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Pregnancy Nutrition: Role of Eating Right

December 3, 2020

Being an expecting mom, one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby is adopting a well-balanced eating plan. Pregnancy nutrition is essential for all would-be moms to ensure a healthy baby. You may have been bombarded with dozens of tips from your relatives on eating right. However, getting tips from an expert is important because you can’t afford to take chances.

Want to consult a specialist? Find the best pregnancy doctor n Chandigarh

Balanced nutrition during pregnancy is vital for your baby to grow and develop. Here we bring some information on pregnancy nutrition to make you understand the role of diet during pregnancy.

Let’s get started with some myths and facts about pregnancy food.

Pregnancy Food Myths

  • Sweets Are Harmful - A research reveals that a regular dark chocolate treat could halve the risk of premature delivery.
  • Eat for two -During the first trimester, you need 100 calories extra to support your fetus. By the third trimester, you can increase your calories intake by 300 per day.
  • All Seafood Is Bad – Seafood contains essential Omega fatty acids that are good for your immune system and baby’s growth.

  • Soft Cheese Is Not Good– You can eat cheese but make sure it is pasteurized.
  • Don't Sweat It – Staying active during pregnancy helps you feel better, manage stress, and prevent complications like gestational diabetes.
  • Diet Soda Is Fine – Artificial sweeteners in diet sodas are bad for reflux & teeth and can cause heartburns in would-be moms.

Pregnancy Food Facts

  • Caffeine Is Harmful – More than 200 mg of caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage. It is made from herbs and nuts that you can brew like coffee.
  • Cleanliness Always Pays Off – Be a food safety nerd to make sure you get hygienic food to prevent yourself from food-borne illnesses. Keep dishes and kitchen slab clean for your good health.

Must Read: 9 Tips to Keep Close for a Healthy Pregnancy

  • Alcohol Is Fatal For Your Fetus– Alcohol consumption increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. So, avoid it for your baby. Ask your doctor for help.
  • You Need Nutrients You May Don’t Know – Maybe you know well about calcium or iron, but there are some nutrients that you may not have ever heard of, and one such is Choline.

Now, let’s take a peep at the essential nutrients you need during pregnancy:

Choline

  • Baby Benefits: Helps prevent problems in the spinal cord. It is a crucial nutrient that enhances brain development.
  • Mom Benefits: Helps prevent high blood pressure and builds strong bones.
  • Sources: Roasted soybean, pork chop, yoghurt, eggs, and salads.

  • Pregnancy RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance): 450 mg; don’t exceed 3500 mg

Folate and Folic Acid

  • Baby Benefits: Helps prevent neural tube defects and abnormal brain & spinal cord development.
  • Mom Benefits: Prevents anaemia.
  • Sources: Lemons, bananas, strawberries, dried beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, asparagus, oranges, peanuts, flax seeds and others.
  • Pregnancy RDA: 600 micrograms (mcg) throughout pregnancy

Iodine

  • Baby Benefits: Strongly needed for a brain and nervous system development.
  • Mom Benefits: Crucial for a healthy thyroid.
  • Sources: Cod, yoghurt, cottage cheese, baked potato with peel, cow’s milk, navy beans, and so on.
  • Pregnancy RDA: 250 mcg, not more than 1,100 mcg

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

  • Baby Benefits: Boosts brain development and vision.
  • Mom Benefits: Reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Sources: Coho salmon, catfish, blue crab, and fortified eggs.
  • Pregnancy RDA: 300 mg

Protein

  • Baby Benefits: Ensures baby’s growth, especially during the second and third trimesters.
  • Mom Benefits: Gives strength to your muscles.
  • Sources: Cottage cheese, poultry, fish and eggs, milk, lentils, and peanut butter, different types of lentils
  • Pregnancy RDA: 71 grams every day

Iron

  • Baby Benefits: Helps prevent premature delivery.
  • Mom Benefits: Prevents anaemia and maintains blood volume during pregnancy.
  • Sources: Cereals, beans, spinach, lean red meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Pregnancy RDA: 27 mg but don't exceed 45 mg

Calcium

  • Baby Benefits: Your baby needs calcium for strong bones and teeth.
  • Mom Benefits: Protects bone density and prevents from the disease like Osteoporosis.
  • Sources: Milk, yoghurt, and cheese. Further, cereals, salmon, spinach, and fortified orange juice.
  • Pregnancy RDA: 1,000 milligrams (mg) but don't let it exceed 2,500 mg

Vitamin D

  • Baby Benefits: Allows your baby's body to use calcium to build bones and teeth.
  • Mom Benefits: Helps your body absorb calcium from food for strong bones and teeth.
  • Sources: Fatty fish like salmon, fortified milk, orange juice, and eggs.
  • Pregnancy RDA: 600 international units (IU) but don't exceed 4,000 IU

For Additional Supplements – Consult Your Doctor

Even if you undergo a healthy diet, you can miss out on other essential nutrients. Ask your doctor whether you should rely on additional supplements or not. Supplements become important in case you are a strict vegetarian would-be mom.

Must Read: Pregnancy Platter

The information mentioned above is intended to make you aware of the importance of pregnancy nutrition. It is strongly recommended that you consult a doctor before you start taking them.

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