The child in the womb is totally dependent on nutrients that come from the mother. Maternal dietary habits, the nutritional status before conception and during pregnancy and lactation effect the unborn child, its growth and its health. It is therefore important that the foods that a pregnant or nursing woman assumes provide all the nutrients needed to support the growth and development of the child, and this is achievable only through a varied and balanced diet.

Proteins are a primary nutrient, because they provide the building blocks necessary for the construction of the unborn tissues: it goes from two cells at fertilization to about ten thousand billion in the newborn baby! But one must also supply the proteins necessary for the development of the placenta, to that of the breast and uterine tissues of the mother and the growth of the circulating blood volume (more haemoglobin, more plasma proteins), in addition to the amniotic fluid.

Foods that contain proteins of high biological value are milk and derivatives, eggs, meat and fish. The same foods help to replenish the body of other important nutrients during pregnancy and lactation such as calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, the B vitamins, vitamin D and some of the family of omega -6 fats like arachidonic acid (AA).

how much protein do we need




sources of plant protein




red meat

Red meat is exceptionally high in iron whereas dairy protein products almost contain none. This is why its essential to vary your protein sources in your diet. Although iron is an important mineral for everyone, it becomes particularly important during pregnancy. During the three trimesters of pregnancy, the pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by nearly 50 percent. This increased blood volume brings oxygen and nutrients to the woman’s growing placenta and the baby. Each red blood cell contains a protein that’s specifically made to carry oxygen; iron is responsible for making this protein, known as hemoglobin. Without iron, the mother’s blood would have less oxygen-carrying capacity. And since the body cannot make iron, it relies on iron consumed in your diet.

Beef, lamb, bison, and venison

Do not eat raw or undercooked meat, including meat joints and steaks cooked rare, because of the potential risk of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite found in raw and undercooked meat

Many cold meats, such as salami, prosciutto, chorizo and pepperoni, are not cooked, they’re just cured and fermented. This means there’s a risk they contain toxoplasmosis-causing parasites.

avoidance of nutrient-dense meats, which can decrease intake of cobalamin, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and zinc, particularly in young women of childbearing age


Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so it’s steaming hot and there’s no trace of pink or blood – especially with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers.

9 essential amino acids (the building blocks of muscles) and contains unsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

Heating it above 160 degrees Fahrenheit usually ensures that bacteria have been killed. Do not eat cold pre-cooked chicken as it may contain bacteria.

High in niacin, selenium, phsphorus, B6, potassium

avoid cold cooked chicken and processed chicken meat from the deli. But if it’s not thoroughly cooked and eaten while hot, it can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Raw and undercooked chicken, turkey and other poultry can carry salmonella. These bacteria can cause salmonellosis food poisoning.

Cooking chicken and other poultry until they reach 71 degrees C in the thickest part kills bacteria, making the meat safe to eat. The juices should run clear when you cut into the thickest part.

cold-water fish

When you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you shouldn’t eat shark, swordfish or marlin.

Always eat cooked, rather than raw, shellfish – including mussels, lobster, crab, prawns, scallops and clams – when you’re pregnant, as they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning. Cold pre-cooked prawns are fine.

During pregnancy and breast feeding frequent consumption of fish to get the valuable long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, albeit present in smaller quantities in meat, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is highly recommended. DHA is in fact one of the main structural components of cell membranes and is essential for the formation of new tissue, in particular for the foetal development of the brain, the nervous system and the retina, that continue to develop during the first months of life


Creamy dreamy greek yogurt. On average, greek yogurt has twice the amount of protein then fat free yogurt. Because of the fat content, yogurt can be a filling protein packed snack.

Greek yogurt is a good source of several minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Together these minerals work to promote healthy bones. Calcium is required in high amounts during pregnancy and helps build the bay’s bones, teeth, and nails.

Make sure you purchase yogurt that has been made from pasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk products main contain a bacteria called Listeria that can cross through the placenta and can be potentially fatal to your baby.


Cheese also contains minerals that will promote healthy bones for your growing baby such as calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. It is a great source of fat, protein, and contains Vitamin A and B12.

The standard medical advice is to avoid all unpasteurized raw milk cheese. Unpasteurized cheeses carry the same Listeria risks as unpasteurized yogurt.

A general rule of thumb is to avoid soft moist cheese.On a microbiological level, soft cheese are more hospitable environments for pathogens like Listeria. Pasteurized hard, dry, acidic, and salty cheeses are less likely to harbor or grow pathogens.

Another thing to be aware of – cheeses that have been sliced at a supermarket deli or a retail counter. Then cleanliness of a countertop, knives, and employees hands should all be taken into account.


they’ve got vitamin D (necessary for healthy bone development), vitamin B12 (important for nervous system function), iodine (for thyroid function), and that all-important vitamin A.

But they’re also rich in another crucial nutrient that you don’t find in a lot of prenatal vitamins: choline. “Choline is important for healthy brain growth and cell formation in a baby,” says Miremadi, who notes that vegetarians can get it from nuts like almonds, cashews, and pistachios. (One study even suggests that choline can help prevent mental illness later in life.)

bone broth

Bone broth (especially with slow-cooked cuts of meat) contain high amounts of glycine.

Broth is a good way to keep up your nutrient intake when you’re feeling unable to eat,

Well, yes and no. The great thing about bone broth is you can sneak it into pretty much anything and everything, and it doesn’t *have* to taste strongly of meat. You can make rice or potatoes with it and get the nutrients without being overwhelmed by the flavor or feeling of eating meat.

Magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, collagen, the building blocks of life…they’re all there in a quality bone broth

Collagen, everybody’s favorite bone broth nutrient, is the glue that holds us together. It is the most abundant protein in the human body, so we need lots of it, especially when pregnant.

In those first days (or weeks, or months — we feel you!) of pregnancy, it can be hard to stomach more than water and crackers. But in the early stages of your baby’s growth and development, getting proper nutrition is so important. Rather than filling your cup with sugary beverages like ginger ale or sports drinks to rehydrate and settle your stomach, heat up a soothing cup of Osso Good Bone Broth instead.

nuts / nut butter




putting it together on your plate