Pregnancy Banner

Tips for a



Pregnancy Pattern
Pregnancy Pattern MB

Dear Mom,

You want to have a healthy baby and keep yourself healthy, too. Eating right and getting health care helps you reach your goal.

WIC can help you:

  • Buy healthy foods
  • Learn about breastfeeding
  • Make healthy food choices for you and your family
  • Get health care and other services
  • Learn how to keep your baby safe

The tips in this booklet do not replace your doctor’s advice. Write down questions before you go. Talk with your doctor at your prenatal checkups.

When you visit your local WIC clinic, you can learn more about healthy eating. We hope you enjoy being on WIC.


Your WIC staff

Pregnancy Pattern 2

Get Prenatal CarePregnancy HT Care

Prenatal care is health care for pregnant women. A doctor or specially trained nurse checks that you and your baby are okay.

Typically your prenatal checkups will be:

  • 1 checkup each month for the first 6 months
  • 2 checkups each month in the 7th and 8th months
  • 1 checkup each week in the 9th month
  • 1 checkup 6 weeks after your baby is born (postpartum)

Get prenatal care as soon as you think you’re pregnant.
Go to all your checkups. You can learn more about your
baby and how your body is changing.

If you need help to pay for prenatal care, contact:

Health First Colorado, Colorado’s Medicaid Program.
To find out if you qualify, visit
or call 1-800-221-3943.

Pregnancy Pattern 3

Choose healthy foods for you and your baby.

Your baby grows best when you eat healthy.

Every day, eat foods from all 5 food groups.

This is a general guideline. You may need more or less food.* Calorie needs are higher in the second and third trimesters. In your first trimester, eat amounts near the lower end for each food group range, and increase the amounts to the higher end in your second and third trimester. For a personal daily food plan, visit

*Based on a 2,000 - 2,400 calorie diet.


6-8 ounces per day (6-8 servings) 1 Serving = 1 Ounce

1 slice bread or tortilla

½ bagel or hamburger bun

½ cup cooked rice, noodles or cereal

1 cup flake-type cereal

Eat whole grains like:


Whole wheat bread

Brown rice

Corn or whole wheat tortillas


2½-3 cups per day (5-6 servings) 1 Serving = 1/2 Cup

1 cup raw or cooked vegetables

2 cups lettuce or other leafy greens

1 cup vegetable or tomato juice


Eat many kinds and colors: dark green, orange, red, yellow, purple and white

Add to: scrambled eggs, rice, noodles, salads and casseroles


2 cups per day (4 servings) 1 Serving = 1/2 Cup

½ cup chopped or cooked fruits

1 fruit — apple, orange, peach, etc.

½ cup 100% fruit juice

½ cup dried fruit


Eat many kinds and colors: red, yellow, orange, blue, green and white

Put sliced or chopped fruit on cereal, pancakes or yogurt


3 cups per day (3 servings) 1 Serving = 1 Cup

1 cup lowfat (1%) or fat free milk

1 cup yogurt

1 to 2 slices cheese


Buy lowfat (1%) or fat free milk

If it is hard to drink milk, ask WIC for ideas


5 ½ - 6 ½ ounces per day (5 ½ - 6 ½ servings) 1 Serving = 1 Ounce

1 ounce meat, chicken, turkey, tofu or fish

¼ cup canned light tuna

1 egg

¼ cup cooked beans

1 tablespoon peanut butter


A 3-ounce serving is the size of a deck of cards

Choose lean meats: bake, broil or grill them

Eat more beans; ask WIC for recipes

Sample MenuSample Menu

You and your baby do best when you eat regular meals and snacks. Here is a sample menu using some foods you can purchase with your eWIC card.

  • Breakfast

    • Eggs
    • Whole-wheat toast
    • Banana
    • Lowfat Milk
  • Morning Snack

    Morning Snack
    • Plain yogurt
    • Orange Slices
  • Lunch

    • Chili with beans
    • Cornbread or tortilla
    • Broccoli
    • Water
  • Afternoon Snack

    • Wheat crackers
    • Sliced cheese
    • Veggie slices
    • 100% juice
  • Dinner

    • Chicken or tofu
    • Brown rice
    • Carrots
    • Salad—lettuce, tomato
    • 1% or non-fat milk

For meal and snack recipes and videos using foods you get on WIC, signup for

Snacks: Tasty, Healthy And Easy

Aim for two to three snacks each day. Try healthy snack combos by picking foods from at least two food groups. These balanced snacks will keep you feeling satisfied.

