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31 Oct 2021

Nutrition during Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be the most exciting yet challenging time in a couple’s life. Especially for the expectant mother, these few months pose a variety of physical and emotional challenges. It is important for a pregnant woman to take extra care of herself and also the tiny life developing inside her womb. Looking after her external health alone is not the only precaution she should take; a healthy lifestyle and a nutritious diet are essential too. Healthy eating during pregnancy not only helps provide your body with the right nutrients but also contributes to the baby’s growth and development. A growing baby inside a womb can get all the nutrition it needs only from the food taken by the pregnant mother. Therefore, unhealthy diets and daily habits must be avoided and replaced with a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.

Ideal Nutrition Intake

During pregnancy, it becomes all the more important that the mother takes nutritious and healthy foods that can properly nourish her and her developing baby. But what is the ideal nutrition during this time? Plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can boost nutrition during pregnancy. Including enough folate or folic acid in your diet before and during early pregnancy can help prevent serious birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. It is recommended that all women who are planning a pregnancy take at least 400 to 1,000 micrograms (mcg) of folate-rich foods or folic acid supplements each day. Calcium-rich foods help in strengthening bones. Expecting mothers must have at least 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. The ideal nutrition for an expecting mother must come from foods that are good sources of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Folic Acids
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Amino Acids
  • Potassium

What is good?

Nutrient Food
Folic Acid Cereal, Spinach, Beans, Orange, Peanuts
Calicium Cereal, Fresh Juices, Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Spinach
Vitamin D Fish, Milk, Eggs, Fresh Juices
Protein Fish, Meat, Eggs, Cottage Cheese, Lentils, Milk
Iron Cereal, Meat, Spinach, Beans
Potassium Spinach, Carrots, Banana, Mangoes, Tomatoes
Vitamin A Carrots, Spinach, Yogurt, Milk

What is not good?

Just like foods and habits that are good for the health of the mother and the baby during pregnancy, there are foods and habits one should avoid in order to best preserve the health benefits derived from a nutritious diet. During this critical phase, a pregnant woman must avoid the following:

  • Raw or uncooked seafood, eggs and meat.
  • Unpasteurised milk and milk products made from them.
  • Raw sprouts
  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Pregnancy is a time to cherish every moment. Proper nourishment, healthy eating and positive lifestyle habits can help not just in easy childbirth but also in the future health of the child and the mother. Taking care of yourself and the growing life inside you must be the primary focus during your pregnancy.

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