Pregnancy diet

Having a healthy body [mother and father] is essential during the baby making process. To do so, everything that is written here will serve as a guide to maintain a well – nourished body for both the mother and the baby throughout the journey.

 

pregnancy-diet

pregnancy-diet

The foundation of a proper pregnancy diet is just the same as a regular healthy diet, which comprises of the following:

  • Water
  • Whole wheat grain
  • Legumes
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin C
  • Fruits (preferably green and yellow ones)
  • Vegetables (preferably green leafy and yellow ones)

Essential nutrients

Before starting the proper pregnancy diet program, here are the essential nutrients that she needs to take special attention to:

Pregnancy week by week

Vitamin B

Vitamin B prevents neural tube defects and abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. This vitamin is also referred to as:

  • Folate – is the conjugate base of Vitamin B. The synthetic form of folate is usually found in fortified foods and its corresponding supplements
  • Folic acid – is a form of the water – soluble vitamin B9. In line with this, folic acid supplements lowers the chances of pre – term delivery

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (also called as ascorbic acid) serves as a growth and development booster.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D serves as a support system to calcium. This is because this fat – soluble vitamin helps in building the unborn baby’s bones and teeth.

Calcium

During pregnancy, calcium strengthens the bones and teeth of both parties. It also maintains the circulatory, muscular, and nervous system normal functions.

Protein

Protein is essential for the unborn baby’s growth, especially during the 1st and 2nd trimester.

Iron

Iron helps in the production of hemoglobin – a protein found on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen to the tissues. This nutrient is essential during pregnancy since the amount of blood increases to accommodate the following:

  • Changes in the body
  • Helps the unborn baby establish his entire blood supply. Therefore, doubling the need for iron
  • Prevents pregnancy – induced anemia

On the contrary, lack of iron results t:

  • Fatigue
  • Being prone to various infections
  • Higher risk of pre – term delivery
  • Higher risk that the baby will be born with a low birth weight

Guide to a proper pregnancy diet

It may be hard [and rare] to encounter people who eat healthily every day. But there is no need to stress out about it. An expectant mother must see the guide to a proper pregnancy diet as an outline to healthy eating instead of a strict syllabus to follow.

Vitamin B

Recommended amount: take up about 800 micrograms a day. Start from conception until child delivery day.

Source Size per serving Content
Cereal (preferably the 100% fortified ready – to – eat cereals) ¾ cup (15 – 60 grams) 100 – 700 micrograms
Spinach ½ cup (95 grams) simmered spinach 115 micrograms
Beans (specifically Great Northern beans) ½ cup (88 grams) boiled and/ or beans 90 micrograms
Asparagus (simmered) 4 asparagus spears (60 grams) 89 micrograms
Citrus fruits (such as orange) 1 piece of orange (154 grams) 52 micrograms
Peanuts (dry and roasted) 1 ounce (28 grams) 41 micrograms
Peas 100 grams 65 micrograms

Vitamin C

Recommended amount: 85 micrograms a day; 80 micrograms a day for expectant teen mothers; In general, if an expectant mother smokes, add 35 micrograms to accumulate the recommended daily amount.

Source Size per serving Content
Fruits (preferably citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit, strawberry, mango, melon and the like ) and their corresponding juice forms) 1 – 2 pieces a day; 8 ounce glass 12 micrograms or more
Vegetables (such as kiwifruit, tomato, cantaloupe, potato, broccoli and the like) N/A 12 micrograms or more
Vitamin C – fortified fruits and vegetables 65 – 90 milligrams; 2,000 milligrams for higher servings 12 micrograms or more

Calcium

Recommended amount: take up about 1,000 milligrams a day; 1,300 milligrams a day for expectant teen mothers.

Source Size per serving Content
Cereal (preferably calcium – fortified ready – to 1 cup (20 – 60 grams) 3 – 1,000 micrograms
Milk (preferably skimmed milk) 1 cup (237 milliliters) 299 micrograms
Yoghurt (preferably low – fat fruity yoghurt) 6 ounce (170 grams) 235 micrograms
Cheese (preferably part – skimmed mozzarella cheese) 1 ounce (28 grams) 222 micrograms
Salmon (preferably canned sardines and/or pink salmon with bones) 3 ounce (85 grams) 181 micrograms
Spinach (simmered) ½ cup (95 grams) 145 micrograms
Juice (preferably calcium – fortified orange juice) 1 cup (237 milliliters) 348 micrograms
Dairy products 4 servings (1, 200 milligrams) N/A
Vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage) 1,500 milligrams 1,000 micrograms
Calcium –fortified fruit juices, tofu, soy and rice beverages 1,500 milligrams N/A

Vitamin D

Recommended amount: take up about 600 international units a day.

Source Size per serving Content
Fish (preferably cooked sockeye salmon) 3 ounce (85 grams) 447 international units
Juice (preferably calcium and vitamin – D fortified orange juice) 8 ounce (237 milliliters) 100 international units
Milk (preferably fortified skimmed milk) 1 cup (237 milliliters) 115 international units
Eggs 1 egg (50 grams) 44 international units
Fruit juices (such as orange juice) N/A 600 international units

Protein

Take and/or eat protein, preferably the lean ones.

