Nutrition during pregnancy is vital to the health of the baby. Your health and the nutrients that you take in is the very foundation of the health of your child. That is how your baby is going to grow and develop. In order for you to get the proper calories for your baby, you should take in 300 extra calories than you did before you actually got pregnant. During the first few months of pregnancy, you’re going to feel a bit nauseous and often vomit and this may make it a little bit difficult for you to want to worry about your diet.
Again, I cannot stress the importance of eating a well-balanced diet and also taking prenatal vitamins. The recommended daily serving during pregnancy is 6-11 servings of either grains or breads, 2-4 servings of fruit, 4 more serving of vegetables, 4 servings of dairy and approximately 3 servings of protein sources. This protein could come in the form of meat, poultry, fish, eggs and nuts. Always make sure that you are choosing foods that are high in fiber: whole grain breads, pasta and always make sure to get enough fruits and veggies in your diet.
Nutrition during pregnancy should consist of a minimum of 4 servings of dairy products and foods that are rich in calcium to make sure that there is at least 1000 mg of calcium in the diet. There should be three servings of foods that are rich in iron so that you are getting at least 27 mg of iron each day. Every day you should choose one good source of Vitamin C. Whether that is vegetables such as broccoli or green peppers or oranges and strawberries, you should get at least 70 mg of vitamin c every day.
Pregnant women should always choose at least one source of folic acid every day. This ingredient will be in mostly leafy vegetables, in veal and almost every bean. Everyday, you will need 0.4 mg of folic acid to make sure that there are no defects in the neural tubes. There should always be one source of vitamin A which is prevalent in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach and apricots.
What to Avoid
There are a lot of things to avoid during pregnancy so that you don’t have a premature delivery, retardation or any birth defects. Of course, it’s essential to avoid alcohol because this has been linked to all of those, including babies with a low birth weight. It’s also important to limit caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day. The content will vary in drinks and depend on the beans. One 8 ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine and black tea has about 80. One 12 oz glass of soda has about 30-60 mg. Chocolate also has caffeine so be very careful as to how much you take in and avoid being around cigarette smoke at all costs.
It’s highly recommended that you avoid saccharin during pregnancy because it can cross the placenta and it could very well remain in your fetal tissues. The use of any other artificial sweetener that is approved by the FDA is acceptable when you’re pregnant. You should decrease the amount of fat that you take in by 30%. For someone who eats 2000 calories a day it would be 65 less grams of fat.
Always avoid eating shark or swordfish, as well as anything that has a lot of mercury in it. Also avoid cheeses because it could cause a Listeria infection if they are unpasteurized. You don’t have to avoid hard cheese but do avoid feta, brie, blue-veined, Mexican-style cheese and camembert.