Prenatal nutrition

  • Pregnancy is a time to nourish both yourself and your baby, and to lay the foundation for feeding your growing family.
  • Many parents are motivated to make lifestyle changes during pregnancy. Consider positive and sustainable changes that work for you, and that will support your family’s health for years to come.
  • Weight gain in pregnancy is normal and necessary. Trust your body to eat, move, rest, and grow in ways that support you and your growing baby.
  • How you eat is just as important as what you eat. See “How to Eat”, below.
  • Healthy eating advice for pregnancy is similar to that for the general population, but there are a few things to be aware of, such as extra nutrient needs and food safety concerns. See “What to Eat”, below.
  • Feeling queasy? Learn more about dealing with “morning sickness”.
  • Pregnancy is also a time to learn about feeding your baby. Learn more about Nutrition in the First Year.
How to eat

Feed yourself faithfully:

Honour your appetite:

  • The amounts you eat will likely change over time, as your body changes and your baby grows.
  • In the second and third trimesters, you may find that you need a little extra food per day. This could look like:
    • A few crackers, some canned salmon, and carrot sticks as an extra afternoon snack, or
    • A piece of fruit and some nuts as an extra morning snack, or
    • An extra cup of milk or fortified soy beverage with lunch and dinner
  • Your body knows how much food you need. Tune in to your appetite, and trust your body’s hunger and fullness cues to guide you.

Learn more:

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What to eat

Enjoy a variety of foods:

  • Aim to enjoy regular meals and snacks with a variety of foods from Canada’s food guide: protein foods, whole grains, and vegetables and fruit.
  • Build your repertoire of simple and tasty meals. Start with foods that you enjoy and have access to, and add others when you can.
  • Make water your number one drink. If needed, give it some flair with fresh or frozen fruit, mint leaves, or cucumber slices.

Take a daily multivitamin:

  • Check that yours contains at least 400 µg folic acid, 16 to 20 mg of iron, 400 IU of vitamin D, and some vitamin B12.

Consider food safety:

Learn more:

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Clients looking for nutrition assessment and support from a registered dietitian can: