Should I eat for two? Should I give into my cravings? Do I avoid all fish like the plague? We’ve busted some popular pregnancy nutrition myths for truth-seeking moms and provided helpful tips along the way. You might just be surprised by what you learn.
Pregnancy Nutrition Myth #1: “Eating for two” means eating twice as much.
- Reality: The truth of the matter is that expecting moms only need about 300-400 extra calories per day for their second and third trimesters. If you’re still in your first trimester, and you’re at a healthy weight, no additional calories are needed. Still, it’s important to eat nutrient-dense foods to keep you healthy and support the development of your growing baby.
- Pro Tip: Choose healthier, satisfying foods over empty calories to get more bang for your buck. Think frozen fruit, Greek yogurt with honey, or air-popped popcorn.
Pregnancy Nutrition Myth #2: Don’t eat fish due to safety concerns.
- Reality: While it’s true that pregnant women should steer clear of fish that are high in mercury—like swordfish, mackerel and shark—there are also low-mercury options like salmon and tilapia, which you can enjoy up to twice a week. Why not just skip fish altogether? Because some fish are actually a great source of DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays an important role in helping to aid your baby’s developing brain and vision. In fact, experts recommend 200 mgs of DHA per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Pro Tip: Taking a prenatal supplement with expert-recommended omega-3 DHA can be a great way to supplement your diet—whether you’re a seafood lover or not.
Pregnancy Nutrition Myth #3: Limit how much water you drink to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom.
- Reality: Women who are pregnant should be drinking more water, not less. About 10 cups per day to be exact. Don’t worry; this amount can also include other healthy beverages like 100% orange juice, milk or broth.
- Pro Tip: Drink from a reusable water bottle to easily keep track of how much water you’ve had each day. Because, pregnancy brain.
Pregnancy Nutrition Myth #4: Cravings are your body’s way of telling you what it needs.
- Reality: Although previously believed, there is no evidence to suggest that cravings are a sign of what your body nutritionally needs. That doesn’t mean that cravings don’t exist. From pickles to peanut butter, it’s completely normal for expecting moms to crave certain foods from time to time.
- Pro Tip: Whether you’re craving salty or sweet, try indulging in healthier options that have a satisfying texture like crunchy pretzels or creamy frozen yogurt.
Pregnancy Nutrition Myth #5: Avoid all fats when you’re pregnant because they’re bad for you.
- Reality: Not all fat is equal. There are good-for-you fats which are found in foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil. These fats are satiating, which can be especially helpful during those hangry days. Omega-3s are also good-for-you fats and aid in the development of your baby’s brain and eye health. And then there are the “not-so-good” fats, which can be found in foods like butter, cookies and french fries. Even though these saturated and trans-fats tend to be the tasty kind, they should be limited; moderation is key.
- Pro Tip: Taking a prenatal supplement with expert-recommended omega-3 DHA is a great way to supplement your diet with good fats that help support your baby’s brain and eye health. And of course, always consult with your doctor about taking supplements and planning your pregnancy menu.