Your baby is growing rapidly and you might be finding it hard to keep up with your energetic baby who seems to be using up all the nutrients and energy you have in you! Good nutrition during pregnancy doesn’t come easily to all moms – let’s zoom in on a few points which you might want to start off with.
Pregnancy nutritiion: A balanced diet
The nutrients that you can’t do without especially when you’re pregnant ranges from iron, calcium, folate, protein, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, to dietary fiber, and many more others. There is, unfortunately, no one single food or supplement that gives you everything. Make sure you have a balanced diet!
Expectant mothers are prone to iron-deficiency anemia because the iron in their bodies goes to the fetus. Anemia makes you feel faint or faint while standing or walking. It also makes the birth more dangerous as well because more blood might be lost. Make sure you take in enough iron!
Calcium gives you and baby both strong bones and teeth! According to the National Institute of Health, pregnant or lactating women should aim to take in 1,000 mg of calcium each day.1Remember that after pregnancy, if you don’t have enough calcium, you become more prone to getting osteoporosis. Start taking it actively, and start today!
Folate/folic acid is essential in the first trimester of pregnancy because it plays an important role in cell division and productions of new cells. Without folate, fetuses are unable to grow well and might be born with neural tube defects, or have developmental problems that can lead to a miscarriage. These problems cannot be corrected after birth, so make sure you have folate/folic acid in your diet before and during pregnancy.
Folic acid supplements are absorbed by the body much better than folate is, so try to supplement your diet with supplements if possible!
Protein is an important component of the human body. It will make up the brain, skin and hair of the baby – to get enough amino acids for these parts, you need to eat protein!
Proteins also help in the absorption of iron and calcium, so actively try to consume this triad of nutrients together!
Small, frequent meals for pregnancy nutrition
Have meals at fixed times if possible. You might see yourself moving from a breakfast-lunch-dinner routine to more meals if morning sickness subsides and you have a better appetite. This could also be due to the growing baby compressing your stomach.
Regardless of your situation, have your meals at your own pace – that’s the most important. You can choose to eat as much as before, but simply divide the amount of food you eat into smaller and more portions. If you ate too much or too little one day, make a conscious effort to balance it out the next day.
Pregnancy nutrition: Taking in more fluids
Nutrients and oxygen dissolve in water and are transported to the different parts of the body through blood. The blood (which is mostly made of water) going to the fetus through the placenta also gives the fetus the nutrients they need. As a result, your body doesn’t have enough water and blood circulation slows. Make sure you drink about 2 liters of water every day!
If you drink lots of caffeinated beverages, the caffeine will decrease blood flow to the placenta, and this could put the fetus in danger. Try opting for non-caffeinated drinks if you can!
Food for thought: Eating for both yours and the baby’s sake!
Eating meals for the right amount of nutrients during pregnancy isn’t easy, so you might be thinking of supplementing your meals with supplements. Supplements can help you strike a balance, but remember to consult your practitioner before taking anything! Trying to have the “right” meal each time can also become a cause of stress, but try to take it in stride and think of it as a game instead!
Here’s some food for thought: Researching on what makes a balanced meal might be tiring, but this is also an opportunity for you to find out more about food. Eat not for your own sakes, but for baby’s sake too!