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Dietary Recommendations and Anemia

Dietary Recommendations

Weight Gain
Weight gain is always a concern in pregnancy. The recommendation may vary depending on your prepregnancy weight and in the case of a twin gestation. Typically, weight gained based off of BMI (body mass index) is as follows:

BMI <18.5          28-40 pounds

BMI 18.5-24.9    25-35 pounds

BMI 25-29.9       15-25

BMI >30              11-20

Prenatal Vitamins
You will receive a variety of prenatal vitamins. Try them all and let your doctor know which one you like best and we can write a prescription for that type. You may use 2 Flinstone vitamins during the first trimester if prenatal vitamins make you sick, but, try to use a prenatal vitamin again once you are feeling better.  If the prenatal vitamin makes you sick, try changing the time of the day you take it.

General Food Information

  • Use hard cheeses, like cheddar, instead of soft cheeses.
  • Soft cheeses must be cooked until bubbling or boiling.
  • Eat only thoroughly cooked meat, poultry or seafood.
  • Reheat all meats (20 seconds in the microwave) purchased at deli counters, including cured meats like salami, before eating them.
  • Avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, due to the risk of high levels of mercury in those fishes.
  • Avoid raw sushi.
  • Avoid fish from lakes and rivers that might be exposed to high levels of pollutants.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables with water.
  • Do not eat raw eggs (avoid raw cookie dough, tiramisu, Caesar dressing, and homemade ice cream).
  • Avoid alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • Keep caffeine intake to 8 ounces per day or less.
  • If you are a vegan, maintain a balanced diet of: protein, vitamins B and D, calcium, zinc, and iron. Vitamin B12 can be obtained from fortified soy milk or with a supplement.

Anemia is a common issue during prenancy. Follow these guidelines to get more iron.

Easy Ways of Getting More Iron

  • Lean Red Meat: Hamburgers, beef stew, meatballs, spaghetti with meat sauce, chili
  • Liver: Pork, beef, or chicken liver or liverwurst
  • Canned Corned Beef: Corned beef sandwiches or corned beef hash
  • Whole Grain Bread: Whole wheat, rye, oatmeal, multi-grain breads, or whole grain, bran, or oat muffins
  • Whole Grain Cereals: Instant oatmeal, whole wheat cereal, raisin bran
  • Peanut Butter: On toast, sandwiches, crackers, celery sticks
  • Dark Green Vegetables: Broccoli, green beans, romaine lettuce, collards, mustard greens, peas, spinach, beet Greens, Kale and Bok Choy
  • Beans: Baked beans, kidney beans, split pea soup, refried beans, black-eyed peas, bean soup, and tofu
  • Dried Fruit: Raisins in your cereal, raisins in muffin mix, raisins or prunes as a snack, stewed prunes
  • Eggs: Hard or soft boiled, egg salad sandwich, eggs in potato salad
  • Converted or Brown Rice: Converted rice has more iron than plain rice
    Enriched Spaghetti and Macaroni: Check labels to make sure iron has been added

Combine Food High in Vitamin C with Food Rich in Iron
Vitamin C helps your body use the iron in foods. Raw fruits and vegetables have more vitamin C than cooked ones.
Some foods with a lot of vitamin C are: Oranges, orange juice, grapefruits and juice, apple juice with added Vitamin C, tomatoes and juice, raw cabbage, green pepper, broccoli, new potatoes, cauliflower, turnips, melons, cantaloupe and strawberries

Avoid these foods that make it harder for your body to use Iron if you are anemic:
Coffee, Tea, Bran