I love that pregnancy is a time of heightened awareness around the importance of good nutrition, which is why it is so fun to work with this patient population.
We now know that good nutrition is important — not only for the immediate health of the developing baby, but also for the baby’s future health as she grows into adulthood. With this in mind, I set out to create a blueprint for healthy eating in pregnancy that reflected current science-based information that pregnant women could use to get the best possible nutrition during this important time. As a dietitian, I like to talk to people about their “eating style” because it’s a positive way to discuss nutrition and reinforces the goal of long-term healthy living. In pregnancy, mom’s additional need for energy is not very high, but her need for more micronutrients increases dramatically.
Tamara Hargens-Bradley is associate director of media relations in the OHSU Strategic Communications department. During your pregnancy, what you eat plays a crucial role in the health of you and your fetus. Pregnant women are 13 times more likely to contact listeriosis, a foodborne illness caused by a bacteria, notes the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. While fish and seafood provide good protein sources to your diet, certain types should be avoided during pregnancy because of a high mercury content.

Research results vary regarding a safe amount of caffeine and risk of miscarriage during pregnancy. Alcohol can lead to an increased risk of the baby being born with a heart problems, poor gestational growth or facial abnormalities. So, although it’s titled “My Pregnancy Plate, this blueprint, or tool, is a healthy way to eat before and after pregnancy, as well. Consequently, as the My Pregnancy Plate illustrates, a well-balanced pregnancy diet would include an abundant and varied amount of plant-based foods. Thanks to our graphic designer, the My Pregnancy Plate is a feast for the eyes, which brings me to my last point: healthy eating reflects balance, variety, moderation and enjoyment! I just finished repairing the link to the Spanish version, so please feel free to download it as needed.
She has had articles and patient information handouts published in the "Renal Nutrition Forum" and the "Journal of Renal Nutrition." She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and a Masters degree at Central Michigan University. A balanced diet and prenatal multivitamin provide the necessary nutrition as your pregnancy progresses. There is limited research available indicating these foods are safe to consume while pregnant.

When cooking at home, be aware of potential cross-contamination sources such as using the same unwashed cutting board for raw meat and vegetables. Drink no more than two cups a day of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, soda and chocolate beverages.
Paying attention to what you are eating and avoiding certain foods will support a healthy pregnancy and child. Other fish and seafood, such as shrimp, salmon and catfish contain lower amounts of mercury and can be eaten. One exception is ginger root supplementation, which may reduce nausea and vomiting during pregnancy without harmful effects on your baby.
Eliminate any raw foods and be sure not to undercook foods such as eggs, meat, fish or seafood. It is recommended that you consume less than 12 ounces of these foods per week Keep your white tuna intake to no more than six ounces weekly.

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