You just found out you’re pregnant. Never has it been more crucial to eat well. Because not eating well during your pregnancy can increase your risk of complications while pregnant and during birth. And, eating well has never been easier during pregnancy than it is now.

First, understand that once you hit the second trimester, you should be eating about 300 more calories a day. Calories provide you with the extra energy that your body needs to have the best environment possible for your baby to grow in. Now, these extra calories don’t give you permission to chow down on every food in your line of sight. After all, it is only an extra 300 calories that you’re getting. A glass of milk or one banana equals 100 calories and a slice of whole wheat bread, an ounce of cheese and a half of cup of grapes equals 200 calories. See how much more you are eating than if you decide to eat a donut instead?

In addition, you need at least three servings of protein each day. The protein contains amino acid which is one of the most important building blocks for your baby’s tissue.  Protein is very easy to come by and your options are endless. You can drink 3 glasses of milk, and you can have 2 cups of yogurt along with 3 ounces of cheese.

Next, you need at least four servings of calcium every day. Calcium is going to help grow your baby’s bones and help protect yours. There are many options you can choose from for foods high in calcium, including:

  • Seeds. Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses.
  • Cheese. Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium.
  • Yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium.
  • Sardines and Canned Salmon.
  • Beans and Lentils.
  • Almonds.
  • Whey Protein.

Aim for at least three servings of vitamin C. Your body does not store vitamin C so you need a fresh supply of it every day. You can eat fruit or almost any vegetable to get your vitamin C. You also want to make sure you get three to four servings of green leafy and yellow vegetables and fruits. Most of these veggies and fruits will also count toward your vitamin C intake, so that is double the benefit.

Make sure you should get in one to two servings of all other fruit and vegetables that are not known for their vitamin A and C value but are still good for you all the same. Apples,  banana, and onions are just a few that are in this category.  Eat six or more servings of whole grains and legumes because these are filled with vitamins E and B and they help you battle constipation. Try eating brown rice, whole wheat bread and even air popped corn to get your servings of whole grains and legumes in.

Perhaps one of the most important nutrients you and your body need is iron. Your body’s demand for iron will never be greater than it is while you are pregnant, so make sure you are able to keep up with it. Not enough iron could lead to anemia, which results in you being very tired and foggy headed, so make sure you are getting enough iron.  If you feel that you aren’t, talk to your doctor and he might be able to prescribe you an iron supplement.

It is always a good idea to eat well every day.  However, when you are pregnant it is essential that you eat well every day.