Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy

Dear Mom,

You want to have a healthy baby and keep yourself healthy, too. Eating nutritious foods and getting the care you need is one of the greatest gifts you give to your developing baby.
WIC can help you:

The tips on this page do not replace your healthcare provider’s advice. Write down questions to ask before you go to your prenatal checkups.

When you visit your local WIC office, you can learn more about healthy eating. We hope you enjoy all that WIC has to offer.

Sincerely,
Your WIC staff

Get Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is health care for pregnant women. A healthcare provider or specially trained nurse checks that you and your baby are okay.

You can expect:

Get prenatal care as soon as you think you are pregnant. The above schedule is a guide; it is important to go to all recommended appointments. You can learn more about your baby and how your body is changing.

If you need help to pay for prenatal care, contact your local Medicaid office.

Choose Healthy Foods for You and Your Baby

Your baby grows best when you eat healthy. Choose a variety of foods from all 5 food groups every day.

For a personal daily food plan, visit www.myplate.gov

Here are some examples of what meal and snack portion sizes might look like on your plate.
Breakfast

1 banana

1 cup non-fat or 1% milk

1 slice whole grain toast

1 cooked, scrambled egg

Lunch

½ cup cooked broccoli florets

1 cup water

1 ounce cornbread

½ cup tomato sauce

and ¼ cup pinto beans and ¼ cup red beans

Snacks

1 cup 100% orange juice

1 cup cut up melon

½ cup low-fat yogurt

5 or 6 whole grain crackers

3 or 4 slices cheese

½ cup sliced cucumbers with 1 tablespoon dressing

water between meals and snacks

Dinner

1 cup mixed, green salad with ¼ cup tomato

with ½ hard-boiled egg with 1 tablespoon dressing

½ cup cooked, sliced carrots

1 cup cooked brown rice

with 3 ounces baked, sliced chicken

1 cup non-fat or 1% milk

Snacks: Tasty, Healthy and Easy

Aim for 2-3 snacks each day. Try healthy snack combos by picking foods from at least two food groups. These balanced snacks will keep you feeling satisfied.

EXAMPLE: Apple Slices + Peanut Butter
Bread, Cereal, or Other Grain
DAIRY OR PROTEIN
FRUIT OR VEGETABLE

Fast Food Restaurant Tips

On the go? Ask for these fast foods:

Food Safety Tips

Don’t eat certain foods.

Some foods are not safe for you and your baby when you are pregnant. Do not eat:

Ask your healthcare provider before you take herbs or drink herbal teas; they may hurt your baby.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins have extra and to help your baby grow. Check to see if your prenatal vitamin has at least 150 mcg of iodine. If the prenatal vitamin you take doesn’t have this amount of iodine, ask your healthcare provider.

Don’t take any other vitamins unless prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Pregnant women go through hormonal changes that can impact the health of their mouth.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, be sure to:

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Brush gently. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, tell your healthcare provider.

Be Active for a Healthy Body

Your body stays fit when you move it. If your healthcare provider says it’s okay, keep active. Walking, stretching, and swimming are a few good ways.

Being active will help you:

Find time to be active for 30 minutes most or all days of the week.

You can break the time up like this:

Walk 10 minutes in the morning

Walk 10 minutes in the afternoon

Walk 10 minutes in the evening

30 minutes

Healthy Weight Gain

The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before pregnancy. Ask your healthcare provider, nurse or WIC Nutritionist for a weight graph to track your progress.
Your Pre-Pregnancy Weight
Underweight
BMI less than 18.5
Healthy Weight
BMI 18.5-24.9
Overweight
BMI 25-29.9
Obese
BMI greater than or equal to 30
Healthy Weight Gain During Your Pregnancy
28-40 pounds
25-35 pounds
15-25 pounds
11-20 pounds

Weight gain during pregnancy helps your baby grow. First trimester weight gain should be 1-4 pounds. Starting in the 4th month, you may gain about half (½) to one (1) pound a week.

To keep a steady weight gain:

If your weight gain is:

Just Right

You may lose the weight easier after your baby is born. It can help protect your health and the health of your baby.

Too little

Your baby could be born too small or too soon.

Too much

It may be harder to lose the weight after your baby is born. It could increase your risk of long-term health problems.

If you are expecting twins, triplets or more, talk with your healthcare provider about the weight gain that is right for you.

Keep Your Baby Safe And Healthy

It is recommended to avoid tobacco, nicotine, alcohol (beer, wine, liquor, or mixed drinks), marijuana, and illegal drugs during pregnancy. Each of these products can negatively impact you and your baby’s health.

We know it can be difficult to stop or reduce use of tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and illegal drugs.

If you are struggling to stop or reduce use, there are resources available to you.

You are not alone.

We are here to support you.

Delaware Quit Line

For support with quitting tobacco or nicotine use, including free coaching, a free quit plan, and free educational materials visit www.quitnow.net.

For support with quitting alcohol, marijuana, or other illegal drug use contact your healthcare provider or visit www.Helpishere.de.com.

Ask your healthcare provider before you take medicine to make sure it is safe for your baby.

Pregnancy Discomforts

Your body changes when you’re pregnant. You might feel sick to your stomach the first 3 or 4 months. Some smells and foods might make you throw up.

If you feel sick… (morning sickness):

“Morning sickness” can occur anytime of the day.

Even if you feel sick, you still need food and liquids. If you can’t keep anything down, call your healthcare provider.

