Breast milk is best for your baby.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Eat right to sleep tight

The last few weeks of your pregnancy are an exciting time, but try not to lose sleep over it. The right nutrition can help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are some healthy eating tips:

Eat light dinners. Big dinners might make you drowsy and can play havoc with digestion (try sleeping while your stomach is doing an impression of a thunderstorm!). Instead, try eating your biggest meal before mid-afternoon, and eat a light evening meal.

Eat an evening snack. Choose a light grain-and-dairy snack, such as crackers with low-fat cheese and fruit, or low-fat yogurt with toast and apple butter. Wait an hour before lying down. These healthy pregnancy foods will digest quickly so you (and your stomach) can rest.

If you love spicy food, go for it, but only for breakfast or lunch. A spicy dinner might make you toss and turn into the wee hours of the morning.

It is common for women to experience heartburn during pregnancy. That uncomfortable burning feeling is caused by stomach acid moving backwards up the esophagus. Heartburn may become more frequent during pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations in combination with the pressure of the baby on your digestive system. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using an antacid. Here are some things you can try to clear it up on your own:

  • Don’t drink any beverages with your meal. Instead, drink fluids in between each meal.
  • Instead of eating large meals, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and try to eat slowly.
  • Remain upright after eating a meal, as laying down after you eat can trigger heartburn.
  • Avoid fried food.
  • Avoid caffeinated or carbonated beverages.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before using an antacid.

Reference:

Public Health Agency of Canada. Healthy Pregnancy – Heartburn. 2008. Accessed March 2017 at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-gs/know-savoir/heartburn-eng.php.

What to eat when pregnant

  • Whole grains, such as whole-wheat or multigrain breads
  • Fruits and vegetables, including berries, apples, pears, carrots, and spinach
  • Low-fat, nutrient-rich proteins, such as lean meats and poultry, low-fat yogurt, or water-packed tuna fish
  • Unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil

What not to eat when pregnant

  • Raw fish (especially shellfish, oysters, and clams)
  • Undercooked meat, poultry, seafood
  • Hot dogs and deli meats (for example, non-dried deli-meats, pâté, refrigerated smoked seafood and fish)
  • Raw or lightly cooked eggs (homemade Caesar vinaigrette, runny eggs)
  • Unpasteurized milk products, soft and semi-soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert
  • Unpasteurized juices, unpasteurized apple cider
  • Raw sprouts (especially alfalfa sprout)

Reference:

Government of Canada. Healthy Eating and Pregnancy. 2014.

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