Time to think about a healthy pregnancy diet, right? Have you been feeling healthy lately? GREAT. How’s your diet?
Now you have to eat for two and it’s important to take care of your nutrition. You need to give your baby the necessary nutrients for his or her development. Your baby will not ask you for permission; he or she will take these nutrients from your BODY. So how do you compensate to get yourself and your baby sufficient nutrients?
When I got pregnant, I had no idea how my baby was going to be fed inside my belly, or what I needed to eat to give my baby a healthy start. When I confirmed that I was pregnant, I decided to research nutrition and made a plan to have a healthy pregnancy diet. I threw out all my poor eating habits, and I started eating what my body needed for my baby. But before going further onto a pregnancy diet menu, do you know what to eat when pregnant? Or do you think becoming overweight is a problem for pregnancy?Lets find out.
Is becoming overweight a problem?
The answer is YES. Becoming excessively overweight during pregnancy can be negative for your health and for your baby’s. The risk factor for becoming overweight depends largely on the diet you follow.
Don’t get me wrong, you will gain some weight while pregnant. This is partly because there is an extra storage of fat and fluids. Also your uterus is increasing and, obviously, the weight of your baby comes into account. The weight of your baby typically contributes no greater than 9 pounds during your pregnancy.
For reference, weight gain during pregnancy typically falls in between 20 pounds to 26 pounds. Distributed more or less as follows:
If you’re not overweight, don’t worry about weight gain as long as you follow a healthy pregnancy diet.
However, if you are a little bit above normal size or even getting to an extra size, it is more likely for you to be at risk for getting diabetes and high blood pressure. Also there are risks on your labor and may cause problems to your baby.
You should always consult your doctor or specialist to provide you with personalized recommendations for a balanced diet, and definitely contact your doctor if you experience excessive weight gain.
How do I start a healthy pregnancy diet?
NOTE: Before beginning a pregnancy diet, consult your doctor.
It is important to emphasize that during pregnancy it’s typically recommended that intake of various nutrients must increase because you’re eating for two. Don’t misunderstand that you should eat twice. You should eat in a balanced way and with the appropriate increase of nutrients.
CALCIUM: The need for calcium nearly doubles during pregnancy because the baby requires it to build their bones. If you do not have the necessary extra calcium, the baby acquires calcium from your bones. If you don’t get sufficient calcium, your baby’s can weaken your bones, you can feel painful cramps, and can be at risk for osteoporosis.
VITAMINS and MINERALS: You’ve probably heard, you need to take some vitamins and wondered, but which ones? In addition to your daily diet, you will generally have to take some extra capsules recommended by your doctor. Vitamins and minerals help your body to use the needed energy to provide food for your baby. It also helps to repair and maintain cells and tissues, so it’s time to include them in your healthy pregnancy diet. Vitamins during pregnancy, especially B complex and folic acid, are important. This vitamin helps to prevent birth defects in the brain and spinal cord.
IRON is very important because during pregnancy because the lack of this element increases the risk of death in the postnatal process. Its most important function is the formation of hemoglobin; its lack causes problems of anemia.
PROTEINS: Proteins are essential to provide the amino acids necessary for the development of your baby and placenta.
What is not part of a healthy pregnancy diet?
- EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION OF CARBOHYDRATES: Carbohydrates are the source of energy in your body. They are necessary, but in moderate amounts. You should NOT consume large amounts of white flour and sugar because you can concentrate large amounts of blood sugar and therefore create a risk of diabetes for you and your baby.
- CAFFEINE: Caffeine is considered a stimulant, that’s the reason why it has affects behavior changes and irritability in some people. Remember that these effects also are passed to your baby. Take it out of your healthy pregnancy diet. Excess caffeine during pregnancy is associated with an increased frequency of spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, and preterm labor. If possible, avoid drinking coffee during pregnancy, especially the first two quarters as it can cause abortion. How many cups of coffee are enough to be on risk? 3 small cups of coffee daily can affect your baby. So don’t play with the life of your baby, say no to caffeine.
- ALCOHOL: Warning!! This is DEFINITELY out of your healthy pregnancy diet. The issue of alcohol is something that I don’t like to talk about, much less during pregnancy, because it causes disastrous and irreversible disorders. Principally alcohol causes birth defects in and abnormal development in babies, and therefore babies may suffer from deformities and disabilities. Alcohol can cause mental and physical complications, and challenges in learning. The size of your baby may be smaller compared with other children of their age. Poor coordination, hyperactive behavior, learning disabilities or developmental disabilities such as delayed speech and language are also results of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.
Your healthy pregnancy diet has to be balanced with vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, protein (milk, fresh cheese, red meat-preferably no-fat, as well as chicken and fish), with limited intake of sugars and fats.
Perform three full meals during the day. Include foods rich in calcium, iron, and folic acid.
Avoid cakes, cookies, chips, pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, soda and desserts and foods that are high in fat and sugars and fewer vitamins, minerals and fiber. This is also a good rule of thumb for avoiding a common pregnancy symptom–heartburn.
Do not overdo intake of salt, or foods containing it like sausages, canned corned beef, ketchup, mineral water, olives, and crackers.
Do not drink coffee, or drinks with alcohol. Avoid spicy food and condiments (vinegar, garlic, cinnamon … ).
Last but not least:
Remember, your baby will be as strong as your healthy pregnancy diet. Eat healthy pregnancy food.
Consult your doctor before taking any nonprescription medication (including aspirin).