Extreme Diets: A Danger to Your Baby?

Image via Flickr/
Image via Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

Most articles you read during pregnancy focus on how to limit your calorie intake, swap foods for more healthful choices and the dangers of eating certain types of food (I miss you, sushi.)

The other side of the pregnancy eating coin is not eating enough, which can happen during the first trimester when morning sickness is at its worse, or in extreme cases of  hyperemesis gravidarum, or nausea and vomiting that lasts an entire pregnancy. But what if your eating choices aren't biological, but by choice?

{ MORE: Halloween: Preschool Unit Study }

Generally, doctors say dieting (specifically exercise and calorie counting) is safe and can reduce the risk for complications, especially in women who are overweight before conception. One Australian blogger is taking dieting to the extreme with a rather questionable vegan diet that focuses on 80% carbs, 10% protein and 10% fat. The blogger, who is 26 weeks pregnant, said she eats 10 bananas for breakfast. Although she sees nothing wrong with the diet, showing off her growing belly in an Instagram shot, Kate Sweeney, a dietician, said too much fruit can cause intestinal stress, and too little protein and fat can affect fetal brain development.

{ MORE: Empanadas: A Fun Family Dinner Night }

It's probably best to stick to healthy eating and moderate exercise, but if you decide to forgo traditional eating for vegan or vegetarian eating (of if you can't eat because of nausea and vomiting) here are a few key nutrients you should be eating during pregnancy.

Image via Flickr/megan.chromik
Image via Flickr/megan.chromik

Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the most important building blocks of pregnancy — that's why your OB is so insistent on you taking prenatal vitamins! Women should take about 800 micrograms of folic acid before pregnancy and throughout. Besides vitamins (which should suffice for your daily intake) you can find folic acid in spinach, beans, peanuts and oranges.

ADVERTISEMENT


Slide-7-The-Right-Recipe-Salmon-Blueberry-Salsa
Image via The Right Recipe

 

Calcium

While your baby is busy growing strong bones, you should be helping her by taking in plenty of calcium. Pregnant women should be eating at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day — and if you're pregnant and under 18, you should be taking in 1,300 milligrams. Of course dairy is the best source — think yogurt and low-fat cheese — but fruit juice (especially calcium-fortified orange juice), vegetables in the cabbage family, and salmon are also great ways to add extra calcium to your diet.

{ MORE: Spinach and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches }

Image via Flickr/goosegrease
Image via Flickr/goosegrease

Vitamin D

Vitamin D also makes an appearance in your prenatal vitamins, but women who take high doses (up to 4,000 international units) can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and infection, according to a 2010 study. The typical prenatal vitamin has about 400 IU of Vitamin D, but you can supplement with a variety of foods, from eggs to asparagus.

iron rich foods
Image via iStock

Iron

While you're pregnant, your body's need for iron almost doubles for one simple reason: your body needs more efficiency in blood flow. Iron is a large component in hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through your blood stream and to the placenta to nourish your baby. During the third trimester, iron is even more important because the blood flow increases and your baby's body begins to store it for after birth. Iron deficiency can leave a pregnant mama feeling worn down, pale and prone to infection, so it's important to take your prenatal vitamin and eat at least four to five servings of iron-rich food daily.

{ MORE: Chef Kathy Fang Shares 6 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy }

ADVERTISEMENT

Are you eating enough nutrients? Does your diet limit your nutrient intake?

 

Read More

What do you think?

Extreme Diets: A Danger to Your Baby?

Amanda is a social media manager for a health care organization by day, a blogger and freelance writer by night, and a celebrity news junkie all the time! She's also mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip (and sometimes tries to scoop her!) Amanda loves coffee, fashion, nail polish, cats, and Tim Gunn (not always in that order.) For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy. ... More

Tell us what you think!

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend