How I Ate In My Second Pregnancy Vs. My First

Ad failed to load

The recommendations for what a pregnant woman can and cannot eat are overwhelming and intimidating. When a woman is first pregnant, she's inundated with information like, "Don't do that. Don't eat this." I, however, refused to be scared of everything with my second pregnancy and, as a result, I ate differently during my second pregnancy than during my first. It seems as though women suddenly become these fragile beings once they start growing a human inside their body. But is that really true? I mean, Serena Williams just won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant, yet women are treated like delicate flowers when they are pregnant. Yeah, I'm not about it, thank you very much.

I did a lot of things differently during my second pregnancy than I did during my first. Mostly, I made different choices with food. For me, too many restrictions had the negative effect. I didn't eat as healthy as I should have because I wasn't allowed to eat so much. The second time around, I ate much better, but I also allowed myself to eat items from the "do not eat this while pregnant" list. My change in attitude came from the idea that most of these recommendations are precautions and not hard and fast rules. So, I gently pushed the guidelines to my comfort level.

Before I continue, though, please note I do not possess any medical degree and I am not at all qualified to give any medical advice or recommendations. I spoke with my doctor about all of these foods and made an educated decision for myself based on those conversations. Prenatal care is crucial for the continued wellbeing of a pregnant woman and her fetus. The below list is just my experience, and not to be taken as advice or recommendation.

Ad failed to load

I Ate More Fish


I love seafood of all kind. Because I hardly ever eat red meat, and because I had a pretty strong aversion to chicken with both pregnancies, I consumed more fish than I probably should have. Also, I'm legitimately obsessed with sushi so giving up sushi was the most difficult sacrifice I made while pregnant. The first time, that is. With my first pregnancy, I stayed away from most fish and I followed the strict guideline and I ate tuna once in a blue moon because I was nervous about the amount of mercury I was ingesting.

With my second pregnancy I ate pretty much all cooked sushi and sometimes dabbled in some of the raw stuff (only a little) so satisfy my cravings. I was still aware of the amount of mercury I was consuming, but I wasn't as worried about eating raw or smoked fish.

I Still Stay Away From Cheese

It's a cruel joke that all the things I love are all the things pregnant women are not allowed to have. I really love cheese, and the softer the better, too. Sadly, however, soft cheeses are off limits in pregnancy. To be honest, I stayed away from most cheese during both pregnancies because it was an easy food to give up. It wasn't nearly as hard as coffee and sushi. I figured if I follow some guidelines, I can feel better about not following all the guidelines.

I Drank Coffee


I'm your stereotypical coffee drinker. I'm the person who needs coffee in the morning and then, again, in the afternoon. I'm the person who can drink coffee and go to sleep. I am the person for whom coffee memes and ironic shirts exist. I'm the victim of the only socially acceptable substance addiction. So when I read that coffee is off limits in pregnancy, I am pretty sure I cried. So, I switched to decaf with my first.

With my second pregnancy, I drank one cup of regular coffee almost every morning. If I wanted any more coffee or tea, I would switch to decaf. Coffee makes me happy, and a regular cup of coffee once a day is totally OK, according to my OB-GYN.

Ad failed to load

I Enjoyed Fresh Juice

So, fresh juice is off limits because it's not pasteurized but, honestly, it's fresh juice, so how bad can it be? To be fair, a friend of mine got violently ill from eating a tomato. I mean, risk is everywhere and I'm not giving up my fresh, nutritious juice.

I'm not sorry about it either.

I Drank Wine & Beer


Only in the third trimester and because my OB said it was OK, mind you. I'm actually not a big drinker, but I do enjoy a glass of wine on occasion. So, I drank maybe a small glass every two weeks or so. Also, for some crazy reason I had an insane craving for beer, which I don't even typically like, so I would sneak a few sips from my husband's beer here and there.

I Ate Healthier

Because I was so nervous of eating "right" during the first pregnancy, I basically cut out anything that was possibly dangerous and stuck with carbs. I ate bagels and pasta and rice and potatoes. The second time around, I didn't restrict myself as much. I ate more fish and fresh fruit and vegetables.

I believe in medicine and I believe in science and I believe in doctor's recommendations. However, every year there are new recommendations, new guidelines, and new advice. I could have easily given up anything for my child, if I truly believed (and if my OB told me) it would harm him or her. But most of these recommendations seemed like a warning rather than a strict rule. I felt terrible during both of my pregnancies, so if a bit of coffee and some fish made me happy, I indulged. A little.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack