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Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Nutrition Information & Fitness Guidelines for Pregnant Women

Welcome to NutrActive's section of the site dedicated to providing you with helpful pregnancy resources. A key component to a healthy pregnancy is through proper nutrition and being active. There are, however, specific guidelines you need to know like what foods contain substances you do not want to eat, foods high in nutrients that promote a healthy baby and healthier you, what physical activities are recommended...what are not okay? The Web sites and YouTube videos shared below contain loads of information all vetted by NutrActive for accurate information. Self educating and being "in the know" ensures you are doing everything in your power for you and your bundle of joy.

NOTE: Links to sites outside of NutrActive will open new tab in your browser keeping this page open for further use. Also, the videos are embedded into this page for viewing without having to open YouTube.

Pregnancy Diet and Nutrition

A healthy diet is crucial to having a healthy pregnancy. Good nutrition is essential to ensuring that a mother's body can give the unborn baby the nourishment she or he requires to develop and grow. Good nutrition is essential to ensuring that a mother's body can give the unborn baby the nourishment she or he requires to develop and grow. Nutrition concerns include low energy, folate, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and more. Refer to site's article for proper eating during pregnancy:




Nutrition Tips: Pregnancy and Nutrition

A registered dietitian shares some important information about nutrition during pregnancy. Topics covered include recommendations for calcium, iron, and folate. Guidelines for when to start prenatal vitamins and how long to take [Spoiler: Take prenatal vitamins (1) prior to conception (2) during pregnancy (3) while breastfeeding.]

A warning will be given regarding unpasteurized juice, milk, and soft cheese. The dietitian also goes over foods not recommended to consume during pregnancy and what you should limit ... like fish with high mercury content. Emphasized is the importance of staying hydrated. Wonder if caffeine or artificial sweeteners are safe to consume? Guidelines regarding each are shared in the video as well as how many calories you should be consuming during the first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. Lastly, you should gain pounds during your pregnancy. How much you should gain will be addressed.

Health Tips for Pregnant Women
Having a baby is an exciting time that often inspires women to make healthier lifestyle choices and, if needed, work toward a healthy body weight. This shared link provides tips on how to improve your eating and physical activity habits while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born. These tips can also be useful if you’re not pregnant but are thinking about having a baby! By making changes now, you can get used to new lifestyle habits. You’ll give your baby the best possible start on life and be a healthy example to your family for a lifetime.




A Dietitian's Guide To Eating During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

A registered dietitian gives tips regarding the most nutritious foods to eat to support your baby in each trimester of your pregnancy. This includes changes to make in your diet while pregnant, what cravings women experience during pregnancy, and how many calories per day you should be adding each respective trimester. Additionally, the dietitian identifies nutrient rich foods that are specifically important to consume while pregnant including foods rich in folate, DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid - an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain), iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, protein, and selenium.

The Pregnancy Show: Pregnancy Exercise

Staying in shape while you’re pregnant can be quite a challenge. Not only does your changing body restrict the type of activities you can do, many pregnant women are unsure as to which types of physical activities are actually safe during pregnancy. At the link below, there are video clips demonstrating exercises you can do during pregnancy.




Prenatal HIIT Workout
Prevent or Control Gestational Diabetes

Exercise during pregnancy can be done safely and is important for not only your health, but the baby's as well. This is especially true if you are at risk for gestational diabetes. If you are looking for how to avoid gestational diabetes and how to avoid gestational diabetes during pregnancy this prenatal HIIT exercise for gestational diabetes is perfect.

It is designed for exercises for gestational diabetes during pregnancy and exercise for gestational diabetes mellitus. Exercise for gestational diabetes helps to control blood sugars by increasing insulin sensitivity. You can use this pregnancy workout to learn how to avoid diabetes during pregnancy. Exercise helps to avoid diabetes if it runs in your family and helps avoid diabetes in pregnancy. This prenatal workout will show you how to avoid diabetes naturally with exercises for gestational diabetes.

NOTE: This workout video would be great for you even if you are not at risk for gestational diabetes. There are specific exercises to help with labor. Give it a try!

Healthy Eating for You and Your Baby

Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. After all, the food you eat is your baby's main source of nutrition. Consider these pregnancy nutrition tips to promote your baby's growth and development. Find out what — and how much — to eat at:




DEBUNKING Pregnancy Diet Myths
Coffee, Fish, Veganism, Peanut Butter, Eating for Two & MORE!

