Dietary Guidelines During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the joyful times in a woman's life, but it also presents unique mental and physical challenges. A nutritious and balanced diet is paramount during pregnancy as this will ensure that both mother and baby continue to enjoy good health. Poor eating habits can lead to weight gain and increase the chances of having a difficult delivery. To ensure that developing babies receive balanced nutrition, pregnant women need to pay close attention to the foods they eat throughout pregnancy.
Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
1. Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of nutritious foods and beverages.
For balanced nutrition, you need to eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy and protein foods. Choose foods and beverages with less added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium (salt). Also limit refined grains and starches, which are found in foods like cookies, white bread, and some snacks.
2. Get the right amount of calories as recommended by your doctor.
It is false to say that you need to eat twice as much food when you are pregnant.
First trimester (first 12 weeks) - Most women don't need any extra calories.
Second trimester (13 to 26 weeks) - Most women need an extra 340 calories per day.
Last trimester (after 26 weeks) - Most women need about 450 extra calories per day.
Every pregnant woman's body is different and you need to consult and follow your doctor's advice.
3. If you want some snacks to pass the boring time, you can try low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit (unsweetened), whole-grain crackers with fat-free or low-fat cheese, carrots with hummus.
4. You must also take some prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid, iron and iodine, and you need to choose the product that is right for you after talking to your doctor.
5. Fish and shellfish contain healthy fats that are good for you and your baby. You can choose to eat properly. But some fish are high in mercury, a metal that can harm your baby's development.
Avoid Certain Foods
1. Keep your distance from these foods that may contain bacteria that can harm your baby. E.g:
Raw (uncooked) or rare (undercooked) fish or shellfish, like sushi or raw oysters
Soft cheeses (like feta, Brie, and goat cheese), unless they are pasteurized
Raw or rare meats, poultry, or eggs
Unpasteurized juices or milk
Lunch or deli meats, smoked seafood, and hot dogs – unless they are heated until steaming hot
Prepared salads like ham salad, chicken salad, or seafood salad
Raw sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts
If you drink coffee or tea, choose decaf and no sugar.
Choose to drink water or soda instead of drinks with added sugar.
Don't drink alcohol.
Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Quick Tips