Nutrition During Pregnancy is one of most important question, which arise in mind of every pregnant woman. As a newly pregnant woman, you may be wondering how your pregnancy affects your eating habits and whether or not you need to change your patterns of eating now that you are eating for two. There are some significant changes you may need to make in order to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Common Nutrition Mistakes
There are several mistakes pregnant women make when attempting to eat right during their pregnancy. Here are a few you will want to avoid:
Not getting enough folate.
Folate is a B vitamin that is especially important during pregnancy. A deficiency of vitamin B9 (folate) early in pregnancy can lead to two birth defects. One of these is spina bifida, in which the neural tube fails to close during embryo maturation so that the nerves of the base of the spine are exposed or not protected by the lower spinal bones. This can lead to paralysis of the lower extremities in the infant, which is permanent. It can also lead to permanent loss of bowel and bladder control in the infant, even as he or she grows older. A less common condition stemming from folate deficiency is called ‘anencephaly’. This is a fatal condition in which the skull fails to properly develop and the brain is exposed and not fully developed. These infants are often stillborn or die within hours or days of birth.
Eating for two much too early;
While your baby needs to gain weight in order to be born. The newly developing fetus does not weigh more than a few ounces through the first half of the pregnancy. This means that you do not have to increase your caloric content to account for the baby’s nutritional needs. Women who eat too much throughout the pregnancy suffer the risk of having to lose a great deal of weight after the pregnancy is over and having an infant that is larger than normal size. Statistics show that babies who are born with an above average birth weight have an increased risk for obesity in childhood and adolescence. Additionally, a larger infant fits more poorly in the birth canal and you stand to have a more difficult time with a vaginal delivery. You also have a higher than normal risk of having to have a cesarean section for a larger than normal baby. Instead of eating ‘for two’, eat a regular diet and gain only the recommended 25-30 pounds during the pregnancy.
Eating empty calories.
Some women feel as though they can eat whatever they want during pregnancy. This includes eating highly processed foods, ice cream, pastries, and snack foods. Despite cravings, you should aim for a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Your caloric content should be no more than 2500 calories unless you are underweight and your doctor wants you to gain more weight. If you eat healthy food, the nutrients from this food will cross the placental barrier and your baby will make use of these nutrients in order to grow and develop properly.
Skipping milk and vitamin D.
Many women, particularly those that are not exposed to the sun, do not get enough vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D can be obtained from fortified milk that makes use of vitamin D and calcium in order for the fetus to grow bones. You can get your vitamin D through milk or through exposure to sunlight. You will have a healthier baby with the right nutrients for bone growth.
Avoiding prenatal vitamins.
Even if you make the effort to eat right, there are many vitamins and minerals important in fetal growth and development that you might be missing. For this reason, you need to consider taking a prenatal vitamin every day from the beginning of your pregnancy until the end of the pregnancy. If you find that the prenatal vitamin upsets your stomach, try a different one or eat it as part of your meal and of course speak with your doctor. They now make prenatal vitamins that come in a tasty, chewable vitamin gummy that tends not to make you sick. A good prenatal vitamin contains the vitamins and minerals in the recommended daily allowances for pregnant women.
Read more about The Dangers Of Extreme Dieting While Breastfeeding.
If you find that you need help in getting the proper nutrition during pregnancy, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietician or nutritionist who will advise you on proper eating habits for pregnant women, and create a specialized meal plan based on foods you love.
If you still have any question in your mind regarding nutrition during pregnancy, feel free to ask in comments box, we will help you out!