Family With New Born Baby In Post Natal Hospital Department


First-time mom-to-be? We know that pregnancy can be an exciting (and sometimes overwhelming!) new experience. There’s a lot you’re eager to learn. And we’re here to help with everything from nutritional information to support as you and your baby embark on many new first-time adventures together.

Getting your family ready

You still have several months before baby comes. There’s plenty of time to start preparing big brothers and sisters (even the four-legged, furry kind!) for the arrival of the newest member of the family. Use our supportive resources for tips on how to get the whole family ready for baby.

Sibling Reaction to Baby

Even children initially excited about having a baby brother or sister may ask you to take baby back to the hospital after a few days. You may notice your older child demanding all of your attention, wanting to be held or carried constantly. As your older kids realize the family dynamics are changing it’s natural for them to become jealous. Below are some suggestions on how you can help your older kids adjust to their new siblings.

a.      Be extra affectionate

Shower them with love. Just a bit of extra affection will reassure your older kids that they have a special place in your heart and that you’re there for them. Ask them to let you know when they feel upset, and when they do, give them an extra hug, kiss, or minute of reassurance. Try to convey that their little brother or sister needs more attention from you right now but that it won’t always be that way. Spend some special time each day with your older kids, just them.

b.      Listen to and accept the child’s feelings

It’s not wrong for older siblings to express their fears and apprehensions. In fact, it’s healthy. Encourage them to share their emotions. Often, simply letting your kids talk about their feelings with you can help to minimize the uncomfortable resentment that might build up. they may be very confused by anger or conflicting emotions and it’s important to validate these feelings. This is a sensitive time and learning how to cope with uncomfortable emotions is not easy for young children. Remember, offer extra hugs when they’re feeling angry at the baby, and try not to dismiss their feelings. If they say: “I don’t like my baby brother” don’t respond by saying: “Of course you like your brother!” Instead, accept their feelings and reflect their own statement back to them: “It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated with your brother today.”

Create a special place for the older sibling’s toys, clothing and books

Focus on each child separately

Your Health and Wellness

Your first pregnancy will be filled with all the joyful firsts you’ve been anticipating, and a few surprises too! Your health is now more important than ever. Use our pregnancy tracker to monitor your progress (and baby’s too) and read up on morning sickness, weight gain and more.

Duo Date Calculator

To estimate your baby’s date of conception and due date, enter the first day of your last menstrual period.

Dealing with Morning Sickness

In the midst of all the joyous feelings about your pregnancy, you also may be feeling a bit queasy. Nausea or vomiting during your pregnancy is considered often called morning sickness. And unfortunately, it isn’t confined to morning – it can happen at any time of  day or night. Morning sickness affects about 80% of all pregnant women. Some women experience an occasional episode, others are sick several times a day for months on end and some never have morning sickness at all. Usually, the problem goes away after the third month.

How to Ease the ‘Queasy’?

  • Rest a lot.
  • Get out of bed slowly – An abrupt change from laying lying flat to standing will increase the feeling of dizziness -.
  • Eat dry, bland or salty foods (crackers, dry cereal, etc.) 15 minutes prior to getting out of bed.
  • Eat frequent, small meals. Taking little meals throughout day will help keep your blood-sugar levels steady and will keep your stomach filled to minimize that queasy feeling.
  • choose your snacks based on easy to digest foods such as: crackers, whole wheat toast, a hot baked potato, cooked pasta, cooked rice, or fruit.
  • Avoid greasy foods such as butter, margarine, mayonnaise, bacon, gravy, pastries, fried meats, and French fries.
  • Go easy on spicy foods, especially those cooked with pepper, hot chili peppers, and garlic.
  • Keep your kitchen well ventilated to get rid of lingering cooking odors. Pregnant women often have an exaggerated sense of smell. Better yet, get someone to prepare meals so you can avoid the strong odors of cooking.
  • Try eating cold foods. They have less odourfewer odor’s and may be easier to swallow.
  • Drink water or suck on ice to avoid dehydration if you’ve been vomiting. Drink at least 2 liters (8 cups) per day.
  • Drink between meals, rather than at meals.
  • Exercising will help you relieve the stress that may be contributing to your morning sickness. It also will help you sleep better at night. Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth right after meals.
Nutrients with important role in optimizing your health and the health of your baby.


