Ask almost any pregnant woman about eating for two, and she’ll probably tell you this: It’s not as much fun as it seems, and it’s not all about eating extra Ho-Hos and cookie dough. Nausea and vomiting can make it hard enough to eat for one, let alone two; pregnancy restrictions can make consumption a somewhat complicated prospect (which tuna is the safe tuna again?).
Some of the dos and don’ts of a pregnancy diet are a sure thing, others are educated guesses, and some are controversial. One thing nearly all pregnant women and their doctors can agree on, though, is that erring on the side of caution is the way to go. These diet tips for pregnant women explain some of the dos and don’ts when eating while pregnant.
- Don’t: Alcohol: Some people say it’s different in Europe — specifically, that French women drink wine when they’re pregnant and no one gives it a thought. But in fact, many European countries are coming around to the American point of view: that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
- Do: Omega-3s: Coldwater seafood such as salmon, lake trout and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3s, including one of the most important ones for a growing fetus, called DHA. Fish oil supplements containing DHA are a possibility during pregnancy, but they do have side effects for some people, like excessive burping or nausea, which pregnant women already may have trouble with.
- Don’t: High-mercury Fish: Here’s where it gets tricky, because avoiding all fish during pregnancy is a bad idea (see above). When it comes to seafood in a pregnancy diet, it’s all about selectivity. Avoid predator fish like tilefish, swordfish, King mackerel and shark completely, and limit albacore tuna to one 6 ounce serving per week.
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