Eating right during pregnancy
The 40 weeks of pregnancy are a magical time. Keeping a healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy, as well as before and after, is key for both baby and mother. Important steps to a healthy pregnancy include eating a balanced diet, gaining the right amount of weight, enjoying regular physical activity, taking a vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by a physician, and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances.
Suitable foods for mom and baby
Future moms need a variety of foods from all of the food groups. A balanced diet plan with a variety of foods provides healthy women with the nutrients they need to conceive. Safe diets are also important as food poisoning is more common in pregnant women.
Pregnant women need a balanced eating plan including:
- Whole grains: Bread, cereals, pasta, and brown rice.
- Fruits: All types of fruits, including fresh, frozen, or canned without added sugars.
- Vegetables: A variety of colorful vegetables, fresh, frozen, or canned with no added salt should be included. Raw sprouts should be avoided.
- Lean protein: Choose lean protein from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and peas, peanut butter, soy products, and nuts. Pregnant women should avoid eating tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, and limit white (albacore) tuna to six ounces per week. Deli, luncheon meats, and hot dogs should be reheated if consumed.
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy: This includes milk, cheese, and yogurt. Unpasteurized milk and some soft cheeses that are made from unpasteurized milk also should be avoided.
- Healthful fats: From foods such as avocados, nuts, and seeds as well as vegetable oils including canola and olive oil.
Avoid extra calories from added sugars and solid fats, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Cut down on foods such as regular soft drinks, sweets, and fried snacks.
Key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy
Folate or Folic Acid: This important vitamin reduces the risk of birth defects that affect the spinal cord. All women of childbearing age and pregnant women should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. Natural food sources of folate include legumes, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits. Folic acid can be obtained through fortified foods such as cereals, pasta, and bread as well as supplements.
Iron: Maternal iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency during pregnancy. Pregnant women need at least 27 milligrams of iron each day. Foods with high and moderate amounts of iron include red meat, chicken and fish, fortified cereals, spinach, some leafy greens, and beans. For vegetarians and women who do not eat a lot of meat, increase iron absorption by combining plant-based sources of iron with vitamin C-rich foods. For example, try spinach salad with mandarin oranges or an iron-fortified cereal with strawberries.
Calcium: During pregnancy, calcium is needed for the healthy development of a baby’s teeth, bones, heart, nerves, and muscles. When a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, it is taken from her bones for the baby. It is important to consume adequate amounts of calcium daily before, during, and after pregnancy. The recommended amount of calcium during pregnancy is 1,300 milligrams per day for adolescents 14 to 18 years old and 1,000 milligrams per day for women aged 19 to 50. That means at least three daily servings of calcium-rich foods such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese, or calcium-fortified plant-based beverages, cereals, and juices.
Your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist may recommend a prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement to help ensure that you get enough iron, folic acid, and other nutrients.
Postpartum nutrition tips
The mother after pregnancy is trying to emphasize the importance of diet and nutritional status. She recommended the following:
- 20-21 days after the baby is born, the mother needs to take more care of herself, or it may lead to postpartum depression, which can lead to problems such as breastfeeding and digesting food.
- The mother must drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, as breastfeeding is burning huge calories.
- A bottle rich in antioxidants and omega-3s Many vegetables help with breastfeedings, such as pumpkin and chia seeds.
- Studies show that babies are more receptive to breast milk compared to formula-fed babies.
- Avoid eating packaged foods such as potato chips, which contain preservatives and flavor enhancers because they are harmful to the baby.
- Ginger is a very good cleanser and helps uterine contractions during the first 40 days and stimulates the immunity of the mother and her baby.
- Almonds, walnuts, bananas, milk, yogurt, oatmeal, and fruits are healthy for the breastfeeding mother and baby.