The rumors are true: you will be hungrier during pregnancy. Eating for two is now a daily reality for the next nine months. You may also begin to experience some weird cravings, which is not uncommon. Knowing what is safe to eat is important as these cravings are discovered. Pregnancy can be hard on the body, and adjustments are necessary for the health of you and your baby. However, knowing what is good for you to be eating during your unplanned pregnancy and what to avoid can be tricky to master. Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is here to help as you navigate the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy.
Do: What to Eat
Take Your Vitamins
One of the most important things to remember during pregnancy is to take care of your body in the best way possible. Because your pregnancy was unexpected, there are probably prenatal vitamins that you haven’t begun taking. Be sure to start these after confirming your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the best dosage first!
- Folic Acid: essential for producing red blood cells. Taking folic acid can prevent brain and spinal defects while your baby is developing. This vitamin can be found in citrus fruits and vegetables, such as spinach.
- Iron: important while creating more blood for your body as well as your baby’s. It also helps oxygen flow from your lungs to your baby’s lungs. Not getting enough iron can lead to premature birth.
- Calcium: helps your baby’s body grow strong bones, teeth, heart, nerves and muscles. Increasing your calcium intake is important for these to grow strong and healthy.
- Vitamin D: important in the role of immune functions and bone development.
While pregnant, getting the most out of everything you’re eating is important. Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients and vitamins is a smart way to do this. Some of the best fruits to eat while you’re expecting include: apricots, oranges, mangoes, pears, pomegranates, guava, bananas and apples.
Vegetables are also rich in nutrients necessary during pregnancy. Some of the best vegetables to eat during pregnancy include: sweet potatoes, beetroot, bell peppers, broccoli, green peas, dark leafy greens, parsley and tomatoes.
Foods that are rich in protein are highly recommended. These include: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. However, make sure that you are eating foods that are safe for you to consume. Check that your meat, eggs, and fish are thoroughly cooked.
Dairy is a good source for calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Eating things like yogurt, milk and hard cheeses is a healthy way to get these nutrients into your diet while pregnant.
Don’t: What to Avoid
Raw is Not Your Friend
While raw food can be tasty – and may end up on your cravings list – you should avoid eating them:
- Meat and Seafood: Raw meat and seafood have the potential of being contaminated with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis and salmonella. Make sure that all meat you eat is cooked thoroughly. Any fish containing mercury should also be avoided. Mercury can cause developmental delays and brain damage. These fish include: shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.
- Deli Meat: Deli meat contains listeria, which can lead to miscarriages. To avoid this, make sure you are cooking your deli meat.
- Eggs: Uncooked and raw eggs have the potential of carrying salmonella. To avoid any infection, avoid eating raw and undercooked eggs.
- Shellfish: Raw shellfish may contain vibrio bacteria. This can cause cholera and other diseases that can result in the loss of your baby. Make sure you are thoroughly cooking your shellfish.
- Greens and sprouts: Raw greens and sprouts can contain bacteria, including salmonella or E. coli. These can cause infection and be potentially fatal to you and your baby. Make sure you are washing all vegetables prior to consumption and cooking them thoroughly.
Unpasteurized milk, as well as soft cheeses, may contain listeria. If you do drink milk, make sure it’s pasteurized. Also, consider eating hard cheeses rather than soft ones.
Everything in moderation has been deemed acceptable. However, during the first trimester, it is wise to avoid caffeine to reduce the possibility of a miscarriage. Large amounts of caffeine can result in premature birth, low birth weight and withdrawal symptoms in infants.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol can cause severe damage to your baby during his or her development. Because there is no safe amount of alcohol, not drinking during pregnancy is the safest option. Drugs should also not be used during pregnancy. If you are drinking or using drugs, talk to your doctor about the safest way to stop. To learn more about the effects of alcohol while pregnant, read this blog.
While eating fruit during pregnancy can be beneficial, there are several fruits that do more harm than good and should be avoided.
- Pineapple: Pineapple contains bromelain. While this usually helps with inflammation, during pregnancy, bromelain can lead to the softening of the cervix and cause you to go into labor early.
- Grapes: Grapes contain a compound called resveratrol. This can cause hormonal imbalance during pregnancy.
- Papaya: Papaya contains latex which causes uterine contractions. This can cause miscarriages and early labor.
Eating during Your Unplanned Pregnancy
Eating well is very important to your health and your baby’s development throughout pregnancy. Having an idea of what to avoid and what to eat can be helpful during this process. Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is here to help you get the answers you need. Your doctor and other healthcare providers can help with any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Jadzia Miller is currently in the final stretches of pursuing an English degree at Colorado Christian University. She has lived in the beautiful state of Colorado for the 22 years she has been on this earth, and loves exploring the beauty that is constantly surrounding her.
She aspires to pursue a career in publishing or library science; either way, Jadzia wants to be encompassed by books and stories. Living near Denver, she is surrounded by artistic pursuits and wants to continue exploring these as often as possible. Jadzia has a passion for encouraging people to read and finding joy in reading books.
“Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association, 8 Nov. 2019, americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/.
Nair, Anisha. “List of 11 Vegetables to Eat during Pregnancy.” FirstCry Parenting, 19 Feb. 2020, parenting.firstcry.com/articles/best-vegetables-to-eat-during-pregnancy/.
“Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition: What to Eat, What Not to Eat.” LiveScience, Purch, www.livescience.com/45090-pregnancy-diet.html.