The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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6) Be careful what you fish for.
Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient for both mom and baby's heart and immune health and baby's brain development. But many fish are contaminated with mercury, toxic industrial compounds (such as PCBs) and pesticides, substances that can cause problems ranging from brain and nervous system damage to cancer. Safe fish choices for pregnant women include farmed trout or catfish and wild Alaskan salmon and halibut. If you don't eat fish, you can get omega-3s from walnuts and ground flaxseed; sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt.
Water: Bottled vs. Tap
Pregnant women should drink 3 liters of water a day (equivalent to about 13 8-ounce cups), according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that gives science-based advice on health and other topics. But does it matter where the water comes from?
The Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental action organization, maintains there is no assurance that bottled water is any cleaner than tap. To investigate what's in the tap water in your area, contact your local health department. To check the purity of a particular brand of bottled water, visit the NSF International website at nsf.org.
What is essential is that you opt for water over other drinks most of the time. Although juice can be an excellent source of folic acid, it also is high in sugar and most are devoid of fiber. When you do drink juice, avoid those sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (empty calories); choose 100 percent fruit juice instead.