The subject of pregnancy nutrition is a vast one. On a basic level, pregnancy nutrition consists of making sure that expecting women have all the essential nutrients their bodies need. This is to ensure that their bodies function normally—physically and mentally. By being aware of what their bodies need and what they should avoid, expecting mums will be better able to keep themselves and their unborn babies safe and healthy.
The first month or two of the pregnancy is the hardest as your body is growing and adjusting to its new size. It takes time for your body to get used to the baby growing inside you. You could also feel slightly sick or distracted from what you’re doing. While it’s always best to consult your doctor and get professional advice first, below are some simple dos and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition that every expecting mum should keep in mind:
Do: Control Your Meal Portions
If you want to eat, portion control is important. This is to prevent unnecessary sugar, fat, and calories from getting into your system. Eating small frequent meals may be good for you and the baby but too often is not. Eat at regular intervals and this will help you stay on track.
Controlling your portions shouldn’t prevent you from getting the nutrients that your growing baby needs. Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals. In the first trimester, your baby will need lots of protein and carbohydrates to develop properly. Foods like eggs, chicken, fish, and yogurt are excellent sources of these nutrients.
During the second trimester, your baby will need even more of these nutrients, especially if you’re eating a primarily protein-rich diet. You should eat a minimum of six small meals a day, spread out throughout the day and night. If you want to learn more on how to eat healthy when expecting, you can discover more here.
Don’t: Consume Processed Foods
Pregnant women need to avoid processed foods as much as possible. These foods are packed full of chemicals that can be harmful to both you and the baby. Instead, focus on eating fresh produce and lean meats. Fish and poultry are also healthier options than red meats. Most of these foods can be avoided and some substitutes will give you the same nutrients without the harmful substances.
Don’t eat too many processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. Refined grains are also aren’t good during pregnancy, as well as those high in sugar like dried fruits, processed sugars, and canned fruit.
Do: Eat Plenty of Fruits And Vegetables
Don’t forget to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. They’re full of nutrients that your baby needs. Fruits and vegetables are natural food, so you can trust that most of them won’t have any side effects when consumed during pregnancy.
Don’t: Skimp On Water
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re getting plenty of water into your body. Dehydration is a big concern for expecting mums. Drinking lots of water will help flush out toxins and keep them from building up.
Drinking sugary beverages, however, is not a good idea. It’s also best to avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol when pregnant. Consuming these beverages may be harmful to you and your baby. If you want to treat yourself, consume fresh fruit juices instead.
Do: Increase Your Calcium Intake
Keep in mind that calcium is essential to good nutrition as well. Supplementing yourself with calcium is not just for the growing baby but for your muscles and bones, too. It’s best to eat a variety of different whole grains and fruits to get a wide range of nutrients and minerals. Also, vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, and beans contain good amounts of calcium.
There are other sources of calcium that are safe for pregnant women, such as dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. You can also include nuts and seeds in your diet. Calcium supplements should only be taken with the approval of your physician.
Don’t: Forget Your Supplements
Don’t skip any prenatal vitamins or iron supplements. These supplements are essential to the health of your baby. In addition to the iron supplements, your doctor may also prescribe other vitamins that will make you healthy and ready for the next several months of pregnancy.
There are many things that pregnant women can do or avoid to maintain their health and their babies’ health. Eating well is key to your child’s proper development in the womb. Remember that healthy choice goes a long way, and they’re especially important during this time. Don’t forget to use these suggestions when you’re expecting a baby. Taking care of yourself means you’re also taking care of your little one in the womb!