For your baby to grow and develop, good nutrition during pregnancy is very necessary. You can eat about 300 more calories a day when you are pregnant, try to eat a well-balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a pregnant woman needs more calcium, folic acid, iron and proteins than a non-pregnant woman. During pregnancy, the goal is to eat healthy foods most of the time. Doctors recommend five important food groups in order to improve prenatal nutrition: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy products. To keep you and your baby healthy and safe, here are some suggestions.
- Enjoy a variety of foods so you can get all the antioxidants and nutrients you need. Daily recommended meals include 6-11 servings of bread and grain, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products and three servings of protein (meat , poultry, seafood , eggs or nuts).
- Prefer diets high in fibre, such as whole grain breads , cereals, beans, pasta and rice, as well as fruits and vegetables. Although it is best to get your fibre from food, taking a fibre supplement can help you get the amount you need. Examples of these include psyllium and methylcellulose. Speak to your doctor before you start taking some supplements.Increase the amount of fibre supplements that help in gas and cramping prevention. When increasing your fibre intake, it’s also necessary to drink enough liquids.
- Ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals during pregnancy in your everyday diet, you should take a prenatal calcium supplement with doctor consent.
- To better maintain that you get 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy, eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day. To ensure that you get 27 mg of iron daily, consume at least three servings of iron-rich foods, such as spinach, beans, and breakfast cereals every day.
- You may need 220 micrograms of iodine a day when you’re pregnant that help in the development of the brain and nervous system of your infant. For this you should include a variety of dairy products in your diet such as milk, cheese (particularly cottage cheese), yoghurt, baked potatoes, cooked navy beans and limited quantities of seafood such as cod, salmon and shrimp, 8 to 12 oz per week.
- Women who are pregnant require 80-85 mg of vitamin C a day. Every day, include at least one good source of vitamin C, such as strawberries, grapefruit, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, green peppers, and mustard greens. Including dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas), have at least one good amount of folate per day. Carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, lettuce, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe are all vitamin A sources that help pregnant women everyday.
Foods that should avoid during pregnancy
- According to the 2010 ACOG committee opinion, which was reaffirmed in 2013, consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine a day, which is the quantity contained in one 12-ounce cup of coffee, is usually considered healthy in pregnancy. Moderate intake of caffeine during pregnancy does not appear to lead to miscarriage or premature birth, the committee report stated.
- During pregnancy, avoid alcohol, because alcohol in the blood of a mother may pass through the umbilical cord directly to the infant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC), heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been associated with foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, a category of symptoms that may include physical disabilities, as well as learning and behavioural challenges in babies and children.
- According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, seafood such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, marlin, orange rough and tilefish is high in methylmercury levels and should be avoided during pregnancy. Methyl mercury is a dangerous chemical that can pass through the placenta and can be toxic to the developing brain, kidneys and nervous system of an unborn baby.
- The USDA recommends avoiding unpasteurized (raw) milk and food to prevent listeriosis. In order to destroy harmful bacteria, pasteurisation requires heating a substance to a high temperature that is safe for pregnant women.
- Some foods like raw or undercooked eggs, such as soft-cooked, runny or poached eggs, Sprouts that are raw or undercooked, such as alfalfa and clover. Juice or cider that is unpasteurized, can increase the risk of various types of food poisoning in a pregnant woman, for example, most of the time salmonella and E Coli bacteria causes illness and food poisoning. Foodsafety.gov recommends avoiding these foods during pregnancy.
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