Your diet is vital to maintain your health and during pregnancy it is even more so since you are "eating for two"! Eating healthy during pregnancy has been found to significantly aid in foetal development.
The need for certain nutrients such as calcium, iron and folic acid is increased at this time however only a small amount of extra energy (calories) is needed. Women should eat to their appetite and monitor their weight. A normal weight gain is around 10-13kg for women who are a healthy when falling pregnant. A good diet when pregnant has been found to decrease the risk of miscarriage and premature labor as well as minimize the babies risk of illnesses. A recent study found that women who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein lowered their babies risks of developing leukemia.
Easy ways of consuming healthier foods is to include lots of raw or steamed fruits and vegetables in your diet. Also, choose foods that are whole grain and haven't been processed too much. If you had a well-balanced diet before pregnancy, you probably won't need to make too many big changes.
Vitamin C is critical in tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth and many other metabolic processes. Calcium is required by the growing foetus for strong bones and teeth. Ensure that your diet includes an increase in iron-rich foods. Many women have difficulty filling their iron requirements through diet alone, therefore making it essential for pregnant women to take a daily supplements. Check with your health physician that you are getting the recommended daily intake of all essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.
WHAT TO AVOID WHILE YOU'RE PREGNANT – & why not keep it up afterwards for long term health?
o Fast food, fried food and junk food.
o Processed foods. The more your food has been handled, the fewer nutrients it will contain. Choose whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables more often.
o Sauces, gravies and butter – go for low-fat versions wherever possible
o Fish known to contain high levels of mercury. You may want to supplement with Omega 3's
o DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST! You need it to fuel your body for the day's activities and to feed your developing baby.
o Keep portions to small sizes which will help with indigestion.
o Drink at least 2 liters of water daily, more if you are retaining fluid or if it is hot. Your body fluids increase during pregnancy and so does your need for more fluids. Water is essential. Keep caffeine to a minimum – softdrinks have caffeine so be careful about the amount of these you drink. Not to mention the sugar content.
o Exercise during pregnancy – walking is best or light swimming. Do not over exert yourself and always talk it over with your doctor first.
If you would like to find out more about how you can help your health during pregnancy, visit my website and request a free, no obligation phone consultation.