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Pregnancy Advice

Drink water.

Lots of water. 8-10 glasses a day is 64-80 ounces.

Drink your milk.

Your baby and your bones need 5 glasses/32 oz. of milk a day or 1500 mg. of calcium. 8oz. of milk or yogurt or cottage cheese contains 300mg. If you are not able to drink that much milk, that is okay.

You can substitute a calcium supplement for milk: try Tums Ultra, Caltrate, Oscal, Citracal or Viactiv.

If you can drink two glasses of milk a day then you need only 3 Tums Ultra to make up the remainder of your daily needs.

Your protein goal: 8 oz. of meat daily.

Babies are made out of water, calcium and protein. You can eat chicken, beef, turkey, fish (tuna and salmon are the best), eggs, soy. Snack on protein throughout the day: cheese sticks, peanut butter, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, protein bars and protein drinks.

Limit your fish intake to 12 ounces a week.

Although you may eat fish when you are pregnant, you should limit your intake to 12 ounces per week (like two cans of tuna). Do not eat shark or swordfish: they tend to contain more mercury than may be safe during pregnancy. All fish that you eat must be cooked. Shellfish is okay.

Take your vitamins.

A daily prenatal vitamin prevents some birth defects and corrects anemia. Do not take your vitamin with milk, Tums, or an antacid.

Consider an Omega-3 (fish oil or DHA) supplement.

This oil is essential for your baby's brain growth and may help keep your blood pressure normal. Just one a day.

Get more fiber in your diet.

To avoid constipation. Raisin bran, apples, raw vegetables. Products that help: Metamucil, Citracel, Fibercon.

10 oz. of caffeine (less than 100 mg.) a day from coffee or tea is okay.

Avoid soda pop which may contain an acceptable amount of caffeine, but has too much salt and sugar for your healthy pregnancy.

Don't smoke.

Smoking damages your baby's brain development by significantly diminishing blood and oxygen flow to the uterus for an hour after every cigarette. Cut down and quit. Nicotine lozenges or gum may be helpful. Do not use nicotine patches.

Weight Gain

The average weight gain for pregnancy is 20-35 pounds. You may gain more or less, if you are under or overweight at the beginning of your pregnancy. Do not think of it as eating for two, but you will need to eat approximately 15% more than when you were not pregnant.

Sleep 8 hours at night.

Wind down an hour before bed. Take a warm bath. Try hot tea, meditation, reading. Avoid caffeine after noon. On your day off sleep til you wake up. Listen to your body. Most pregnant women would benefit from an afternoon nap. Rest revives you, boosts your immune system and gives your body the energy to grow a healthy pregnancy.

Exercise for 20 minutes, three times a week.

Exercise that raises your heart rate will burn calories, strengthen your muscles, make your bowels work better, improve your sleep and sense of well-being.

Try a brisk walk, bicycle, swim. There is no need to do high impact exercise such as jogging during pregnancy. Don't forget to warm up, cool down and drink lots of water. Keep your heart rate under 150.

Diet Suggestions for Iron-Rich Foods

The recommended dietary allowanch (RDA) of iron during pregnancy is 30 milligrams. Here are some foods rich in iron.

Foods that provide .5 to 1.5 milligrams of iron:

  • -Chicken, 3 ounces
  • -Green peas, 1/2 cup
  • -Tomato juice, 6 ounces
  • -Broccoli, 1/2 cup
  • -Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup cooked
  • -Whole wheat brad, 1 slice
  • -Dried apricots, 5 halves
  • -Raspberries, 1 cup
  • -Strawberries, 1 cup

 Foods that provide 1.6 to 3 milligrams of iron:

  • -Sirloin steak, 3 ounces
  • -Roast beef, 3 ounces
  • -Lean hamburger, 3 ounces
  • -Baked potato with skin
  • -Kidney beans, 1/2 cup cooked
  • -Lima beans, 1/2 cup cooked
  • -Navy beans, 1/2 cup cooked
  • -Oatmeal, 1 cup cooked
  • -Raisins, 1/2 cup

Foods that provide 3 to 12 milligrams of iron:

  • -Clams, 4 large or 9 small
  • -Oysters, 6 medium
  • -Spinach, 1/2 cup cooked
  • -Fortified cereal, 1 cup

Additional sources of iron:

  • -All kinds of liver (except fish) liver should not be eaten more than once a week
  • -Lean beef, veal, pork or lamb
  • -Greens, all kinds
  • -Beets
  • -Sauerkraut
  • -Tofu
  • -Lentils
  • -Soy bean flour