For many women, pregnancy is a wakeup call to start eating better because they now are responsible for someone’s health besides their own. Instead of relying on folklore, ask your doctor or dietitian about your individual nutrition needs during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, you can expect to receive a lot of advice from well-meaning relatives, neighbors and even strangers. That advice includes opinions on what to eat and what to avoid. Following are some common pregnancy nutrition myths, as well as some truth to correct them.

Myth #1: Eat up. You need to eat for two now. The truth is pregnancy doesn’t require tons of extra calories. In fact, no extra calories at all are needed during the first trimester. For healthy weight gain, adding just 340 calories per day in the second trimester and 450 calories per day in the third trimester is all that is needed. Simply eating an extra snack or two will easily meet the extra calorie needs.

Myth #2: You must give up caffeine. Numerous studies on caffeine and pregnancy have produced conflicting conclusions, but the March of Dimes determined that up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day is not harmful during pregnancy. That equals about two daily eight-ounce cups of coffee or four daily cups of tea.

Myth #3: You can’t eat seafood. There are only four types of seafood you should avoid: tilefish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel. These four varieties have risky levels of mercury. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises pregnant and breastfeeding women to eat eight to 12 ounces of fish or seafood each week. Fish is an excellent source of DHA and omega 3 fats that are essential for baby’s brain and eye development. Good sources include salmon, cod, tilapia, canned light tuna, shrimp, sardines, crab and pollock. There is one caveat: Avoid all raw or undercooked seafood because it has a high risk of food poisoning and parasites.

Myth #4: Eating out is risky. You can eat out safely if you know what to eat. Stick to made-to-order foods, rather than something prepared and ready-to-eat. Deli meats and hot dogs should be heated to steaming to avoid the risk of listeria contamination. Avoid eating undercooked or raw meat, fish, poultry or eggs. Steer clear of unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses, such as feta, brie, goat cheese or queso fresco, unless you know they are made with pasteurized milk. Don’t eat any sprouts, such as alfalfa or bean sprouts. Avoid all alcohol and herbal teas or supplements.

Myth #5: You must eat meat to get enough protein and iron during pregnancy. Extra protein and iron is required during pregnancy, but you can meet those requirements without eating meat. Yogurt, soy, nuts, eggs and beans are all good protein sources. Most cereals are fortified with iron, and leafy greens, raisins and prunes are good sources for iron, too.

Myth #6: You should always give in to pregnancy cravings; it’s the body’s way of letting you know what it needs. There is no evidence to suggest that cravings signal a nutritional deficiency. Cravings are likely due to hormonal changes and dips and peaks in blood sugar, as well as the fluctuating emotions that come with pregnancy. If you indulge, do so in moderation. Craving things other than food, such as ice, clay or sand, is a condition called pica and should be discussed with a doctor.

Myth #7: Exercise should be avoided during pregnancy. Exercise can make you feel better, help with stress management and even help prevent some pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes. So long as your doctor has no concerns, you should continue to exercise as you did before becoming pregnant. If you didn’t exercise before, start with something gentle, such as walking, and gradually build up to more. Continuing to exercise during pregnancy will help your body get back into shape faster after the baby is born. Always check with your doctor, though, before resuming or starting any exercise during pregnancy.

For many women, pregnancy is a wakeup call to start eating better because they now are responsible for someone’s health besides their own. Instead of relying on folklore, ask your doctor or dietitian about your individual nutrition needs during pregnancy.