Thus, it is essential for a pregnant woman to be very careful regarding her nutrition during and even after pregnancy to meet the needs of the growing fetus and her changing body. As is known, your baby is what you make of it through the diet you take upon yourself during pregnancy as your food intake is the main supply to meet your growing fetus’ nutritional needs that determines its well being and health as it does your own.
An unbalanced diet or poor food intake habits can result in difficulties during pregnancy such as anemia, mood swings, preeclampsia, leg cramps, fatigue and constipation.
A Healthy Diet
Every bit of food intake during pregnancy accounts for the needs of a woman’s changing body and her growing fetus. Research points out that the fetus’ brain development is affected by the diet of its mother during her pregnancy. The 1st trimester requires high quantities of protein, calcium and vitamins like B12, D, B6, folic acid and zinc which are essential for good mental development in the fetus.
Besides these, certain fatty acids and minerals with sufficient calories are needed for the growing embryo to develop well. More proteins should be added as the pregnant woman progresses in her pregnancy with an extra 300 calories over her normal diet, especially around midway during her pregnancy.
The weight gain for a pregnant woman should be about 3 to 5 pounds every month reducing to less than 3 pounds from the 2nd trimester. A nutrition chart should take these weight gains into consideration as you plan your diet during your pregnancy.
Appropriate Foods in the Diet
The best types of food to have in your pregnancy diet include porridge, which is wholesome and light with minerals, dairy products for calcium intake, red vegetables such as tomatoes and carrots for carotene, fresh oranges and red apples that contain vitamin B complex, nuts and raisins that have minerals and vitamins, leafy veggies for iron and calcium, brown rice and lotus stem for iron supply, bean sprouts, curd, pulses, buttermilk, lentils and milk for a good supply of calcium and iron.
Good Eating Habits
Eating habits need to be changed during pregnancy where smaller meal portions over the day is better than the normal 3 meals outside pregnancy as the smaller meals will reduce the quantity of fat, salt and sugar for a healthier pregnancy. Try not to binge as it will cause discomfort. Drinking a lot of water not only prevents dehydration, it washes the toxins from your body and cleanses your digestive system, although you may feel a bit nauseous with too much water.
Junk food will only add unnecessary pounds without any nutritional benefits, so it is best to stay off them during pregnancy. The same goes for caffeine, alcohol, and additives in addition to oily and unpasteurized foods which do more harm than good to your growing baby.
Exercises During Pregnancy
On top of the healthy diet, it’s recommended to do some medically approved exercises to keep your body in good shape and maintain good circulation of blood around your body. It also relaxes you during your pregnancy, removing possible stress.