11 Common Pregnancy Diet Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them!)

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Are you feeling uncomfortable during your pregnancy? Experiencing lots of undesirable symptoms and generally not enjoying pregnancy? Perhaps you are making one (or more) of these common pregnancy eating mistakes when it comes to nourishing your pregnant body. 

Being aware of these pregnancy do’s and don’ts can result in an entirely different pregnancy experience.

One of the biggest challenges, when you find out you are pregnant, is figuring out what to eat for a healthy pregnancy and baby. The food that you eat provides nourishment for you to function and grow your baby.

However, many women make the same common mistakes when it comes to pregnancy diet. And these pregnancy eating mistakes can lead to having little energy, or even complications like gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia.

So read on to learn from my experience of having 5 relatively easy pregnancies and get my best tips for a healthy pregnancy diet so you can have an easy pregnancy & healthy baby too.

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As a mama of 4, I learned these pregnancy eating mistakes the hard way after suffering through horrible cystic acne, eczema, and psoriasis during my early pregnancies. As I learned more about what it really takes to nourish your body during pregnancy, I realized that I had made several mistakes.

The discomforts of pregnancy can be easily managed (and even avoided) by feeding your body with nutrient-dense foods! When I addressed these pregnancy eating mistakes in my later pregnancies, I had way more energy and fewer undesirable symptoms.

I want to share what I have learned with you, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did!

Below I’ll share the common mistakes we make when it comes to eating a healthy pregnancy diet and simple solutions to help you overcome them.

Download the 1 page pdf below with Best foods to Eat while Pregnant and get started today. The rest of the series will explore natural ways to nourish your body and baby.  As well as, tips for incorporating nourishing practices into your daily life.

Pregnancy eating mistakes

We all want to give our babies the best start in life.  The foods and supplements we put into our bodies have a tremendous effect on how our baby develops and on how we feel. Feeling great during pregnancy and getting that pregnancy glow is not just a myth!

It starts with what we put in our bodies and how we care for ourselves during pregnancy!

These are the very mistakes I made during my first few pregnancies. By the time I was pregnant with my 4th, I was determined that I was going to make pregnancy a joyful experience. I knew that meant being very conscious of what I was putting into my body and how I was taking care of myself. I developed my healthy pregnancy routine and made sleep and self care a priority.

I was able to have a very easy pregnancy even though I was chasing after 3 little ones. I had more energy than my previous pregnancies, almost no morning sickness and was able to keep my mind in a positive place by practicing birth affirmations.

When I look back at my early pregnancies,  I see that I made several key eating mistakes. I developed this list of common pregnancy eating mistakes, and the methods I took to address them, based on my own personal experience and years of research on natural pregnancy, healing foods, and gut health.

Supplying both you and baby with an abundance of nutrients is a top priority during pregnancy!  Make sure to check out the  Ultimate List of Foods for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding for healthy recipe ideas.

Must know diet tips for a healthy pregnancy! Stop wondering what to eat or worrying about gaining weight during pregnancy. These tips are so helpful for pregnant moms who want a healthy baby! #pregnancy

Avoid these pregnancy eating mistakes for a healthier mama + baby

Are you making any of these mistakes? 

Mistake #1 Supplementing rather than nourishing –

So we all think that taking a prenatal vitamin is a requirement of pregnancy. The whole reason to do this is because most of us are nutrient deficient in some ways and taking a prenatal helps to ensure that mama and baby are getting everything we need. The only problem with this is that our bodies can’t necessarily uptake all the stuff in some prenatal vitamins and too much of some vitamins can cause issues. Here’s what the leading text in obstetrics for over 100 years had to say about prenatal vitamins:

“The practice of supplying vitamin supplements prenatally is a deeply ingrained habit of many obstetricians, even though scientific evidence to show that the usual vitamin supplements are of benefit to either the mother or her fetus is quite meager.” Williams Obstetrics

Say what!?! The benefits of prenatal vitamins are “quite meager”??

