In the preceding article, we discussed the importance of eating smart and healthy during pregnancy and some foods to avoid while going through that crucial process of child-bearing.
Today in this last part of the article series, we will know more about the essential nutrition that pregnant women should incorporate in their daily food intake and the foods they must eat to have a healthy, successful pregnancy.
Maintaining a Balanced, Nutritious Diet During Pregnancy
Some new mothers are having a hard time maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet during their pregnancy due to financial matters, environmental issues, or lifestyle choices. Like what is mentioned in the last article, your way of eating greatly affects your body and not just you but especially your child inside you.
Neglecting enough nutritious foods during pregnancy will lead to problems and complications that might occur when you will give birth to your little one. Thus, if you think wisely before you eat, it will positively help in your baby’s growth and development.
It’s not just about your current pregnancy but having a healthy diet will support your baby’s health until he or she enters the stage of adulthood. So, it is always in the prevention, and doing all you can to eat nourishing foods to sustain your good health.
But planning a healthy, well-balanced diet is a difficult and time-consuming task for me. What should I do?
Don’t worry. Actually, it is not that hard but it can be easy and fun while thinking about the health and welfare of your body and your unborn baby.
Your Guide About Daily Nutrients For Pregnancy and Lactation
Before anything else, it is important that you first consult a reliable nutritionist or dietician who will determine the best intakes appropriate for your body and your developing baby, especially if you have other health conditions such as multiples and diabetes that may also require special nutrient allowances.
Focus on foods that provide essential protein, vitamins, and other nutrients
Please read and take note of the following well-detailed information about the essential nutrition that is building blocks for your developing baby. We also included the list of foods you should eat during pregnancy.
- Protein – helps with fetal brain development, and with muscle and tissue formation, increase in maternal blood volume, and for the formation of amniotic fluid. (poultry, lean meats, fish, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, milk, tofu, soy products, beans, legumes, nut butter, nuts, and seeds)
- Carbohydrates – complex carbs such as whole grains, beans, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Unsaturated or good fats, omega-3s, DHA – integral for baby’s brain and eye development, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, lightly canned tuna, clams, scallops,, shrimp, some kind of plant seeds (flaxseed, pumpkin, chia, etc.), soybean, tofu, miso, and dark green leafy vegetables.
- Calcium and Vitamin D – for bone and teeth construction, maintaining heartbeat, muscle contractions, nerve transmissions, and for blood clotting during labor. (lactose-free or non-dairy products, fortified beverages such as soy, almond, rice, and oat milk, and cereals)
- Iron and Vitamin C – for the formation of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood and to protect the mother from complications due to blood loss during pregnancy. (beef and eggs, citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, and red bell peppers)
- Phosphorus – for strong bones and teeth (meats, poultry, eggs, fish, shrimp, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, baked potatoes, etc.)
- Magnesium – for bone building, muscle function, heart health, immunity, and regulation of blood sugar levels. (nuts, seeds, soybeans, tofu, spinach, oatmeal, potatoes, orange juice, avocados, bananas, brown rice, and pineapple juice)
- Zinc – for cell growth, maintaining immunity, wound healing, fat metabolism, and gene expression. (seafood, meat, eggs, dairy products, zinc-fortified cereals, legumes, seeds, cashews, and whole grains)
- Iodine – for thyroid functioning and metabolism regulation. (seaweed, eggs, fish, shellfish, and pork)
- Folate and B Vitamins (Folic Acid) – for cell division, and manufacturing RNA and DNA, and it prevents neural tube defects like spina bifida. (lentils, romaine lettuce, asparagus, chickpeas, beans, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, etc.)
Check your pills and medications, and supplements or herbal remedies
Review all of these for safety during pregnancy. Discuss all your medication needs with your pharmacist or ob-gyn.
Always remember that an unborn baby is the most vulnerable in the first months after conception, so this is the most important time to follow a healthy and nutritious diet, rather than restrict your intake. Eating well is your priority in this special time in your life that is essential for your baby’s short- and long-term health.