Focus on the quality of food intake and strive to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Make sure to scrub fresh fruits and vegetables under running water to ensure they are clean.


Take a prenatal vitamin supplement as recommended by
your doctor.


Listeria, a common bacteria found in soil, rarely makes pregnant women sick. Following the food guidelines listed below will prevent most exposures. If you eat food recalled for contamination concerns and do not have a fever, no additional testing is required. Contact your provider is you develop a fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.


Drink plenty of fresh water throughout the day.

Weight gain

Recommended weight gain during pregnancy is approximately 20-30 pounds for normal weight women. The recommended weight gain varies based on pre-pregnancy weight. Discuss this with your doctor during the initial prenatal visit.

Foods to avoid

Avoid certain fish

  • Swordfish, shark, tile fish, king mackerel and fresh tuna. These large fish harbor high levels of methyl mercury that can affect brain and neurological development in the fetus. Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is used in a cooked dish, such as a casserole.

Avoid raw or undercooked foods

  • Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. These foods may contain a variety of harmful bacteria and viruses. Use a meat thermometer when preparing meat and poultry.
  • Dough or batter made with eggs. Cook eggs until they are not runny.

Reheat deli meats including hot dogs

  • If consuming deli ham, turkey, bologna, salami and hot dogs, reheat until they are steaming hot. Certain bacteria sometimes found in these foods may cause serious health problems.
  • Avoid refrigerated pâté or meat spread.

Avoid unpasteurized dairy foods and juices

  • Milk and soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk unless they are fully cooked. This includes Mexican queso cheese.
  • Juices such as cider purchased from roadside stands, farms or in some stores. These products may contain E. coli or listeria. Check labels for pasteurization.

Avoid certain sugar substitutes

  • Saccharin (e.g. Sweet’N Low) is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it enters the placenta and may remain in the baby’s tissues. However, acesulfame potassium (e.g. Sweet One), aspartame (e.g. Equal, NutraSweet), stevia (e.g. Truvia) and sucralose (e.g. Splenda) are all considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Prenatal classes

We encourage all obstetrical patients to look into prenatal classes at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Childbirth classes are available as well as classes on breastfeeding, infant CPR, new baby care, and sibling classes. For information or to register, please call 304-526-BABY. 

Community service organizations

  • Cabell County Family Resource Network: 304-697-0255
  • United Way, Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, Education Matters, Financial Stability and Success by 6: 304-523-8929
  • Huntington City Mission: 304-523-0293

 Early childhood/development/day care

  • Birth to Three: 304-523-5444
  • Head Start & Pre-K: 304-697-4600
  • LINK Child Care Resource & Referral: 1-800-894-9540
  • TEAM for WV Children: 304-523-9587
  • WV Help Me Grow: 1-800-642-8522

Health care/nutrition

Crisis and emergency needs

  • Maternal Addiction & Recovery Center (MARC): 304-691-8730
  • Abuse Hotlines (children and adult protective services, domestic violence): 1-800-352-6513
  • Branches Domestic Violence Shelter: 304-529-2382
  • Information & Referral (referrals, utility assistance, food and clothing pantries, etc.): 304-528-5660
  • Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
  • Marshall OB Concern Line: 681-378-4662