Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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A. Six prunes.
B. Four slices of whole-wheat bread.
C. 3/4 cup bran cereal.
D. Two medium pears.
E. Three bales of hay.
7 You’ve decided to splurge on a five-star meal. Which of the following menu items is not off-
limits during pregnancy?
A. Grilled swordfish.
B. Caesar salad.
C. Seared ahi tuna.
E. California-roll sushi.
F. Greek salad with feta cheese.
AND THE ANSWER IS ...
1) C. Assuming you ate healthfully before you became pregnant, you should add 300 calories a day during your second and third trimesters. A total daily intake of 2,500 calories is about right; eat more if you’re very active.
Also — need we say it — pecan pie is not the most nutritionally sound way to get your calories.
2) B. Normal-weight women should gain about three to five pounds during the first trimester, and roughly a pound a week thereafter, for a total of 25 to 35 pounds. That’s a substantial but reasonable amount of heft, meant to be nurtured and not despaired or dieted away. Guidelines on weight gain differ for women who are under- or overweight, so check with your doctor.
3) E. Some of these menu options are more practical than others. For example, adding foods rich in folate such as dried legumes, dark-green vegetables and oranges to your diet is wise. But getting enough of these every day can be a challenge (the requirement jumps to 600 micrograms of folate a day once you’re pregnant), so take a vitamin supplement as insurance. And while drinking four cups of orange juice will fulfill your daily requirement for folic acid before you become pregnant, it’s not recommended (unless you own stock in the citrus industry and you don’t mind taking on the shape of an orange from all those additional calories).
4) D. According to the Institute of Medicine at the National Research Council in Washington, D.C., a woman needs 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, whether she’s pregnant or not. That’s the equivalent of 31¼3 cups of milk — or way more oyster shells than your teeth can safely pulverize.
5) A. Technically, any of these choices would provide enough fluid. However, 64 ounces of water, milk or juice is an appropriate baseline; more is better if you’re particularly active or if it’s a hot day. Juice and soda are fine in moderation; one serving a day of either is ample.
6) C. Prunes, whole-wheat bread and pears are fine sources of fiber — weighing in at 3.6 grams for six prunes, 7.6 grams for four slices of bread and 7.8 grams for a pair of pears. But 100 percent bran cereal takes the prize, at nearly 15 grams of fiber per 3¼4-cup serving. No reliable data are available on the hay.