Nutrition and Pregnancy

Food is supposed to energize you and your baby. Keep this mantra in mind during your pregnancy.

You starve your baby starves. Therefore, eat! However, what is good for your baby, you and also satisfying your cravings. Each bite you take is food for your baby. When you put something in your mouth to eat, make sure it’s healthy, packed with nutrients, fresh, non junk and delicious at the same time. The moment you realize the fact that whatever you eat feeds your growing baby, you will start making adjustments, will eat healthy and frequently to nourish your baby’s growth.

A pregnant woman craves for food and beverages at anytime, anywhere and combinations that do not make sense to a non-pregnant person. You may want to mix sweet foods and sour foods together or may want to eat chocolate with bread! It is normal, due to all the hormonal changes in your body.

How to eat healthy?

  • You may want to follow a very healthy, balanced nutritious diet and may be doing great by sticking to your pregnancy food plan. However, sometimes you may want to eat that chocolate sundae, a burger, a cup cake or a grilled cheese with butter. The good news is you can let yourself with a serving, without guilt. If you want to eat ice-cream at lunch or breakfast then add banana slices, with fresh fruit to your desert. If you want to eat grilled cheese, add healthy fresh veggies such as guacamole, spinach.
  • Making additions of healthy fruits and vegetable will provide you with your baby and you with the required daily nutrition for health development. The rule is when you are going down the lane of the least nutritious foods; make it wholesome by adding healthy food. The second rule is to keep the servings of your junk food very small. Instead of having two scoops of ice-cream have one with fruits. Share your food too that way you will not end up eating the whole bowl of chips.
  • Most importantly, be aware when you are eating, stop before you over eat. Over-eating can cause nausea and vomiting which is bad for you and your baby.
  • Always keep your belly satisfied by eating frequently. The moment you start starving or skip a meal, your cravings for junk food will increase.

All Mom’s and Vegetarian Moms

Vegetarians can have healthy babies by carefully following a nutritious health plan. Following a healthy food plan is a necessity for every mom whether she consumes a vegetarian diet, vegan diet and a non vegetarian diet. The plan has to be balanced for the best nourishment of your fetus and you.

  • Protein up you meals
    Your baby is having rapid cell development and to support that growth pregnant mother need to add more proteins to their meals. Amino acids in protein are the basic building blocks o our body’s cells and now your baby’s too. Include proteins in your daily diet and in every meal. Proteins are found in pulses, soy products, tofu, eggs, peanut butter, peanuts, soy milk, soy cheese, cheese, wheat germ, oat bran, couscous, buck wheat, bulgur wheat, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds.
  • Calcium
    We all know calcium keeps our bones strong and our teeth strong too. Now that you are pregnant, your baby needs calcium to build strong bones. Do not deprive yourself of calcium foods. If you do not eat calcium foods, your baby will automatically absorb the present calcium in your bones, which will make you weak. When a mother becomes weak it has a hazardous affect on the child too. Women, who have their pregnancies within two years or have had twins and more, usually have calcium deficiency as their bodies require more calcium to recover from. Therefore, following a balanced food plan with calcium will make you and your baby very strong. Calcium during pregnancy helps prevent high blood pressure developing and to possibly prevent premature birth of the baby.
  • Vitamin B12
    Most vegetarians and vegans have a B12 deficiency. B 12 deficiency leads to weakness in the muscles, lethargy, restlessness, depression, anxiety. B12 vitamin is required in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen through the blood to the body’s tissues. Babies born to mothers who are vegetarians may also be deficient in vitamin B12. For vegetarian’s milk, cheese, yoghurt are average sources of this vitamin. B12 is usually found in meat products. However, doctors usually recommend B12 supplements for vegetarians and vegans. Consuming B12 fortified cereals and soy milk, nutritional yeast and fortified meat substitutes may also be considered. Speak to your doctor and nutritionist about foods that.
  • Vitamin D
    Vitamin D is necessary to maintain sufficient levels of calcium and phosphorus that build your baby’s bones and teeth. During pregnancy vitamin D deficiency leads to growth retardation and skeletal deformities and may affect the birth weight of the baby. A lack of vitamin D during pregnancy will affect the baby’s vitamin D levels at birth too casing a disease called rickets in the child leading to fractures and malformation, unusual bone growth, and late physical growth. Such an impact goes into adulthood of the baby who may also suffer from an immunity problem.
    Vitamin D has been the topic of much research in recent years. Researchers are studying vitamin D’s role in preventing a number of diseases. These include certain autoimmune diseases (type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis), osteoarthritis, cancers (especially colon cancer), gum disease, and high blood pressure.
  • Eat Omega-3 to boost your brain and your babies growth
    Fat is vital to your developing baby. Omega-3 fatty acids are brain boosting and cholesterol-clearing good fats. It is one of the top vitamins every expecting mother’s should consume to promote the baby’s healthy development. The best kind of Omega-3 fatty acid are found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oils, rapeseed oil and extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, avocados are essential. It is also found in fish oil supplements and vegetarian supplements – Omega-3 fatty acids derived from algae.
    Do not cut out all the butter and oils in your pregnancy plan. Fear not about adding fats in your diet, choose the healthy oils. Follow a healthy pregnancy plan. Gaining weight during pregnancy is a natural phenomenon. Your doctor will tell you how much weight you will gain and how to keep it in check. The weight you gain is not just your, body fat. It is also your baby’s weight too.
    Therefore, it is hazardous to follow an improper diet so you do not gain weight. Some fats are good ones and they help nourish your child and you, when you are pregnant. Adding Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthiest fat you can add to your daily nutritional plan because now you are eating for you and your baby. You are eating for two! Omega-3 fatty acids are is required for proper brain development, eye development of your fetus and babies.
    Did you know our bodies needs the healthy fats to absorb the vitamins present in your vegetables? Research shows that many nutrients present in vegetables are not absorbed appropriately by the body, if oils are omitted in the diet. This does not mean you can now fry those cutlets or French fries! Instead, you can enjoy oil with adding it in stir fries, in your pulses for, olive oil in your salad and vegetables and little butter on your breads. Keep a track of your fat intake. Make a pregnancy plan and keep a daily quota for fat and oils.
  • Make friends with Vitamin C and Iron
    Iron deficiency causes low energy, fatigue and mood swings. It makes you more prone to colds with a low immunity. For blood supply to your baby, a pregnant mother needs to add iron to the food, as large amounts of iron is required to supply blood to the fetus. For the Iron in the food to be absorbed, vitamin C has to be added in the food too. If you are eating a bowl of spinach, add one lemon to your dish. If you are having a hearty green salad, add oranges to it. If you are having a beetroot spinach soup, add lemon to your drink. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C at the same time, when you are eating an iron rich meal increases the iron absorption in the body. Caffeinated drinks interfere with the absorption hinders the iron absorption in the body. If you are anemic your doctor may prescribe iron supplements to you.