Complete nutrition is of prime importance during pregnancy. The pregnant women diet can make a critical difference during pregnancy.
First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! Now that you are responsible for the well-being of your little bundle of joy who is growing within you, you will only want to give him/her the very best as a mom.
You become a mom right from the time when you see those two pink lines in your home pregnancy kit, so nothing is more important than having a proper diet because what you eat and drink during pregnancy is your baby’s main source of nourishment.
As a new mother-to-be, you may hear a lot of advice from friends, family, sometimes from total strangers too but the idea is to maintain your calm and use your own judgement. Here are some tips on pregnant women diet that should guide you through your entire nine months beautiful journey towards motherhood.
Pregnant women diet should always comprise of healthy food options that provide plenty of important nutrients like protein, Vitamin C, folic acid and calcium. Here is why these nutrients are important and where you will find them.
Folic acid (also known as folate) is a B vitamin that is vital in to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine. That is why doctors recommend this nutrient to women who are trying to conceive. Later, during pregnancy, they advise women to increase the amount of folic acid.
Food sources: green leafy vegetables, orange juice, fortified cereals, lentils, breads and pastas, papaya.
Calcium is necessary to build a baby’s bones and teeth. If you do not consume enough calcium, then it will be drawn from your bones and given to your baby in order Many dairy products also contain Vitamin D, another nutrient that is required to develop a baby’s bones and teeth. Moreover, the best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, so you soak in some sunshine as and when possible.
Food sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices, fishes like sardines or salmon with bones
Iron: Iron is needed to make more blood to supply the baby with oxygen. Iron deficiency during pregnancy can lead to anaemia. That is why, pregnant women need more iron than women who are not expecting. For better results, include a very good source of vitamin C when eating iron-rich foods – this will ensure better absorption of the mineral.
Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.
Protein: It helps to build important organs in the baby, like the brain and heart. The amino acids present in protein also forms as an important component for cell formation.
Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, tofu.
Pregnant women diet: Don’ts
Pregnant women diet also means avoiding these food ingredients:
- Oily food
- Fish with high levels of mercury like swordfish, shark, and mackerel
- Preserved or packaged drinks as they contain preservatives
- Undercooked food
- Raw eggs
Remember that every mother’s needs are unique and so their requirement would differ. What fits for you may not be good for your friend. Similarly, the total number of calories needed per day during your pregnancy depends on your height, your weight before pregnancy, and how active are you on daily basis.
Keeping all these things in mind for the pregnant women diet will help you to sail through smoothly and have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Note: This piece was first published in Women’s Web and the image has been taken from Google.