In this post we tackle some of the most commonly asked questions around food and being pregnant. There is a lot of varying advice and opinions out there, but this the latest research and also tested anecdotally during our pregnancies.
✅ 1 | Eating for Two – False
While the cravings and hunger pains might be real- pregnancy is not a time to stuff your face under the thought you’re eating for two. Doctors recommend a healthy weight gain of around 25-35 pounds. This comes out to about 340 (additional) calories during your 2nd trimester, 450 during your 3rd trimester and 500 during your 4th trimester (if you choose to breastfeed).
✅ 2 | Dairy is the devil – True & False
You don’t have to cut out cheeses that have been pasteurized, like cheddar. But you do have to cut out the unpasteurized soft cheeses like feta, Brie and goat cheese– as they can carry food-borne illnesses like listeria that can make you and your baby very sick. When in doubt, go without.
✅ 3 | Decaf Coffee Only – True & False
Although coffee has its benefits (like providing antioxidants to the body), it is known to contain caffeine that, if consumed in high amounts, may be harmful to the fetus. Coffee doesn’t have to be avoided altogether, but it is generally recommended to limit consumption to 2 cups max (of regular drip coffee, not a triple-shot-venti). .
✅ 4 | Eating peanuts will make sure my baby isn’t allergic – False, kind of
Women used to be advised to avoid foods that are known to be allergenic, like peanuts– because it was thought that consuming them would increase risk for the baby to carry that allergy. But it has actually been shown that women who consume peanuts during pregnancy are less likely to have children with the allergy. Unless, of course YOU are allergic to peanuts. But for those of you who aren’t go ahead and enjoy that PB toast!
✅ 5 | See ya Seafood – False
The FDA warns mamas to stay away from fish with higher mercury content, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. If you are going to choose raw sushi, the US FDA recommends only consuming raw fish that has been frozen previously.
✅ 6 | Red Wine after 7p only on Tuesdays – False
Obviously this one is a little tongue in cheek, but the general rule of thumb around wine is that it’s definitely a no-go for trimesters one and two. From there, you should check with your doctor who will probably tell you it’s not a great idea to have any alcohol ever while pregnant. Probably good advice. That said, I know many women who will have a 2 oz pour of red wine late in their pregnancies and they have perfectly healthy well adjusted children. I wouldn’t make a habit of it and I wouldn’t freak out if you have a sip a few times.