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Thank you for subscribing to Pregnancy Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about having a healthy pregnancy. To learn more about our services and pregnancy class schedules, or to find a physician, visit

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Pregnant women are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses, so it's crucial to avoid certain foods that can make you ill and be harmful to your baby. The following suggestions for parties and gatherings can help you maintain a healthy weight and eat right during the holiday season.

Watch your portion sizes. While it can be tempting to eat for two, women in their first trimester don't need to consume extra calories for the baby's development. Women in their second and third trimesters need only an additional 300 calories a day to provide for a baby's needs. When in doubt about what to eat, load up on vegetables and fruits, which are high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Foods high in calcium or iron, such as milk, cheese and lean red meats, are also good choices.

Don't overdo the sweets. Like at any other time during a woman's life, maintaining a proper weight is important for health. It's fine to treat yourself to a small dessert if the rest of your food is healthy, but don't go overboard.

Check meats and cheeses. Meat and cheese trays are typical holiday fare, but make sure they're safe before you put them on your plate. Be sure any cooked meat you eat is well-done and still hot. Avoid soft and semi-soft cheeses such as Brie, bleu cheese and Havarti. Unpasteurized soft cheeses can carry bacteria and disease. It's best to choose hard cheeses such as cheddar and Swiss.

Steer clear of possibly unsafe foods. Most foods are fine to eat, but there are some items to watch out for. Any foods with raw eggs can carry disease, so avoid homemade eggnog. Avoid uncooked fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, scallops and seafood sushi. Stuffing that has been cooked inside of a turkey may have bacteria if it doesn't reach a high enough temperature, so it's best to just skip the stuffing at parties.

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If you make travel plans for the holidays, making a few adjustments to accommodate your pregnancy will make travel much more pleasant.

Whether you're driving or flying, pack plenty of fluids and healthy snacks, such as water, juice, fruit, nuts and cereal bars. Stop and stretch often to avoid leg cramps and swollen ankles and feet.

If you are planning to fly, check with your doctor first. Women can typically fly up to the 36th week of pregnancy, but that can change depending on medical complications or multiple births. Make sure to take your identification, medication, information about your doctor and local doctors in the place where you're going. It can also be a good idea to have a note from your doctor that approves your travel.

Car travel is typically safe throughout a pregnancy. Have your car tuned up before a trip, and it's a good idea to have a cell phone. It might be helpful to have membership to a roadside service company in case of an emergency; trying to change a tire at 32 weeks is not an easy task.

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In Great Health online archive.