Nutrition for pregnancy
At the time of pregnancy, your body is busy preparing and nurturing your new child.
As a result of this, you may tend to overestimate your nutritional needs.
In reality, you should add only an additional 300 calories a day (equivalent to a glass of whole milk) while pregnant. You do not need to eat for two. By understanding what your body needs on a daily basis, you can be sure to choose those foods that provide the most benefit to you and your growing baby.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to take lots of fruits and vegetables, breads and whole grains, while limiting the amount of fat, oil, and sugar.
Specific recommendations include
: 6-11 servings a day. Emphasise whole grains to increase your fiber intake. Limit white flour and processed grains because of their limited nutritional content.
: 3-5 servings per day, and fruit: 3-5 servings per day. Vegetables and fruits are important for their abundance of vitamins and minerals. Fresh is best. To keep the vitamin content high, donít overcook vegetables. Consider buying organic produce.
: 4 servings per day. These foods can be very high in fat content so you may wish to choose low fat versions of these items. Sample servings include one cup of milk, cheese, or a cup each of yogurt. These dairy products are high in calcium, which helps calcify babyís bones and minimize your risk of future osteoporosis.
: 2-3 servings per day. Protein foods are important to build strong muscles and blood. Cut back on red meat, and emphasise skinless poultry as a good low fat choice for protein consumption. Some of the other good protein source foods are fresh fish, eggs, beans, tofu, peanut butter, and nuts.
You can discuss about weight gain goals with your medical provider. It is recommended a weight gain of 30- 35 pounds for women of normal prepregnancy weight. Special attention should be paid to the needs of vegetarian women, those carrying twins, or those with allergies or medical needs that may affect nutrition. If you take any prescribed or over-the-counter medications, vitamin supplements, laxatives or diet aids, tell your provider.
For adequate vitamin intake, it is better to consult your medical provider. Extra supplementation of iron is frequently necessary since the average diet doesnít meet minimum nutritional needs. It is advisable to take iron supplements between meals or at bedtime with water to maximize absorption. Iron may cause your stool to turn darker in color, or cause constipation. These effects can be minimized by drinking lots of fluids and eating high fiber foods.
Taking more vitamin supplementation is not advisable. Too much vitamin A can lead to bone, urinary tract, and central nervous system defects. And also drinking quarts of water each day can lessen hunger and reduce constipation.