As your baby grows, you might get an upset stomach when you eat. It might be hard to move your bowels. Talk to your healthcare provider if you get these problems. Don’t take medicine unless advised by your healthcare provider. Here are some tips:

If you have heartburn…(Indigestion):

If you’re constipated… (can’t poop):

Give Your Baby the Best Start – Breastfeed!

Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Your milk has the right ingredients in the right amounts to give your baby the healthiest start in life. Breastfeeding is good for you too. Contact your Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for breastfeeding support.

BREASTFEEDING MOMS SAY…

“Nighttime feedings are easier.”

“It saves me time – I don’t need to mix formula or clean bottles.”

“It saves me money – I don’t need to buy formula or bottles.”

“I feel more bonded with my baby.”

“When I breastfeed, I feel proud. My baby grows healthy and strong with a gift only I can give.”

Breastfeeding protects your baby’s health.

Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of:

Breastfeeding is good for mom, too.

Breastfeeding helps you:

Breastfeeding Facts

  1. A lot of moms have questions about breastfeeding.
    Talk with WIC staff about any breastfeeding concerns you may have.
  2. Breastfeeding whenever your baby is hungry will allow your body to make all the milk your baby needs.
  3. Holding baby skin-to-skin while in the hospital and after going home helps you make milk.
  4. Nursing shouldn’t hurt.
    If it hurts, get help. Contact your breastfeeding peer counselor or healthcare provider. Click here for a list of peer counselors.
  5. Ask for help at home, especially in the early days.
    Ask family and friends to pitch in with household chores and to watch other children. Dad or another family member can hold baby skin-to-skin, help with baths and playtime. Babies need lots of love and cuddling in addition to feeding time.
  6. You can go back to work or school and continue breastfeeding.
    Most states have laws that require workplaces to support breastfeeding employees. There are also laws in all 50 states to protect moms when nursing in public.
  7. Moms who nurse can eat their favorite foods!
    No special diet is needed.

For more information on breastfeeding, visit wicbreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov

My Breastfeeding Plan At The Hospital

Tell your nurses and doctor that your goal is to exclusively breastfeed your baby. Ask them to follow these guidelines as long as it is medically safe for your baby and you:

Exclusive Breastfeeding – Please don’t give my baby any formula, water or glucose sugar water before speaking to my partner or me.
Skin to Skin – During my stay, I want to hold my baby skin-to-skin as much as possible.
Breast Pumps – If my baby is unable to breastfeed or is separated from me due to medical reasons, I want to use a breast pump as soon as possible. If I need to pump longer than my hospital stay, please remind me to call my breastfeeding peer counselor.
No Bottles or Pacifiers – Please don’t give my baby artificial nipples. This includes pacifiers or any type of bottle.
Breastfeeding Support – Please help me with breastfeeding during the first hour after my delivery.
Take-Home Bags – Please do not send any formula or information about formula home with us when we leave the hospital. Instead, please remind me that I’m giving my baby the best nutrition by choosing to breastfeed.

Make Time for Yourself

Having a baby is hard work! At times you may feel tired, emotional, and grumpy. You might even feel sad. Find time to relax and get some rest. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help.

Ask for help from family and friends.

Talk to your healthcare provider.

Call the Postpartum Support International Helpline at 1-800-944-4773, visit www.postpartum.net, or text 800-944-4773 (English) or 971-203-7773 (Spanish).

If you want to harm your baby contact www.Helpisherede.com or the Delaware resources below: Call the Delaware Hope Line: 833-9-HOPEDE or Call the Crisis Intervention Service: 800-652-2929 (Northern DE) 800-345-6785 (Southern DE).

To show yourself some love:

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, get immediate help.

Call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Feeding a 10-12 Month Old

Breast milk is the most important source of nutrition for your baby, even after you start offering solid foods.

Feeding a 8-9 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon. Never put cereal in a bottle.

Feeding a 6-7 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon and from a bowl, never from a bottle.

Tips

Breast milk and formula feeding:

Around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age, babies may experience a growth spurt when they feed more often.

As they grow babies can hold more milk, so feedings may become further apart and take less time.

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Start offering whole milk when your baby is one year old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months and beyond.

feeding-solid-foods

Feeding solid foods:

Wait to offer solid foods until your baby:

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Try one new food at a time. Wait 5 days before trying another new food to watch for allergies. Food allergies may include wheezing, rash, or diarrhea.

Introduce peanut butter around 6 months. Spread a small, thin smear of peanut butter or nut butter thinly on a cracker.  Watch your baby for any reaction for the next 2 hours.

Babies under one year should NOT have honey or foods that can cause choking like nuts or whole grapes.

All babies are different. Talk with WIC or your baby’s healthcare provider about your baby’s needs.

Feeding Cues

Feeding a 4-5 Month Old

Before teeth come in, wipe gums with a soft, clean wash cloth after each feeding, especially before bed.

Feeding a 0-3 Month Old

Newborns have tiny tummies and need to be fed often. In the first few weeks, you may need to wake your baby to feed if they sleep longer than 4 hours.

Growth Spurts

Many babies are fussy during a growth spurt and will want to nurse longer and more often. This is called cluster feeding. This is your baby’s way of helping you increase your milk supply so that you can keep up with their needs. Remember, the more your baby nurses, the more milk your body makes.

Growth spurts can happen at any time, and every baby is different.

They often happen at these ages:

2 to 3 Weeks

6 Weeks

3 Months

6 Months

What foods can I get?