Pregnancy is one of the most joyous occasions in a women’s life and so it goes without saying that you need to take extra care of your growing baby and yourself. As the growing baby now starts to absorb everything you eat or drink it is important that you make some dietary modifications. Begin by consulting with your doctor who is the best judge and ask for a list of dos and don’ts. You could also gain a lot of information form pregnancy books. Pregnancy books are written by experts, but it is advisable that you opt for advice from the best. Here are a few simple tips:
It has been observed that it takes around 55,000 calories to help your baby grow, so that makes it around 300 calories per day that you need to consume extra every day. This is equivalent to an apple or even a glass or low fat milk. Your calorie requirement does not change in the first trimester, but your body will start demanding more vitamins and minerals. Folic acids, Vitamin B Complex, etc are all required for preventing birth defects and helping your baby grow in a healthy manner. So make sure you consume loads of colourful foods like vegetables and fruits, ask your doctor for vitamin supplements and don’t shy from eating that extra piece of chocolate cake.
Consume calcium rich food and milk is the best option. Calcium is required to make sure your baby’s bones develop without any hitch. You can even cook your oatmeal in milk instead of water to make sure you get that daily does of extra milk.
You have to make sure that you have a constant intake of fluids through out your pregnancy. It prevents you from being constipated and also helps the body cope with the increased blood volume which is required to carry oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby. You can even have orange juice or non fat milk, but remember to carry that water bottle with you at all times.
It is important that you have an iron rich diet. Protein-rich foods like chicken, lean meat, cooked dried peas and beans, fish and certain fruits have ample iron. Iron is important as it helps the body make red blood cells which is important to carry oxygen to the baby and also to avoid premature delivery and aid normal growth. It keeps you rejuvenated as well and helps fight fatigue which is common is mothers to be.
Don’t give up in sea food just yet. Sea food is supposed to be extremely good for pregnant women. Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in the fish are important for the vision and brain development in the baby. Omega 3 has also been studied to prevent preterm births, development delay, allergies and even asthma. But there is a downside as well. Consuming too much fish can cause harm as well as it can increase the mercury levels in the body and so fish consumption should be limited to say 12 ounces per week.
Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking completely. Alcohol results in irreversible birth defects and there is no safe consumption limits noted. Caffeine and caffeine products like colas and soft drinks should be avoided as much as possible. It has been studied that excess consumption can lead to miscarriage and even growth retardation.
Don’t follow fad diets even though you might be putting on extra kilos. Talk to your nutritionist and ask for a healthy diet to follow that is good for both you and the baby. If you starve your self you starve your baby, so eat healthy and exercise regularly. You could opt for swimming and prenatal exercise classes. Yoga is extremely beneficial as not only does it give you a good workout, it relaxes you and increases blood circulation and helps you breathe right.
It is most important that you consult with a doctor before following any advice and make sure you read up pregnancy books and sites to be better informed.