A balanced diet of grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein help maintain an optimal and healthy pregnancy. Eating healthy foods is great for a woman during pregnancy because it supports the growth of your fetus and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Because of the demands your body needs to process nutrition for both your life and your baby’s life, diet can help plan for the pregnancy, encourage healthy growth during pregnancy, and reduce the risks of health complications during delivery.
What to Eat For Your Pregnancy
Pre-conception pregnancy is just as essential and nutrition during your pregnancy because your pre-pregnancy weight determines your baby’s birth weight. Women who are underweight or overweight don’t have well-balanced diets to support the demands of pregnancy, and during their pregnancy, the risks of congenital disabilities significantly increase. An unhealthy diet can also affect the mother by increasing the chances of osteoporosis, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.
Some nutrients women should eat to prepare for pregnancy can include:
Folic Acid – Foods such as leafy greens, nuts, beans, and citrus foods contain folic acid, which can reduce the risks of congenital disabilities of the brain and spine.
Iron – Good sources of iron can include beef, chicken, leafy greens, peas, beans, and whole-grain bread contain iron, which is essential for a mother’s iron stores that the fetus needs during pregnancy.
Calcium – Three servings of milk and other dairy products will be needed because the fetus will draw from the mother’s bones to develop.
For women who are pregnant, approximately 300 calories are needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy. While women need to eat extra to help their child grow, it doesn’t mean that they should overextend their eating habits to compensate for their pregnancy.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy can include:
- Unpasteurized kinds of milk and cheeses
- Soft cheeses, such as fresco, queso Blanco, and feta, unless pasteurized
- Lunch meats and hot dogs
- Refrigerated pates and meat spreads
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
- Raw fish, eggs, and meats
The Benefits of Better Nutrition
Having better nutrition can benefit women overall throughout their life, but with pregnancies, it’s especially important to help avoid congenital disabilities and health problems in the future. Among the numerous benefits of better nutrition, eating better can bring women:
- Sustainable energy
- Stronger immune systems
- Reduce the risks of diseases
- Improve sleep
- Reduce symptoms of pregnancy
- Successful baby growth
Question about Better Nutrition in Pregnancy (Mini-FAQ):
Why should I take prenatal vitamins? – Prenatal vitamins play an essential part in fetus development, as these vitamins aid in all of your body functions and help supplement your baby’s development. It’s best to take one serving of prenatal supplements per day and consult your obstetrician for further guidance.
How can I plan out healthy meals during my pregnancy? – Women’s health clinics offer many tools to plan for healthy meals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides its food-planning guide for healthy food choices at their MyPlate website, www.choosemyplate.gov.
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? – Weight gain depends on your body mass index before you are pregnant, and the amount of weight gain will differ depending on your trimester.
How We Can Help With Nutrition in Pregnancy
Our clinic can provide detailed nutrition guides that can aid you in all aspects of your pregnancy, from before conception to delivery. Our practitioners have a keen eye for nutrition and can customize nutrition plans for each patient. With the recommended guidelines, we can help make your pregnancy a positive, enjoyable experience that you can treasure always.