7 Principles of Nutrition for Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, nutrition plays an essential role in your health and your baby’s and thus healthy diet is more important than ever. Do you know why? Your body goes through many physical and hormonal changes. Therefore, as a woman, you need to know what to eat. Here we give you tips to make a better choice.

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1. Fine-Tune Your Food

It is necessary to know about every piece of food getting into your body. Know what you really need and what you can do without. You should know that your unborn child gets a taste of what you eat, this is because of the amniotic fluid which carries on the flavors of your food to the baby.

You need to increase the intake of certain vitamins, proteins, and minerals such as iron and folic acid, as well as calories to give you more energy. Here, all you need is eating well-balanced, nutritious meals. You should limit taking junk food since it offers a small number of empty calories.

Frequently asked question is, can I eat crawfish when pregnant?

Well, if you are pregnant, you might have to be careful rather than taking risks with your health and that of your unborn baby. Crawfish has some high calories, proteins, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and high phosphorus. This does not mean that you have to avoid crawfish in entirety. Instead, you will have to limit the amount and how often you eat it.

2. Start Eating Prenatal Vitamin-Mineral Additives

People do think that a well-balanced diet is all that is needed, but the truth is, a vitamin-mineral supplement guarantees you nutrients needed in your body. Many expectant women experience nausea or exhaustion during their first three months. This vitamin will make sure you are taking the least nutrients for your developing baby. You can perform this before you are expectant and when making your body ready for pregnancy.

Vitamins should contain 600 to 800mg of folic acid. The lack of these B-type vitamins has been associated with neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. At later stages of your pregnancy, you will be needed to take calcium and iron supplements to get enough key minerals.

Women with medical deficiency such as anemia, diabetes or gestational diabetes alongside those with low-birth weight babies should consult healthcare providers for the right supplement.

3. Drink Enough Water

Many expectant mothers forget to take enough water, maybe because they are busy. Let's say you take six small meals a day (rather than three large ones), then you can have a glass of water each time you take your meals, that would have covered 6 of 8 recommended for a day. The best thing for you as an expectant mother is to remember to drink water more often.

Tips

You can think of eating fruits such as watermelon, pears, and apples since about 90% of their content is made of water so that you can satisfy your thirst and hunger at once.

4. Gain Weight Slowly

Generally, you should target to gain between 25 and 35 pounds if you started your pregnancy at the advisable weight determined by your Body-Mass Index (BMI). If you are underweight, you can gain between 28 to 40 pounds. Otherwise, if you are overweight at the beginning, your aim should be to gain fewer (15 to 25) pounds. You should put on the least weight during the first three months of pregnancy (about 2-5 pounds) and gradually increase the biggest number of pounds (approximately a pound per week) during your last three months, i.e. when the baby is growing the most.

5. Avoid Cigarette, Alcohol and Unpasteurized Dairy Products

I know everyone is aware of how toxic these products are during pregnancy, but some choose to ignore. It’s good to reiterate the possible risks. Unpasteurized dairy products contain harmful bacteria. Thus, it is wise to leave creamy cheeses for post-pregnancy. It’s best to stop the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes during pregnancy.

Should you avoid coffee while pregnant?

Yes, it is the best choice. Studies show that drinking lots of coffee can have a negative impact on fetal development. It is better that you can change to decaf coffee to be safer for you and your baby.

6. Eat Smaller Amount of Foods, More Often

If you are sleeping a lot and having morning sickness, then probably you may not feel like taking normal sized meals. So a small amount of food may fit the bill. You should try eating foods like frozen fruit, carrots, and coconut yogurt, and you should avoid heavy or acidic food. If you are eating less more often, then make every calorie count.

6. Eat Smaller Amount of Foods, More Often

Dieting during pregnancy is risky to you and your growing baby. Most weight-loss regimes leave you low on folic, iron, and other important vitamins and minerals. You should know that weight gain is one of the best signs of healthy pregnancy. So, for you to give birth to a healthy baby you need to eat well and gain the right amount of weight.

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