight or over-weight we will discuss adjustments with you.

General rules

  • A slow steady weight gain is best-about ½-1 pound a week. The first trimester you may gain more or even lose weight, depending on whether or not you have problems with nausea and vomiting.
  • You do not need to restrict salt unless you have an underlying medical problem that makes it advisable that you do so.
  • A substantial fluid intake is important. We recommend 64 oz a day with more if you are exercising or it is hot outside. Your urine should be a light yellow if your fluid intake is appropriate.
  • Avoid alcohol. It may have a dangerous effect on your baby and is wasted calories.
  • Do not try to lose weight while pregnant. Even if significantly overweight you should still not lose weight.
  • Tricks for avoiding excess weight gain:
    • Weigh and measure food. Three ounces is not as big as we think it is.
    • Avoid fried food and fast food.
    • Fresh fruit is better than juice.
    • Fresh vegetables with salsa makes a great low-calorie snack
    • Skip sweets and desserts. If you plan to indulge, skip another carbohydrate to help make up for it. This should not happen routinely.
    • Season with lemon juice and herbs. Avoid creamy salad dressing and sauces.
    • The March of Dimes has an outstanding web page on diet in pregnancy
  • How to meet your calcium needs: the recommended calcium intake in pregnancy and nursing is 1200-1500 mg a day. If you cannot tolerate dairy or need to supplement, you may use the following:  Caltrate 600, Os-Cal 500, Tums or Extra-strength Tums. If you are taking an iron supplement, do not take them with your calcium. If you have a history of kidney stones, discuss your calcium intake with your doctors.

More information

The FDA website  provides information on food such as fish and cheese safety in pregnancy.

Capital Women's Care Rockville OBGYN
9711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 109
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 301-762-5501
Fax: (301) 309-8727
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