Expecting a baby soon?

Do you feel anxious about the foods that you eat?

Worried that the food that you are eating is putting you completely out of shape? Or that it might be under nourishing for the baby?

Your diet during your pregnancy can be quite tricky, indeed. While you need to make sure that you eat right to help the baby develop, you also need to make sure that you stay fit and healthy during and after your pregnancy.

There are some simple dietary rules that you can follow to ensure that your pregnancy is smooth sailing and comfortable.

What is the definition of healthy eating during pregnancy?

The first thing that you need to remember when you are eating for two is that you need to increase your daily calorie consumption by at least 300 calories. When it comes to healthy eating when you are pregnant, there are two things that should be your primary focus:

  • Plan a diet to meet your body’s requirements: Fine-tune your eating habits to include nutrition rich foods to help maintain your immunity and allow your body to remain energetic and healthy.
  • Plan a diet to meet the needs of the baby growing inside you: Eat foods that provide nutrients for the healthy development and growth of the baby as per the developmental milestones of pregnancy. Avoid junk foods and those that might intervene with the baby’s growth.

Tips to eat healthy when you are pregnant

Follow these simple tips to ensure that you are on a road to good health when you are expecting:

  • Include foods rich in folic acid: In the first trimester, especially, this nutrient is extremely important. It can prevent conditions like spina bifida that is caused by defects in the neural tube. Consuming enough of this type of Vitamin B until the second trimester can prevent premature deliver as well. Opt for foods like broccoli, legumes and oranges in your diet.
  • Include foods rich in iron: There is an increase in blood volume by 50% when you are expecting. You also need enough iron to transport the oxygen that is needed by your fetus. Combine iron intake with Vitamin C intake to make sure that your body is able to absorb enough iron. Green leafy vegetables, meat, tofu and beans are great sources of iron.
  • DHA is a must: DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is found in abundance in flaxseed and seafood. It is extremely important for brain development in the fetus. Eating enough DHA promotes better memory, better language skills and better learning abilities in the baby.
  • You need more calcium: For proper bone and tooth development of the baby calcium is an essential part of your diet. When your diet is not rich in calcium, it is leached from your bones leading to issues such as osteoporosis in the future. The best sources are dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Keep your diet rich in fiber: Pregnancy takes a toll on your digestive system. Including high-fiber foods in your diet can prevent constipation and issues like hemorrhoids.  Foods that are rich in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables are also rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for you during your pregnancy.  
  • Never skip your breakfast: Morning sickness is common during pregnancy. Nevertheless, try to eat something rich in fiber such as a toasted slice of whole wheat bread to prevent feeling uncomfortable or gassy. You can eat a proper breakfast later on in the day when you feel better.
  • Think about supplementation: Consuming prenatal vitamin supplements can help compensate for inadequacies in your diet. Talk to your doctor before you choose any supplement.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can lead to serious health issues when you are pregnant. It can also affect the fetus. Drinking enough water not only keeps you hydrated but also helps in proper transportation of the nutrients that your body requires.
  • Limit caffeine intake: While it is best to stop caffeine intake completely, the allowed amount per day is about two cups when you are pregnant. Studies have shown that an overdose of caffeine can lead to severe issues including miscarriage in extreme cases.
  • Say no to junk food: A recent study revealed that when the mother tends to consume processed foods or foods rich in salts and sugars, the child develops unhealthy eating habits too. Of course, these foods lead to weight gain besides other health issues.
  • Watch your portions: Do not eat for two as recommended by all your friends and family. Instead, consult a nutrition to understand the required portion for healthy development of your baby.

A well planned diet, along with a good workout routine can make your pregnancy much easier. You will feel refreshed and healthy. Of course, your fetus benefits from your healthy lifestyle choices.

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A specialist in Clinical Nutrition, Weight Management, and Child Nutrition, Ms. Agarwal has been working actively with patients seeking guidance related to lifestyle-specific disorders such as Diabetes, PCOD, and Thyroid.

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