Pregnant Woman holding a healthy salad
Make sure to thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables to kill any disease-containing bacteria

January 11, 2017

A Healthy Pregnancy Begins with a Healthy Diet

Eat Healthy

Many women think of pregnancy as a time when they can eat anything they want. “I’m eating for two,” is a phrase often uttered. 

However, it is important to continue to eat a variety of healthy foods and to limit those that are high in sugar, fat and sodium. 

“Limiting foods that are high in sugar, fat, and sodium can help prevent complications that can arise in pregnancy, such as gestational high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and excess weight gain,” says Dr. Clyner Antalan, an OB-GYN with Kauai Medical Clinic. 

Other items to avoid for a healthier pregnancy include:

  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables – Unwashed fruits and vegetables can contain harmful bacteria. Thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables, and be sure to cook them thoroughly to kill any disease-containing bacteria.

Limiting foods that are high in sugar, fat, and sodium can help prevent complications that can arise in pregnancy.”

  • Raw or undercooked foods (seafood, eggs, deli meats) or foods made with unpasteurized milk – These foods contain bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a food-borne illness that causes fever, muscle aches and diarrhea. “In the general population, becoming sick from listeriosis is fairly rare. However, pregnancy can increase the risk of becoming ill up to 13-fold, and it can cause problems in pregnancy such as miscarriage, still-birth, and premature labor and delivery,” Antalan says.
     
  • Caffeine – “Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your baby's heart rate,” Antalan says. “Some studies suggest that drinking too much caffeine during pregnancy might be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.” Limit caffeine to less than 200 milligrams a day.
     
  • Herbal teas – “Because there’s not much data available on the effects of specific herbs on developing babies, pregnant women should avoid drinking herbal tea, including those marketed specifically for pregnant women,” Antalan says.