What to Eat and What to Avoid: Creating a Diet for Pregnant Women

A diet during pregnancy is not about just reducing food portions. It’s more about how to make healthier food choices. Here are some advice how to maintain a healthy balanced nutrition for both woman and her developing baby.

Key rules of healthy nutrition during pregnancy

First of all a pregnant woman needs to make sure that her diet provides enough nutrients and energy for the proper baby’s growth and development.  Also she needs to ensure that her body is ready to deal with the changes that are occurring. Eating for two is not necessary, as many may suggest. The quality and composition of foods consumed by mom are more important for baby during the whole period of pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs to get about an extra 350-500 calories per day from the second trimester. Clearly, these additional calories should come from high-nutrient products.

In order to receive all essential nutrients for a baby at every stage of his development a mother needs to adjust her eating habits. Moreover, it should be taken into consideration that the useful foods in the first trimester can be harmful in the second or third. That’s why nutrition during pregnancy varies from one trimester to another. However, there is a list of common rules for woman while being pregnant:

  • A number of meals should be increased from the traditional 3 to 5 or 6.
  • But that doesn’t mean that the servings should be huge. It can be one cup of low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit or mixed vegetables with oil.
  • The last meal is no later than 3 hours before bed.
  • Eating more fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals – up to 5-6 servings a day.
  • A proper diet during pregnancy means consuming enough water that helps pregnant woman avoiding some puffiness.
  • Additional supplements are another source of getting vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. They need to be prescribed by a doctor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendspregnant women to include more calcium, folic acid supplements, iron and protein in their daily diets.

Following the rules mentioned above will help not only to bear a healthy child, but also to keep the figure slim and beautiful.

Foods to focus on in each trimester

Meanwhile, the food cravings and food aversions during pregnancy usually don’t start around the same time. They depend on the stage of pregnancy.

The first trimester of pregnancy is known as a period when a nervous system of embryo starts forming. A healthy pregnancy diet should have dishes that are rich in a folate (greens, black-eyed peas and other legumes) and vitamin B6 (eggs, bananas).  Also nutrition in the first trimester should contain as much protein as possible, because it reduces the risk of various pathologies.

Starting with the second trimester the fetus has already formed. At this time it is important to monitor a proper organs’ development. It is necessary to consume more calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. These include eggs, dairy, almonds, cheese and fish liver oils. Try to drink plenty of water, eat less salted meals, and take under control a size of food portions.

In the third trimester it is important not to overeat. Take foods that deliver you the real energy boost and help with a breastfeeding. However, caloric diet foods should be reduced. It has a sense to include some oily fish (essential omega-3 fatty acids), citrus fruits and berries (Vitamin C) and red meet (iron).

Food and Drinks to Avoid

During pregnancy it is necessary not only to focus on the foods which are essential for baby’s growth and development. More importantly, a pregnant woman refuses harmful foods.

Below is a list of foods that conventional wisdom tells to minimize during pregnancy:

  • Raw fish (sushi) and shellfish
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Liver products
  • Certainsorts of soft cheese, such as brie, camembert and chevre
  • Coffee and coffee drinks
  • Junk food
  • Unpasteurized milk and juices
  • Alcohol

Moreover, these foods are highly recommended to avoid in the period after giving birth and during breastfeeding.

Summing all above mentioned up, it is worthwhile to note that there is a number of prominent benefits of a diet during pregnancy.  Despite the positive effects of eating healthy during this special period, some diets can be dangerous to an expectant mother’s health. So try to check your meal plan with a health care provider or doctor.

ProsCons
  • It helps to get the right balance of nutrients that  mother and her baby need
  • Maintaining a healthy pregnancy diet requires more time you should waste on choosing the right foods and cooking them
  • Healthy diet aims to manage some common problems for pregnant women as a constipation, heartburn,  gas and nausea
  • Many diets can often cause a stress and lack of happiness
  • You have a chance to gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy
  • Healthy eating during pregnancy minimize the risk of birth defects

But you should realize that your lifestyle during these nine months can drastically impact baby’s health.

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