  • important for growing strong bones and teeth, a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles, and to develop normal heart rhythm and blood clotting abilities.
  • Some doctors may recommend a calcium supplement in addition to diet and the calcium in your prenatal multivitamin, in order to optimize calcium intake during pregnancy.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 1,000 mg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • 1% milk
  • Sardines
  • Soy beverage (unsweetened, enriched)



Vitamin A

  • Cell growth
  • Bone growth
  • critical for vision, including night vision.
  • helps to maintain skin health and mucous membranes.
  • plays an important role in function of the immune system.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 770 mcg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Plain yogurt



  • Help producing DNA, which is the genetic material in your cells
  • particularly important for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.
  • helps supporting your immune system
  • aids in wound healing
  • involved in the senses of taste and smell

Recommended intake for pregnancy

  • 11 mg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Ground beef
  • Baked beans



  • Plays a role in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
  • Involved in the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from the food you eat.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 30 mcg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Whole-grain bread
  • Broccoli
  • Peanut butter


Vitamin B6

  • Helps your body to metabolize protein, fats and carbohydrates from the food you eat.
  • Involved in red blood cell formation and is important to the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 1.9 mg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Banana
  • Chicken breast
  • Canned chickpeas


Folic Acid

  • Key nutrient for the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida.
  • Your body needs folic acid for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.
  • Both Health Canada and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommend folic acid supplementation.

Health Canada

  • It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take a multivitamin containing 0.4 mg folic acid every day1.


  • Preconception: For women with no personal health risk for NTDs, take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 mg to 1.0 mg of folic acid at least 2-3 months prior to conception.
  • Your baby’s neural tube starts to develop in the third week after conception, and pregnancy might not be known or confirmed by then. That’s why it’s important to optimize your folic acid intake prior to conception to help prevent NTDs.
  • Pregnancy/postpartum/breastfeeding: Continue to take a daily multivitamin containing 0.4 mg to 1.0 mg of folic acid.
  • Women with a high risk of NTDs due to a personal NTD history or a previous NTD pregnancy, should consult their doctor for recommended levels of folic acid supplementation2.

Dietary sources include:

  • Asparagus
  • Kidney Beans
  • Spinach


Vitamin C

  • Essential for tissue repair, wound and bone healing, healthy skin
  • Essential for fighting infection.
  • Helps your body absorb iron when it’s eaten with iron-rich foods.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 85 mg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Potatoes



  • Essential for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from lungs to the rest of body.
  • During pregnancy, iron requirements increase significantly. Blood volume increases and extra iron is required for your growing baby and the placenta.
  • Iron deficiency may lead to anemia in the mother as well as baby. This may weaken your body’s ability to fight off infection.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 27 mg per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Strip loin steak
  • Turkey (dark meat)
  • Bran flakes


Vitamin D

  • Helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. Plays an important role in maintaining bone health by helping the body to absorb and use calcium.
  • Vitamin D plays a role in reduction of inflammation and in immune function.
  • Depending on where you live in Canada, your doctor may recommend a higher intake of vitamin D during pregnancy3.

Recommended intake during pregnancy

  • 15 mcg or 600 IU per day

Dietary sources include:

  • Salmon
  • Whole egg (vitamin D found in yolk)
  • Milk (fortified)
Working during Pregnancy

In most cases, if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you should be able to continue working during pregnancy up until the time of your delivery. Talk to your doctor or midwife if your work is hard on your body and they may recommend changes to your work as you progress through your pregnancy. Whether you have a desk job or you’re on your feet all day, there are a few easy things you can do to make working during pregnancy more comfortable.

Physical & Hormonal Changes during Pregnancy

Being pregnant is an exciting experience, not only are you anticipating the day you finally hold your baby in your arms, but your body is also going through amazing changes.

Unfortunately, physical & hormonal changes during pregnancy may mean that you will feel under the weather at times. Here are some of the discomforts you might experience and some tips on how to cope with them.

Issues caused by physical changes during pregnancy


This is a common complaint due to changes in posture and relaxation of ligaments. Try to use your back properly, keeping it straight when you bend down by bending your knees.

Support your back when you are sitting down with a cushion or a rolled up towel in the hollow of your back. Try placing a hot water bottle over the site of the pain, as the heat can often help.

Remember to consult your healthcare professional before taking any medications.

Visit our Pregnancy Workout Videos for some exercises that can help to relieve back pain.

Bathing problems

As your pregnancy progresses and you get bigger, you may find you have problems getting comfortable in bath. Unfortunately, this is usually at a time when a nice warm bath is a very appealing way to relax.

For safety reasons, it is best to take a bath when there is someone else in house. That way, you’re not on your own if you need help getting in or out of bath.


It is more common for you to faint or feel faint during pregnancy. It is important that you do not stand still for long periods of time or have a sudden change of position, as this may make you feel faint.

Later in pregnancy, it can be important that you don’t lie flat on your back. This could result in the weight of the baby pushing on the blood vessels leading to your heart and can prevent enough oxygen getting to your brain. Staying in that position for too long may cause you to feel faint or actually faint.

Always lie either on your side or, if you can only get comfortable on your back, make sure you are propped up with pillows under your lower back and hips.


Heartburn usually happens in the latter stages of pregnancy and feels like a burning sensation in stomach that often rises to throat.

To avoid it, eat smaller, lower-fat meals more frequently and drink fluids between rather than with meals. Try a milky drink before bedtime as this can often help. Some non-prescription products are suitable for use during pregnancy. Here are a few other pointers:

  • Limit spicy as well as acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits and their juices
  • Avoid fatty foods
  • Avoid coffee, tea, cola and chocolate
  • Wait 2 hours after meals before lying down
  • Choose foods that are peppermint-free (including chewing gum, candies, and herbal teas). Other flavors of these foods are fine (e.g. cinnamon chewing gum, butterscotch candies)

If heartburn becomes severe, consult your doctor, as this sometimes indicates a more serious underlying problem.

Leg cramps

Leg cramps tend to occur in last few weeks of pregnancy. You can feel it in back of your legs and calves. Massaging your legs will help to relieve the cramps. Flexing your feet upwards will also stretch the calf muscles.

You can also try the leg stretches found in our Pregnancy Workout Video to help you relieving the discomfort of leg cramps.


As your pregnancy progresses, you will have extra blood circulating around your body. With additional pressure this puts on your vessels, you might experience a nosebleed.

Nosebleeds can be messy but quite common in pregnant women. If the bleeding is heavy, tip your head forward and pinch your nose, closing the nostrils completely until the bleeding stop. If the bleeding persists, consult your doctor.


During pregnancy, the volume of blood that is circulating around your body is increased, which makes the heart work harder.

As the pregnancy advances, extra pressure is put on your heart. This can lead to you sometimes feeling as though your heart has irregular rhythm, which is the most common cause of palpitation. This is normal if it occurs occasionally. If it persists or happens frequently, you should contact your doctor.


Constipation is a common problem, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. Fiber, fluids and exercise are essential to manage it.

  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat fiber-rich foods (fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, legumes, dried peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.)
  • For breakfast try prune juice or a small bowl of fiber-rich bran cereal.
  • Regular physical activity (if your healthcare professional gives it the OK) can help by increasing blood flow to the abdominal area.

Learn more about the importance of fiber during pregnancy.


Hemorrhoids are varicose veins that occur in anus and can cause itching, soreness and possibly bleeding.

Hemorrhoids can be aggravated by constipation because of the extra pressure on your bowels. Avoiding constipation will help preventing hemorrhoids.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks can appear anywhere on body where the skin has stretched, but they are most common on breasts, abdomen and top of the legs.

During pregnancy, stretch marks can appear blue or red in Colour. But when the baby is born and the tension is removed, the marks fade and become white and silvery.

There are some creams available that are designed to help preventing stretch marks from developing. But using creams cannot guarantee that you won’t get stretch marks.

If you choose to use a cream, apply it daily as soon as you know you are pregnant and continue until 2 months after your baby is born.

Stuffy nose (also see nosebleeds)

An increased volume of blood within your body during pregnancy can cause the vessels in your nose to swell and give you a stuffy nose.

Try to sleep with your head raised slightly on a pillow if a stuffy nose is a problem for you, but do not use decongestants or nasal sprays without checking with your doctor first.

Also be careful to not blow your nose too hard as you will be more likely to rupture the vessels and have a nosebleed.

Swelling of ankles, feet, hands or face (edema)

The added weight of the baby in the second half of pregnancy increases the pressure in your legs and ankles. At this time, you also have extra fluid in your body that tends to collect in your lower limbs.

The following tips may help:

  • Try to avoid standing for long periods of time. If your feet do swell, try to sit with them raised as much as possible.
  • Try to do some gentle foot exercises as often as possible. Swelling can sometimes be associated with a rise in blood pressure, so if the swelling becomes severe or if your hands or face swell, contact your doctor at once.
  • Surprisingly for many women, drinking lots of water actually helps combat bloating and swelling. Milk, soup, and juice are some other healthy sources of fluids that can help too.

Varicose veins

These are veins that become swollen. During pregnancy, they are most common in legs.

Occasionally, some women get varicose veins around the vaginal opening (vulva), but these are usually quite rare.

You can help preventing varicose veins in legs by:

  • Avoiding standing for long periods of time.
  • Not sitting with your legs crossed.
  • Sitting with your legs up as often as possible. To get the maximum benefit, sit with your legs higher than your hips.
  • Wearing support tights. If you do have varicose veins, these tights should be put on before you get out of bed to gain the maximum comfort from them.
  • Doing foot exercises regularly.
Issues caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy


Headaches can be fairly common in pregnancy and may be due to hormonal changes that are taking place in your body. Your nose and sinuses are also likely to be more sensitive and can become swollen, causing a headache.

Fresh air may help to clear your head. If it is practical, lie down and rest, as tiredness could be the cause of the headache. Headaches can sometimes be a sign of high blood pressure, so if the headache persists or becomes severe, contact your doctor.



Leaking breasts

From about 16 weeks of pregnancy, your breasts produce a thin, milky, yellow fluid called colostrum.

You may find that your breasts leak a little during pregnancy and this may stain your clothes. So, you may find it useful to wear breast pads.

Skin changes

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, you may find changes in your skin condition and coloring.

Some women find that problem as skin clears and appears healthier and moles and freckles become darker.

The coloring of skin is determined by pigmentation, which is affected by changes to your hormone levels. This can mean that some women tan more easily when pregnant. Some women even develop a mask-like, patchy coloring on face.

Many women also notice that they develop a dark line running up the abdomen from the pubic hair up to, and sometimes beyond, the belly button as pregnancy processes. This is normal, and is called the linea negra. The linea negra tends to be more prominent in women who have dark coloring.

These pigmentations will gradually fade when the baby is born, but you may notice that your nipples will always be a little darker than they were before you became pregnant.

Sleeplessness (insomnia)

When you first learn the big news, you may experience so many feelings and emotions that you find it difficult to sleep. Having to get up frequently to urinate during the night doesn’t help either!

Pregnancy nutrition

Time to start thinking for two! Your baby is still growing in your belly and your first big job as a mom is making good nutrition decisions. We have valuable information on healthy diet and lifestyle, foods that are best to avoid, and vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to support your diet.

Passing on Good Nutrition: Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet has benefits for both you and the baby growing in your belly. Your first big job as a mom is making good nutrition decisions – for both of you. Some nutrients are absolutely critical for the healthy growth and development of your baby. When it comes to knowing what foods to eat during pregnancy, follow Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide each day to make sure you and your baby eat smart, paying particular attention to following key nutrients:

Folic acid

Role/Benefits: Essential for normal early development of your baby’s spinal cord and brain.

In addition to folic acid you get in a varied diet, healthcare professionals recommend that all women who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding take a multivitamin containing 0.4-1.0 mg of folic acid every day1. Learn more about the benefits of folic acid and prenatal multivitamins.

Food Sources: Green vegetables, dried peas, beans and lentils, orange juice, organ meats (liver, kidney), nuts and seeds, and folic acid fortified bread, cereals or pasta.


Roles/Benefits: Building blocks of each and every cell of your baby and your placenta.

During the second trimester of pregnancy your protein needs increase by 40–50% (about 71 grams) daily. Pump up your salad with meat or alternatives and swap jam for nut butters to meet your body’s protein needs.

Food Sources: Meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, legumes (dried peas, beans, lentils, chick peas, etc.), nuts, peanut butter, tofu, milk products.


Roles/Benefits:  Critical to your body’s ability to supply oxygen throughout you and your baby’s body and essential for development of baby’s blood system and placenta. Adequate iron can prevent iron-deficiency which can lead to symptoms like fatigue, paleness, lack of energy.

Canadian health experts recommend a daily multivitamin containing iron during pregnancy. Ask your healthcare professional about the dosage that is right for you. Your greatest iron needs are from the fourth month on. When choosing non-meat sources of iron; serve them along-side vitamin C-rich foods to enhance iron absorption.

Food Sources: Meats, organ meats (liver, kidney), seafood, poultry, fish, iron-fortified cereals, iron-fortified pasta, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, prune juice, eggs, dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables.


Roles/Benefits: Essential for building baby’s strong bones.  Protects your own bone mass.

Your greatest need for calcium is during the third trimester. Dairy products are especially rich in calcium but there are many other foods that also contain high levels of calcium such as spinach, collard greens and many varieties of beans.

Food Sources: Milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines or salmon with bones, calcium-fortified beverages (fortified orange juice, fortified soy and rice milk).

Vitamin D

Role/Benefits: Important for maintaining and building strong bones for both you and baby. It also enhances absorption of calcium.

The need for vitamin D does not change during pregnancy. Very few foods contain vitamin D naturally, so you may want to talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement to ensure you are getting enough. If you live in Northern Canada with reduced natural sunlight, or do not drink milk you should also talk to your doctor.

Food Sources: Vitamin D-fortified milk, yogurt and margarine, fatty fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.), fish oils.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Role/Benefits: Critical for the healthy development of your baby’s brain, eyes and nerves.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are most important during the last trimester, a time when the brain starts to develop more rapidly. Many foods are now fortified with omega-3 fatty acid DHA such as some types of milk, eggs and margarines.

Food Sources: Omega-enriched eggs, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.), flax, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils (canola, corn, soybean, sunflower, peanut, etc.).

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Now that you’re pregnant there are a few extra things you need to think about when it comes to your diet and health. Not only it is important to eat a balanced diet, but you should also be aware of which foods to avoid or handle with extra care during pregnancy. That’s because some foods can carry food-borne illnesses, which could put you and your baby at risk.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • Unpasteurized cheeses and milk, soft and semi-soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert
  • Raw or lightly cooked meat
  • Uncooked Liver, liver-based foods*
  • Cod liver oil
  • Unpasteurized cider and eggnog Soft-boiled eggs or eggs used raw in foods such as homemade mayonnaise, and desserts such as mousses
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood

These foods may contain bacteria, such as listeria and salmonella, or they may have high levels of vitamin A or mercury.

Food safety

Follow these common sense tips when handling food:

  • Always wash your hands before handling food or eating.
  • Wash fruit and salad well, even pre-packed salads, and always put chilled or frozen foods in the fridge or freezer soon after purchase.
  • Ensure that you cook all meat thoroughly. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat.
  • Use safe food handling practices when preparing meat and poultry.
  • All reheated food must be piping hot before eating, and food should not be reheated more than once.
  • Always check the best before date of any store-bought foods.
  • When purchasing liver and liver-based products such as pâté and meat spreads, choose varieties that are shelf stable and do not require refrigeration prior to opening*1.
  • Always fully cook any fresh liver or organ meats*.
Substances that can harm you and your baby

The potential dangers of certain substances are quite well known. But sometimes, understanding why these things can be dangerous to both you and your unborn baby makes it easier to avoid them.


Nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide are chemical substances associated with smoking. If you smoke before or after your baby is born, you risk your health and your baby’s health. The sooner you quit, the better it will be for your baby.

It is a good idea to encourage your partner and other family members to quit too, because second-hand smoke can put you and your baby at risk.


Coffee, tea, cola and some other carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate and some cold and head medications contain caffeine. While you don’t have to give up caffeine all together when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Health Canada recommends that you limit your intake to 300mg a day. Too much caffeine could contribute to some complications in pregnancy including low birth weight. Visit the Health Canada website for a detailed list of acceptable herbal teas during pregnancy.


Many types of drugs can affect your baby. Some can cause severe birth defects or other problems for baby. Be sure your doctor or health advisor knows about any drugs you were taking before your pregnancy. Also, you should not take any prescribed or non-prescribed drugs without the advice of a healthcare professional.

Natural Health Products (NHPs) & other herbal products

Natural or herbal health products are often seen as safe because they are made from plants or other natural substances but it is very important to read the label. Many products may not be safe for pregnant women. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any natural health products during pregnancy.

Your vitamins and Minerals

Health Canada recommends that all women who could become pregnant, as well as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, take a multivitamin containing at least 0.4 mg of folic acid every day. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we have added MATERNA prenatal/postpartum multivitamins to our infant nutrition family! With just one capsule a day, MATERNA helps provide nutritional support for you and baby as you journey through pregnancy to motherhood.