EXAMPLE: Apple Slices + Peanut Butter

Bread, Cereal or Other Grain

  • Bagel
  • Cereal
  • Whole wheat or corn tortilla
  • Crackers
  • English muffin
  • Graham crackers
  • Oatmeal or grits
  • Pita bread
  • Raisin bread
  • Whole grain bread
  • Granola or trail mix
  • Popcorn

Dairy or Protein

  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Yogurt
  • Egg, cooked
  • Nuts (like walnuts)
  • Peanut butter or nut butter
  • Hummus
Apple Dish

Fruit or Vegetable

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green peppers
  • Edamame
  • Tomato
  • Celery
  • Avocado
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Melon
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
Baked Breakfast Cereal

Fast Food Restaurant Tips

On the go? Ask for these healthier fast foods choices:

  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • Regular size hamburger, without mayo or cheese
  • Main dish salad or side salad
  • Pizza topped with green peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms
  • Bean burrito
  • Baked potato with vegetable and cheese toppings
  • Fruit
  • Water, lowfat milk or 100% juice
Food Safety

Food Safety Tips


Wash your hands with soap and water before you eat or prepare food.

Wash vegetables and fruit with water before eating or cooking.


Cook beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish and seafood to the well-done stage.

Heat to steaming hot dogs, cold cuts and deli meats like bologna, salami or ham before eating.


If you eat fish two or more times a week, ask WIC staff or your doctor for more information.

Ask your doctor before you take herbs or drink herbal teas; they may hurt your baby.

Don’t eat certain foods.

Some foods can make you sick or hurt your baby. Do not eat:

  • Tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel or shark
  • Raw oysters, or fish like sushi or sashimi
  • Undercooked, rare or raw meat like chicken, beef or turkey
  • Deli meat, spreads or patés that haven’t been heated to steaming
  • Raw or soft-cooked eggs
  • Smoked meats
  • Uncooked hotdogs
  • Feta, blue-veined, Brie or Mexican-style (queso blanco or queso fresco) cheeses
  • Unpasteurized (raw) milk or cheese
  • Unpasteurized juice or cider
  • Raw sprouts, like alfalfa sprouts
Prenatal Vitamins

Take Prenatal Vitamins Take Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins have extra iron and folic acid to help your baby grow. Check to see if your prenatal vitamin has at least 150 mcg of iodine. If the prenatal vitamin you take doesn’t have this amount of iodine, ask your doctor.

Take the pill with water. If it’s hard to take, talk with your doctor.

Don’t take any other vitamins unless prescribed by your doctor.

Teeth Healthy

Keep Your Teeth Healthy

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, be sure to:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss your teeth daily
  • Drink tap water with fluoride
  • Get a dental checkup (safe and recommended during pregnancy)
  • Choose drinks and snacks low in sugar, especially between meals
  • If you’re vomiting from morning sickness, swish with water and don’t brush right away

Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Brush gently. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, tell your doctor.

Healthy Body

Be Active for a Healthy Body Be Active

Your body stays fit when you move it. If your doctor says it’s okay, keep active. Walking and swimming are two ways.

You will feel good because you:

  • Have more energy and feel less tired
  • Sleep better
  • Work off stress
  • Tone your muscles
  • Have better posture

Find time to be active for 30 minutes most or all days of the week.

You can break the time up like this:

Walk 10 minutes in the morning


Walk 10 minutes in the afternoon


Walk 10 minutes in the evening


30 minutes

Weight Gain

Weight GainWeightGain

The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before pregnancy. Ask your doctor, nurse or WIC staff for a weight graph to track your progress.

Your Pre-Pregnancy Weight Healthy Weight Gain During Your Pregnancy
Underweight 28-40 pounds
Healthy Weight 25-35 pounds
Overweight 15-25 pounds
Obese 11-20 pounds

Weight gain during pregnancy helps your baby grow. A steady weight gain is best during pregnancy. First trimester weight gain should be 1-4 pounds. Starting in the 4th month, you may gain about ½ to 1 pound a week.

To keep a steady weight gain:

  • Eat when you feel hungry
  • Choose healthy foods to eat
  • Drink water
  • Keep active by walking

If your weight gain is:

Just Right

Just right

You may lose the weight easier after your baby is born. It can help protect your health and the health of your baby.

Too Little

Too Little

Your baby could be born too small or too soon.

Too Much

Too Much

It may be harder to lose the weight after the baby is born. It could increase your risk for health problems during pregnancy and delivery.

If you are expecting twins, triplets or more, talk with your doctor about the weight gain that is right for you.

Keep Your Baby Safe and Healthy


Don’t smoke or use tobacco.

If you smoke, your baby:

  • May be born too small, too early or too sick to live
  • May be at risk for crib death (SIDS)
  • May be at risk for breathing problems like asthma

Get help to cut back or quit.

Talk with your doctor or call the Colorado Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit


Don’t drink beer, wine, liquor or mixed drinks.

If you drink, your baby:

  • May be born with birth defects
  • May have health or learning problems for life

Even a drink once in a while could hurt your baby.

Get help to quit by calling the Colorado Crisis line at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.


Don’t use illegal drugs or marijuana.

If you use drugs, your baby:

  • May be born too small or too sick to live
  • May be born with birth defects
  • May have health or learning problems for life

Get help to quit by calling the Colorado Crisis line at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.


Ask your doctor before you take medicine as it may not be safe for your baby.

Any medicine, even aspirin, laxatives or cold tablets may hurt your baby.

