Pregnancy is such a wonderful yet mysterious place in a woman’s life until that big moment: Delivery. And it seems like eating takes on a new meaning for the new mom to be. We know there is a new being developing and naturally; eating seems to be of great concern to birthing a healthy baby. Therefore, many questions may come to mind for the mom to be concerning her dietary needs and wants. What can I eat? How much should I eat? Will this make me gain unnecessary weight? How do certain foods affect the development of this new life? How does this affect me and the baby if I’m a vegetarian? What about those “inevitable” and strange cravings?
Well there are many advantages to a good balanced diet and pregnancy. For one, eating well can help prevent certain birth defects, some research states it can improve the baby’s brain development, also the diet may significantly reduce risk factors in the mother such as anemia, pre-eclampsia, reduce mom’s risk of fatigue, morning sickness, constipation, and assist with a smoother delivery to name a few. So what does mom need? She needs iron, calcium, folate, vitamin C and protein. And what doesn’t mom need? She doesn’t need much or any of some of the following: sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine. A woman should eat three good meals a day along with fluid intake of 6-8 glasses of water.
Make sure you choose nutrient-rich foods that give your baby the right type of calories. Some foods have calories but are virtually empty in productive enrichment for the baby. For instance, potato chips are not necessarily rich in nutrients but baked potatoes are. Eating good healthy meals are going to increase the likelihood of mom having a full term baby instead of a premature one. Carbohydrates and proteins have less calories than fat. Therefore eating the right protein rich foods are going to produce a more healthy outcome. So choose lean meats, low-fat milk, stay away from fried foods. Examples of foods that are rich in nutrients are avocados, nuts, dried fruits. Whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, dried beans, potatoes with the skins are rich in fiber. These foods help prevent constipation and nausea.