The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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The more nutritious your prenatal diet is, the better off you and your baby will be. So those extra 300 daily calories (yup, only 300, and only in your second and third trimesters!) should be carefully chosen. And here's a thought: Keep up the good eating once your baby is born. Because before you know it, your little one will be reaching for what's on your plate. If any of the bad habits described here sound familiar, now's the time to lose them for good.
Old Habit: Skipping breakfast
Why it's bad "During pregnancy, blood sugar can drop very quickly due to a rise in a hormone in the placenta that stimulates insulin production," says Sadaty. "Skipping meals can lead to nausea, lightheadedness and vomiting." And they don't call it morning sickness for nothing: Pregnancy-related nausea is often worse when your stomach's empty. Once you start breastfeeding, eating breakfast is crucial to getting in enough daily calories for milk production.
New healthy habit Eat a simple but nutritious breakfast. Ideally you want something with protein, carbohydrates and a bit of fat. Have a bowl of high-fiber cereal with milk, topped with fruit. Or a piece of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, plus a bowl of strawberries.
Old Habit: Raiding the vending machine
Why it's bad Most of those goodies are loaded with fat, salt and empty calories. "Whatever time you have as a pregnant woman, you're going to have even less as a new mom," says Lauren Slayton, R.D., director of Foodtrainers in New York City. "So get into the habit now of keeping convenient, nutritious snacks on hand."
New healthy habit Stock up on granola bars, low-salt soups, string cheese, baked chips or cut-up fruit and vegetables. Or make your own nutritious trail mix to stash in your desk or glove compartment: 10 almonds, plus 2 tablespoons of dried blueberries or cranberries.