Pregnancy Discomforts Pregnancy Discomforts

Your body changes when you’re pregnant. You might feel sick to your stomach the first 3 or 4 months. Some smells and foods might make you throw up.


If you feel sick
(Morning Sickness):

  • Open the window to let fresh air in and stale air out
  • Get up slowly when you wake up
  • Stay away from smells that make you sick
  • Eat cold foods if the smell of cooked food makes you sick
  • Eat small amounts of food every one or two hours
  • Drink liquids, but take small sips

“Morning sickness” can occur anytime of the day.

Even if you feel sick, you still need food and liquids. If you can’t keep anything down, call your doctor.

As your baby grows, you might get an upset stomach when you eat. It might be hard to move your bowels. Talk to your doctor if you get these problems. Don’t take medicine unless advised by your doctor.

If you have heartburn

Here are some tips:

  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals, not 2 or 3 large ones
  • Eat less fried or greasy foods
  • Eat less spicy foods
  • Drink small sips of water with your meals
  • Walk after you eat
  • Avoid caffeine in soda, coffee or tea

If you’re constipated:

  • Eat foods with fiber like:
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Beans and peas
    • Whole grain cereals
    • Whole wheat bread and crackers
    • Whole wheat noodles
    • Brown rice
    • Corn tortillas
  • Drink plenty of fluids, like water
  • Walk after you eat

Give Your Baby The Best Start – Breastfeed! breastfeed

Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Your milk has the right ingredients in the right amounts to give your baby the healthiest start in life. Breastfeeding is good for you too.

Breastfeeding moms say:

“I feel more bonded with my baby.”

“It saves me time – I don’t need to mix formula or clean bottles.”

“It saves me money – I don’t need to buy formula or bottles.”

“Nighttime feedings are easier.”

“When I breastfeed, I feel proud. My baby grows healthy
and strong with a gift only I can give.”

Breastfeeding protects your baby’s health.

Babies who are breastfed have lower risks of:

  • SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Allergies
  • Illnesses, like colds, respiratory and ear infections
  • Obesity
  • Diarrhea and constipation

Breastfeeding is good for mom, too.

Breastfeeding helps you:

  • Get back to your pre-pregnancy size quicker
  • Reduce your risk of obesity, heart attack and stroke
  • Lower your risk of breast and other cancers
  • Keep your bones strong

Breastfeeding Facts breastfeeding

Having questions about breastfeeding is normal.

Talk to WIC staff about your questions or concerns.

You can make all of the milk your baby needs.

Breastfeeding your baby whenever baby is hungry and only breastfeeding for the first 4-6 weeks will protect your milk supply.

Holding baby skin-to-skin, while in the hospital and after going home, helps you make milk.

Nursing shouldn’t hurt.

If it hurts, get help. Call your medical provider, WIC clinic, local hospital or La Leche League (LLL).

Ask for help at home, especially in the early days.

Ask family and friends to pitch in with household chores and to watch other children. Dad or another family member can hold baby skin-to-skin, help with baths and playtime. Babies need lots of love and cuddling in addition to feeding time.

Yes, you can go back to work or school and continue breastfeeding.

Colorado laws require many workplaces to support breastfeeding employees. Ask your employer or WIC staff for more information.

Moms who nurse can eat their favorite foods!

No special diet is needed.

Colorado state laws protect moms when nursing in public.

Have concerns about breastfeeding in public? Ask WIC staff.

Did you know? did you know

Most over the counter and prescription medicines are safe while nursing. Ask WIC staff or your baby’s doctor about any medicines (even birth control pills, cold medication, aspirin, etc.) you’re taking.

The caffeine in coffee, tea and some sodas get into breast milk and can make your baby fussy. Try cutting back and see if it helps.

Alcohol passes into your milk. It’s best to avoid all alcohol including beer, wine and mixed drinks. If you have questions, ask your baby’s doctor or WIC staff.

Nicotine from cigarettes passes into your milk. Quit smoking if you can. If you can’t quit, keep breastfeeding and:

  • Cut back smoking as much as possible
  • Smoke outside and ask others to do the same
  • Smoke just after nursing

Moms who use drugs shouldn’t breastfeed. If you need help, call the Colorado Crisis line at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.

If a mom or her partner is HIV-positive or has AIDS, she shouldn’t breastfeed. If you think you may be at risk, ask your doctor about getting tested.

take time yourself

Take Time for Yourself yourself

Having a baby is hard work!

At times you may feel tired, emotional and grumpy. You might even feel sad. Find time to relax and get some rest. If you feel overwhelmed, get help.

Ask for help from family and friends.

Talk to your doctor.

Call the Postpartum Support International Helpline at 1-800-944-4773, visit or text 800-944-4773 (English) / 971-420-0294 (Spanish).

Here are some ways to take care of you:

  • Try to get enough sleep and rest
  • Take a few minutes every day just for you
  • Spend time with people you enjoy; avoid those you don’t

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, get immediate help by calling the Colorado Crisis line at 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.