This video takes a look at some of the most common pregnancy myths and debunks them with SCIENCE. Topics covered include: Eating peanuts while pregnant, risk of increasing food allergy for baby, eating for "two" means eating twice as much, miscarriages, herbal teas, loaded coffee vs. caffeine free coffee, milk recommendation for pregnant women, different types of fish and whether safe to eat, methyl mercury, Omega 3 sources including plant sources, safety of exercising while pregnant, veganism, safety of eating fruits like papaya and pineapple, importance of prenatal vitamins plus vitamin deficiencies to be concerned about specifically folate, gestational diabetes, and more.

Nutrition Before Pregnancy

Many women don't eat a well-balanced diet before pregnancy and may not have the proper nutritional status for the demands of pregnancy. Generally, a pregnant woman needs to add about 300 extra calories daily after the first trimester to meet the needs of her body and her developing fetus. But those calories, as well as her entire diet, need to be healthy, balanced, and nutritious.

The MyPlate icon is a guideline to help you eat a healthy diet by encouraging a variety of foods while getting the right number of calories and fat. The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have prepared this food plate to help you select a variety of healthy foods. MyPlate is available for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Learn more including which nutrients pregnant women are susceptible to being deficient at:




5 Prenatal Nutrition Myths

When it comes to prenatal nutrition, there's so much information out there. Some solid, factual information and some...not so reliable. Some common questions include: Do you need to eat meat during pregnancy to get iron? Are supplements during pregnancy necessary? If I'm craving steak, does that mean I'm not getting enough protein? Since it can be hard to distinguish between false info and facts, here's a video that presents evidence to separate the truth from the lies. This registered dietitian covers 5 common myths about prenatal nutrition and the evidence-based facts plus several topics related to a plant-based pregnancy.

Nutrition During Pregnancy for Vegetarians

Your baby can receive the nutrition needed to grow and develop while you follow a vegetarian meal plan. During pregnancy, it is important to choose a variety of foods that provide enough protein and calories for you and your baby. Depending on the type of vegetarian meal plan you follow, you might need to adjust your eating habits. Follow the guidelines listed at the Web site below for healthy vegetarian eating during pregnancy.




Pregnancy Diet: 5 Tips For Proper Prenatal Nutrition

Looking to support a healthy pregnancy? In this video, a registered dietitian nutritionist and new mom dishes up the details on prenatal nutrition! What you eat during pregnancy has a profound effect on your baby's development and future success in life. Healthy babies start with proper prenatal nutrition! What foods should you eat during pregnancy? Are certain diets unsafe during pregnancy? Which vitamins and minerals are important for pregnancy? These questions and more are addressed. [Tips are geared toward all women, but especially helpful for those following a predominantly plant-based diet or women with a vegan pregnancy.]

The Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Eating Seafood

Eating seafood during pregnancy is a good way to get the nutrients you and your baby need. Seafood is one of the only foods rich in a healthy oil called omega-3 DHA. Omega-3 DHA is needed for your baby’s brain and eye development. Other nutrients found in seafood—including protein, calcium, vitamin D and iron—help build bones and muscles. The guide at the following site will show you tasty ways to meet your seafood needs so you and your baby can maximize the many benefits of fish.




True or False: Pregnant women should avoid eating fish and seafood due to mercury concerns

A Registered Dietitian from the Department of Nutrition and Food Services discusses food safety during pregnancy specifically relating to seafood - the benefits and risks of eating fish during pregnancy.


Dietitian Tips: Importance of Omega 3 During Pregnancy

You have probably heard that omega-3 is an important pregnancy nutrient. But what exactly is omega-3, where can you get it from and why is it so important during pregnancy?

American Pregnancy Association

The American Pregnancy Association is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, research, advocacy, and community awareness. A great number of resources available at this site.




3 Exercises You Should AVOID During Pregnancy 👶🏻 STOP IMMEDIATELY!

CONGRATULATIONS ... you are having a baby! Your focus has completely shifted and you want to keep yourself in the best shape possible for a healthy and happy pregnancy ! That is wonderful however you do need to exercise caution as well ... here are the 3 Exercises You Should AVOID During Pregnancy to ensure a safe, healthy pregnancy! Little spoiler -- the activities involve falling and high impact.

Medline Plus: U.S. National Library of Medicine on Pregnancy

Whether you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, you will want to give your baby a healthy start. You need to have regular visits with your health care provider. These prenatal care visits are very important for your baby and yourself. Some things you might do when you are pregnant could hurt your baby, such as smoking or drinking. Some medicines can also be a problem, even ones that a doctor prescribed. You will need to drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy diet. You may also be tired and need more rest. Your body will change as your baby grows during the nine months of your pregnancy. If you think you have a problem or something is bothering or worrying you, the link below covers a large variety of concerns experienced during pregnancy and is a great place to start putting your mind at ease, HOWEVER, Don't hesitate to call your health care provider.




