Pregnancy Diet and Nutrition

Having the right food and drinks during pregnancies plays a major role in the growth and developement of the child and it also keeps the mother healthy.Diet and nutrition also ensures healthy normal deliveries.

What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby’s main source of nourishment. So, experts recommend that a mother-to-be able to choose a variety of healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development.

Foods to eat

During pregnancy, the goal is to be eating nutritious foods most of the time, Krieger told Live Science. To maximize prenatal nutrition, she advises emphasizing the following five food groups: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy products.

When counseling pregnant women, Krieger recommends they fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with whole grains and a quarter of it with a source of lean protein, and to also have a dairy product at every meal.

caviarFruits and vegetables: Pregnant women should focus on fruits and vegetables, particularly during the second and third trimesters, Krieger said. Get between five and 10 “tennis ball”-size servings of produce every day, she said. These colorful foods are low in calories and filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Lean protein: Pregnant women should include good protein sources at every meal to support the baby’s growth, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, cheese, milk and nuts, Krieger said.

Whole grains are an important source of energy in the diet, and they also provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins. At least half of a pregnant woman’s carbohydrate choices each day should come from whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or breads and brown rice, Krieger said.

Dairy: Aim for 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods a day, Krieger suggested, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, which provide good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D.

In addition to a healthy diet, pregnant women also need a daily prenatal vitamin to obtain some of the nutrients that are hard to get from foods alone, such as folic acid and iron, according to ACOG.

For women who take chewable prenatal vitamins, Krieger advised checking the product labels because chewables might not have sufficient iron levels in them.

Detailed information on healthy food choices and quantities to include at meals can also be found in the pregnancy section of the USDA’s choosemyplate.gov.

Foods to limit

Caffeine: Consuming fewer than 200 mg of caffeine a day, which is the amount found in one 12-ounce cup of coffee, is generally considered safe during pregnancy, according to a 2010 ACOG committee opinion, which was reaffirmed in 2013. The committee report said moderate caffeine consumption does not appear to contribute to miscarriage or premature birth.

Fish: Fish is a good source of lean protein, and some fish, including salmon and sardines, also contain omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that’s good for the heart. It is safe for pregnant women to eat 12 ounces of cooked fish and seafood a week, according to ACOG. However, they should limit albacore or “white” tuna, which has high levels of mercury, to no more than 6 ounces a week, according to ACOG. Mercury is a metal that can be harmful to a baby’s developing brain. Canned light tuna has less mercury and is safer to eat during pregnancy.

Sourced from: http://www.livescience.com/45090-pregnancy-diet.html

The main reason why this nutritional advice is important is because,women cravings during pregnancies maybe misleading to their nutritional need.Knowing what to take at a particular time can help avoid complications.Pregnant women should simply avoid alcohol.

A pregnant woman needs to ensure that her diet provides enough nutrients and energy for her baby to develop and grow properly, and also to make sure that her body is healthy enough to deal with the changes that are occurring.

For a healthy pregnancy, the mother’s diet needs to be balanced and nutritious – this involves the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and consuming a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. If you are pregnant and your diet may be impacted by ethical beliefs, religious requirements, or health conditions, you should check with your doctor.

A pregnant woman’s calorie intake grows during pregnancy. However, this does not mean she should eat for two, i.e. her calorie consumption does not double, it just goes up.

Public health authorities throughout the world have been progressively reducing the maximum amount of alcohol a woman should drink each week.

When a woman consumes alcohol, it passes from her blood, through the placenta and to the baby. A fetus’ liver is one of the last organs to completely develop – it does not fully mature until well into the second half of pregnancy. A fetus’ liver cannot process alcohol anywhere nearly as well as an adult’s can. Too much exposure to alcohol can seriously undermine the baby’s development. Most healthcare professionals advice pregnant mothers to avoid alcohol altogether.

Sourced from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246404.php?page=3