Page 33 - Great Expectations

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According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 300 extra calories
are needed daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy. When you are breastfeeding, you
need a total of 500 extra calories each day to stay healthy and to produce nutritious
breastmilk. Your diet should be balanced and contain the appropriate amount of
calories and nutrients in order to fulfill these special needs. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture has recently replaced the familiar food pyramid with MyPlate to assist
adults in choosing foods that provide them with the nutrients they require. You
may lose up to 20 pounds in the postpartum period. More weight loss will be easier
with moderate exercise and a smart eating program. The food guide can serve as a
reference to both balance and moderation.
The Food Guide states that for a 2,000 calorie diet, you need the amounts from
each food group below.
Make half your grains whole:
Eat at least 3 oz. of whole-grain cereals,
breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day. 1 oz. is about 1 slice of bread, about 1 cup of
breakfast cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked cereal or pasta. Eat 6 oz. every day.
Vary your veggies:
Eat more dark-green veggies like broccoli,
spinach and other dark leafy greens. Eat more orange vegetables like carrots and
sweet potatoes. Eat more dry beans and peas like pinto beans, kidney beans and
lentils. Eat 2½ cups every day.
Focus on fruits:
Eat a variety of fruit. Choose fresh, frozen, canned or
dried fruit. Eat the actual fruit and go easy on fruit juices. Eat 2 cups every day.
Get calcium-rich foods:
Go low-fat or fat-free when you choose milk, yogurt
and other milk products. If you do not or cannot consume milk, choose lactose-
free products or other calcium sources such as fortified foods and beverages. Get
3 cups every day.
Go lean with protein
: Eat 5½ oz. every day. Choose low-fat or lean meats
and poultry that can be baked, broiled or grilled. Vary your protein routine –
choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
Be sure to include fish in your diet that is high in the very beneficial Omega-3 fatty
acids. They are so healthy for you and your baby. You can safely consume 12 oz. of
salmon, chunk light tuna, sardines, or anchovies each week without fear of getting
too much mercury.
The Importance of Including Omega-3 Fats in Your Diet
Many recent research studies have shown the benefits of including Omega-3 fats, most
importantly DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), in your diet especially during pregnancy
and breastfeeding.
Benefits to your baby:
• DHA is a major building block in eye and brain tissue
and has been shown to help with brain and vision
• Increasing the amount of Omega-3 fats in the diet has
been associated with a reduced risk of premature birth.
Benefits to you:
• Reduced risk of heart disease.
• Helpsmaintainabettermoodduringandafter pregnancy.
• Helps lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good
Diet and
The FDA and EPA recommend
that pregnant women avoid fish
such as shark, tilefish, mackerel,
and swordfish which may have
a high mercury content.
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Ideal Food Arrangement
Foods to Avoid
During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, both you and
your baby are at an increase
risk of foodborne illnesses,
such as listeriosis (an infection
usually caused by eating food
contaminated with bacteria).
To reduce your risk you
should avoid:
• Raw fish and raw shellfish
(sushi containing raw fish and
oysters), smoked fish.
• Undercooked meat, hot dogs,
deli meat, poultry.
• Raw or lightly cooked eggs
and foods containing them.
• Unpasteurized milk, other milk
products, juices (apple cider).
• Unpasteurized and pasteurized
soft cheeses (Camembert, feta,
Brie, and blue-veined cheeses).
• Refrigerated patés and meat
• Raw sprouts (alfalfa sprouts).