During pregnancy, your body requires additional calories and nutrients to nourish you and your growing baby. After pregnancy, nutrition remains important, especially if you plan to breastfeed your baby. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation, especially milk or water. Check with your doctor about taking a daily multi-vitamin with iron.
Fruits and Vegetables: Five to nine servings each day. Serving size: ½ cup or one piece. Fresh, frozen or canned forms may be used. Include at least one vitamin C rich source and one vitamin A rich source per day.
Vitamin C Rich Foods:
- 6 oz. orange, tomato, vegetable, lemon or grapefruit juice
- 6 oz. fruit juices enriched with vitamin C
- 1 orange, kiwi, guava, lemon, mango or papaya
- ½ cup strawberries
- ½ cup cubed cantaloupe
- ½ cup broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, snow peas or Brussels sprouts, cooked
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ½ grapefruit
Each serving provides approximately 30 milligrams of vitamin C.
Vitamin A Rich Foods:
- 6 oz. apricot nectar or vegetable juice
- 3 medium or ¼ cup dried apricots
- ½ cup carrots
- ¾ cup raw or ½ cup cooked spinach or bok choy
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ½ cup cooked greens, kale, mustard, turnip or collards
- ½ cup sweet potato, winter squash or pumpkin
Each serving provides approximately 2000 IU of vitamin A.
Milk and Dairy: Four servings or more each day. Serving size: 1 cup or 8 oz. Milk
- Milk and milk products, such as yogurt, cheese or cottage cheese.
Breads and Grains: Six to eleven servings each day. Serving size: 1 slice, 1 oz. or ½ cup.
- Whole-grain or enriched breads, such as bagels, tortillas, English muffins, crackers, hamburger/hot dog buns, dinner rolls, ready-to-eat cereals or cooked hot cereals, rice or pasta
- Pancakes, waffles, pretzels or rice cakes
Meat and Protein: Seven to eight ounces each day.
- Beef, such as sirloin, round or chuck
- Pork, such as tenderloin
- Poultry, such as chicken breast
- Lamb, such as chops or leg
- Fish* and shellfish
- Eggs, dried beans, peas or tofu
*Note: You may want to limit tuna to one serving per week, and avoid shark, tilefish and mackerel due to the high mercury content in these fish.
Fats and Snacks: Three servings per day.
- Foods in this group add flavor and pleasure to eating, but provide mostly calories with few or no nutrients.
- Include moderate amounts of bacon, butter, cream cheese, honey, jam, jelly, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, soft drinks, sour cream, sugar or syrup.
While all nutrients are important during this time, your body has increased needs for iron, folate, and calcium. Plan your diet to include foods rich in these nutrients.
- Liver, beef, pork, veal, lamb or turkey
- Iron-enriched breads and cereals
- Dried beans, brewers yeast, green leafy vegetables, raisins, dried prunes or apricots
- Nuts and seeds
Please note that a high intake of vitamin C-rich foods along with iron-rich foods will help increase iron absorption. Your health care provider may discuss iron supplements with you.
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, beet and turnip greens
- Wheat products
- Calcium-Rich Foods:
- Milk group: milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese
- Fish with bones (canned salmon)
- Dark leafy vegetables, bok choy, broccoli and beans
- Calcium-fortified soymilk, juices and cereals
For further questions about this diet, please call the Texas Health HEB Clinical Nutrition Department at 817-848-4823. For individual outpatient counseling, please call the Texas Health HEB Nutrition Education Department at 817-868-6410.