- 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.
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:
- Due to hormonal changes, pregnant persons are at greater risk of food poisoning.
- Learn more about safe food handling and foods to avoid in Safe Food Handling for Pregnant Women (PDF)