Pregnancy + Parenthood

Eating Cheese During Pregnancy—And 10 Other FAQs, Answered

3 min read

Article Content

When it comes to starting your journey to parenthood, we know you have questions. No, seriously: We told you to ask away on social media, and you didn't disappoint. From broad ("How much does it cost to have a kid?") to specific ("Can I eat feta cheese when I'm pregnant?"), those questions illustrated just how much there is to consider when you're expecting. So naturally, it only felt right to pass them along to our team of experts.

Whether you're already counting down the days til your due date or are just starting to think about becoming a parent, find the answers to some of your burning questions below.

Important Q: Is it true women need to avoid cheese when pregnant?

Great news: Many types of cheese are totally fine to eat during pregnancy. “Just make sure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk,” advises our resident nutrition expert Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, R.D.

How much money do you need for a baby?

Having a kid definitely isn’t cheap—a 2010 USDA report estimates that the average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on baby-related expenses in their first year of life. (That includes diapers, food, medical expenses, childcare, clothes, and more.) The good news is that awareness is the first step—now that you know, you can plan ahead and start saving. (1)

When should women start taking a prenatal?

Even when just thinking about getting pregnant, it’s not a bad idea to start taking a prenatal. Our science team recommends aiming for three months before pregnancy (but it’s never too late to start!).*

I follow a plant-based diet. Will that have an impact?

The trick is to make sure your diet is nutritionally balanced—which is something to strive for whether you’re pregnant or not—and take a high-quality prenatal multivitamin to help fill gaps. That said, there are certain nutrients that should be top of mind for someone who identifies as vegan or vegetarian. “Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are nutrients of most importance [for a plant-based diet],” says Dr. Luke Bucci, Ph.D, CCN, CNS. “Iodine and Omega-3 DHA are right behind them.”

Is it okay to drink alcohol?

Just to be safe, probably not. “Alcohol can cause problems for your developing baby throughout your pregnancy, including before you know you are pregnant,” says Dr. Mastaneh. The Center of Disease Control maintains that no amount of alcohol is totally safe during pregnancy, so it’s best to refrain altogether.*

Is calcium necessary in a prenatal vitamin?

If you eat a balanced diet with sufficient calories to support pregnancy, chances are you’re getting enough calcium through your food alone—that’s according to national reports of dietary intake (NHANES 2007-2010) that has shown pregnant women age 19-50 on average get 1123 mg calcium from their diet,* says Dr. Mastaneh. It's also important to get enough calcium-helper nutrients: that includes boron, vitamins D3 and K2, and magnesium. (Read your labels and look a prenatal that includes those nutrients.)*

pregnancy-faq-1

What about cutting out all "bad" foods, including caffeine and sugar?

It’s not 100% necessary, but it’s also not a bad idea. It’s best to aim for a nutrient-rich diet all the time—especially since if you’re trying for a baby, you might be pregnant and not even know it yet.

What about exercising during pregnancy?

If you already hit the gym on a regular basis, you’re in luck: “Any fitness routine that involves moving your body, moving the blood around, and being active will be helpful with pregnancy,” says Dr. Jason Rothbart M.D., F.A.C.O.G., an ob-gyn and member of Ritual’s Scientific Advisory Board. But beyond that, you’ll use certain muscles in your body during the delivery process more than others—and there are actually lots of exercises that can specifically prep you. For that, he recommends consulting with your doctor, so the two of you can put together a plan specific to your fitness level, body type, and any potential issues specific to you.*

References:

  1. The Cost of Raising a Baby. (n.d.). Retrieved from Parenting

Share

Meet Our Experts

This article features advice from members of our Science Team and Scientific Advisory Board.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, VP of Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, VP of Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

Dr. Luke Bucci

Dr. Luke Bucci, Ph.D, CCN, CNS, Research and Technical Fellow

Dr. Luke Bucci received a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas and has over thirty years of experience in the nutrition industry, encompassing all aspects of scientific applications. He has brought blockbuster products to market, written books, patents and numerous articles, and developed certification programs for clinical nutritionists.

Dr. Luke Bucci

Dr. Luke Bucci, Ph.D, CCN, CNS, Research and Technical Fellow

Dr. Luke Bucci received a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas and has over thirty years of experience in the nutrition industry, encompassing all aspects of scientific applications. He has brought blockbuster products to market, written books, patents and numerous articles, and developed certification programs for clinical nutritionists.

PDP-Bio-Rothbart

Dr. Jason Rothbart, MD, FACOG, Physician, Cedars-Sinai (Obstetrics and Gynecology)

Dr. Jason Rothbart is a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist offering a comprehensive practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

PDP-Bio-Rothbart

Dr. Jason Rothbart, MD, FACOG, Physician, Cedars-Sinai (Obstetrics and Gynecology)

Dr. Jason Rothbart is a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist offering a comprehensive practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Shop Multivitamin

Multivitamin

Shop Protein
New

Protein

Shop Pregnancy

Pregnancy

Shop Bundles
Save $10

Bundles