Pointers for the Pregnant

During this interesting stage, almost all nutrient requirements increase. In particular, the recommendation is that folic acid and iron intakes increase by one hundred percent. Vitamin B complex, C, protein, zinc, and other micronutrients should also be taken in larger doses. These extra nutrients supply all the maternal and fetal needs during this period of growth.

In the olden days, we did not have as much information on prenatal care as we do now. Consequently, it was not uncommon for the mother’s health to suffer with each pregnancy. For example, the baby needs a great deal of calcium so if the mother doesn’t consume enough of it, the baby will take it from her body. This will weaken the mother’s own bones and teeth. So if you are pregnant, ensure your own health and eat all the nutrients you and her baby need. Remember, you’re eating for two, or maybe more!

During this interesting stage, almost all nutrient requirements increase. In particular, the recommendation is that folic acid and iron intakes increase by one hundred percent. Vitamin B complex, C, protein, zinc, and other micronutrients should also be taken in larger doses. These extra nutrients supply all the maternal and fetal needs during this period of growth.

To fulfill these demands, one must take a well-balanced diet and maybe even supplements. But it is better to consult your obstetrician before taking supplements. Vitamin A and D supplements are not usually recommended because more than is required can cause toxicity. The safest course is to eat foods with Vitamin A. As for vitamin D, the body can manufacture it if you just get some sunshine.

The increased need for nutrients is not an excuse to over-eat. “Eating for two” does not mean you get two servings of everything! Also, eating too much will give you indigestion and cause much discomfort. The best thing is to choose high nutrient density foods to fulfill your need for micronutrients and protein without necessarily eating more. In fact, you may want to eat smaller meals at frequent but regular intervals rather than eating fewer but bigger meals.

One should not worry excessively about weight gain. Naturally, there will be additional pounds as the baby grows and the mother’s body adjusts to support it. During the first three months, there is little weight gain so there is no need to eat more than what you are ordinarily used to. It is during the next six months that you will feel the need to consume more. You’ll easily lose the weight after giving birth and during breastfeeding.

Here are some more tips to ensure you get a wholesome diet and give birth to a healthy baby:

  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain cereals in your meals
  • Get adequate protein
  • Good food sources of folic acid include leafy green vegetables, oranges and avocados and folate-fortified cereals
  • Fill up on fiber to avoid constipation or hemorrhoids during pregnancy. A vegetarian diet naturally includes these important foods for example: vegetables, fruits, beans, yam, popcorn, brown rice.
  • Get enough liquids.
  • Calcium needs can be met by taking milk or soy milk, non-fat yogurt, collards, broccoli, or tofu.
  • Vitamin A sources include squash, sweet potatoes, and fruits.
  • For your iron needs, follow your doctor’s advice about supplementing with iron. Try to include an iron rich food at every meal. This includes legumes, nuts, colorful greens, Iron-fortified breakfast cereals and bread.
  • Vitamin C aids in iron absorption so include citrus or other vitamin C-rich foods at each meal.
  • Tea can interfere with iron absorption.
  • Cravings are usually harmless unless it is for known foods or nonfoods that have potential dangers. For example some women crave pica or clay. In such cases of craving the unusual, it is best to seek the advice of a physician.
  • Limit but do not entirely remove salt from your diet. Too much sodium may lead to pregnancy-induced hypertension, too little may cause other problems.
  • If you suffer nausea or vomiting, eat small frequent meals.
  • Drink fluids in between meals not with them.
  • Don’t gorge on fried, fatty, or spicy foods. These can cause heartburn or indigestion.
  • Alcohol is a no-no. It reduces the supply of oxygen flowing through the placenta and can block the activity of essential nutrients.
  • Caffeine is another no-no. It has been shown that very high levels of caffeine can cause abnormalities.

What you have in your mind?