So what’s a pregnant mama to do? During pregnancy it’s important to get extra doses of 4 main nutrients – iron, folate, calcium and vitamin D (source). Of course, you can get these things by eating a nutrient dense diet! But understandably, most of us feel better supplementing and eating well.

Solution: Look into food-based prenatal vitamins like these because they are easier for the body to absorb and more gentle on the system than synthetic vitamins (source).

Read more about how to choose a prenatal vitamin here.

Then make the focus on getting the majority of your nutrient needs from real food. Reading this book can be extremely helpful in shifting your mindset and understanding how to get your nutrient needs from foods rather than supplements. 

Mistake #2 Skipping meals and not eating enough –

Eating a healthy pregnancy diet does not mean dieting! Nourishing your body during pregnancy requires adding in nutrient dense foods.  

Before pregnancy, you may have been able to skip meals without much notice. During pregnancy that can leave you lacking energy and feeling bad. Not eating enough can have the same effect!

Solution: Lose the focus on how much weight you are gaining and instead focus on how you feel. When you start to feel shaky, moody, or tired – it’s time to EAT. Aim to eat 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks. Here’s a great list of pregnancy recipes.

Want to know the best foods to boost energy and nutrients during pregnancy? Download your FREEBIE with 17 of the best foods for growing a healthy baby!

Mistake #3 Quantity over quality –

While some of us worry about eating too much, others of us take the saying “eating for 2” literally. I know I did with my first pregnancy! Thinking that you need to eat a lot of food to supply your baby with nutrients can be a big mistake.

It’s not how much you eat, but the quality of what you eat that matters. 

Solution: Pay attention to what you buy. It doesn’t all have to be all organic or Non-GMO according to this interview with nutritionist Lily Nichols. Instead, focus on real foods vs. processed foods. Read labels and look for the best quality ingredients for the best price. 

Which leads to…

Mistake #4 Eating too much sugar and carbs –

Cravings are big during pregnancy! And many times cravings can be an indicator of nutrients we need.

But often, especially if you have been eating a standard American diet, the body craves sugar, carbs, and/or salt. Too much sugar and carbs can lead to excessive inflammation in the body leading to any number of problems including acne, gestational diabetes, and eczema. I personally eliminated my severe eczema and acne early in my 3rd pregnancy by going gluten-free. I’ve been happily gluten-free ever since.

Solution: Reduce sugar and go low-carb or gluten free. Remove foods that cause inflammation and boost with anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some easy gluten free and paleo dinner recipes featuring pregnancy superfoods that you can give a try. 

Mistake #5 Not boosting your body with nutrient dense foods –

Eating a “healthy” diet is not enough during pregnancy. There are certain foods that provide you with more nutrients than others. Knowing what these foods are, how to prepare them, and incorporate them into your meals is really important during pregnancy.

Read all about the best foods to eat while pregnant here.

Solution: Aim to add 1-2 of these foods to each meal. Make sure to download the pdf below so that you know where to get started!

Free list of most nourishing foods for pregnancy.

Mistake #6 Being too picky –

We all have food preferences. But consistently turning down (or ignoring)  foods that are good for you because you “don’t like them” is not only harming you, but also your baby.

I love food, but admittedly for years said “I eat everything except beets and liver.” Seriously, since I was a child that was my mantra. But after reading article after article suggesting both foods were highly beneficial during pregnancy, I decided to go for it.  And while I may not love looking at raw liver, OMG do I love the way I feel after eating liver! And beets are so tasty grilled!

Solution: Be open-minded and adventurous. If a particular food seems unappealing to you, look for different ways to prepare it.

This pregnancy grocery list is a good place to start.

Mistake #7 Not drinking tea –

Giving up coffee during pregnancy? Tea is a great replacement! Herbal teas are a nutritious and easy way to boost your body while pregnant. Not only do you get added nutrients, but tea is also an effective way to naturally prepare your uterus for labor.  Read more about the many benefits of herbal tea during pregnancy.

