Support Your Healthy Pregnancy Using Better Nutrition

Support Your Healthy Pregnancy Using Better Nutrition

Pregnancy and nutrition go hand in hand because choosing healthy foods could affect both the mother and her unborn child. Nutrition and pregnancy has been studied to prevent complications and improve fetal development and growth.

Pregnant women need more nutrients than ever to provide their baby with its needs. However, contrary to popular belief, an additional 300 calories from the daily recommended caloric intake is all the mother needs to prevent passing empty calories to the baby. According to experts, pregnancy and nutrition should be discussed with your doctor to ensure the expectant mother and unborn child can obtain the significant amounts of nutrients they need.

For instance, approximately 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day (from dairy products, tofu, salmon and green, leafy vegetables) should be consumed by any pregnant and lactating women. This is important since majority of women, pregnant or not, lacks calcium consumption, which could result in the mother’s loss of bone density and a reduced amount of minerals used primarily for the child’s bone development.

Consultations about nutrition during pregnancy should include questions about certain foods in your diet. Foods high in iron, such as those found in eggs, grains, green vegetables, poultry, fist and meats, can help the baby and mother’s blood to carry oxygen.

Even for those who are planning to have a baby, most experts recommend aiding pregnancy and nutrition by adding extra 400 mg of folic acid daily. According to various studies, folic acid could prevent birth defects. However, for the folic acid to become effective, women should integrate folic acid, such as lean meats, oranges, legumes, grains and leafy green vegetables, into their diets before becoming pregnant.

Understanding Weight Gain, Pregnancy and Nutrition

Although it is common for women to gain weight during pregnancy, it is important to follow the recommended rate of weight gain approved by your doctor. This is important because you may be gaining weight due to “empty” calories or junk food.

As a guide, you should always include foods from all groups in the food pyramid. This will ensure you get the proper amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are required during your pregnancy. To avoid nutrient deficiencies for both the mother and unborn child, maintain the essential food groups from the diet program. The recommended weight gain for pregnant women is around 20 to 30 lbs. However, this will depend on the mother’s weight before pregnancy. The important thing is the mother obtains an appropriate pregnancy and nutrition program to promote strength and health while allowing for normal fetal growth.

Last Updated - Sunday, May, 08 2011

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