20 Minute 2nd Trimester Prenatal Cardio Workout
(but good for ALL Trimesters of Pregnancy!)

This 20 minute cardio workout features pregnancy safe moves, all from a standing position, with options for all fitness levels. Get your heart pumping in a gentle yet effective way to stay fit during pregnancy and prepare for delivery and recovery. Made for 2nd trimester, but safe and appropriate for any trimester of pregnancy.

March of Dimes: Nutrition, Weight, & Fitness

Learn how to make smart food choices and how to prepare, cook and handle foods safely. Find out about foods to avoid or limit during pregnancy, like foods that contain caffeine or mercury. For most pregnant women, it’s safe to exercise every day. Being active can give you energy, help you relieve stress and help you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy. It can even help your body get ready for labor and birth! Find out what’s OK and what not to do during pregnancy at:




Pregnancy Stretching Routine
Best Stretches to Relieve Pregnancy Symptoms!

This pregnancy stretching routine can help with many pregnancy symptoms such as insomnia, sciatica, restless leg syndrome and more. Do this safe, pregnancy stretching routine to help you combat your pregnancy symptoms and help you in preparing for labor!

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Knowing that you are doing all you can to stay healthy during pregnancy and give your baby a healthy start in life will help you to have peace of mind. CDC focuses on preventing birth defects due to bad lifestyle choices. Learn what to do before, during, and after pregnancy. Information on vaccines, medications, and more plus scientific articles available for properly educating yourself.




First Trimester To Do List - Don't Forget Any of These!

You’re in your first trimester of pregnancy, congrats!! You may be thinking, I’m pregnant, now what? These are your first-trimester must-dos. These are the things to get done from weeks 1-12 of your pregnancy. Besides surviving your first trimester symptoms, there are a few other things to adjust as you begin your pregnancy journey. Enjoy your pregnant belly, though you probably can’t see it yet and make sure to get your to-dos done before your second-trimester starts!

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

The ACOG is the premier professional membership organization dedicated to the improvement of women’s health. The Patient Page allows you to access information you can trust from the leading experts in women's health care. If you are seeking to research a specific area of concern, this is a great resource to use:




OB-GYNs Debunk 25 Pregnancy Myths

Business Insider asked two high-risk OBGYN’s to debunk 25 of the most common pregnancy myths. They explain that pregnant women don’t need to eat twice as much, there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy or while you’re breastfeeding, and cocoa butter does not prevent stretch marks. They further explain that there is currently no food, supplement, or physical activity that can help induce labor.

United States Department of Agriculture:
National Agricultural Library:
Nutrition During Pregnancy

Find guidelines and resources for considering the nutrient needs of pregnant women below. Specific resources cover Gestational Diabetes, Educating Pregnant Women, and Vegetarian Pregnancy. Other information covers news about pregnancy preparation, what happens during each of the three trimesters of pregnancy, fertility, labor and more.




Exercise during pregnancy: How safe is it?

This video discusses the safety and benefits of exercising during pregnancy according to a meta-analysis study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Guidelines, precautions, and contraindications provide a holistic view of physical activity during pregnancy.



Beyond Pregnancy: Healthy Baby Information


Pediatricians Debunk 16 Baby Myths

A pediatrician and a developmental psychologist from the Mount Sinai Parenting Center debunk 16 of the most common myths about raising infants and toddlers. They explain how baby walkers don't help babies learn to walk and how certain toys won't make babies smarter. They also debunk the idea that picking up a crying baby spoils — instead, you should be holding, touching, and snuggling that baby.



Why Babies Should NOT Drink Water

While drinking ample amount of water is generally good health practice for adults, it can be deadly for newborn babies. It turns out, just a few ounces of water can be too much for an infant to handle, resulting in water intoxication that can even be fatal.



Why Babies Should NOT Eat Honey

Babies less than one-year-old can get seriously sick from eating honey. Honey contains C. botulinum bacteria, which can produce a toxin in a baby’s large intestine, leading to a rare, but serious illness known as “infant botulism.” Fortunately, infant botulism is not very common, and infant botulism due to honey is even rarer. Still, the FDA recommends waiting until your baby is one year old to feed them the sweet treat.


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The information contained on this Web site is intended to help you better understand issues related to nutrition and exercise and help promote a healthy lifestyle. It is not intnded to replace the advice of a physician. If you read something on this site that contradicts what your physician tells you in any way, always follow your physician's advice. We advise you to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have any serious medical conditions.