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Diet and Exercise in Pregnancy

Most pregnant women need only about 300 extra calories per day. The exact amount depends on your weight before pregnancy. If you’re underweight before pregnancy, you may need more calories. If you’re overweight before pregnancy, you may need less. Talk to your health care provider about what’s right for you.

How can you make sure you’re making healthy meal plans? Use these tips when planning your meals:

  • Eat foods from the five food groups at every meal.
  • Choose whole-grain bread and pasta, low-fat or skim milk and lean meat, like chicken, fish and pork.
  • Plan on eating four to six smaller meals a day instead of three bigger ones. This can help relieve heartburn and discomfort you may feel as your baby gets bigger.
  • Make sure your whole meal fits on one plate. Don’t make huge portions.
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Put as much color on your plate as you can, with all different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink at least six to eight glasses of water, juice or milk every day. And take your prenatal vitamin every day. This is a vitamin made just for pregnant women.

Exercise in pregnancy

Continuing with your current workout regimen is safe during pregnancy. Continue to stay well hydrated and listen to your body. If you feel dizzy or faint or severely short of breath take some extra rest periods or adjust your routine accordingly. We recommend prenatal yoga, prenatal stretching or other low impact physical fitness classes.

If you are just beginning a workout routine remember to listen to your body and continue to adjust your routine as your pregnancy progresses to accommodate your change in body shape and size.

Helpful Links for Exercise and Safe Diet in Pregnancy:





  • Don’t Eat These Foods
    What to Do
  • Soft CHEESES made from unpasteurized milk, which may include Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, quesoblanco, and queso fresco. However most cheeses in the US from these groups are pasteurized.
    May contain E. coli or Listeria.
    Eat hard cheeses, such as cheddar or Swiss. Or, check the label and make sure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk.
    May contain Salmonella.
    Bake the cookies and cake. Don’t lick the spoon!
  • Certain kinds of FISH, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (golden or white snapper)
    Contains high levels of mercury.
    Eat up to 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Limit consumption of albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week.
  • Raw or undercooked FISH (sushi)
    May contain parasites or bacteria.
    Cook fish to 145° F.
  • Unpasteurized JUICE or cider (including fresh squeezed)
    May contain E. coli.
    Drink pasteurized juice. Bring unpasteurized juice or cider to a rolling boil and boil for at least 1 minute before drinking.
  • Unpasteurized MILK
    May contain bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli,Listeria, or Salmonella.
    Drink pasteurized milk.
  • SALADS made in a store, such as ham salad, chicken salad, and seafood salad.
    May contain Listeria.
    Make salads at home, following the food safety basics: clean, separate, cook, and chill.
  • Raw SHELLFISH, such as oysters and clams
    May contain Vibrio bacteria.
    Cook shellfish to 145° F.
  • Raw or undercooked SPROUTS, such as alfalfa, clover, mung bean, and radish
    May contain E. coli or Salmonella.
    Cook sprouts thoroughly.
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