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A Quick Overview of Pregnancy Nutrition: Knowing the Basics!

Every woman has her share of unique experiences during pregnancy. The whole idea can be a bit overwhelming at times, because your body will go through various changes. It is also the time when nutrition becomes extremely important, and you have to watch your diet from the day you get the ‘good news’. Let’s start debunking the myth that you should be eating for two people during pregnancy. Yes, your calorie intake should increase for optimal embryo growth, but that’s only in the second and third trimesters. Doctors only recommend additional 300 calories in the final two trimesters. With that said, let’s check some of the aspects related to pregnancy nutrition.

Understanding food and supplements

You need balanced meals all through your pregnancy, with all the macros included. Besides protein and carbs, you also need a good amount of folic acid, right from the first month, which reduces many risks. Doctors usually recommend a bunch of prenatal vitamins and supplements that help in getting the right balance of vitamins and folic acid. At least 400 micrograms folic acid is required during pregnancy. Please note that omega-3 fatty acids are equally important, and you can considerable source of that from fishes and various other vegetarian sources. There are also special formula foods that are designed to ensure that expecting mothers get complete nutrition, and these are quite handy when you don’t have the time to cook your own meals.

Foods to avoid

Raw, undercooked and processed meats can be contaminated with varied kinds of bacteria and should be avoided. However, do not skip meats altogether, simply because lean meats like chicken, beef and pork are natural sources of protein. You also need to avoid big fishes that are high on mercury content. Swordfish and shark are common examples. Typically, doctors also put a cap on the amount of seafood pregnant ladies can have per week, so stick to that. You also need to avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products, besides fruit juices, which can be contaminated at times.

Don’t ignore the advice of your doctor and make sure that you are getting enough exercise during all the three trimesters. Having a food diary always comes in handy, and you should ideally consider making fresh meals at home, but if you are a working mother, do take your supplements on time and include more of fresh veggies and fruits in your diet.

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