Nutrition Awareness in Pregnancy

If you’re the type who doesn’t spend on your wife, please change for better especially in the quality of food she eats in pregnancy because…

“Never in a woman’s life is nutrition so important as when she’s pregnant and nursing,”

Good nutrition during pregnancy improves the chances of having a healthy baby. It may even reduce the risk of certain chronic conditions in the child, long after he has grown.

Eating for Two During Pregnancy

Whether you waited months for a positive pregnancy test or this pregnancy took you by surprise, you’ll probably need to make over your eating habits. Many women begin pregnancy with shortfalls of nutrients central to a healthy pregnancy, including iron, calcium, and brain-building fats.

Focus on Folic Acid During Pregnancy

Getting adequate folic acid is one way of helping your child become the healthiest person possible. During the first month of pregnancy, folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

Be sure to take a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms folic acid until you replace it with a prescription prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement. Choose grains fortified with folic acid, including breakfast cereals, breads, rice, and pasta, every day too.

Eating well can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Multivitamins Have Multiple Effects During Pregnancy

Multivitamins do more than supply the necessary folic acid for growing babies, according to a population study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh.

Researchers there found that women in early pregnancy who took a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin regularly reduced their risk of preeclampsia by 45%. Preeclampsia, which causes elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine, is a leading cause of premature delivery and fetal death.

Despite the benefits, you may find swallowing pregnancy supplements difficult. The pills are often large, and they contain high doses of iron that can irritate yourstomach and cause constipation.

“If you find yourself having trouble taking prenatal vitamins or you’re having unwanted side effects, talk to your doctor about other, safe options,”

Make Calories Count During Pregnancy

During the first few months of pregnancy, you may not notice a big weight gain.

Some women may even lose weight during the first trimester of pregnancy because of queasiness that prevents them from eating and drinking normally. Tell your doctor if you experience persistent vomiting or nausea – you may become dehydrated. So-called morning sickness can last for the entire pregnancy, but it typically starts to dissipate after about 13 weeks.

As your baby begins growing, you’ll need to make sure your extra calories are nutritionally rich. Pregnancy is not a license to overeat, however. A pregnant woman only needs an additional 300 calories a day. “Three hundred calories sounds like a lot, but it’s about the amount in two large apples,”

On a daily basis, here’s how to make those 300 additional calories matter most:

16 ounces 1% low fat milk
2 slices bread; 2 ounces chicken; 1 teaspoon reduced fat mayonnaise
8 ounce vanilla non-fat yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup fruit and 1 ounce whole grain crunchy cereal

Nutrition Tips during Pregnancy

1. Don’t forget breakfast.

Try fortified ready-to-eat or cooked breakfast cereals with fruit. Fortified cereals have added nutrients, like calcium.
If you are feeling sick, start with whole wheat toast. Eat more food later in the morning.

2. Eat foods with fiber.

Choose a variety of vegetables and fruits, like carrots, cooked greens, bananas, and melon.
Eat plenty of beans and whole grains. Try brown rice or oatmeal.

3. Choose healthy snacks.

Low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit
Whole grain crackers with fat-free or low-fat cheese

4. Take a prenatal vitamin with iron and folic acid every day.

Iron keeps your blood healthy. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects.

5. Eat up to 12 ounces a week (2 average meals) of fish or shellfish.

A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards.
Avoid fish and shellfish with high levels of mercury. Don’t eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.
If you eat tuna, choose canned light tuna. Albacore (white) tuna has more mercury.
Common fish that are low in mercury include shrimp, salmon, and catfish.

6. Stay away from soft cheeses and lunch meat.

Some foods may have bacteria that can hurt your baby. Don’t eat:

Soft cheeses like goat cheese
Uncooked or undercooked meats or fish (like sushi or suya)
Lunch meats and hot dogs unless they are heated until steaming hot
Liver can harm your unborn baby. Don’t eat liver or liver-containing products such as liver pepper soup or liver pâté, liver sausage, as they may contain a lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can harm your baby.

7. Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol.

Drink decaffeinated coffee or tea. You don’t need to cut out caffeine completely, but don’t have more than 200mg a day. The approximate amount of caffeine found in food and drinks is:
one mug of instant coffee: 100mg
one mug of filter coffee: 140mg
one mug of tea: 75mg
one can of cola: 40mg
one can of energy drink: 80mg
one 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate: most UK brands contain less than 25mg
one 50g bar of milk chocolate: most UK brands contain less than 10mg

So, if you have one can of cola and one mug of filter coffee, for example, you have reached almost 200mg of caffeine. Don’t worry if you occasionally have more than this amount – the risks are small. To cut down on caffeine, try decaffeinated tea and coffee, fruit juice or mineral water instead of regular tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks. There’s little information on the safety of herbal and green teas in pregnancy, so it’s best to drink them in moderation.

8. Drink water or seltzer (A natural effervescent spring water of high mineral content) instead of soda.

9. Don’t drink alcohol.

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