According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) the following is the recommended diet for pregnant women. The Preeclampsia Foundation does not endorse any diet and encourages all women (particularly those with special considerations such as diabetes and kidney disease) to consult their doctors before trying any diet that they read about either here, elsewhere on the web, or through word of mouth.
Fats, Oils and Sweets
"These foods are full of calories and have few vitamins or minerals. You should get no more than 30% of your daily calories from fat. Choose low-fat food as often as you can. Go easy on butter, margarine, salad dressing, and gravy, too. Save high-sugar foods such as candy, sweet desserts, and soft drinks for a special treat. Also keep in mind that sugar-free sodas and punches, gums, gelatins, desserts often contain artificial sweetener called saccharin. There are questions about saccharin's safety during pregnancy. But another artificial sweetener called aspartame is believed to be safe during pregnancy."
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
3 servings a day
"Dairy products are a major source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins. Calcium is a key nutrient in pregnancy and during breastfeeding. If you don't like the taste of milk, eat dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, or sliced cheese. Choose low-fat, skim, or part-skim items as often as you can. A serving equals:
1 cup of milk
1.5 oz of cheese"
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
3 Servings or 6 oz a day
"This group provides B vitamins, protein, iron, and zinc. A fetus needs plenty of protein and iron to develop. Choose lean meats and trim off the fat and skin before cooking. One serving equals:
2-3 oz of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish
1 cup of cooked dry beans
2 Tablespoons of peanut butter."
This group provides vitamins such as A and C and folic acid, and minerals such as iron and magnesium. Vegetables are low in fat and high in fiber. When you are planning your meals, choose a wide array of vegetables. This will help ensure that you get a variety of nutrients. Women who are worried about pesticides might want to think about buying organic. Pesticides can also be removed from fruit and vegetables by washing them with warm water and a small amount of soak and rinsing them. Eat a mixture of:
Dark-green leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli)
Deep yellow or orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes)
Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas)
Legumes (chick peas and navy, pinto, and kidney beans)
A serving equals:
1 cup of salad greens
1/2 cup of other cooked or raw vegetables
3/4 cup of vegetable juice:
This group provides vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. Choose fresh fruit, fruit juices, and frozen, canned or dried fruit. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, melons, and berries. Choose fruit juices instead of fruit drinks, which are mostly sugar. A serving equals:
1 medium apple, banana, or orange
1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
1/2 cup of fruit juice
1/4 cup of raisins or other dried fruit
Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group
This group provides complex carbohydrates (starches). These are a good source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Choose whole-grain bread, as often as you can. Also look for food made with little fat or sugar. A serving equals:
1 slice of bread
1 oz of cold cereal
1/2 c cooked cereal, rice or pasta
Special note regarding protein:
Most women should eat 45 grams of protein a day. Pregnant women need 60 grams. Protein can come either from animal products (meat, poultry or dairy)" or soy or other beans. Women with underlying kidney disorders (a risk factor for preeclampsia) should not consume excess amounts of protein.
Source: Planning Your Pregnancy and Birth (3rd Edition)
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Where does the Weight Go?
The average newborn weighs in at about 7.5 #. Most women are advised to gain 25-35# when pregnant.
Here is where the weight goes:
Amniotic Fluid 2#
Body Fluids 4#
Maternal Stores of Fat, Protein and Other 7 #
Unusual weight gain accompanied by swelling may be a sign of preeclampsia. We strongly advise our women not to diet and particularly not to fast before appointments during pregnancy and to report any unusual weight gain to their physician.