Article written by Weight Gone Now
Being pregnant means that your body needs more than your normal intake of vitamins, minerals, protein and energy so that your baby is healthy.
This doesn’t mean that you have to eat enough for two, increasing your diet by an extra 300 calories per day is enough.
You can get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need from a well balanced and varied diet – which is easier said than done when you don’t have your own chef and are frantically busy.
- Cheese, milk, yogurt will provide calcium and protein
- Dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cabbage will provide you with Vitamin C, fibre, and folic acid
- Chicken and lean red meats will provide protein and iron
- Fish, like tuna and salmon, will provide protein
- Fruit is a good source of vitamins and fibre
Healthy Diet during Pregnancy
A healthy diet during pregnancy is very important, here are some guidelines
Fruits and vegetables
- Pregnant women should eat seven or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day
- Fruit and vegetables are very good sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals
- Vitamin C can be found in strawberries, oranges, broccoli, and tomatoes . Vitamin C helps you and the baby to have with healthy gums and tissues
- Dark green vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, are a rich source of vitamin A, iron and foliate
Breads / Cereals
- Pregnant women should be having between six and nine servings of whole grain breads, rice, pasta or cereals per day
- Wholegrain breads / cereals / pasta contain Fiber, Vitamin B, Iron and other beneficial minerals
- You should be eating at least four servings of low fat yogurt, cheese or milk
- Dairy is a good source of calcium which is needed for strong bones and teeth. Dairy is good source of Vitamins A,B and D.
- If you are lactose intolerant – you can get the calcium you need from green leafy vegetables, or some alternative lactose free dairy products
Meat, Fish, Chicken
- A pregnant women will need 60grams of protein every day
- Cooked lean meat, fish, skinless chicken are good sources of protein, as are eggs, nuts, dried beans and peas. A lot of peoples diet will already contain more protein than they need, so you may not have to alter your diet
- Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of the harmful substance Mercury, which in high doses can be harmful to developing babies. You can still get the protein and benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids from fish if you do not eat more than two servings of fish per week. Check with your doctor if you want more information.
Food Cravings and aversion to some foods are very common and are perfectly normal for pregnant women.
Food cravings don’t mean that your body is lacking any vitamins or minerals.
If you do have food cravings for “Chinese spring rolls or ice cream”, thats fine, just as long as you remember that whatever you eat finds its way to the baby, so you want to make sure that this isn’t the only thing your eating!
Most doctors will recommend that you take daily multivitamins to help you and your baby get the essential nutrients that you need, however don’t over do it, try to get a balance with a varied healthy diet.
A lack of Folic Acid has been linked to brain development problems in babies on defects in the spine.
Having enough Folic Acid is most important in the early stages of pregnancy, when you might not even though you are pregnancy, so it is normally taking when trying to conceive.
Women who are already pregnant should also make sure that they are getting enough Folic Acid.
Sources of Folic Acid
- The easiest way to make sure you are getting enough Folic Acid is to take a multi vitamin – check the labels in the pharmacy or ask the pharmacist.
- Some Breakfast cereals are enriched with Folic Acid so this can be a good source – check the labeling on the box.
- Orange juice and spinach are also good sources of Folic Acid
Pregnant women will need around 1000 mg of calcium per day.
The best sources of calcium are: low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables. If you struggle to get the needed level of calcium you may be able to get calcium supplements to help.
A low dose Iron supplement is often prescribed for pregnant women in the early stages of their pregnancy because extra iron is needed due to the increased amount of blood in the body. Iron is needed to help keep blood healthy.
Too little blood can cause anemia, which makes you look pale and very tired. Anemia is routinely tested for by the doctor as part of your prenatal visits. If you do have anemia, a special iron supplement will be prescribed by your doctor.
Pregnant women are recommended to drink at least six glasses of water per day.
Water is very important as it helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, urinary tract or bladder infections, and it helps carry nutrients from the food you eat to the baby.
Drinking a lot of Fruit Juice is not as good as drinking water as juice can contain a large number of calories.
Drinking tea and coffee during pregnancy
A common question is am I ok to drink tea and coffee while pregnant because of the caffeine they contain.
A large quantity of caffeine can cause people to become more irritable, nervous and cause a lack of sleep. Some studies have shown that drinking caffeine while pregnant can harm the fetus and cause babies to have low birth weights. If you feel this is an issue or a concern for you, put your mind at ease and talk it over with your doctor before drinking caffeine during pregnancy.
Another thing to be aware of is that Tea and coffee can make you more dehydrated as they diarectics. So always drink plenty of water to rehydrate yourself.