Start publishing date



Meta Title

Header h1

Tuesday, 07 November 2023 15:22

How to Eat a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a transformative journey that brings with it the profound responsibility of caring for two lives. A nutritious diet during this pivotal period is not just a choice; it's a necessity for both mother and child. Expecting mothers must ensure they are consuming an optimal balance of nutrients to support their baby's growth and development while maintaining their own health and well-being. This article will explore the essential nutrients required, the foods to embrace and those to limit, and strategies for managing common pregnancy concerns such as cravings and weight gain.

What to Eat During Pregnancy

A Variety of Fruits and Vegetables 

During pregnancy, fruits and vegetables are your nutritional best friends. They are brimming with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that support the myriad of changes your body is undergoing. Aim for a rainbow of colors on your plate to maximize the variety of nutrients you're getting. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in iron and folate, crucial for preventing birth defects. Berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which aid in iron absorption and support the immune system. Brightly colored vegetables like bell peppers and carrots offer vitamin A, which is important for your baby's embryonic growth. Remember, the more variety, the better.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an important source of energy in the form of complex carbohydrates, which are essential for the development of your baby's brain and nervous system. They also provide vital nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and fiber. Options like quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread not only keep you satiated but also help maintain a healthy digestive system, reducing the risk of constipation – a common issue during pregnancy.

Lean Protein 

Protein is the building block of life, especially for a growing fetus. Including lean protein in your diet ensures that your baby's growth is on the right track. Opt for lean meats like turkey and chicken, and include fish low in mercury but rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, which support your baby's brain development. Vegetarian sources like lentils, tofu, and beans are excellent choices, providing protein and fiber.

Healthy Fats 

Healthy fats are not to be shunned during pregnancy; in fact, they play a key role in your baby's development, particularly in terms of brain health. Sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, should be included in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain fish, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are also important for the development of your baby's eyes and brain.

Dairy Products 

Calcium and vitamin D found in dairy products are vital for the development of your baby's bones and teeth. Aim for at least three servings of dairy each day. This can include milk, cheese, and yogurt. If you're lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet, look for fortified plant-based alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk. These alternatives can also provide a good amount of protein and other nutrients.

Incorporating these food groups into your daily diet will not only support your baby's growth and development but also contribute to your overall health and well-being during pregnancy. Always ensure that your fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly, dairy is pasteurized, grains are whole and unrefined, proteins are cooked well, and fats are healthy and beneficial.

What Not to Eat During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of both joy and responsibility and when it comes to diet, certain foods must be avoided to protect the health of both mother and baby. Understanding which foods to steer clear of can help prevent potential health risks.

Unpasteurized Foods 

Unpasteurized foods are notorious for containing harmful bacteria such as Listeria, which can lead to severe complications during pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth, or severe illness in a newborn. Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized cheeses like Brie, Camembert, and blue-veined varieties, as well as unpasteurized milk and juices. Always check labels for pasteurization information to ensure safety.

Raw or Undercooked Meat, Poultry, or Seafood 

Eating raw or undercooked meats and seafood can expose an expectant mother to dangerous bacteria and parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. These pathogens can cross the placental barrier and potentially harm the fetus, leading to serious health issues. It's crucial to cook all meats and seafood to the appropriate internal temperatures, avoiding foods like rare steaks, sushi, and raw oysters.

Raw Eggs 

Raw eggs, or any foods that contain them, pose a risk of Salmonella infection. This includes homemade mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, homemade ice cream, and raw cookie dough. Opt for pasteurized egg products and thoroughly cook eggs before eating.

Unpasteurized Milk or Juice 

Similar to unpasteurized foods, raw milk, and juice can harbor bacteria that are particularly dangerous during pregnancy. Always choose products that have been pasteurized or treated to ensure their safety.


While moderate caffeine intake is generally considered safe during pregnancy, excessive consumption has been linked to miscarriage and low birth weight. The current recommendation is to limit caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day – about the amount in one 12-ounce cup of coffee.


Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), which encompass a range of physical, behavioral, and learning problems. There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, and therefore, it should be completely avoided.

By avoiding these foods and substances, expectant mothers can significantly reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and other complications, ensuring a safer pregnancy and a healthier baby.

Managing Pregnancy Food Cravings

Pregnancy is a time of significant change, and among these changes are the notorious food cravings. Whether it's a sudden desire for pickles dipped in peanut butter or an insatiable need for citrus fruits, understanding and managing these cravings is important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy diet.

Understanding Pregnancy Food Cravings 

Cravings during pregnancy can be intense and specific, often reflecting the body's heightened need for certain nutrients, or they may simply be a comfort-seeking behavior influenced by hormonal changes. Common cravings range from sweet chocolate to tangy pickles, and while it's okay to indulge occasionally, it's crucial to maintain a balance.

Strategies for Managing Cravings:

  • Healthy Substitutions: Crave something sweet? Reach for a piece of fruit instead of candy. Salty? Try a small handful of nuts instead of chips.

  • Small Portions: If you must indulge, do so in moderation. A small treat can satisfy your urge without compromising your diet.

  • Regular Meals: Eating balanced meals at regular intervals can prevent hunger and reduce the intensity of cravings.

  • Hydration: Sometimes, what feels like a food craving is actually thirst. Drinking water throughout the day can keep "false" cravings at bay.

  • Mindful Eating: Listen to your body and eat when hungry, but do so mindfully. Focus on the taste and texture of your food, and stop when you're satisfied.

  • Distract Yourself: Cravings often last only a few minutes. Distracting yourself with a walk, a book, or a task can help the craving pass.

  • Emotional Support: Sharing your experiences with other expectant mothers can provide comfort and practical advice for managing cravings.

When to Seek Medical Advice 

If you find yourself craving non-food items like clay or dirt, a condition known as pica, it's important to speak to your healthcare provider as this may indicate a nutritional deficiency.

Gaining insights into the underlying causes of pregnancy food cravings and implementing effective management techniques can empower expectant mothers to uphold a balanced and nourishing diet that promotes their well-being and fosters their baby's optimal growth.

Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain: Balancing the Scales for Two

Pregnancy is a unique time when your body undergoes many changes, including weight gain. Gaining weight is a natural and essential part of pregnancy that supports your baby's growth and development. However, knowing how much to gain and how to do it healthily can be a source of concern for many expectant mothers.

How Much Weight to Gain During Pregnancy 

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). The general guidelines suggested by health professionals are:

  • Underweight (BMI less than 18.5): Gain 28-40 pounds

  • Normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9): Gain 25-35 pounds

  • Overweight (BMI 25-29.9): Gain 15-25 pounds

  • Obese (BMI 30 and above): Gain 11-20 pounds

For those carrying multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), the recommended weight gain may be higher.

How to Gain Weight in a Healthy Way 

Gaining weight healthily during pregnancy means focusing on nutritious foods that provide your baby with the best start in life. Here are some tips:

  • Increase Caloric Intake Gradually: In the second trimester, you might need about 300-350 extra calories per day, and in the third trimester, about 500 extra calories per day.

  • Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods: Opt for whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy to get the most nutrition out of the calories you consume.

  • Monitor Portion Sizes: While you need to eat more, it doesn't mean doubling your portion sizes. Be mindful of the amount of food you consume.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help manage hunger and ensure you are well-hydrated.

  • Regular Prenatal Care: Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help monitor your weight gain and provide personalized advice.

  • Exercise: Engage in safe, moderate exercise as recommended by your healthcare provider to support a healthy weight gain.

  • Listen to Your Body: Your body will naturally crave more food as your pregnancy progresses. Respond to these signals by eating when you're hungry but do so with healthy choices.

