Special Nutrient Needs during Pregnancy: Nutritional needs would be enhanced for the following
Folate (also known as Folic Acid)
An adequate amount of folic acid is essential before and during pregnancy. Folic acid is essential for cell division and organ formation that takes place in the first trimester of pregnancy. Therefore is an extremely important nutrient for women of reproductive age. Folic acid intake of at least 400 mcg/day during pregnancy is known to decrease the risk of birth defects.
Good sources of folic acid: green leafy vegetables, whole grain breads, enriched grains (such as breads, cereals/pasta), citrus fruits, citrus juice, nuts, seeds, dried beans/peas, and lentils. Your doctor may recommend supplementation along with a diet rich in folic acid to meet the recommendation.
It is important to get enough calcium for you and your baby. If you don’t consume enough calcium your body gives your baby the calcium that is available and takes calcium from your bones stored to meet your needs. This can cause your bones to become weak. Not taking enough calcium during pregnancy can lead to osteoporosis later in life.
Good sources of calcium-milk, yogurt, cheese, fortified tofu, green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice, broccoli, fish with soft bones, some fortified cereals and almonds.
Good source of protein: meat, fish, poultry, nuts, eggs, beans, soy products, milk cheese, yogurt. If you are vegetarian or vegan and if you consume a variety of legumes, grain products, soy products, and vegetables, obtaining adequate protein should not be problem.
A mother’s blood volume increases during pregnancy. Iron is essential to make hemoglobin, component of blood that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. Hemoglobin also crosses the placenta to provide oxygen for your baby. The increase in blood volume calls for an increase in iron intake. To maintain this increased blood volume it is also important to drink adequate amounts of water (8-10 glasses per day).
Good sources of Iron: meat, poultry, fish, legumes, whole grains, dried fruits, and enriched grain products.
Getting enough dietary iron to meet the demands of pregnancy can be difficult. Even though iron is widely available, it isn’t absorbed readily.
Your health care provider may prescribe an iron supplement along with an iron-rich diet. For optimal absorption of an iron supplement or other non-meat iron sources, take with a good source of vitamin C
Zinc is needed to maintain the health of cells. Taking iron supplements may interfere with the absorption of Zinc, so women taking iron supplements may also need Zinc supplements. Foods high in zinc include meat, eggs and seafood. Leavened wholegrain products can also be helpful yeast helps release the bound Zinc).
Good sources of vitamin C include orange juice, grapefruit, cantaloupe, green pepper, or broccoli
- Choose at least one source of vitamin B, a day Vitamin B., is found in animal products including fish and shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. Vegans are at risk of not consuming enough vitamin B. Your health care provider might recommend a vitamin B2 supplement
- Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
There is a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy:
- Raw meat
- Deli Meat
- Fish with Mercury
- Fish exposed to Industrial Pollutants
- Raw eggs
- Unpasteurized milk
- Soft cheese
- Unwashed vegetables
Pregnancy and Weight Gain
Proper weight gain is vital to a healthy baby and a safe pregnancy. A baby’s birth weight is directly related to the weight you gain throughout your pregnancy. A woman who is at healthy weight at the onset of pregnancy should expect to gain anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds during the course of the pregnancy. Women who are underweight are advised to gain 28 to 40 pounds, and women who are overweight are advised to gain 15 to 25 pounds. If you are expecting twins, your doctor may advise a weight gain of 35 to 45 pounds.
Restricting weight gain can result in a baby with a lower birth weight. Babies who are born weighing less than 5% pounds are at greater risk for developing difficulties and illnesses than babies who weigh more.
Not only is gaining a healthy amount of weight important, but the rate at which you gain is also notable Woman should expect about a two to four pound weight gain during the first trimester and about a one-pound gain per week for the remainder of the pregnancy
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.