Prenatal Nutrition

A woman's nutritional and overall health, before and during pregnancy, influences the health of her developing baby.

Eating well, combined with taking a daily multivitamin, can give a woman the nutrients she needs to feel good, have energy, and support a healthy pregnancy.

Key Recommendations for Women

Key recommendations:

  • Follow Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide to eat the amount and type of food that is right for you and your baby.
  • Have at least 150 g of cooked fish each week. Fish contains omega-3 fats and other important nutrients for pregnancy.
  • All women who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant should take a multivitamin containing 0.4mg of folic acid every day. Pregnant women should also ensure that their multivitamin contains 16-20mg of iron.
  • Follow food safety advice and avoid eating foods that are a higher risk to you during your pregnancy.
  • Gaining weight is a natural part of pregnancy. How much weight you should gain depends on her your body mass index (BMI) before you became pregnant. Visit the Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator to learn more.

Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines for Health Professionals

Background Information

  • The Background on Canada's Food Guide describes the process used to inform the development of dietary guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding women found in Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide.
  • Members of an Expert Advisory Group generously gave their time and expertise to help prepare the prenatal nutrition guidelines and resources for health professionals. Health Canada also received valuable input from stakeholders through open consultation periods.

Related Resources

For Health Professionals

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