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For New Moms & Moms to Be

For New Moms & Moms to Be

A general nutrition guide for women who are trying to get pregnant, are currently pregnant, or are breastfeeding. These tips are not all inclusive- please see a registered dietitian for more in-depth nutrition advice!

1. Consume at least 400 micrograms of Folic Acid each day

Grains like bread and cereal are fortified with folic acid, and leafy greens like spinach are naturally rich in it. Most multi- or prenatal vitamins are also fortified with folic acid, so just check out those nutrient and supplement fact panels to get an idea as to how much folic acid you’re already getting- it’s probably more than you think!

Did You Know? 1 cup of Honey Nut Cheerios has just under 200mcg of Folic Acid!

2. Keep your Heme Iron Intake Up

Heme iron refers to the iron that comes from animal products like meat or poultry. When you’re pregnant, you share blood (and iron) supplies with the baby and it’s difficult to build up stores of it, which is why it’s important to stock up on heme iron before pregnancy.

Not a meat-eater? No problem! There are plenty of iron supplements on the market, and many grain products are fortified with it!

3. Consider taking a Prenatal vitamin

Prenatal Vitamins are stocked with the vitamins and minerals you and your baby need, and can take the stress off your plate in terms of worrying about getting enough of each nutrient.

If you are considering supplementing, always choose ones that have been verified by a third party like the NSF or USP (you’ll see the stamp on the bottle label!)

Nutrition Tips During Pregnancy

Calorie Needs During Pregnancy

1st Trimester: Same as Before Pregnancy

2nd Trimester: Additional 340kcal/day

              Ex. Whole Wheat English Muffin w/ 2 TBSP Peanut Butter + ½ a banana

3rd Trimester: Additional 420 kcal/day

              Ex. 2 pieces of whole grain toast with ½ avocado and an egg on top!

Morning Sickness Problems?

  • Make sure you’re staying properly hydrated- at least 10 cups/day!
  • Eat foods that are appealing- don’t force yourself to eat foods just because you think you should
Try eating in smaller amounts more frequently, rather than fewer big meals

Other General Tips

  • Limit Caffeine to <300 mg/day -> this is equal to about 24 ounces total of regular coffee per day
  • Aim for 9-10 cups of water per day (try to finish at least 3 24oz water bottles a day!)
  • Add 25g protein per day-- this can be done through a scoop of protein powder, 3 oz of chicken breast, or 1 cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Consume 8-12oz seafood per week-> seafood is rich in healthy fats which are important for your baby’s brain!
    • Note: Do not eat shark, swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish, and limit Albacore Tuna to 6oz per week (these are high in Mercury so we want to avoid them!) 
  • Avoid raw batters/dough, soft cheeses, deli meats, uncooked or unpasteurized items, and alcohol
  • Prenatal Supplements! These will contain essential vitamins and minerals (like folic acid and iron) needed during pregnancy!

Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

Nutrient Needs while Breastfeeding

For the first six months, aim for an additional 330 kcal/day above your pre-pregnancy needs (similar to what you needed during your second trimester). For 6-12 months, aim for additional 400 kcal/day above pre-pregnancy needs. For protein, continue with the additional 25g/day as you were during pregnancy.

Nutrient Needs while Breastfeeding

For the first six months, aim for an additional 330 kcal/day above your pre-pregnancy needs (similar to what you needed during your second trimester). For 6-12 months, aim for additional 400 kcal/day above pre-pregnancy needs. For protein, continue with the additional 25g/day as you were during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding Challenges?

92% of women report difficulty breastfeeding in the first 3 days, so if you are having trouble, know that it is not your fault and that you are not alone! Lactation consultants and breastfeeding specialists are awesome resources if you are having trouble with things like latching, pain, and milk production.

Storing Breast milk

  • 6-8 hours @ room temp
  • 5 days in fridge
  • 3-6 months in self-defrost freezer
    • Thaw in cool tap water

Do not microwave or re-freeze

Most Importantly, remember that you are doing great. Whether you’re trying to have a baby or currently taking care of one, please remember that you are doing amazing and that your tiny human loves you!

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