what to expect pregnancy diet?

(July 7, 2010)

Pregnancy Diet

Women who are pregnant should follow a well balanced and healthy diet as their food intake has to meet the nutritional requirement of themselves and their baby through out the pregnancy. The first trimester or the first three months of pregnancy are most critical as both the mental and physical growth of the baby takes place during these weeks. The initial weeks of pregnancy are also crucial as the principal organs of the internal and external systems as well as the nervous system of the baby are developed during this stage. Similarly babies tend to grow rapidly in size during the last three months of pregnancy and hence diet is also critical at this stage. A nutritious diet during pregnancy should include adequate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that are required for the good health of both mother and child. Pregnancy diet should comprise of foods from all the five food groups and hence should be rich in foods like whole grain products, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, meats, and fish. On the other hand pregnant women should stay away from processed and canned foods, fried or oily foods, sugar rich foods like cookies and cakes, carbonated drinks. Pregnant women are also known to suffer from morning sickness which results in vomiting and nausea. Hence rather than having three large meals, they should have smaller meals frequently throughout the day.

Along with a pregnancy diet women should also take their prenatal vitamins as prescribed by their doctor on a regular basis. Folic acid is one of the most essential nutrients to be taken during pregnancy as it helps in preventing neural tube defects in the baby –defects in the brain, spine or their coverings. Natural sources of folic acid which can be consumed during pregnancy are liver, dark green leafy vegetables, yeast, citrus fruits, beans and bread. It is best to eat green leafy vegetables in a steamed form as cooking tends to destroy the folic acid content. Iron is another essential mineral required by both baby and mother during pregnancy as its helps in building strong bones and teeth and also prevents the onset of anemia. A pregnancy diet should also include plenty of fresh drinking water as water acts as a medium that carries all the nutrients to the baby and also prevents the mother from becoming dehydrated especially in the last trimester of pregnancy which would have otherwise resulted in early or premature labor.

Submitted by P T on July 7, 2010 at 02:23

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