Written by: Myriam Saidy

Good nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy is essential and critically important for a healthy mom and baby. Making some dietary and lifestyle changes is needed when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.

The academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends approximately 300 extra calories that are needed daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy. These calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with sweets and fats, kept to a minimum. 
As for fluid intake, you can take in enough fluids by drinking several glasses of water each day, in addition to the fluids in fruits and vegetables, juices and soups. It is very important to stay hydrated especially in hot summer days. 
When it comes to fruits, they are a rich source of fibers, vitamins, and minerals, so including those in you diet is crucial. Try to include at least two whole fruits in your diet every day. 
Just like fruits, vegetables are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, it is recommended to include at least 3 vegetables a day. 

Protein is also important. One whole egg (completely cooked through) can be safely consumed every day. Lean meats like skinless chicken and smaller fish can be consumed 3-4 times a week 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also recommends the following key components of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy: appropriate weight gain, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and appropriate and timely vitamin and mineral supplementation.