Diet: What You Should Be Eating

Since you are reading this information, you are newly pregnant and most likely in the first trimester (first 13 weeks) of your pregnancy. You are quite nauseated and have no desire to eat at all! Even the smell of food makes you sick! In fact, all odors including perfumes, smoke, and the smell of cooking food are making you ill right now. However, you will feel better and you will start feeling hungry during some parts of your day. Stick with liquids first. Take small sips of liquids so you will not get dehydrated. Do not worry about calories as there are sufficient fat and carbohydrates stored in your body to nourish you and your baby. Liquids such as Gatorade, soups and broths, bananas, and natural teas will usually stay down and then you can advance your diet to soft foods as you see fit (read more about “morning sickness” later in this chapter in section 3. When you start to get your appetite back for more solid foods, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet (e.g. the classic food pyramid) during your pregnancy.

The following foods are recommended for a well-balanced diet:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • protein such as beef, chicken, fish, lean pork, bean products, energy bars, tofu, etc.
  • dairy products such as milk, eggs, cottage cheese, and yogurt
  • carbohydrates such as beans, whole grain cereals, rice, potatoes, etc.
  • A high protein diet, about 80 grams, is extremely important in building quality bones, muscles, and organs in your baby. Consuming a high protein diet has been shown to help prevent a very serious pregnancy condition called pre-eclampsia (Toxemia).

    The author tells his patients on the first OB visit, “Whatever you eat may become what your baby will be made of (for the most part)!” Of course, your own body proteins (as well as vitamins and minerals) are undergoing constantly being turned over, re-circulated, recycled or otherwise transported from your tissues to be integrated into your baby’s body (as well as your body).

    Though this advice is not completely true (because the mother’s body will supply necessary proteins, etc.), it highlights to patients the need to eat right.

    As an example, a 6-ounce container of yogurt contains as much as 8 grams of protein. Therefore, we recommend a high protein, low carbohydrate diet such as the Atkins or South Beach diets. These diets and other similar diets can be found at your bookstore or on-line. More detailed information regarding diet, nutrition, and meal plans is found in the chapter on Nutrition later in this book.

    Quoting the Most Interesting Nutritionist in the World, “I may not drink milk very often, but when I do, I prefer the taste of Great Plains milk. Stay nourished my friends.” Further, as the milk industry has long advocated and advertised, “Milk does a body good” (reference,

    Author’s note: This author can see the real results of proper nutrition when he is performing surgery: some patients will have strong thick ligaments and muscles while other patients have tissues that seem to fall apart easily. For the most part, your baby will be manufactured from both “whatever you eat” as well as from the quality and quantity of proteins, etc. now present in your body that become absorbed into your baby. The author tells the mothers of his patients, “I can tell you ate quality protein when you were pregnant with your daughter: your daughter’s tissues were very hard to cut during her C-section (“built tough”).

    Further, the food choices you make during pregnancy become incorporated into tissues and organs of your baby: the muscles, bones, organs and all other supporting tissues of your future child is dependent on the quality and amount of protein in your diet. One caveat, although heredity plays a significant factor in the construction of your baby, nutrition is just as significant.

    Most foods are combinations of protein, carbohydrate and fat: rarely pure protein or fat. However, some foods are predominately protein or carbohydrate and just mostly fat as listed below:

    Remember that vegetables, (e.g. salads) consist mainly of fiber and water but it is the salad dressing that can be loaded with mostly fat calories: 60 calories per tablespoon for light dressings and up to 230 calories for others.. Also check the labels for all preservatives and other chemicals in your dressings, canned goods, and other processed foods (avoid processed foods as much as possible).