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Pregnancy Nutrition: How to Make Healthy Choices
Pregnancy Nutrients

Pregnancy Nutrition plays an important role in producing healthy babies. Keeping a healthy lifestyle throughout your pregnancy is important for both baby and mother. The steps to a healthy pregnancy are not hard to achieve once you know what you and your baby will need.

“Eating for two” means eating twice as much, right?

You might be eating for two, but that translates to about 300 extra calories a day; that’s roughly two slices of bread or a tall mocha Frappuccino (no whip).  For most women who were at a normal weight before pregnancy, the extra 300 calories per day is enough to fuel your baby’s growth and keep you healthy as well. For those of you who are over or underweight before pregnancy, your caloric intake will vary, it is best to consult with your obstetrician. Your baby needs wholesome, nutrient packed food-not empty calories such as those found in soft drinks, cookies, or candy. Make those 300 calories count. Your baby and your waistline will thank you later.

How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

The average weight gain recommended during your pregnancy is 25-35 pounds, most of which will be during your third trimester. Again, that depends on your weight before pregnancy. Overweight and obese women have increased risk of pregnancy problems such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. Keeping your weight gain in the recommend range will help reduce the weight related risks and make it less stressful to get the weight back off after the baby arrives.

 

What extra nutrients do I need during pregnancy?

You need extra iron, folic acid, and calcium.

The extra iron is needed to help increase your blood volume that is necessary to support your baby’s growth. You need at least 27 mg of iron daily. Some examples of iron rich foods are spinach, kale, beans, red meat and fortified cereal.

Folic acid helps reduce the risk of birth defects that affect the spinal cord. It is recommended to take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. The best way to get the necessary amount of folic acid is by a prenatal vitamin supplement.

Calcium during pregnancy helps the development your baby’s teeth, bones, heart, nerves, and muscle. Strive for at least 3 servings of calcium rich foods such as low fat milk, yogurt, or cheese. That will get you to the recommended 1,000 mg daily serving.

Should I avoid certain food while pregnant?

Pregnant women should avoid eating any unpasteurized dairy, raw or undercooked meat, prepared meats; such as hotdogs or deli meats, and certain types of fish.

Listeriosis is an illness caused by a bacterium that can occur in unpasteurized dairy and in processed and undercooked meats. This illness can cause miscarriage and stillbirth in a pregnant woman.

Fish such as shark, swordfish, and king mackerel contain high levels of mercury that can be harmful to a developing fetus; thus, should be avoided. Fish that is low in mercury such as tuna (not albacore), pollock and salmon can be safely consumed, just no more than 12oz per week.

Caffeine is on the occasional list for expectant mothers. The recommendation is about 16 ounces per day.

Everyone’s diet plays a vital role in one’s own well-being.  As an expectant mother, your intake is two-fold: your eating habits have a direct impact on your baby’s health. Make sure you get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat sensible, balanced meals. In no time all your healthy efforts will pay off when you have that healthy baby in your arms.

For additional information on what to expect during your entire pregnancy journey, please contact us.

 
 
 

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