When to Seek Advice 

If you're concerned about your weight gain, whether it's too much or too little, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance tailored to your individual needs.

Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy can be a balancing act, but with the right information and support, you can achieve it. Remember, the goal is to provide the best for your baby while maintaining your health.

Pregnancy Food Safety: Ensuring a Healthy Journey for You and Your Baby

Pregnancy is a time when food safety takes on new importance. As an expectant mother, you're not just eating for two; you're also the primary defense against foodborne illnesses that could affect your unborn child. Here's how to navigate the complexities of food safety during pregnancy, ensuring you prevent foodborne illness and provide a safe, nourishing environment for your baby's development.

Understanding the Risks 

Certain bacteria, such as Listeria and Toxoplasma, can be particularly harmful during pregnancy, potentially leading to miscarriage, stillbirth, or serious health issues for the newborn. These pathogens can lurk in various foods, from soft cheeses to uncooked meats. Therefore, it's crucial to be vigilant about what you consume.

Guidelines for Safe Food Handling During Pregnancy

  • Avoid Raw or Undercooked Animal Products: This includes meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Cook these foods to the recommended safe internal temperatures to kill any harmful bacteria.

  • Steer Clear of Unpasteurized Products: Unpasteurized milk, cheeses, and juices can contain harmful bacteria. Always opt for pasteurized versions.

  • Handle Produce with Care: Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water to remove any potential contaminants.

  • Be Cautious with Deli Meats: Deli meats can harbor Listeria. If you choose to eat deli meats, reheat them until they are steaming hot to kill any bacteria.

  • Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands, utensils, and food surfaces often, especially when handling raw food.

  • Store Food Properly: Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and your freezer below 0°F. Store raw food separately from cooked food to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Follow Seafood Guidelines: Some fish contain high levels of mercury, which can affect your baby's developing nervous system. Stick to fish low in mercury and consume cooked seafood to avoid parasites and bacteria.

Adhering to these food safety guidelines can dramatically minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses, guaranteeing that your pregnancy diet is as safe as it is nourishing. Remember, these measures are not merely for your own health; they are also crucial for the well-being of your precious baby.

Special Considerations in Pregnancy Nutrition: Surrogacy and Beyond

While this guide primarily addresses the nutritional needs of pregnant women carrying their own children, it's important to acknowledge the diverse experiences of motherhood, including surrogacy. Surrogate mothers, carrying the child of another individual or couple, have the unique responsibility of nurturing a life that they will lovingly hand over to the intended parents after birth.

The principles of a healthy pregnancy diet apply just as crucially to surrogate mothers. They must also focus on consuming a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients to support the baby's development and maintain their own health throughout the surrogacy journey. It's a path chosen with generosity and compassion, and the dietary choices made by a surrogate mother play a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of the baby they are carrying.

For intended parents, understanding and supporting the dietary needs of the surrogate is an integral part of the process. Ensuring that the surrogate has access to nutritious foods and proper prenatal care reflects a shared commitment to the health of the baby. In some cases, intended parents might also provide a meal plan or work with a nutritionist to support the surrogate's dietary needs.

Regardless of the path to motherhood, whether through traditional pregnancy, surrogacy, or other assisted reproductive technologies, the focus on nutrition remains a constant cornerstone. It's a universal thread that connects all expectant mothers and the precious lives they nurture.

Embracing a Nutritious Path for Mother and Child

As we wrap up our comprehensive guide on pregnancy diet and nutrition, it's clear that embracing a healthy diet is not just beneficial but essential for a healthy pregnancy. The journey of bringing a new life into the world is filled with many changes and challenges, and nutrition should always be at the forefront of this beautiful journey.

A balanced intake of nutrient-rich foods supports the intricate processes that nurture and grow your baby. By following the tips and guidelines provided, you can ensure that you are getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients necessary for both your well-being and that of your baby. Remember, every bite counts, and making informed choices can have a profound impact on your pregnancy experience and your baby's future health.

