Healthy eating while you're pregnant has many benefits. According to Health Canada, pregnant and breastfeeding women need just a little more food in the second and third trimesters; which means you need to eat an extra two or three Food Guide Servings from any of the food groups each day. This can be either an additional snack, or an added serving to your usual meal. By eating these extra food guide servings, you're giving your body the energy and strength it needs to carry the baby while giving the baby all the nutrients he needs to develop and be healthy.
Plan to gain weight during your pregnancy. This isn't the time to diet! Gaining weight is a natural process of pregnancy, and will ensure baby’s growth and development, and prepare you for breastfeeding. The amount of weight to gain depends on your weight before becoming pregnant and other factors (teen pregnancy, multiple babies, etc. Talk to your health care provider about the right amount of weight to gain.
All women who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding need a daily multivitamin containing 400 micrograms (0,4 mg) of folic acid. Folic acid is an important vitamin that helps the baby’s spine, brain and skull develop properly during the first weeks of pregnancy. It helps prevent neural tube defects in babies, which cause disability or death. In addition, pregnant women need to ensure that their multivitamin contains between 16 and 20 mg of iron. Iron helps to build the red blood cells that carry oxygen to your baby.
Talk to your health care provider or access our Baby’s Best Start program to meet one of our registered dietitians to discuss your nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Check out the links below to find out more.
Baby's Best Start: A program that provides pregnant clients with support during their pregnancy, such as nutrition counselling, prenatal vitamins and food coupons (if eligible), education on feeding your infant, and referral to other community agencies programs and services when necessary.
Brief Contact Intervention: Speak to a health professional about different lifestyle issues.
Green Food Box: A nonprofit, community-based program that brings neighbours together to buy a variety of delicious and nutritious fresh fruit and vegetables at wholesale prices.
Grocery Store Tour: Learn how to read food labels and save money with guided supermarket tours.
Alcohol during Pregnancy (Healthful)
Getting Back to A Healthy Weight After Giving Birth (Healthful)
Herbal Teas (Healthful)
The EatRight Ontario website provides easy-to-use nutrition information to help make healthier food choices easier. Residents of Ontario can also speak directly to a Registered Dietitian by calling their toll-free telephone service at 1 877 510-5102 or by sending an email.
A Healthy Pregnancy is in Your Hands
Caffeine and Pregnancy
Eating for healthy pregnancy
EatSafe for Higher-Risk Canadians: A Guide for Pregnant Women
Facts about Folate
Food safety for Pregnant Women
Food Sources of Folate
Health Canada, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Healthy eating for a healthy baby
Healthy Weight Gain during Pregnancy
My Food Guide Servings Tracker for Pregnant Women
Public Health Agency of Canada
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Tips for a healthy pregnancy