Prenatal Nutrition

Eating for two.

It’s always important to eat healthy. But nutrition when expecting a child is all the more important, because you’re eating for two. That’s why South Dakota WIC encourages expectant mothers to make good food decisions.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when eating while pregnant:

  • Limit foods that lack in important nutrients, such as candy, cookies, cake, soda and coffee – they’re high in harmful content and low in valuable content
  • Keep things interesting by inviting some variety into your diet – don’t forget there are loads of fruits and vegetables from which to choose
  • We all love carbs, so just choose healthful ones – look for breads, pastas and tortillas that contain “whole grains”
  • It’s important to get your calcium and vitamin D, so eat healthy dairy products – go with milk that is reduced fat to get the good stuff and skip the bad stuff

Remember: The nutrition decisions you make during your pregnancy will affect your baby once he or she is born – eat smart!

Healthy weight gain

Gaining weight during pregnancy is a concern for many new mom’s. The Institute of Medicine has developed recommendations for a healthy range of weight gain, based on your Body Mass Index (BMI) prior to pregnancy listed in the table below. Recommendations may vary due to other health conditions.

For more information on how to gain a healthy weight during pregnancy, contact your local WIC office to speak with a health professional.

Prepregnancy BMIBMI+Total Weight Gain Range (lbs)Rates of Weight Gain* 2nd and 3rd Trimester (Mean Range in lbs/wk)
Underweight<18.528-401 (1-1.3)
Normal weight18.5-24.925-351 (0.8-1)
Overweight25.0-29.915-250.6 (0.5-0.7)
Obese (includes all classes)≥30.011-200.5 (0.4-0.6)

+ To calculate BMI, use the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s BMI Calculator.
*Calculations assume a 0.5-2 kg (1.1-4.4lbs) weight gain in the first trimester (based on Siga-Riz et al., 1994; Abrams et al., 1995; Carmichael et al., 1997)

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