Good diet and nutrition and the right balance of it, is very important for your baby to grow and develop. Although morning sickness, vomiting and nausea during the first few months of pregnancy can make this difficult, so try to eat a sensible and well balanced diet. It helps make your pregnancy more comfortable. A balanced diet can also minimize constipation, fatigue, morning sickness and a host of other pregnancy symptoms.
What is a balanced diet?
The foundation of a healthy pregnancy diet is the same as the average healthy diet. A balanced meal consists of a mix of lean protein and calcium, whole grains, vegetables, a rainbow of fruits and healthy fats, with usually a little more calories and nutrients to nourish the baby. The type of diet we encourage, during pregnancy refers to fine-tuning your eating habits, to ensure you are receiving adequate nutrition, for your health and as well as your baby. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby’s development and growth.
Best rule to remember is to eat when you are hungry, have a good balance of foods every day and you will gain weight steadily, as your baby grows. Your appetite is your best guide of how much food you need to eat, you may find your appetite fluctuating throughout your pregnancy:
In the first few weeksyour appetite may fall dramatically and you may not feel like eating proper meals, especially if you have any kind of sickness and nausea.
During the middle part of your pregnancy, your appetite may be the same as before you were pregnant or slightly increased.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, your appetite will probably increase. If you suffer froma full feeling after eating or heartburn you may find it helpful to have small frequent meals.
Here are some guidelines recommended to keep you and your baby healthy.
Eat a variety of foods to get all the right nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include 2 to 4 servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, 4 servings of dairy products, and 3 servings of protein sources (poultry, fish, eggs or nuts).
Use fats and sweets sparingly.
Eat at least 3 servings of iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, spinach, breakfast cereals and beans, each day.
Choose foods high in fibre that are enriched, such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice, vegetables and fruits.
Choose at least one good source of Vitamin Cevery day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens.
Choose at least one good source of Folic Acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, and legumes (beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas).Folic acid also known as folate when found in foods , is a B-vitamin that is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine.
Vegetables and fruits contain many important nutrients for pregnancy especially, Vitamin C and Folic Acid.
Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots.
Eat and drink at least four servings of Calcium rich foods and dairy products, a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of Calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy. Calcium is a mineral used to build baby’s bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the mineral will be drawn from the, mother’s stores in her bones and given to the baby to meet the extra demands of pregnancy.
Make sure you are getting enough minerals and vitamins in your daily diet while pregnant. You should take Prenatal Vitamin supplement to make sure you are consistently getting enough minerals and vitamins every day. Your doctor can recommend a prenatal vitamin for you.