A Healthy Eating Plan for Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, good nutrition is more important than ever before. Your baby is depending on you to provide everything necessary for normal growth and development. Because the baby will draw on your body’s stores of important vitamins and minerals, you must be sure to replace them through your diet. It’s important to be extra-cautious with those nutrients that the body isn’t able to produce or store on its own; these must be replaced on a daily basis.

A Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet from a variety of food choices in the best way to ensure adequate nutrition for yourself and for baby. Fill up on healthy choices such as fruits and vegetables, and avoid empty calories from sugary choices. You will need to eat from all of the food groups every day, in the appropriate amounts, so it will require close attention to what you are consuming.

Nutrients of Special Importance During Pregnancy

The job of growing a little person in your womb requires certain nutrients more than you might previously have been consuming them. Make sure you are getting enough of these key nutrients for a healthy baby:

  • Folate or folic acid: Found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale, folate has been shown to greatly reduce the likelihood of a number of birth defects, including spina bifida. Pregnant women should increase their intake of foods rich in folate early on – in fact it’s a good idea when you are just starting to try to conceive.
  • Calcium: Your baby is developing his new bones, and this will require a great deal of calcium to make them grow strong. Pregnant women should get extra calcium to prevent the baby from depleting their body’s stores.
  • Iron: Women often become anemic during pregnancy as the baby draws on the body’s iron supply.

Of course, these are just a few of the many nutrients vital to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Every vitamin and mineral should be represented in your diet, as well as the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Prenatal Supplements

Almost every woman will be told to take a prenatal supplement throughout their pregnancy. Especially when you are feeling ill in the first trimester, this can help your body to continue feeding the growing child. Making sure you are getting everything your baby needs by taking a supplement is a good safeguard against oversights in your diet.

While prenatal supplements are available over the counter, you can also ask your doctor to write you a prescription. These supplements may be of higher quality, and as an added bonus, your insurance plan will likely cover the cost.

Weight Loss and Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body will naturally gain weight. It is never a good idea to cut calories or attempt to lose weight while you are pregnant. If you are concerned about your weight gain, talk to your doctor. Avoid high-calorie, low-nutrition foods and replace them with healthy choices to keep from putting on unnecessary pounds. If you are eating a balanced diet during your pregnancy, you should not gain weight at more than the normal rate. If you feel this is the case, it is possible you have gestational diabetes. Most women will be tested for this during pregnancy, but if you have not been and are concerned, ask your doctor.

Eating right during pregnancy is vital to a healthy mother and baby too. Throughout your pregnancy, take extra care to ensure your diet contains everything your baby needs.

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