Pregnancy Basics

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-Hi, I'm Juli Auclair. You're watching Parents TV. During your pregnancy, it's especially important to pay attention to what's your eating after all you're providing nutrients for yourself and your developing baby. Now that means many women have to make some changes in their diet. For today, Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green is here to show us some examples of what foods to avoid and what to include. Thank you so much for joining us. -Thank you Juli. Great to be with you today. -It's always great to have you Dr. Greene. First, let's start with some foods we should avoid. These are some things that we eat everyday when we're not pregnant. But suddenly when we are pregnant, they're not okay anymore. -The developing baby is more vulnerable than we adults are and the placenta does an amazing job at nourishing and protecting the baby. But there are a few things that you have to pay attention to. -Okay. Fish, number 1. Talk to us about which fish we should be avoiding. -So there are a few fish you need to avoid because of the mercury and PCP pollutants in there. Things like swordfish and shark, tilefish, king mackerel you want to avoid. -Okay. -Also, raw fish. Raw sushi and raw oysters you wanna avoid because of infections. -Which okay? -There's a bunch of fish that's great for the developing baby and for you. Things like wild salmon, mahi-mahi, bay scallops and then raising baby green I have a long list of all the great fish you can eat. -Okay, listeria can be very dangerous for woman who is pregnant. Tell us what foods contain it. What should we do looking for? -So, listeria is a bacteria that can be devastating for developing baby and the thing that's different about it is it can live, it can thrive in a refrigerator where most bacteria just don't do well there. -Uh huh. -So soft cheeses are one place to be concerned about. I would avoid brie, camembert, any soft cheese or any cheese with blue veins in it. It could have the bacteria in there. Another place you can find it is in luncheon meats. Things like cold cuts, hotdogs; before they're cooked it could have it in there. Leftovers in general could have listeria in there. -Really? -Yeah. -So, as a rule, should a pregnant woman not eat leftovers? -So the thing you can do is as long as it's heated to steaming right before you eat it, it's fine. -Uh huh. -But I wouldn't eat salad-- prepared salads from a deli counter, leftovers these meats unless they're cooked right away. -So with other foods sometimes is that matter of just like beef for example, just cooking them a little bit longer than we normally would to make them safe? -That's right. Besides listeria, there are other infections that can be real problems, E. coli, salmonella, toxoplasmosis can be tough for developing babies. So with ground beef, you wanna make sure that it's cooked until there's no pink left. -So, we're showing a burger right now that is pretty rare. -Right. -That's not okay. -That is not during pregnancy. -Well done, medium well. -You want no pink visible. That's the guideline for ground beef. -Okay, what else? -And then eggs also, you need make sure they're cooked so that the yolk and the white is not running. -There are some other sources of raw eggs that we might not think of. -Exactly. -Things like hollandaise sauce, -Right. -cookie dough is another one. -A lot of people like to eat raw cookie dough because that's a no-no when you're pregnant. -No-no when you're pregnant. -But okay to cook the cookies. -But okay to cook the cookies and play the cookies. And of course, it's always been recommended to avoid alcohol and to avoid caffeine, but is there any amount of alcohol or caffeine that is okay? -There is no amount of alcohol that's safe for developing baby. And as for caffeine, that's a little controversial. We know that over 1 cup a day, over 150 mg a day does increase the risk to harm with the baby. One cup a day, some data says there's a problem; a lot says there's not. But more than that is certainly not a good idea. -All right, let's move on to things that we should be eating. -Yes. -And eating a lot of during pregnancy you recommend that there's some certain nutrients that you need to have in your diet. -During pregnancy, your nutritional needs changed because you're building a whole new body inside of you and there's 4 nutrients, vitamins and minerals and particularly the needs to go way up. The first one of those is folate and you hear about it to prevent neural tube defect. -Sure. And yes, it's good for the brain and developing nervous system, but every time you make a new copy of DNA, you need folate. Folate, to do it right. -Where do we find folate? -The name gives you a clue, foliage is the place. -Uh huh, we have it right here. -Green-leafy vegetables is the best source of folate. -Okay. -The second one to look for is iron. -Uh huh. -A pregnant woman's own blood supply goes up by a third during pregnancy and the baby has to make all of his or her blood from scratch so that scratch includes iron. -Okay. -And so green-leafy vegetables again are a great source. Beef is another good source of iron. -As long as you're cooking well, right? -Right. -And organic for beef I think is a good choice too. -Okay. -Vitamin B6 is the next one. It helps in making serotonin and other neurotransmitters that help moms be happy during that pregnancy and postpartum time, so make sure you get enough 1 big potato a day will give you all the extra B6 you need or 1 banana a day will do it as well. -Okay, what's next? -Next is zinc. -Uh huh. -That's the fourth one. This is the last to those nutrients and zinc is something also used in a hundred different processes in the body including helping the immune systems function well. -It's very important. -Right. -And you can find that in beef or chicken. You can also find it in mushrooms, in beans, -Uh huh. -pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds are good sources of zinc. -Okay. -Now, there are 4 other nutrients that a significant number of American women are not getting enough and I'm very concerned about this. -Okay. Tell us about that. -First one of those is calcium. -It's so important. -It's really important. If you're not getting enough, that's gonna come out of your own bones -Okay. -and [unk] all your problems there. -Get enough calcium. -So, you definitely wanna get calcium so milk is good. That's another one to do organic. Next one is choline, a nutrient a lot of women haven't even heard of. -Uh huh. -It influences the baby's ability to learn and particularly memory comes in choline and many women are not getting enough. Eggs are a great source of choline. -Okay. Next one. -Next one is DHA. -Important for everyone whether you're pregnant or not. -Whether you're pregnant or not, but the highest needs in life or during pregnancy and sadly it's the time people get the least. Wild salmon is a great place for that or mahi-mahi is other good source. You can also now get it organic milk with DHA. -Okay. Now, water is important for people to drink everyday, 8 glasses of water you hear all the time. But what about pregnant women, do they need more of that? -More water for pregnant women, 3 L a day is the target to go for. I just recommend getting a stainless steel canteen and carrying it around with you. -And finally Dr. Greene, how important is prenatal vitamins? -Prenatal vitamins are very important throughout pregnancy. But what most women don't know is the most important days are before the pregnancy test even turns positive. -Uh huh. -So, I suggest taking them if you might get pregnant. -Okay, if you're thinking about it, start taking them. -That's right and you get them over-the-counter where vitamins were sold. -Good to know. Dr. Greene, thank you so much for coming in. Great information you've given us and if you like more details, you can go to or you can pick up Dr. Greene's book, "Raising Baby Green." It's in bookstores now. Thanks for watching Parents TV, your source for the best information for growing family. Thank you for watching Parents TV, our families, our lives.