Can I Skip Breakfast When I’m Pregnant?

When I was pregnant with my first son, I had a lot of morning sickness. It did not matter what you put before me: waffles dripping with syrup, cereal or fried eggs. They all had the same effect of turning my stomach.

I wondered if it was OK to skip breakfast during my pregnancy. I could usually nibble on a few carrots by noon, but it did not seem healthy to eat like a rabbit in the morning.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 300,000 children around the world are born with neural tube defects that can be prevented by taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily. A lot of people consume folic acid in their cereal at breakfast time.

In an ideal world, every pregnant woman would consume a healthy breakfast. Common sense tells us skipping breakfast is not healthy, especially when you are pregnant.

Here are a few tips for how I made breakfast bearable when I was fighting morning sickness and what I did on days I just could not stomach it.

Have cereal for dinner

If I could not keep breakfast down, I made sure to pack in the nutrition later in the day. Since most cereals are fortified with folic acid, it makes sense to enjoy a bowl during pregnancy. However, you don’t have to have cereal for breakfast if it makes you queasy. I’d have cereal for dinner or as a snack.

Avoid raw eggs

According to the American Pregnancy Association, women should not eat raw eggs or foods that contain raw eggs during pregnancy. Don’t eat omelets or eggs Benedict that are covered in Hollandaise sauce, which is made with raw or undercooked eggs. Avoid imported soft cheese that may have Listeria bacteria that is associated with miscarriages. Just the smell of eggs made me ill in the morning.

Skip the morning coffee

The American Pregnancy Association also recommends avoiding caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the chance of a miscarriage. I gave up my caffeine addiction during pregnancy. I did not even feel the withdrawal symptoms since I had so much morning sickness.

Forgo breakfast restaurants

During my pregnancy, I found it much easier to attempt to eat breakfast at home rather than going out. I could better control the ingredients. But more importantly, I could control the smells. When I ate out, I could not stomach seeing what other people were eating or smelling the bacon grease in the restaurant kitchen.

Go for nutrition, not taste

When I was in the mood for breakfast, I made the mistake of filling up on pancakes and waffles. Some people believe a pregnant woman only craves what her body needs, but I followed that idea and ended up extreme obese during my pregnancies. If you must have pancakes or waffles, use real maple syrup or blackstrap molasses. Make pancakes out of buckwheat. Top your flapjacks with berries.


The Center for Diseases and Prevention

American Pregnancy Association

More from this contributor:

My Super Sized Pregnancy

Too Pumped For Pregnancy: Exercise and Fertility

Diets That Affect Fertility

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