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Nutrients needed for a Healthy Pregnancy

Nutrients needed for a Healthy Pregnancy

May 30, 2018

In our first blog post, we gave some basic advice to first time moms - Eat right, Dress right and Exercise. These tips are applicable to every pregnant woman, just that with repeat pregnancies women become more knowledgeable and aware unlike first time moms. In this and future blog posts, we will try to elaborate on each of these tips so as to give all beautiful pregnant moms a renewed insight into the various aspects of their pregnancy and self-care.

Motherhood is a wonderful and one of a kind experience for every woman. Nature ensures the continuance of living beings through their progenies, human beings being no exception to this universal rule. Having kids is a life changing event, both beautiful and challenging. Like every beautiful thing, they need special attention and care, right from the womb

Diet is an important factor to be taken care of during pregnancy. There is an old adage: When pregnant eat for two. While this is true, do not confuse it with eat double your normal quantity. Your baby is tiny and as per American Pregnancy Association, all you need is 300 calories over your daily intake requirement. Make every calorie count though. Eating a bowl of ice cream or a burger will add unnecessary calories to your daily intake, without contributing significantly to your pregnancy and your baby's development. Just plan your daily meals mindfully. To help you, there are loads of resources available online. The United States Department of Agriculture has made such meal plannings easier by creating www.choosemyplate.gov. This website helps dieters to children to pregnant women learn how to make healthy food choices at each mealtime. Visit the website for more information. Make sure to check their 'SuperTracker' program, which is an awesome tool for personalized nutrition and physical activity planning.

Over to some of the important nutrients required during pregnancy. We detail each of them here:

Carbohydrates

While carbohydrates are hated by most dieters and weight watchers, prenatal diet experts do not recommend complete non carbohydrate diet since it may result in production of ketones in the blood stream, that may result in the risk of brain damage for the baby. Besides, this also may lead to constipation in pregnant women since they are supplied with additional doses of iron required for the baby. Keep a healthy levels of carbohydrate intake, during all the three trimesters. Don't worry, your body is working overtime and none of the carbohydrates will convert into unnecessary fat. Healthy sources of carbohydrates are wheat bread, pasta, cereals and tortillas.

Vitamins and Minerals

Prenatal food must also include vitamins and minerals since they play very critical roles in all the body functions of a pregnant woman. Folic acid and Iron are a must for every pregnant woman. Leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, citrus fruits, such as orange juice, beans and wheat can help you get the required amount of folic acid. Dark green leafy vegetables, chicken, fish, eggs, dried beans and fortified grains are great iron rich foods. Food sources, however, aren't enough because pregnancy needs extra amounts and it is hard to get those extras just using natural foods. Hence a prenatal vitamin supplement is a must for every pregnant woman. In fact, most women start taking their daily prenatals right from the day they decide on getting pregnant.

Calcium

Calcium is another important nutrient every pregnant woman should take. It is used to build your baby's bones and teeth. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends 1000 mg of calcium daily for pregnant women aged 19 years and above. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are best sources of calcium

Vitamin D

Vitamin D works in conjunction with calcium to help develop your baby's bones and teeth. In addition to that, it contributes significantly to the pregnant woman's skin and eyesight. ACOG recommends 600 international units of Vitamin D per day. Vitamin D fortified milk and fatty fish like Salmon are best sources. Natural sunlight also helps get your daily dose of Vitamin D. So do get those morning strolls on the grass in mild sunlight

Oils and Fats

During pregnancy, fats and oils are needed to provide energy and help build your baby's organs and placenta. Make sure you get your oils and fats from plant sources rather than animal sources. Olives, Avocados, Nuts, and Nut Butters are best examples of such plant sources.

Once you find out you are pregnant, it is always best to sit down with your doctor and discuss your diet plan. Make sure you list down your allergies if any and avoid foods that you cannot eat. Talk to your doctor and get alternative foods so you and your baby are not deprived of essential nutrients both during pregnancy and when nursing.

One has to prepare oneself to be a good mother by enriching the knowledge of baby care, and the post delivery health care. One needs to be emotionally prepared to keep adjusted with the physical, and emotional changes one is subject to during this period. Lastly, the role of a loving husband during this period cannot be over emphasized. It is he who has to give her the care, comfort, and the confidence to prepare herself to be a mature, healthy and loving mother.

Ok, now do not give away your pregnancy cravings :-) It is completely ok to give in sometimes since after all your happiness will contribute to your baby's healthy development as well. Just be mindful and do not over indulge in any food that is unhealthy. Good luck Mamma, you got this!

This article is to be used for informational purposes only.  The information contained herein is not intended to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice regarding pregnancy.  Prior to beginning any diet or taking any medication, the patient must consult a licensed medical doctor for advice and/or to determine the best course of action for his/her individual situation.



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