Home Diet and Weight loss Diet During Pregnancy: The Rules You Must Follow For Healthy Baby

Diet During Pregnancy: The Rules You Must Follow For Healthy Baby

16 min read
Diet During Pregnancy

Do you think that maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important?

Yes it is crucial for your health and future health of your unborn baby!

A healthy diet and good nutrition during pregnancy ensure that your baby gets the best start possible. The best diet is a balanced diet that provides ample amounts of:

  • protein
  • carbohydrates
  • healthy types of fat
  • vitamins and minerals

During this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Taking prenatal multivitamin will ensure that you get the basic requirements. But vitamin-packed, fresh foods will help your baby get the best start in life.

Healthy eating keeps you feeling good and gives your baby the essential nutrients they need in utero.

You may ask yourself, do I need to eat differently now while I’m pregnant?
That depends on what you were eating before!

If you already eat healthy, you may only need to make a few changes to your daily diet. But if you have been living on ready meals or takeaways, or you have a bad crisps or chocolate habit, it might be time for a nutritional makeover.

For a healthy pregnancy, the mother’s diet needs to be balanced and nutritious – this involves the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and consuming a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. If you are pregnant and your diet may be impacted by ethical beliefs, religious requirements, or health conditions, you should check with your doctor.

A pregnant woman’s calorie intake grows during pregnancy. However, this does not mean that you should eating for two, i.e. your calorie consumption does not double, it just goes up.
Eating a healthy pregnancy diet means you’ll get all the nutrients you and your developing baby need.

Protein

Good animal source of proteins include lean meat, fish and chicken, as well as eggs is healthy for you and your unborn child.

Vegan mothers should consider the following foods as good sources of protein: Quinoa (known as a “complete protein”, it is said to have all the essential amino acids), tofu and soy products. Beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds and nut butters are also good sources of protein. (Beans, lentils and legumes are also rich in iron)

Eating seafood reduces anxiety during pregnancy – British and Brazilian researchers reported in the journal PLoS ONE (July 2013 issue) that pregnant women who regularly ate seafood had lower levels of anxiety compared to their counterparts who did not. Pregnant mothers who never consumed seafood had a 53% greater risk of suffering from high levels of anxiety, the authors wrote.

If you are having doubts about seafood and its level of mercury this is what you Need to Know About eating Fish and Shellfish.

Fruits and vegetables.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.

Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Try dark leafy greens; brightly colored red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits; and cooked tomatoes.

  •  Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as quantity.
  •  No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eat plenty everyday

Aim to eat between five portions and seven portions of fruit and vegetables each day, choosing more vegetables than fruit. Frozen, tinned and dried fruits and vegetables are fine, but varieties with no added salt or sugar are better for you.

Juices and smoothies also count. But the natural sugars can affect your blood sugar levels and damage your teeth, so it’s best to limit the amount you drink.

Fat

Your body needs some fat from food. It’s a major source of energy.



It helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. For long-term health, some fats are better than others or some fat are healthy and some are Unhealthy.

Unhealthy high-fat foods include fried foods, saturated fats, and packaged products containing trans fats. You should limit these foods to less than four daily servings. However, it’s dangerous to eliminate all fat from your diet.

Essential fatty acids are important, including omega-3-fatty acids. Some examples of healthy fats include:

  •  avocado
  •  walnuts
  •  pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  •  chia seeds
  •  flaxseed
  •  fatty fish
  •  olive oil

These foods provide the right types of fats for your baby’s brain development.

Starchy foods (carbohydrates)

Starchy foods are an important source of vitamins and fiber, and are satisfying without containing too many calories.

They include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, maize, millet, oats, sweet potatoes, yams and cornmeal. These foods should be the main part of every meal. Choose whole meal bread or half-and-half varieties when you can.

Fiber

Try to eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day to help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.

You can get these from whole grains, veggies, legumes and fruit. Products labeled refined or enriched aren’t as beneficial to you or your baby.

Folic acid

Folic acid is needed for the formation of the placenta and the proper development of the fetus.

It is responsible for the creation of the brain and the dorsal column of the baby in the first months of pregnancy. Drinking sufficient amounts B9 (folic acid) reduces the likelihood of defects of the brain or the dorsal column of the newborn for 70-80%.

Recommended daily needs: 600-800μg.

The maximum amount of folic acid that is safe to enter is 1000μg.

Sources of folic acid are: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, liver, veal and lamb, all dark green vegetables, carrots, cantaloupe, avocado and bread.

Calcium

Calcium is needed for you and your baby to have strong bones and teeth. If you are not getting enough calcium during pregnancy, the baby will take calcium from your bones. Calcium helps in the proper functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Recommended daily needs: 1000μg.

Sources of calcium: milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and cheese curds. But also calcium can be found in broccoli, spinach, Chinese cabbage and corn.

Iron

Iron is an essential mineral, with several important roles in the body.

For example, it helps to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.
A lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

Good sources of iron include:

  •  liver
  •  meat
  •  beans
  •  nuts
  •  dried fruit – such as dried apricots
  •  wholegrains – such as brown rice
  •  fortified breakfast cereals
  •  soybean flour
  •  most dark-green leafy vegetables

Although liver is a good source of iron, don’t eat it if you are pregnant. This is because it is also rich in vitamin A which, in large amounts, can harm your unborn baby.

What food to avoid during pregnancy?

Consumption of fish is indeed useful, but you should not exaggerate. During pregnancy fish should’t be consumed more than twice a week.

Especially you should avoid meat from shark, swordfish and you should limit tuna intake.

These meats contain mercury, which if consumed in large quantities, and can harm the developing nervous system of the baby.

It is not recommended any consumption of live seafood such as oysters or mussels.

Alcohol should be considered as forbidden during pregnancy. Although there is no evidence that small amounts of alcohol can harm the fetus, but it is best to avoid altogether. Consumption of alcohol is bound to premature birth, birth defects and low weight of the newborn.

Caffeine should be limited to 300mg daily. You should know that, except in coffee, caffeine can be found in tea, some soft drinks and chocolate.

Particular caution should be taken with the intake of vitamin A. Foods that contain large amounts of vitamin A, such as liver, should be avoided.

Unpasteurized cheeses and dairy products should be removed from the diet. They are associated with the bacteria Listeria, which can harm your baby.

The food that you eat should be fully cooked. If the eggs or the meat are not sufficiently cooked, you are at risk to be infected with a bacterium.

How much weight should I gain in pregnancy?

On average, you’ll gain between 11.5kg and 16kg (25lbs and 35lbs).

However, this amount will vary from woman to woman depending on a range of factors. Eating a well-balanced diet, with little in the way of fats and sugars, should prevent you gaining too much weight.

What to eat when you are pregnant and don’t feel well?

During pregnancy you may have periodical morning sickness, diarrhea, or constipation. You may find it hard to keep foods down, or you may feel too sick to even eat at all.

Here are some suggestions you can use:

Morning Sickness: Eat cereal, crackers or pretzels before getting out of bed, eat small, frequent meals throughout the day, avoid fatty, fried, spicy, and greasy foods.

Diarrhea: Eat more foods that contain pectin and gums to help absorb excess water. Examples of these foods are oatmeal, applesauce, bananas, white rice, and refined wheat bread.

Constipation: Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Taking fiber supplements may also help. Check with your doctor first.

Heartburn: Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day; try drinking milk before eating; and limit caffeinated foods and beverages, citric beverages, and spicy foods.

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