Guide to Understanding Pregnancy Nutrition
It is essential that you pay close attention to pregnancy nutrition throughout your term. Pregnancy is one of the most special times in a woman's life and listening to your body will help you through much of this. Your body will speak to you, but you need to learn how to listen to it. Keep in mind your body is not just supporting one person right now; you are sharing the space with your new baby, and that means you have much higher nutritional needs than you would at any other time in your life.
You should carefully plan your diet during pregnancy so that you are supplying everything your baby needs. What you choose to eat will decide the health of your baby. Even though your baby is not born yet, you need to start caring for him or her now. Unhealthy eating habits can put your baby at risk.
How to Eat Healthily during Pregnancy
Recent scientific research suggests that a mother's diet during pregnancy will affect the physical health and intelligence of their child. That is a lot of responsibility to determine the proper meals to eat for you and your developing baby.
You may have heard people say that as soon as they get pregnant they are eating for two. This is not technically true, as you do not have to double your nutritional intake. In fact, during the first trimester you do not really need to consume any extra calories. However, you do need protein, calcium, folic acid, zinc, and certain vitamins such as B12, B6, and D. Your baby will also need fatty acids to develop normally; all of these components should be considered when creating your pregnancy diet.
As your baby starts to grow you will need to be include more protein in your diet. You need around 300 extra calories during the final six months of your pregnancy. During the first three months you can expect to put on around 3-5 lbs; however, in the last 6 months you should only gain around 3 lbs a month. Your doctor can use your weight gain to advise the best diet options for you.
What to eat
You should be eating healthy food. Make sure you include plenty of foods containing fiber. You should try eating oatmeal to provide minerals and fiber, dairy products for calcium, carrots and tomatoes for carotene, apples and oranges for Vitamins B and C, nuts (except peanuts) for vitamin B + minerals, spinach and cabbage for calcium, and iron and lentils for protein. All of these foods are very important and should be included in your pregnancy diet.
You may find that you are not able to eat as much as you once were at a single sitting. Instead of forcing yourself, you should eat five smaller meals a day instead of the usual 3. You should also limit the amount of salt, sugar, and fat you consume. You should not eat too much during pregnancy, as this can cause you to feel uncomfortable.
One of the most important things to do when pregnant is to make sure that you drink plenty of water. This will prevent you from becoming dehydrated and help remove the toxins from your body. Some women are cautious about drinking water, as they believe that it might make their sickness worse; however, most people notice the opposite.
You should avoid eating junk food, such as fast food, as this does not provide any real nutritional benefit to you or the baby. You should also avoid alcohol, caffeine, unpasteurized food, and greasy food.
In addition to eating right, you may also want to try some light exercise, but consult with your doctor beforehand.