A Nutrient-Rich Diet

While MATERNA prenatal/postpartum multivitamins are a smart way to help ensure good nutrition, they should complement a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet. MATERNA includes 23 essential nutrients that help keep your body running in tip-top shape and are involved in just about every aspect of your growing baby’s development. The good news is you can find many of these vitamins and minerals in foods you are probably already enjoying. With an ample supply of fruits and vegetables, an assortment of whole grain breads and fortified cereals, plus a variety of dairy, meat and alternative protein sources in your diet, you’re sure to have the bases covered.

Here is a list of vitamins and minerals and some of the most common food sources for each. The first list focuses on vitamins while the second details minerals and the foods they can be found in.

Vitamin A and Beta Carotene: Cooked liver* milk, eggs, and dark orange and green vegetables, such as carrots, spinach and cantaloupe

Vitamin D: Milk, fatty fish, egg yolks and margarine

Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, margarine, wheat germ, nuts, and spinach

Vitamin K: Dark green leafy vegetables and legumes

Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes

Thiamin (B1): Pork, fortified and whole grain cereals, rice and pasta, organ meats, dried peas and beans, and nuts and seeds

Riboflavin (B2): Organ meats, fortified cereals and bread products and dairy products

Niacin (B3): Fortified cereals and breads, meats, poultry, fish, milk, eggs and nuts

Pyridoxine (B6): Poultry, fish, cooked liver*, meat, dried peas and beans, oats, peanuts and walnuts

Cobalamin (B12): Meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy products

Folic acid: Oranges and orange juice, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals and breads, dried peas and beans

Biotin: Liver, meat and fruits

Pantothenic acid: Cooked organ meats*, poultry, whole grains, potatoes, tomato products, broccoli, yeast and egg yolk.

Minerals are also a vital part of a healthy diet for you and your baby. You can get your mineral needs from a variety of food sources. Here are some of foods you can choose from:

Calcium: Dairy products, tofu and dark green vegetables

Chromium: Whole grains, wheat germ and orange juice

Copper: Poultry, fish, meats, soybeans, potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables

Fluoride: Fluoridated water

Iodine: Seafood and iodized salt

Iron: Meat, raisins, dried apricots, potatoes with their skins and dried peas and beans

Magnesium: Milk, peanuts, bananas, wheat germ and oysters (eat them cooked only)

Manganese: Raisins, spinach, carrots, broccoli, oranges and peas

Molybdenum: Whole grains, beans and milk

Phosphorus: Meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, whole grains and nuts

Selenium: Dairy products, meats, seafood and whole grains

Zinc: Meats, turkey, wheat germ, eggs and liver

Exercise during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time for healthy lifestyle changes. Just like a healthy diet, regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, which is even more important now because soon you’ll have a little person to think about. But before running out of door, it is important to check with your doctor about exercising during pregnancy. Getting the green light from your healthcare provider is important before beginning any exercise program but this is especially true during pregnancy. While in many cases exercise during pregnancy will provide you with countless benefits, there are cases where exercise is not recommended to pregnant women.

10 Pregnancy Foods to Eat for Baby


What it’s got: Whether you like them fried, scrambled, hard-boiled or served as an omelet, eggs are the gold standard for prenatal protein. They also happen to be a great source of folate, iron and choline.

Why it’s good for both of you: Not only are eggs a relatively cheap, versatile and convenient source of protein, but they contain choline too. Never heard of that last one? Choline is critical to fetal brain development and reduces the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. But to reap the benefits, you’ll have to eat the whole thing (so forget the egg-whites-only order); choline is contained in yolk. If your cravings are more for a burger than eggs Benedict, you’re in luck — there’s also choline in beef. Bonus: Give baby a brain boost by buying eggs fortified with omega-3s.

Sweet Potatoes

What it’s got: Don’t just save these guys for Thanksgiving — sweet potatoes are full of nutritious fiber, vitamin B6, potassium (even more than bananas!), vitamin C and iron, as well as copper and beta-carotene.

Why it’s good for both of you: Sure, other foods on our list offer many of the same nutrients, but we’re singling out sweet potatoes for their beta-carotene — an antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A. And as you may recall, vitamin A plays an important role in development of baby’s eyes, bones and skin. Sweet potatoes are also a great way to meet your iron quota. Not only do these orange spuds contain iron, but they also have copper — a mineral that helps your body absorb iron. So swap in sweet potatoes for your usual sides; they’re great mashed, baked or French-fried (um, yum!)


