Healthy Eating & Exercise

Healthy & Safe Eating

Eating a variety of healthy foods and drinking lots of fluids (especially water) will help you get the nutrients your baby needs. Choose healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that aren’t recommended for pregnant women.

Take a daily prenatal vitamin with folic acid throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor may also recommend taking an iron supplement to make sure you and your baby are healthy. Caffeine intake may also affect your baby. To be safe, your doctor may recommend limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet to less than 200 milligrams (about two 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee) a day during pregnancy.

Sometimes you may not have enough food in your home.  Resources are available in our county to help.  Click on More Information below to find resources (2-1-1, How to Find Food Help in OC, WIC, SNAP).

Pregnant Safe Eating

If you are pregnant, you can protect yourself and your baby from food-related illnesses by handling, cooking, eating, and storing your food properly. Fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating.

Avoid meats or fish that are uncooked or undercooked. Also avoid fish with lots of mercury, like shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel.

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Healthy Weight

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight.

Gaining weight slowly and steadily during your pregnancy is usually best. Not enough weight gain during pregnancy can lead to a premature baby or low birth weight. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can cause delivery complications and childhood obesity.

Talk with your doctor about your weight gain goals during pregnancy.


Folic Acid

Folic acid is a vitamin that everyone needs, but it’s especially important for pregnant women. Folic acid protects against some birth defects of the brain and spine during pregnancy.

You can get folic acid from some foods. But it’s hard to get all the folic acid you need from foods alone. To make sure you are getting enough, your doctor will recommend that you take a daily vitamin with 400-800 micrograms of folic acid through your entire pregnancy.

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Daily Exercise

Exercise is an important way to keep your body and mind healthy during pregnancy. About 30 minutes of physical activity per day should help you stay healthy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the right amount and types of exercise for you.



As your body changes during your pregnancy, getting a good night’s sleep can become more difficult. Pregnancy pillows and other changes can make it easier to rest at night. Your healthcare provider can also offer suggestions on getting a more restful sleep.