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Midwifery, Pregnancy & Birth :: Success is spelled "N-U-T-R-I-T-I-O-N"

"An apple a day..."

"Cutting-edge research in a new field known as metabolic programming reveals a starling new fact: What a mother eats during pregnancy has a far greater effect on her child's future development, overall health, and resistance to disease than was previously thought. In fact, adult chronic illnesses long blamed on an unhealthy lifestyle or genetic influences are now believed to be a direct result of the uterine environment during pregnancy." from Program Your Baby's Health: The Pregnancy Diet for Your Child's Lifelong Well-being by Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein

The 6 Principles of a Good Prenatal Diet:

  • Protein, high quality or complete (90 to 110 grams daily for a single baby, more for multiples)
  • Energy foods to spare protein for the growth of the baby
  • "Grazing" or frequent meals so protein is constantly available to the baby
  • Vitamins and minerals; especially folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc
  • Salt and fluids to taste
  • Essential fats for nervous tissue development


"If you are an expectant mother, you must eat a good, nutritious, balanced diet every day during your pregnancy. A good diet is the best insurance that your baby will be healthy and strong with a normal weight at birth!"

Energy Foods:

Since mom needs energy for her own metabolism, foods providing adequate calories are necessary. If energy foods are not provided in adequate amounts, up to 50 percent of the protein is at risk of being converted into mom's energy and is, therefore, unavailable for fetal tissue growth. Rice, grains, potatoes, pasta, fruits are good sources of energy foods. Fats are also very efficient in providing energy. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories, which are easily stored for future use.


With growth of the baby taking place 24 hours a day, it is important that these proteins and energy foods are available as much as possible throughout the day and night. No one wants to awaken every two to three hours at night, but it is a good idea to have a snack when getting up to go to the bathroom. A glass of milk is a good idea as it contains energy (in the form of lactose), fat (unless it is nonfat), and complete protein. Trail mix and high energy protein bars are good snack foods anytime.


A good diet during pregnancy contains 110 grams of protein daily.Each of the following provides approximately 15 grams of protein:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of milk (any type)
  • medium portion of meat, fish, or poultry (about the size of the palm of your hand)
  • 2 ounces of cheese (i.e. Swiss, cheddar, Muenster)
  • 4 ounces of cottage cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 6 ounces of firm tofu, 1/2 cup cooked soybeans, or 1/4 cup dry roasted soybeans
  • 1 cup of pinto or black beans
  • 3/4 cup of lentils

The Well-Nourished Mom

"Not only does the ideal diet produce an optimal baby physically and mentally, but it also ensures that mom is going to have fewer complications and a shorter, easier labor. More than half of these moms will deliver babies at 41 weeks or more.

Well-nourished pregnant women end up with larger, more efficient uterine muscles to aid in the birth process, a larger placenta for nourishing the baby, and a greater capacity for making the milk so necessary in nourishing the newborn. They are better prepared for any blood loss, the physiologic stress of pregnancy and the birth process, and the necessary healing that takes place within the body after delivery."

from Program Your Baby's Health: The Pregnancy Diet for Your Child's Lifelong Well-being by Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein


Dana's Mantra: "Protein, Protein, Protein!"