Low FODMAP Pregnancy Essentials

Nutrition during pregnancy can seem overwhelming…

Doctors preach about eating a well-balanced, healthy diet to promote normal growth and development of the baby. However, if you suffer from IBS and follow a Low FODMAP diet to manage your symptoms it may be difficult to include all the nutritious foods they are telling you to eat. 

What are some of the important nutrients that are needed for the proper growth and development of a baby? Listed with these nutrients are some good Low-FODMAP options for each nutrient. 

Folate/folic acid 

  • This nutrient is essential for the baby’s development of the neural tube and brain early in pregnancy. 
  • Folate is a B vitamin that is naturally found in some foods and folic acid is the form of folate that is added to foods or found in a prenatal supplement. 
  • It is recommended that women get approximately 800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily during pregnancy
    • Lentils (canned, ½ cup per serving)
    • Baby spinach (1 cup per serving)
    • Turnip greens
    • Broccoli (½ cup per serving)
    • Beets (2 slices per serving)
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Bok choy (1 cup per serving)

Calcium

  • Calcium is critical for the baby’s development of strong bones and teeth
  • It also is important for cardiovascular health and the development of the nervous system
  • Calcium is best found in dairy products but it is also found in certain vegetables and fruits and can be added to foods. 
  • It is recommended that women get approximately 1000-1300 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day
    • Hard cheeses like cheddar, Colby jack, gouda, and provolone (minimal lactose)
    • Calcium-fortified non-dairy milk (almond, rice milk)
    • Plain, firm tofu
    • Lactose-free milk, yogurt, and ice-cream

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D works alongside calcium to help promote the development of strong bones and teeth. This nutrient is found in fatty fish and eggs but can also be added to foods. 
  • Pregnant women need approximately 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D daily.
    • Fatty fish
    • Lactose-free dairy fortified with vitamin D

Iron

  • During pregnancy, your baby gets oxygen through your blood supply, and your blood supply doubles during pregnancy for this reason. Iron is bound to hemoglobin which is a part of red blood cells. These red blood cells carry oxygen to the growing baby. It is important to make sure you get enough iron in your diet to help promote oxygenation for your baby. 
  • You also want to prevent iron-deficiency anemia. The development of anemia may result in headaches and severe fatigue. It can also be dangerous leading to preterm birth and low birth weight for the baby. The best source of iron is found in meat but it can also be found in some plant foods. 
  • You need approximately 27 mg of iron per day
    • Beef, chicken, or veal liver
    • Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
    • Peanuts, pecans, walnuts
    • Baby spinach (½ cup per serving)
    • Beef steak, grilled
    • Firm tofu
    • Egg
    • Quinoa 

***Pro-tip- consume iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C for better nutrient absorption - oranges, lemon, strawberries, and grapefruit are great examples of Low-FODMAP fruits (limit to 1 serving)

If you have further questions about nutrition or the Low FODMAP diet during pregnancy, please ask a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN). They will be able to assist you with making the most nutritious choices for your baby!

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