Is it okay to skip breakfast when pregnant?

I'm in my fourth month of pregnancy and have not been eating a full breakfast. I have compensated by eating a nourishing lunch and having snacks throughout the day. I am worried that skipping breakfast might be harming my baby. What should I do?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

The question you should ask yourself is, "Would you skip feeding your baby breakfast after he or she was born?" By skipping your breakfast, you deprive your baby of their breakfast. Your baby is growing on a constant basis, and a developing baby does best when he is fed a steady supply of nutrients. Eating regularly and not skipping meals is important to make sure this happens. When you skip breakfast your blood sugar levels, as well as other nutrient levels drop, depriving your baby of the energy and nutrition it needs for growth. Breakfast during pregnancy is paramount. Women who skip breakfast during pregnancy become fatigued more easily, tend to overeat at other meals and don't make as healthy food choices at snack times.

Even if you don’t feel like you have the appetite or time for breakfast, you should at least eat a small snack. That breakfast/snack should include some protein (the building block for new tissues which baby needs) plus some carbohydrate for energy. 

Some quick snack ideas include: 

  • Hard boiled egg and banana
  • cup of yogurt and glass of juice
  • whole grain toast with peanut butter and glass of milk
  • melted cheese on a wholegrain English muffin
  • bran muffin and milk
  • bowl of cereal with fruit
  • leftovers from last night's dinner.

Eating breakfast is a good habit to develop and what better time, when it's not just for your own health, but the health of your baby.

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