Reviewed by: Casey Seiden MS, RD, CDN, DCES
It can feel overwhelming to keep track of all the important things you’ll need to do during pregnancy. Fortunately, your care team can help with in a variety of areas – including your diet! A customized prenatal diet can help manage the course of your pregnancy and ensure you and your baby get the vitamins and nutrients you both need. Here’s what to know about meeting with our registered dietitian and how you can benefit.
The role of a dietitian is to help ensure that you and your and baby are getting all the essential macro- and micronutrients needed to thrive in pregnancy – while respecting and honoring your food preferences, allergies or intolerances, culture, budget, and more. Following a general prenatal diet plan from Dr. Google will likely not be very helpful! In a prenatal nutrition assessment, your dietitian will review your current diet and any conditions that may need managing during pregnancy, and then make recommendations for specific foods you may need to increase or limit to meet your needs. Your dietitian can also help put these recommendations into action by providing recipe ideas, meal prep tools, and product recommendations. You’ll also discuss the role of prenatal vitamins and any additional supplements that might be needed.
Working to improve your nutrition prior to conception can be one of the most beneficial lifestyle changes you can make to ensure a healthy baby. Many women deal with first-trimester nausea and are unable to eat nutritious foods such as vegetables and proteins. But, by building stores of nutrients from food and supplements prior to pregnancy, you can rest assured that your baby will still likely develop properly. As pregnancy progresses, it’s still highly important to aim for a well-balanced diet since this can help prevent conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, low birth weight, premature delivery, and other possible developmental issues for the fetus. Although there are many different factors that can contribute to these conditions (and you can still have a healthy baby even with these conditions!), your dietitian can help you manage them and lower your risk with the right lifestyle changes.
When a question about a pregnancy symptom or food comes up, many moms-to-be are quick to jump on their phone and dive down the rabbit hole of Google and mommy blogs. Please try to resist and turn to a registered dietitian instead! Much of what you read online is not evidence-based, meaning the food and herbal remedies recommended have not been studied for safety in pregnant women. On the other hand, some of the lists of foods to “avoid” are often vague and there is actually some leniency about what foods pregnant women can safely consume. A prenatal dietitian will be up-to-date on current research and recommendations regarding nutrient needs, supplements, and food safety, so it’s always best to go to the source!
At Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, we offer registered dietitian services to help support your pregnancy with customized dietary plans. To meet with Casey Seiden, RD, at our New York City locations, we invite you to contact us by calling or filling out our online form.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!