Pregnancy can significantly alter your diet; foods you would normally avoid sound irresistible, while a mere mention of your favorite foods might turn your stomach. But since what you eat has a direct affect on your baby, the OB-GYN staff at Capital Women's Care in Rockville, Maryland, encourage all expectant mothers to maintain a healthy diet. Below, Dr. Eric Ashkin, Dr. Aliya Poshni, and Dr. Leslie Masiky explain what women should eat - and what they should avoid - during their pregnancies.
During your pregnancy, it may be tempting to "eat for two," as the saying goes. But your Rockville doctors advise against this method, as unnecessary weight gain and calories can have an impact on your baby's health as well as yours. Instead, maintain a healthful diet with lots of protein from sources like lean meats, nuts, and low-mercury fish. Combining iron with vitamin C helps absorption and compensates for the increased blood supply in your body. Folic acid is also extremely important, as it can help prevent the fetus from developing neurological problems. Prenatal supplements can help boost these vital nutrients.
For gestational diabetes
Some pregnant women develop a condition called gestational diabetes, a condition in which the body stops metabolizing glucose, or blood sugar, properly. This causes elevated levels of blood glucose which can be passed along to their unborn baby, potentially resulting in unnecessarily large birth weight, respiratory problems and other complications following birth. Women who are gestationally diabetic should work closely with their Rockville OB-GYN throughout their pregnancy to maintain a diet that allows the body to compensate for higher blood sugar levels; eating several small meals throughout the day that are high in fiber but low in carbohydrates, especially simple sugars, is highly recommended.
During pregnancy, some foods and drinks should be eaten only in moderation or avoided completely. You can still enjoy your morning coffee, for example, but your Rockville obstetrician recommends limiting your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day, which is equal to about two 6-ounce cups of coffee. Lunchmeat, unpasteurized cheese or undercooked seafood (such as raw sushi) puts you at risk for serious bacterial infections, which can be passed along to your unborn baby.
If you're pregnant or trying to conceive, we can give you more information about the best choices you can make for yourself and your unborn baby during pregnancy. Contact Capital Women's Care in Rockville, Maryland, to make an appointment with one of our caring, skilled providers: Dr. Eric Ashkin, Dr. Aliya Poshni, or Dr. Leslie Masiky.