Eating well-balanced and nutritious food is important to your developing baby. Pregnancy nutrition is important to birth a healthy baby. Having a healthy eating plan before pregnancy is recommended.
The foods we eat daily determines basic nutritional health a baby is born with. During pregnancy, your eating habits directly affects the growing fetus. Your plan to have vegetables, legume, protein and whole grains will give your baby a healthy and strong start of life. It is important to pay attention to advised daily servings from each food groups, in this pregnancy nutrition guide.
Proteins. Pregnant women should take 75g of proteins per day. Proteins helps in growth of fetal tissue and brain. It also helps the mother’s breast and uterine tissues to grow and increase blood supply.
Foods containing proteins include; meat, seafood, peas, eggs, nuts and soy products.
When consuming proteins there are foods to avoid eating. They include; raw eggs, which contains salmonella that may cause vomiting and diarrhea; some varieties of fish, such as shark, swordfish and tile fish. This is because the fish contain methyl mercury that affects the baby’s nervous system.
Foods containing iron. Iron helps in blood volume and prevents anemia. This can be achieved with the combination of sodium, potassium and water. It is advised to take 27g when pregnant. Foods that are rich in iron include: spinach, beans, lean meat and cereals.
Foods that are high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, beans, fruits and vegetables. Fiber needs can be achieved by taking foods enriched with fiber. Also, it can be achieved by taking fiber supplements. Fiber helps to prevent gas and cramping. During pregnancy it is recommended to drink enough liquids which increases fiber intake.
Other than macro nutrients, pregnant woman should make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals daily in their diets. The Pregnancy Miracle book advises to take prenatal vitamin supplements. This is because vitamins and minerals play roles in all body functions.
Choose one good source of Vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C. This helps in promoting wound healing, tooth and bone development. You should take 85g of foods containing vitamin C.
Calcium. During pregnancy, intake of calcium should be 1000g. Foods that contains calcium includes: tofu, milk, yogurt and eggs. Calcium is good in the body as it helps in regulating fluids and also helps to build your baby bones and teeth. All women aged 19 years and above should consume 1000g daily.
Folic acid. Choose a good source of folate daily. This includes dark green leafy vegetables, legumes and veal. Folic acid helps in reducing risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Every pregnant woman needs 600mg daily. Follic acid supplements are given in hospitals during prenatal check ups.
To avoid risks during pregnancy, it is important for pregnant women to ensure that all meats are well cooked thoroughly to avoid salmonella. Also, avoid use of drugs such as alcohol consumption, smoking and taking tobacco. Exercise during pregnancy is important and good hygiene to prevent food poisoning that causes serious problems to the mother and the baby.