What they’ve got: This crunchy (and convenient) snack is full of healthy fats (including those brain-boosting omega-3s we mentioned earlier), protein, fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Plus, noshing on nuts will help to make a dent in the 800 milligrams of magnesium you’re supposed to get now that you’re preggers.

Why they’re good for both of you: Munching on magnesium-rich foods helps reducing the risk of premature labor and aids in development of your baby’s nervous system. A quarter cup of almonds contains 98 milligrams of magnesium, so keep a stash in your purse for a convenient prenatal power snack on the go. Cravings control: If you feel like a bottomless pit these days, try noshing on shelled pistachios. They take longer to eat, giving your body more time to register that it’s full.

Beans and Lentils

What they’ve got: If you’re not a big meat eater (or one at all), beans and lentils are great sources of protein and iron, as well as folate, fiber and calcium. And beans (especially baked ones) are also bursting with zinc.

Why they’re good for both of you: Beans boast a bunch of the baby- and mom-friendly minerals found in animal products, so they’re a great option for vegetarian and vegan moms-to-be. Beans are also rich in zinc — an essential mineral that’s linked to a lower risk for preterm delivery, low birth weight and prolonged labor. Beans bother your stomach? Other great sources of zinc include meat, chicken, milk, fortified cereals, cashews, peas, crab and oysters (just don’t eat them raw!).

Lean Meat

What it’s got: Sure, you know it’s a great source of protein, but lean beef and pork are also packed with iron and B vitamins.

Why it’s good for both of you: Your body needs a lot more protein now (about 25 extra grams a day) to help the fetus grow and to ensure his or her muscles develop properly. Same goes for iron: Not getting enough of this mineral can impair baby’s growth and increase the risk for preterm delivery and low birth weight. Iron is important for mom, too — it’s necessary for red blood cell formation (to prevent anemia). During pregnancy, your blood volume increases, so you’ll need to up your iron intake (to around 27 milligrams a day). Bonus: Meat supplies a hefty dose of vitamins B6 (helps baby’s tissue and brain growth, while easing mom’s morning sickness) and B12 (helps to maintain healthy nerves and red blood cells).

Orange Juice

What it’s got: Down a glass in the morning to fill up on folate, potassium and, of course, vitamin C.

Why it’s good for both of you: You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about folate and folic acid (the synthetic form that you get in supplements and fortified foods), and with good reason: It’s a necessary nutrient for preventing certain birth defects early on in pregnancy and for ensuring a healthy pregnancy after that, so try to get about 600 micrograms a day. The potassium is important for keeping your muscle function, metabolism and overall health in check. Like iron, pregnant women need to consume more potassium, because of their expanding blood volume. And as you already know, orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, which, in addition to fighting colds, helps your body to absorb iron better and keeps both your and baby’s teeth and bones healthy.

You can also get your vitamin C from broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers and a variety of citrus fruits, including another prenatal power food — mangoes, which are packed with more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. Bonus: Opt for OJ that’s fortified with vitamin D, which increases blood circulation in placenta and aids in calcium absorption so that your baby will have stronger bones.


What it’s got: Surprise! Plain yogurt actually contains even more calcium than milk. Plus, it’s got essential bone-building nutrients, including protein, B vitamins and zinc.

Why it’s good for both of you: Calcium is essential for keeping your bones and teeth healthy and helping baby to develop his or hers, and skimping on this key nutrient could put you both at risk. Expectant moms should get at least three servings of calcium a day to reduce the risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery. If your calcium count comes up short, your body will take the calcium baby needs from your bones, putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis later on. Bonus: Snack on Greek yogurt topped with fruit for double the protein (and fiber) punch.

When Will I Feel Baby Kick?

Those first flutters should be coming your way within the next few weeks usually between 16 and 22 weeks for first-time moms. They won’t feel like real kicks or jabs just yet, since baby still has plenty of room to move around. Early movements are very gentle and subtle. You may only notice them if you are sitting or lying quietly. They’re also harder to discern if you’re overweight or your placenta is anterior (on the front of your uterus, near the stomach). Plus, these early kicks can be infrequent. You might feel something tomorrow and then nothing for a few days. By the time you hit your third trimester, baby’s moves may be more predictable. And guess what? Baby will often be most active right when you’re trying to go to sleep!