Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Food Guidelines During Pregnancy and Lactation

During this special time, you need to be extra careful with your eating habits, particularly with media coverage of the mercury and PCB scare.

Here are some guidelines:

Caution with Fish:
· Due to mercury content, avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. Consume up to 12 ounces per week of any other fish such as salmon, herring, pilchard, rainbow trout and sardines with a maximum of 6 ounces canned tuna. · Due to cancer-causing PCBs, choose wild salmon listed as "Wild" or "Alaskan,” instead of farm-raised salmon listed as "Atlantic" or "Icelandic."
· Avoid raw fish, which can cause viral and bacterial illness.
· Avoid refrigerated smoked salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, and mackerel labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky."
· Canned salmon or shelf-stable smoked seafood are safe.

Eat plenty of foods containing:
· Fiber: Whole wheat and whole grain cereals, breads, legumes, fruits and vegetables to prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
· Folic Acid: Leafy greens such as spinach and turnip greens, dry beans and peas, fortified cereals (25 - 100%) and grain products, and some fruits and vegetables to prevent neural tube defects.
· Iron: Meat, poultry, fish, enriched cereals and pasta, legumes, nuts, dark green vegetables and dried fruit to prevent anemia.

· Soft cheeses (feta, brie, camembert, blue cheeses, Roquefort) due to possible contamination with Listeria. Choose hard cheese; semi-soft cheeses such as mozzarella; pasteurized processed cheeses such as slices and spreads; cream cheese; and cottage cheese.
· Hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meatsunless they are reheated until steaming hot.
· Uncooked eggs which may be contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella. Keep all eggs refrigerated and do not eat a runny yolk on a cooked egg.
· Peanuts if you have any allergies.
· Caffeine: limit to one cup of caffeinated coffee or tea per day.
· Smoking which is harmful to the mother and fetus, as well as children.
· Herbal Supplements as they are not regulated and side effects are unknown.
· Alcohol

Morning Sickness:
· Eat whatever you can.
· Try dry cereal, toast, or crackers.
· You may have more tolerance for small, frequent meals.
· Drink fluids between meals instead of with food.
· Eat less aromatic foods to prevent nausea.

· Eat smaller, low-fat meals.
· Drink fluids between meals.
· Do not eat after 8 PM.
· Do not lie down after eating
· Avoid caffeine, smoking, and drinking alcohol.
· Wear loose clothing.

Supplement recommendations and precautions:

Nutrients from food are more easily absorbed and are available in more appropriate quantities than nutrients from supplements. However, your physician may prescribe a prenatal supplement to ensure adequate consumption of all vitamins and minerals, especially for women who are vegans, are carrying more than one child, are teens, or have a poor quality diet and resist improvements. Keep in mind:

* Never take a supplement without first checking with your doctor.
* If you need an iron supplement, 30 mg per day is sufficient and is probably provided in the supplement recommended by your doctor.
* Take your supplement with food, to increase absorption of nutrients. * Be aware! High intake of vitamin A (<10,000>

This advice does not replace an individualized meal plan and assistance that a registered dietitian can provide.