Staying Healthy Image Gallery
Staying Healthy Image Gallery

Unlike 40 years ago, we now recognize the relationship of prepregnancy weight and weight gain to pregnancy outcome. See more pictures of staying healthy.

© 2006 Publications International, Ltd.

An expecting mother's diet is very important during pregnancy. The baby's health depends on her gaining the right amount of weight -- approximately 25 pounds, eating nutritional foods that provide protein, iron, calcium and vitamins, and avoiding or minimizing drugs like caffeine, and especially alcohol and nicotine -- that could harm the child.

  • Weight Gain During Pregnancy Unlike 40 years ago, we now recognize the relationship of prepregnancy weight and weight gain to pregnancy outcome. That is, low birth weight can increase the risk of infant mortality. A pregnant woman should gain approximately 25 pounds -- more if she is underweight, less if she is overweight -- for the sake of the health of her baby. Weight gain is minimal during the first trimester and accelerates in the second and third trimesters.
  • Good Nutrition During Pregnancy A pregnant woman should add approximately 300 calories to her diet because she is providing for herself as well as the baby growing inside of her. It's important that she increase her intake of protein, iron, calcium and vitamins, eat the freshest foods available, and keep track of what she is eating to ensure that she and her baby are getting all the essential nutrients they need.
  • Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy Everything the mother puts in her mouth during pregnancy is essentially fed to the baby growing inside of her. That's why it's important that she stick to a healthy diet and avoid or minimize potentially harmful drugs like caffeine, artificial sweeteners, some herbal teas, and especially alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and cocaine.