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Dieting and Healthy Eating Habits During Pregnancy

Aug 10, 2022

You may have heard that your eating habits during pregnancy might change. That’s OK! You will find foods that you like and that are healthy for both you and your baby. Eating healthy during pregnancy will help you support your baby and the new changes in your body.

Healthy eating during pregnancy includes knowing how much to eat and what foods are healthy. It’s also finding a balance between getting enough nutrients for your baby’s growth and keeping a healthy weight for you and your baby’s health. Nutrients are the building blocks of the body like protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Talking to your provider about how you can get the nutrients you need in your diet is very important. The HealthCore Clinic prenatal care team includes OB-GYN Care, Family Medicine providers, Wesley Family Medicine residents, and Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM). We offer comprehensive checkups throughout your pregnancy to help keep you and your future baby healthy.

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy & How Much To Eat

How Much Should You Eat During Pregnancy?

Wondering how much should you eat during pregnancy? What about dieting while pregnant?

Most pregnant women need only about 300 extra calories per day during the last 6 months of pregnancy. A glass of skim milk two small crackers and a tablespoon of peanut butter have approximately 300 calories. The exact amount depends on your weight before pregnancy. If you’re underweight before pregnancy, you may need more calories. If you were overweight before, you may need less. Talk to your provider about what’s right for you, dieting during pregnancy, and creating a healthy food plan.

Check out “4 Prenatal Care Tips for Expecting Mothers” to learn more!

Healthy Foods While Pregnant

Best Foods for Expecting Mothers

Even if you’re already packing an alphabet’s worth of vitamins and minerals into your daily meals, you might still worry that you’re not quite hitting the healthy pregnancy diet mark — especially if your appetite hasn’t quite gotten up to speed yet.

So…what foods are healthy during pregnancy?

When it comes to the best foods to eat when pregnant, try to reach for picks that pack plenty of nutrients into just a few bites and not much in the way of empty calories. As well, staying hydrated with water is key to healthy pregnancies. You should drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses per day.

Here’s a list of healthy foods while pregnant:

For more information, check out “Prenatal Health Do’s and Don’ts.”

Pregnant woman eating healthy food

What Foods Are Healthy During Pregnancy & Nutritional Value

Nutrients Needed During Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you and your baby need these key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy:


Helps to build strong bones and teeth. Main sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, and sardines. During pregnancy, you need 1,000 milligrams (mg) daily.


Helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your baby. Sources include lean red meat, dried beans, peas, and iron-fortified cereals. During pregnancy, you need 27 mg daily.

Vitamin A

You need this vitamin for healthy skin, eyesight, and bone growth. Carrots, dark, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes are good sources. During pregnancy, you need 770 micrograms daily.

Vitamin C

Promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones, and helps your body absorb iron. Good sources include citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries. During pregnancy, you need 85 mg daily.

Vitamin D

Aids your body in the absorption of calcium to help build your baby’s bones and teeth. Sources include exposure to sunlight, fortified milk, and fatty fish, such as salmon. During pregnancy, you need 600 international units (IUs) daily.

Vitamin B6

Helps form red blood cells and helps your body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates. You can find vitamin B6 in beef, liver, pork, whole-grain cereals, and bananas. During pregnancy, you need 1.9 mg daily.

Vitamin B12

Helps form red blood cells and maintains your nervous system. You can find this vitamin only in animal products. Good sources include liver, meat, fish, poultry, and milk. During pregnancy, you need 2.6 micrograms daily.

Folate (Folic Acid)

B vitamins are important in the production of blood and protein, it also reduces the risk of neural tube defects (a birth defect of the brain and spinal cord). You can find folate in green, leafy vegetables, liver, orange juice, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), and nuts.

You must get at least 400 micrograms of folate daily before pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. During pregnancy, doctors recommend you get 600.

Vitamins and healthy foods for healthy pregnancy eating habits

Prenatal Vitamins & Eating Habits During Pregnancy

Prenatal Vitamins

Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. Most doctors recommend that pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement every day in addition to eating healthy during pregnancy.

Taking a supplement ensures that you and your baby get enough important nutrients like folic acid and iron. But don’t overdo it — taking too much can be harmful for you and your baby. It’s important to schedule a prenatal doctor visit to help determine which vitamins you need in order to keep you and your baby safe.

How To Schedule Prenatal Visit

Scheduling a Prenatal Care Visit

The first prenatal care visit usually takes place in the second month of pregnancy, between week 6 and week 8. It is important to schedule a prenatal doctor visit as soon as you suspect you’re pregnant and have taken a pregnancy test.

During pregnancy, regular checkups are very important. This consistent care can help keep you and your baby healthy, spot problems if they occur, and prevent problems during delivery. Typically, routine checkups occur:

Women with high-risk pregnancies need to see their doctors more often. For more information, check out “Prenatal Doctor Visits – Scheduling and What You Can Expect.”

HealthCore Clinic’s Prenatal Care Team in Wichita

Searching for prenatal doctors in Wichita, Kansas? HealthCore Clinic can help!

The systems in our body are connected, so why should your prenatal care be fragmented? It shouldn’t. Schedule an appointment with our prenatal care team today and see why HealthCore Clinic’s integrated approach to care is Wichita’s premier choice for expecting mothers.

Learn more about our approach to prenatal care or schedule a prenatal visit today!