Eating Healthy While Pregnant

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While pregnant, eating healthy is an important step in caring for the baby, so increasing calorie intake, taking prenatal vitamins, drinking more water, eating more protein and limiting fish intake can supply the baby with enough vitamins and minerals. Eat well while bearing a child with information from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on healthy eating.

Part of the Video Series: Health & Nutrition
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette, and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness. And I'm going to talk to you about how to eat healthy while pregnant or when you are pregnant. Some of the key factors to keep in mind when you are pregnant are that your calorie needs to increase, but it's not actually double. You're not truly eating for two. Your calorie needs only increase by about 300, which really isn't a whole lot when you think about it. A simple baked potato is about 120 calories, for example. If you're having a sandwich, that would probably...an extra sandwich, that would probably put you at that extra 300 calories that you need. However, your nutrient needs, as far as vitamins and minerals and protein, do increase pretty significantly. So oftentimes, the best way to make sure you're getting your vitamin and mineral needs met is to take a prenatal vitamin that's prescribed by your doctor. That's going to be the best type of vitamin that will have the recommended amounts of folic acid, the other B vitamins, calcium, iron -- all those things that your body has a higher need for while you are pregnant. So it's very important, very crucial, that you do take a prenatal vitamin. The other thing to keep in mind is your protein intake. Most pregnant women need about an extra 10 grams of protein over someone who's not pregnant. However, that being said, a lot of people in the United States, in particular, consume more protein than they truly need. So very often, a pregnant woman will not necessarily need to make a special effort to increase her protein intake. If she's consuming at least 60 grams of protein in a day, very often, that will meet her need. The other thing is water. It's very important that you have an adequate intake of water while you are pregnant. Water makes up a good 50 percent, at least, of your body, and it does provide some cushioning for your baby as the baby is growing. So it's super important that you have an adequate water intake. Kind of the general rule of thumb for someone who's pregnant is the bare minimum is at least six eight-ounce glasses of water in a day. More would actually be better. As far as actual foods, you do want to make sure that you are having your fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, that you're eating good sources of lean protein, whether that's beans, nuts, seeds, cheese, poultry, seafood, meat -- any of those things are good sources. As far as seafood is concerned, there is a concern with mercury. As long as you limit your fish to no more than 12 ounces in a week, that's perfectly fine. You just need to avoid large fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, that type of thing. So those are some basic tips for eating healthy while pregnant.

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