Solution: Drink 1-2 cups of herbal tea daily. Particularly, red raspberry leaf and nettle.

Mistake #8 Not focusing on gut health –

I didn’t even know what gut health was when I got pregnant with my first baby, let alone the huge impact that it has on our overall health and ultimately your child’s health for their entire life. Perhaps you have heard the saying by Hippocrates “All disease begins in the gut.”

If you are experiencing digestive issues, or really any undesirable pregnancy symptoms, look to heal your gut first.

Solution: Add fermented foods to your diet. Consider using alternatives to antibiotics. Take a prenatal with probiotics, or consider adding them to your daily routine. Research gut health!

Mistake #9 Thinking that preparing your body is all about exercise –

Preparing your body is essential for a positive birth experience.

But, it’s not just about how many squats or kegels you do. Or, how well you can relax and breathe through contractions. None of that will matter if your body does not have the fuel it needs to perform when the time comes.

Solution: Put time and energy into learning the best foods to nourish your body and how to prepare them. Boost your body with protein, healthy fats, and iron-rich foods throughout pregnancy, but especially in the weeks leading up to labor. This list of things to do before baby has some good ideas.

Related – 15 Date Recipes for Pregnancy (and an easier labor)!

Mistake #10 Not planning to eat or having the right foods on hand –

When hunger strikes during pregnancy, the struggle is real!  Hanger – you know being angry because you are hungry- is a real thing.

When you don’t have a clue what’s for dinner or have a snack in your purse, you are setting yourself up for hanger. Don’t let it happen to you!

Or maybe, you have food, but it is just not the best food for nourishing you and your baby.

Solution: Meal plan! It is the best way to ensure that you know what your next meal will be. This alone can relieve a tremendous amount of stress. Also by meal planning during pregnancy, you will develop a healthy habit that will serve your family for years to come.

Mistake #11 Thinking it’s too hard or too expensive to have a healthy pregnancy/eat healthy –

One of the most common things I hear from Moms is that being healthy is either too hard or too expensive. I feel you! It does take time and effort to research and find out the best foods, how to prepare them, plan meals, and go grocery shopping.  And yes it can get expensive, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Read what nutritionist and author, Lily Nichols had to say about eating healthy on a budget hereThere are many families that eat a nourishing real foods diet for probably less than you are spending on groceries now.

Get some strategies for heathy eating on a budget.

Solution: Learn how to eat healthy and incorporate healthy habits into your routine. It’s what this site and the Nourishing your Pregnant Body series is all about! So what do you want to dig into next?

Make sure to sign up below for healthy pregnancy tips in your inbox and to get your free pdf with the most nourishing foods to eat during pregnancy!

Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author based on personal research and first hand experience. Please do your own research and consult your care provider when making decisions regarding your pregnancy. 

Which of these eating mistakes are you making? Did you make any of these mistakes in your first pregnancy? Share with us in the comments below!

More on Healthy Eating during Pregnancy from Birth Eat Love!

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  • http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411882,00.html
  • Guts, Bugs and Babies from Dr Kelly Brogan – http://kellybroganmd.com/guts-bugs-and-babies/
  • 5 Ways to Help Your New Baby Develop Optimal Gut Flora -http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2015/06/17/5-ways-to-help-your-new-baby-develop-optimal-gut-flora/
  • Real Food for Pregnancy, Lily Nichols

Healthy Pregnancy Made Easy!

A 1-page PDF with 17 Ways to Nourish Your Pregnant Body. Learn what to eat daily, a few times a week, and for a energy boost, so that you can feel your best during pregnancy!

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2 thoughts on “11 Common Pregnancy Diet Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them!)

  1. Currently pregnant. And I have gotten to the stage where I am ALWAYS hungry. But I eat a VERY healthy diet, so I don’t worry on not getting enough nutrients (and I supplement) but man, I was never a snacker prior to pregnancy so it’s hard for me to figure out what to snack on when I need something! ha! Cherry tomatoes have been my go-to.

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