In conclusion, a mindful, well-planned approach to eating during pregnancy not only contributes to a healthy gestational period but also sets the stage for your child's lifelong health and eating habits. So, cherish this time, listen to your body, and nourish both yourself and your baby with the best that nature has to offer.

Read 177 times

Pageant speaks out

When people used to ask Mrs. North Carolina Nichelle Sublett why she hadn’t had children yet, she would force a smile and lie. She thought her infertility story was shameful, embarrassing, difficult. Being unable to get pregnant made her feel like she was a failure at motherhood, at being a…

Kirsten Wiig dealing with infertility

Many people can’t conceive babies because some people don’t get the gift which is fertility and nothing is different for our beloved Celebrities. Kirsten Wiig the famous American actress suffered infertility but luckily she chose the path of surrogacy. In an interview she said, 'Emotionally, spiritually, and medically, it was…

Can I Be in Contact With My Surrogate?

We encourage you to have a relationship with your surrogate in Ukraine. It is after all your child and Delivering Dreams team wants you to feel engaged and involved as much as possible with your child during pregnancy. You are welcome to interview your surrogate before starting by video and…


Impressions are only positive Impressions from the egg donation process and cooperation with the Delivering Dreams Agency are only positive. The doctor is highly qualified and caring. Curator Lyubov impresses with his professionalism and support at every stage, from start to finish. I am grateful to the Delivering Dreams agency for the opportunity to contribute to the important process that helps many people become parents. I will recommend you and will definitely come to you again. Враже...
Read more
Anna Goryana
The feeling of confidence never left me I just want to share my impressions about the agency and Lyubov Omelchuk. This collaboration is like a journey into the unknown for me, but thanks to their support and kindness, the feeling of confidence never left me. Lyubov is an incredible curator who is always here to help sort out all the details. I thank her for her important role in this emotional and difficult, but extremely important period of my life. The doctors are also incredible, I really...
Read more
We are thankful we found Delivering Dreams We cannot say enough good things about Delivering Dreams who took us through our surrogacy journey - egg donor matching, sperm shipping, embryo creation, IVF, surrogacy and most importantly the birth of our healthy and beautiful baby!  All of Susan's team is exceptional but of particular note is Ivan, our Customer Experience manager, who handled every aspect of our case from inception until we exited Ukraine with our baby.  Ivan is a superstar - sma...
Read more
W. C.
Susan and the Delivering Dreams team went FAR above and beyond for us They are the real deal of what surrogacy agencies should be. They care about the parents and equally care about their surrogates. To sum up an excruciatingly long story, prior to the invasion of Ukraine, Susan and her team helped us transfer to their agency after we’d had a bad experience with a different company. Those months of paperwork, Apostilles,etc etc were saved from requiring a redo because of her work with her ow...
Read more
E. and L.
Starting my surrogacy journey as a single parent was filled with uncertainties. But with Delivering Dreams, I felt a sense of belonging and understanding. Their comprehensive program, especially the fact that only my name would be on the birth certificate, gave me immense peace. The team's dedication, transparency, and genuine care made me feel not so 'single' in this journey. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my baby, and I owe so much to this incredible team.
From legal guidance to emotional support, Delivering Dreams has been my rock. Forever grateful! ?
The team's dedication to single parents like me is heartwarming. Can't wait to meet my little one! ?
Being a single mom-to-be, I was full of doubts. Thanks to Delivering Dreams, I now have hope and excitement for the future! ❤️
Embarking on this journey alone was daunting, but Delivering Dreams made me feel supported every step of the way! ?
Navigating the world of egg donation was daunting, but Delivering Dreams made it seamless. Their thorough screening ensured we had a top-quality donor, and the team was there for us every step of the way. The information shared, while respecting anonymity, helped us make an informed choice. We're forever thankful for their expertise and care.
Mia & Ethan

Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.


Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.