Recommended amount: take up about 71 grams a day.

Source Size per serving Protein content
Cottage cheese (preferably with low – fat and has 1% milk cottage cheese) 1 cup (226 grams) 28 grams
Poultry (preferably boneless, skinless, and grilled chicken breast part) 3 – 5 ounce (86 grams) 26 grams
Fish (preferably canned pink salmon with bones) 3 ounce (85 grams) 16.8 grams
Lentils (preferably parboiled lentils) ½ cup (99 grams) 8.9 grams
Milk (skimmed milk) 1 cup (237 milliliters) 8.3 grams
Peanut butter (preferably

smooth, vitamin – and – mineral – fortified)

2 tablespoon (32 grams) 8.2 grams
Eggs (specifically hard – boiled egg) 50 grams 6.3 grams
Lean meat 3 ounce [not exceeding 18 ounce] for 3 – 6 servings a week N/A
Beans (dried) Cut back the intake but do not attempt a sudden withdrawal N/A

Iron

Recommended amount: take up about 27 milligrams a day.

Source Size per serving Content
Cereal (preferably 100% iron – fortified quick oats) ¾ cup (15 – 60 grams) 29.7 milligrams
Beans (preferably boiled kidney beans) ½ cup (88.5 grams) 2.9 milligrams
Spinach (boiled) ½ cup (95 grams) 1.9 milligrams
Meat (preferably roasted, lean beef tenderloin) 3 ounce (85 grams) per 3 servings 2.6 milligrams
Poultry (preferably roasted dark turkey) 3 ounce (85 grams) 0.9 milligrams
Vegetables (such as Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, scotch kale, dandelion greens, Pak Choi, kale) Daily value percentage per cup: Swiss chard 22%, spinach 20%, beet greens 15%, Scotch kale 14%, Dandelion greens 11%, Pak Choi 10%, Kale 7% N/A

Iodine

Recommended amount: take up about 220 micrograms a day.

Source Size per serving Content
Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, yoghurt) 8 – 12 ounce a week
Seafood (such as cod, salmon, shrimp) 8 – 12 ounce a week

Tips to a healthy pregnancy

Pre – natal vitamin supplements

Eating a nutritious diet can still miss outs some essential nutrient. To increase the supply and absorption of nutrients, take pre – natal vitamin supplements daily. Start taking this type of supplement 3 months prior to conception.

Always make sure to take vitamins [and minerals] per day to have a consistent supply of nutrients throughout pregnancy.

For expectant mothers who follow a strict vegetarian diet or have a chronic health condition, a health care provider might recommend a suitable supplement. Also, before considering taking herbal supplements, consult a health care provider first.

Iron

  • Animal products – consume iron from animal products (such as the meat), these are easily absorbed by the body
  • Plant sources – enhance the iron absorption from plant sources by pairing up with food and beverages that are high in vitamin c. Do not pair it with calcium – fortified food and beverages as it does the other way around
  • Iron supplements

Vitamin A

Choose at least 1 source of vitamin A every other day such as the following below:

  • Carrots
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Turnip greens
  • Apricots

Vitamin B

Choose at least 1 source of vitamin B every day such as the following below:

  • Veal
  • Dark green and leafy vegetables

Vitamin C

Did you know that the nutrients of vitamin c cannot be stored in the body? That said, an expectant mother must take a fresh supply of ascorbic acid each day [pick at least 1 source of vitamin c per day].

Fiber – rich foods

Consume fiber – rich foods in moderation as to prevent cramping, bloating and gas. Furthermore, here are the following alternatives of fiber:

  • Bread (preferably whole – grain) – 6 – 11 servings daily
  • Fiber – rich supplements [such as psyllium and methylcellulose] – drink enough water while taking this type of supplement

Benefits of a proper pregnancy diet

Following [and dedicating oneself to] the proper pregnancy diet brings a lot of benefits for both the mother and the unborn baby. That said, enlisted below are the following:

For the mother

A stress free pregnancy

Expectant mothers who eat a proper pregnancy diet decrease the chances of being affected with the following conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre – eclampsia

In line with this, it also minimizes the effects of pregnancy symptoms such as the following:

  • Morning sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Colon congestion

Moderate mood swings

Eating a proper pregnancy diet helps in moderating mood swings.

Timely labor and delivery

Well – nourished expectant mothers are most likely to have a timely labor and delivery. With that being said, she has lower chances of going into pre – term and/or post – term labor.

Shorter postpartum recovery

Eating a proper pregnancy diet shortens the postpartum recovery timeline. A well – nourished body tends to regain its strength and energy. This is because they have fewer pounds to shed after child delivery.

For the newborn baby

Fetal weight and length

Eating a proper pregnancy diet heightens the chance that the unborn baby has a healthy fetal weight and length.

Brain development

Eating a proper pregnancy diet helps boost the fetal brain development. Plus, it decreases the risk of being affected with birth and/or neural birth defects [such as spina bifida].

Eating habits

A newborn baby [that is carried by a well – nourished mother]