There is a lot to learn when it comes to having a child. Take one step into the health and wellness section of your local bookstore, and you will see shelves upon shelves of authors with their various takes on the topic.
Possibly one of the most daunting topics on expecting a baby is food. Everyone has a differing opinion—from your parents who tell you to avoid fish like the plague to your friends who say that, “Actually, I heard some salmon might be ok…” to that stranger in the restaurant who saw you sneaking that California roll. And don’t even think about letting your coworker (and mother of five) catch you eating those Cheetos you’ve been craving in the office, lest you be forced to sit there and listen to her lecture you on what she ate during each of her five pregnancies.
Eating right while pregnant can be a difficult task if you don’t know what’s right. While everyone has an opinion, you should always listen to your doctor and trusted medical professionals. Here are a few professional tips on how to keep your diet as healthy as possible for you and your baby.
Fruits and Vegetables: Wash Them First
Both of these food groups are great in maintaining the vitamins and minerals (primarily vitamin C and folic acid) you need to have a healthy pregnancy. Citrus, such as oranges, and dark, leafy greens are great options. Just make sure to always thoroughly wash your produce, first, to avoid harmful contaminants.
Meats And Fish: Avoid the Raw Stuff
While your baby might not be doing Crossfit in the womb (even if it feels like it at times), they still need protein and iron to grow their bodies—not to mention it will help you from having muscle fatigue. Poultry, fish, and beans are excellent sources of protein and other vitamins and minerals.
Here are the caveats, though. You should avoid raw meat in any form (sushi, tar-tar, oysters, etc.) as well as deli meats since they all carry a higher risk of bacteria and disease no matter how well they are prepared.
Specific types of fish, even cooked, should still be avoided due to high mercury content. This includes common fish like tuna and mackerel all the way to shark meat and swordfish. Salmon and tilapia are typically lower on the mercury scale, but always consult your doctor if you have doubts.
Dairy: Hard Pass on the Soft Cheese
As long as it is pasteurized, dairy is an excellent source of much-needed calcium. If you are shopping around for cheeses, though, avoid the fancy, imported soft cheeses. Your baby (and your wallet) will thank you. Imported soft cheeses like brie and feta carry a higher risk of listeria and other bacteria. Non-imported soft cheeses—as long as they are pasteurized—should be safe.
Eating the right foods while pregnant may seem confusing at first, but getting the proper knowledge is the first step. Give us a call today to make an appointment, and we will clear up any confusion on what to eat and what to avoid. We want you to be confident that you are doing what’s best for you and your precious baby.