Following Canada's Food Guide can help women eat the amount and type of food that is right for her and her baby.
During different stages of their childbearing years, women need additional nutrients or calories.
Although folic acid is found in some foods, such as dark green vegetables, beans, lentils, orange juice and some grain products, all women who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding need a daily multivitamin containing 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid. This supplement, together with the amount of folic acid obtained by following Canada's Food Guide, will help decrease the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) and meet the extra folic acid needs for those pregnant and breastfeeding.
In addition, pregnant women need to ensure that their multivitamin contains between 16 and 20 mg of iron. A health care provider can help you find the multivitamin that is right for you.
Gaining weight is a natural process of pregnancy that supports your baby's growth and development, and prepares you for breastfeeding. How much weight gain is recommended depends on a woman's weight before becoming pregnant. Most of the weight gain happens during the second and third trimesters.
To help them gain a healthy amount of weight, pregnant and breastfeeding women need just a little more food in the second and third trimesters. a few more calories. For most women, this means an extra two or three Food Guide Servings from any of the food groups each day in addition to their recommended number of Food Guide Servings per day.
These extra Food Guide Servings can either be included as an additional snack, or can be added to their usual meals. Breastfeeding women also need an extra two to three Food Guide Servings each day.
Want to know if you are on the right track? Print the My Food Guide Servings Tracker and use it to keep track of the food you eat.
Here are some examples of what two extra Food Guide Servings may look like:
Here are some examples of what three extra Food Guide Servings may look like: