round white ceramic plate filled with waffle
Physical Health

What to Eat While Pregnant

I was comforted by someone telling me… “don’t worry, women have had no problem giving birth for thousands of years!”.

You may take comfort in the fact that the miracle of pregnancy will happen all by itself.

Annually there are 4 million births in the U.S. 62 births per 1000 women [1]. Over 2 and a half million of these births are vaginal while a little over 1 million are cesarean (c section) [2].

What to Eat While Pregnant

woman in white crew neck t-shirt holding baby

I’ll tell you what I bought in a second. But eat whatever you want (sort of) “Pica” [3] is an eating disorder often seen in pregnant women, children, or those who are autistic.

Pica is a disorder in which a person will crave things like rocks, paper, and other non-nutritional substances.

My point in bringing this up is that the human body is a miraculous design indeed.

Although a person (with pica) can be healthy biologically – pica has been linked to mineral deficiencies.

I actually heard of cases where a child being brought to the ER for eating crayons… is later found to be deficient in things found in crayons. (I could be wrong, I’m simply sharing personal experience)

But back to you, my personal thoughts on what to eat while pregnant is “food is medicine”.

Sometimes our food does not have adequate nutrients and minerals. I’m a fan of supplementing.

Prenatal vitamin with folic acid

dark green vegetable

Fish Oil (which contains EPA and DHA)

EPA eicosapentaenoic acid

DHA docosahexaenoic acid

EFA Essential Fatty Acids are nutrient dense oils often seen in a blend such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil and sesame oil.

Coconut Oil (contains lauric acid which has many benefits, also found in breast milk)

Vitamin D – most “prenatal’s” contain 400 IU of D – while as much as 4,000 IU can be recommended [4]

Note: the only “essential oils” are those our body doesn’t produce and must come from our diet. Those are omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega 6 oils (linoleic acid).

Folic acid helps to prevent spine and brain defects. The CDC recommends taking 4 milligrams (4000 micrograms) [4] of folic acid the month (trying to get pregnant) before pregnancy and for the first 3 months of pregnancy (everyone says “consult your doctor” but I wanted to pass along the numbers)… please consult your doctor.


What (else) to Eat While Pregnant

raw meat on white plate

I will give a list that includes foods containing iron. Many women experience anemia (lack of iron) which may result in extra bleeding.

Wild caught pink salmon (myriad of benefits)

Eggs (egg yolks)

Pumpkin Seeds

Dried Apricots

Dark Green Veggies 

Whole Grains


Tuna (use sparingly while pregnant)


-What Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

Vitamin A

Fish high in mercury? (I personally feel this is overstated) but it’s worth mentioning fish high in mercury include swordfish, shark, mackerel, tuna.

Avoid soft cheese, raw eggs, raw poultry, sliced lunch meat, sushi.

Unpasteurized cheese, milk or juice.


What Meds. to Avoid While Pregnant

For the first 12 weeks of pregnancy many recommend avoiding all medications if possible. This based on a study conducted by a study by University of Michigan Health System.

You probably already know sleep, water, vitamins and minerals are a good treatment and prevention.

I wish I had a magic bullet but a few other honorable mentions are elevating head, using nasal strips and using a humidifier.


What to Do While Pregnant and Constipated


With non-pregnant people constipation is usually caused by a lack of water.

Nearly 50% of pregnant women will experience constipation at some point.

Water, exercise, switching prenatal vitamins, using the bathroom after a meal all may help during this time.

It would also help to have added fruits and vegetables.

Food may pass slower through the digestive track (from progesterone relaxing the muscles) and added pressure on digestive organs play a role in constipation.

What to Do While Pregnant to Have a Smart Baby

Vitamin B is folic acid… this helps with brain development while pregnant. Also eating leafy greens and even a walk go a long way in boosting baby health.

Cortisol is produced when exercising. Experts recommend thirty minutes of exercise daily for pregnant women.

A study by the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine found children developed better math and speaking skills when the parent exercised during pregnancy [5].


Vaginal Discharge While Pregnant

Discharge is normal during pregnancy. A mild smelling, white, thin discharge can occur before and during pregnancy.

Leukorrhea is normal and may increase toward the end of pregnancy. It is not recommended to douche or do anything that would mess up the good bacteria found in the vagina as this could possibly create infection.

Postpartum Depression

Baby blues” and a wide range of emotions are normal in the few weeks after pregnancy.

However, 1 in 7 women may experience something far more dramatic known as post partum depression. The CDC states 20% of women may experience symptoms of this.

Symptoms [6] of postpartum depression

Feeling hopeless and overwhelmed thoughts of harming oneself or child

(if such feelings occur you are not a bad person, but you must reach out for support immediately)

The link above shows locations and contact info for local support

Feeling irritable, angry, aloof and distant.

Feeling sad or tired for the majority of the day.

Feeling anxious, depressed, and having a loss of interest.

These are all caused by hormonal changes and the tricky thing is that when you are seeing the world through this lens it is difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction i.e., is the world dark and grey? Or is it just me?

Pregnancy Bra

Experimenting with a few soft comfortable pregnancy bra’s will make you feel warm and fuzzy. It’s something you will use over an over again…like a good pillow.

Things to Buy When Pregnant

Wipes (stock up), 

diaper rash ointment (“A+D Original” works nice),

diapers(stock up), organic baby

skin cream for after baths,

breast feeding pillow (it looks like a big U or something similar),

baby pajamas with buttons (easier to change diapers)

For pumping breast milk its very nice to have

  1. High quality breast pump
  2. Baby bottle drying racks
  3. Assortment of bottles
  4. Circular baby bottle sanitizer or bag sanitizer (you put it in microwave and sanitize a number of bottles and things)
  5. Breast milk warmer (it warms 1 bottle in few minutes rather than running it under water)
  6. Breast milk storage bags

1 Week Pregnant

Find an obstetrician.

Uterus contracts to release uterine lining which may cause back cramps and vaginal bleeding. There may be headache, bloating and moodiness from hormones.

At this point you should be taking a nice daily dose of folic acid. Famous well-known sites say “400 mcg” – in reality triple that might be ok (I have little money, so it may not be the best use of time to sue me). Research for yourself and consult physician.

A few notable mentions

Peek at which health insurance will best serve you

Check what your options are for time off work or private disability

Schedule appointment with a Dr. (OB/GYN)

Week 16-20 mid pregnancy ultra sound

Week 20-24 check out pregnancy classes

Baby shower planning, host, date, what’s needed, who’s invited)

Prepare house for baby (gate for stairs, outlet covers, cabinet locks, etc.)

Week 24-28 send out baby shower invitations

Week 28-32 baby shower (if applicable)

Week 32-36 organize nursery

You’re wonderful! Congratulations

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