Pregnant women should include in her diet proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and plenty of water. If nausea or lack of appetite causes you to eat less at times, don’t worry — it’s unlikely to cause fetal harm because your baby gets first crack at the nutrients you consume. Focus on eating a good variety and balance of nutritious foods to keep both you and your baby healthy.
During pregnancy a woman has to provide good nutrition for two individuals. The growing baby gets all its nourishment from its mother through the umbilical cord, so diet is very important. If the mother is lacking in any vitamins and nutrients her baby might lack them too. If a woman has had trouble keeping her weight up or down before the pregnancy, she should make a nutritional plan with the help of her doctor or midwife.Be sure your doctor knows about your diet.
Eat lots of vegetables: Eating lots of vegetables and fruits can reduce the chances of miscarriage by fifty percent? You will be amazed to hear that eating four apples a week can really protect your child from disorders like asthma. Some pregnant women find that broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, and fried foods give them heartburn or gas. You can plan a balanced diet to avoid these foods.
Eat Fish: Include fish during pregnancy as it is proved that women who eat fish during pregnancy have children’s who are better advanced in their communication skills, so eat lots of fish.
Folic Acid: During the first three months of pregnancy (and preferably before becoming pregnant) a woman needs folic acid. This is one of the B-group vitamins and is also known as vitamin B9. It is important during pregnancy for the creation of the baby’s nervous system. Folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida and other congenital malformations such as cleft palate or cleft lip.
Normally Breakfast Cereals are fortified with folic Acid, Doctors now a days are encouraging women to take folic acid supplements before and throughout pregnancy (especially for the first 28 days). Folic acid is included in any good quality brand of prenatal vitamins. Good natural sources of folic acid are barley beans, fruit, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, peas and rice. It is recommended that all pregnant women take a daily 400 microgram supplement of folic acid a day for two months before conception and three months into their pregnancy. Be sure to ask your doctor about folic acid during Pregnancy time.
Calcium: Calcium is another important nutrient for pregnant women. As growing baby calcium demands are high, pregnant women should increase calcium consumption to prevent a loss of calcium from their own bones. Your best food sources of calcium are milk and other dairy products. However, if you have lactose intolerance (Signs of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, bloating, or gas after eating milk or milk products) or dislike milk and milk products, ask your doctor about a calcium supplement. Other calcium-rich foods include sardines or salmon with bones, tofu, broccoli, spinach, and calcium-fortified juices and foods.
Fibre: During pregnancy, try to consume more fiber than you did before you became pregnant. Try to eat about 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Your best sources are fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain breads, cereals, or muffins.
Drink Plenty of Water: Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, when increasing fiber intake or you can make your constipation worse. One of the best ways to avoid constipation is to get more exercise. You should also drink plenty of water between meals each day to help soften your stools and move food through your digestive system.
It’s challenging for a pregnant women to get the nutrition needed if she don’t eat fish, chicken, eggs and milk. So she needs supplemental protein and also vitamin B12 and D supplements.
Iron : During pregnancy, a woman’s body needs more iron than usual to produce all the blood needed to supply nutrition to the placenta. Good sources of iron are green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, strawberries, muesli and whole meal bread. Iron is more easily absorbed if it is taken in conjunction with vitamin C – either as a supplement or in citrus fruit or juice. Iron supplements may cause constipation.
Zinc and calcium : The minerals zinc and calcium are also needed for the development of the embryo. It is usually possible to obtain enough zinc and calcium by following a varied diet.
Exercise Daily : Do some mild exercise every day. Walking is the best form of exercise Walking helps our blood flowing and increase oxygen levels in our body. Pregnant women should avoid any sit ups or crunches or tummy exercises, Also avoid doing any heavy lifting.
Food Cravings during Pregnancy
Cravings are fine, as long as you crave foods and these foods contribute to a healthy diet.
Some pregnant women crave chocolate, spicy foods, fruits, and comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes, cereals, and toasted white bread. Other women crave non-food items, such as clay and cornstarch. The craving and eating of non-food items is known as pica. Consuming things that aren’t food can be dangerous to both Pregnant Women and the baby. If you have urges to eat non-food items, notify your doctor.