Congratulations! You’re pregnant. In nine months, you are finally going to be a mother.
You will soon be gaining a lot of weight in preparation for your baby’s growth and, eventually, his birth. You should therefore make certain that you are in good health.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet will be very important during pregnancy. A baby’s growth will rely solely on what nutrients a mother provides him; this nourishment will depend on what the mother eats.
Fruits and vegetables, food choices rich in iron and calcium, and fiber-rich foods, among many others, are incorporated into a pregnant woman’s diet.
Caffeine is minimized; alcohol is avoided. Smoking is also prohibited.
A healthy lifestyle and diet will ensure that the needs of both the pregnant woman and her baby are met.
Other than eating a balanced diet, a doctor may also prescribe vitamins and minerals to supplement a pregnant mother’s diet.
Prenatal supplements contain vitamins and minerals that cater specifically to a pregnant woman’s needs.
Supplementation with Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy
Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid. Folic acid, also known as folate, is vital in the normal fusion of nervous system tissues.
Without adequate folic acid intake, a pregnant mother may give birth to a baby with neural tube abnormalities.
It is recommended for a pregnant woman to have at least 600 micrograms of folate daily.
Mothers who have had children with neural tube defects should get 4000 micrograms daily in subsequent pregnancies.
It is also important for pregnant women to include foods rich in folic acid in their meals. Dark green fruits and vegetables, wheat’s, and whole-grain bread have significant amounts of folic acid and should be included in the diet.
Folic acid is especially important in the first few weeks of a baby’s life.
During the first month of pregnancy, a baby’s nervous system is developed; it is during this time that folic acid needs should be adequately met. Studies also show that women benefit from folic acid supplementation before they even start getting pregnant.
This ensures that from the very beginning of pregnancy, a mother’s folate stores have been fully replenished.
Iron is usually included in prenatal supplements. This ensures that a pregnant mother’s baby will have sufficient blood production.
Unfortunately, iron causes gastrointestinal upset. Most women experiencing morning sickness will hesitate to take iron supplements as iron can aggravate nausea.
Obstetricians would then advise that iron supplements be started on the second trimester.
By this time, nausea and morning sickness will have resolved.
Prenatal supplements should also contain adequate amounts of calcium; calcium is necessary for a baby’s bone development.
Usually, a baby uses up his mother’s calcium reserves, even if the mother’s calcium stores become severely depleted.
To provide for the needs of both the mother and the baby, calcium supplements are therefore advised.
Calcium-rich foods are also included in the diet, such as non-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Despite a woman’s efforts to try to eat right and buy healthy food options, her nutritional requirements may not be completely met.
These pregnant women will greatly benefit from prenatal vitamins as these provide what the diet cannot.
With all the new challenges that a pregnant mother has to face, she will need all the help she can get.
Proper Nourishment During Pregnancy
When you first discover that you are pregnant, you feel like the luckiest woman in the world. Everything else seems not to matter; your baby becomes the most important thing to you. Your actions, decisions, and even your diet will revolve around your baby.
It is wise to always remember that whatever you eat will eventually reach that little baby growing inside you. Now that you are pregnant, your diet will be slightly different.
Your baby will need increasing amounts of calcium and iron.
These minerals are needed for optimum bone growth and blood production; it is then important that your diet include calcium-rich and iron-rich foods. Milk has high calcium content; however, opt for low-fat or non-fat milk.
Make sure to drink one glass of milk a day, or about eight ounces, as this is the recommended intake during pregnancy.
Your baby will also need folic acid for normal nervous system development, so be sure to include folic acid sources in your meals.
A pregnant woman undergoes different emotional stages.
Her emotions can be volatile; pregnancy can be initially hard to swallow.
To prepare for this surge of emotions, a pregnant woman can benefit from a good and healthy diet because a healthy body is better able to cope with stress.
Unfortunately, eating well during the first few months may become difficult.
If you are experiencing morning sickness, you are not alone. Nausea and vomiting are common in the early weeks of pregnancy, brought about by hormonal changes.
There is no need to worry because the nausea usually lessens as the pregnancy progresses.
Studies show that low sugar levels aggravate morning sickness, so leave some crackers or biscuits on your nightstand before you sleep. That way, you can immediately eat a small serving upon waking up.
Ice chips may also help quell the queasiness. In addition, frequent small meals are ideal during pregnancy as they help distribute your food intake throughout the day.
This ensures stable blood glucose levels and relieves the frequent stomach upset you may be experiencing.
Your diet should include a generous amount of fruits and vegetables.
These provide the vitamins and minerals essential for your baby’s normal growth. In addition, they help your baby develop a taste for fruits and greens.
Research has shown that the flavor of the food you eat usually reaches the amniotic sac which contains the fluid your baby is comfortably swimming in. The fluid freely reaches his mouth and tongue.
Eating greens and fruits during pregnancy will then accustom your baby to their different tastes. In fact, studies indicate that mothers who eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables have babies who are less picky about their food.
Try to steer clear of sweets as this wreaks havoc on your blood sugar.
It also spoils your appetite, potentially depriving you of nutrients that your baby needs.
It is prudent to skip the soda; drink water instead. Lastly, include healthy sources of protein as well to help your baby’s tissue development.
All these healthy diet changes will guarantee that your baby grows up to be just as beautiful and perfect as you.