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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If you find yourself pregnant during warmer months, there is probably a backyard barbecue (or three!) on the calendar. But before you fire up that grill or fill up your plate, remember that some of your favorite dishes may be risky for moms-to-be. “Certain foods can harbor bacteria that are particularly dangerous during pregnancy,” explains Mary Lynn, D.O., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois.
Between tying up loose ends at work before maternity leave, running from your OB-GYN’s office to Lamaze class, and diving into full-on nesting mode, getting a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables can feel more stressful than the thought of having your least favorite in-law in the delivery room.
Related: 5 Steps to a Worry-Free Pregnancy
This rich and creamy smoothie gets a bit of protein from low-fat Greek yogurt, and a delicious jolt of flavor from crystallized ginger (which also happens to relieve morning sickness!).
With tomato salsa, beans and avocado, this pizza is like an open-faced quesadilla. Black beans are a low-fat source of protein and fiber, and avocado delivers folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent neural-tube defects. Avocado has also been linked to a reduction in morning sickness. Related: Your Guide to Healthier Pizza (3 More Recipes)
A winter squash spread replaces tomato sauce and packs vitamin A to help boost your immune system during pregnancy. Kale adds vitamin C, which aids in the development of your baby’s brain. Related: Your Guide to Healthier Pizza (3 More Recipes)
The crispy thin crust of this pizza is a wonderful contrast to velvety soft smoked salmon. Similar to fresh, smoked salmon contains loads of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that loading up on marine-sourced omega-3s during pregnancy can reduce the incidence of depression symptoms as well as the risk of a preterm or low-birthweight baby. Salmon also provides hard-to-get vitamin D, which helps your baby build strong bones and teeth.
With fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat in 3 ounces, sirloin is one of the leanest red meats. But what it lacks in fat, sirloin makes up for with plenty of iron, a mineral moms-to-be need to help stave off pregnancy-induced anemia and deliver oxygen for your baby’s development. Spinach also provides iron, which helps develop red blood cells. Related: Your Guide to Healthier Pizza (3 More Recipes)
Making pizza dough from scratch isn’t as complicated as you might think. This no-fail recipe produces a wonderfully thin crust. But if you’re short on time (or too intimidated to make your own), stop by your local pizzeria and ask if they’ll sell you some of their dough to take home. Whether homemade or from the grocery store, be sure your dough includes some whole-grain flour for a larger dose of pregnancy must-haves, such as fiber and vitamins.
“Start getting healthy even before you become pregnant,” advises Siobhan Dolan, M.D., M.P.H., medical adviser to the March of Dimes and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women’s health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York. (Already pregnant?
Eating well during pregnancy is a given. But that doesn’t mean you have to ditch your vegetarian or vegan diet. Medical experts, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, have given you the green light to continue your current way of eating.
A vegetarian (meat-free) or vegan (no animal products) diet can help prevent obesity and decrease the risk of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
It’s also more Earth-friendly than the typical American carnivore’s diet.