Pregnancy is probably the most beautiful and exciting moment for any woman. The wait for the new member of the family and the emotions are all just overwhelming. Having a baby is natural, so yes the body goes along with the development of the baby. But, there are other facts also to be looked over, like diet. The diet of the mother-to-be is not only important for the baby, but eating the right foods during pregnancy spare mothers from any form of complications.
Importance of a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy
The mother's diet should be overall healthy in all aspects. During pregnancy, not only will mothers be going through lots of changes, but the babies do need essential minerals and nutrients for them to grow. Let us run off the importance of eating a healthy diet during pregnancy:
- Good nutrition is beneficial to the baby's growth and development.
- Eating the right kind of food reduces risk of pregnancy complications.
- Healthy foods boost the mother's immune system throughout the pregnancy.
- Selection of healthy foods during pregnancy lessens incidence of birth defects.
- Proper nutrition ensures optimal growth and a healthy weight for the baby.
"Eating for Two" is a Fallacy
Traditional mothers are often told about "eating for two" to get the needed nutrients for the baby. This idea is considered a hyperbole. Eating for two not only leads to excessive gain in weight but mothers are put at a higher risk of complications particularly gestational diabetes wherein they deliver abnormally larger and fatter babies. Studies show that pregnant mothers who believed in the premise of "eating for two" not only gain much more weight but also tend to exercise less and gobble up less healthy food choices. The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists strongly advise pregnant mothers to keep track on their weight and only consume 300 extra calories per day.
5 Healthy Foods to Eat While Pregnant
- Lean beef — Lean beef is a rich source of iron for pregnant mothers. Deficient iron levels in the body can lead to fatigue and irritability. Make sure to cook the beef properly and avoid eating it raw.
- Lentils — Lentils are not only a great source of folate but is also equally rich in proteins and iron. Folate is a naturally occurring substance found in plants that help prevent miscarriage and birth defects during pregnancy.
- Berries — Berries, especially wild blueberries, are packed with vitamin C, carbohydrates, fluids, fiber and folate. Berries also have an antioxidant property that helps fight off any form of cancer.
- Spinach — Spinach is rich in vitamin A, calcium, iron and folic acid. Vitamin A is essential for the growing fetus in the development of the kidneys, lungs, bones, eyes, heart, central nervous system and respiratory system. Vitamin A also benefits mothers especially when they are close to giving birth as it plays a role in postpartum tissue repair.
- Salmon — Salmon contains the following essential elements:
- Iron — ensures ample supply of oxygen
- Zinc — boosts immune system
- Protein — functions in tissue repair and healing
- Omega 3 fatty acids — lowers cholesterol
What Pregnant Mothers Should Take During Pregnancy
The main reason why mothers are obliged to take certain supplements during pregnancy is to ensure they are getting the right nutrients they need for the growth and development of the baby. This is based on the premise that not all nutrients are naturally obtained from the food mothers eat daily. The following are the most recommended supplements for pregnant mothers:
- Vitamin D — good for bone formation, boosts immune system
- Vitamin C — protects cells from damage, helps absorb iron
- Vitamin A — vision
- Vitamin E — healthy and glow skin, strong immunity
- Vitamin B12 — plays a role in red blood cell production
- Folic acid — prevents neural tube defects
- Iron — red blood cell production, prevents low-birth babies
- Zinc — boosts immune system
Pregnancy is the most beautiful moment of any women's life. Complete care should be taken during the nine months of pregnancy to be ill-free and for the safe delivery of your baby. Your lifestyle, diet and overall health matters a lot, not just for the baby, but for you as well.
More pregnancy advice on YourTango: