Eating a nutritious diet throughout pregnancy and getting enough food is essential for the development and growth of your unborn child. In general, pregnant women need to eat 300 additional calories every day on top of the number of calories they ate pre-pregnancy.
Even though morning sickness might make it hard during the first trimester, pregnant women should do their best to follow a balanced eating regimen and take a good prenatal vitamin daily. Read on to learn more ways to create a healthy diet during pregnancy.
In order to meet all of your daily nutritional requirements, you will need to eat a wide selection of foods. This includes whole grains with high fiber content, fresh fruit, lean protein and lots of fresh and colorful vegetables. Products that contain excessive amounts of fat and sugar should only be consumed occasionally.
A high quality prenatal vitamin should be taken every day without fail. Your doctor should be able to tell you which brands of vitamins are best for you. They might prescribe a particular prenatal vitamin or give you a list of suitable over-the-counter vitamins that you can purchase.
It is important that you take a prenatal vitamin during your pregnancy and not a regular multivitamin. This is because pregnant women require different amounts of certain vitamins and minerals than non-pregnant women. Only prenatal vitamins contain the right amounts for you and your developing baby.
Calcium is a very important part of a pregnancy diet. Pregnant women should consume between 1000 and 1300 milligrams of calcium every single day. You can get calcium from green leafy vegetables, dairy products or calcium supplements.
You will need to consume approximately three daily servings of foods that are high in iron to get the 27 milligrams that you need to get each day. Your prenatal vitamin will also provide some iron. Many high protein foods, whole grains and cereals contain good amounts of iron.
During pregnancy, you should be getting around 70 milligrams of vitamin C daily. You can easily meet this requirement by eating citrus fruit, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, honeydew melons and more.
Folic acid is extremely important for proper fetal development. In order to get the 0.4 milligrams that you will need each day, you can eat foods such as leafy greens and legumes. By eating adequate amounts of folic acid, you can reduce the chance that your child will suffer from various defects like spina bifida.
Make sure to always get some vitamin A in your diet several times per week. You can do this by consuming fresh produce like spinach, pumpkins, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots and turnip greens.
It is critical for pregnant women to avoid consuming alcohol while they are pregnant. Women who drink during pregnancy are at a much higher risk for premature birth and having babies who suffer from low birth weight, cognitive problems or birth defects.
You should also watch your consumption of caffeinated products. Pregnant women are generally advised to consume 300 milligrams or less of caffeine daily. Be careful of consuming foods that have hidden caffeine, such as chocolate.
Your total fat intake needs to be no more than 30 percent of your daily calorie consumption. For example, if you eat 2300 calories each day, you should eat no more than 76.7 grams of fat. Your daily cholesterol consumption should be at or below 300 milligrams.
Foods that need to be avoided in pregnancy include all raw fish and shellfish, swordfish, white snapper, shark, mackerel, feta cheese, Camembert cheese, Brie and any cheese that is soft and unpasteurized.