How to eat correctly during pregnancy, what foods should be avoided, how much to drink, how to choose vitamins, and how to monitor weight? Let’s look at this topic “pregnancy nutrition” and answer all the questions.
Pregnancy And Nutrition
A proper diet( Proper nutrition) before and during pregnancy increases the chances of having a healthy baby and – moreover – reduces your child’s risk of certain adverse health conditions in adulthood.
Find out what principles a pregnant woman’s diet should be based on, what nutrients are most essential for the mother and child, what can and cannot be eaten while waiting for the baby, and what weight gain is considered normal.
During pregnancy, it is better for the expectant mother to be happy, satisfied, and healthy to give birth to a happy, comfortable, and healthy baby. And her diet should contain the necessary amount of vitamins and nutrients that will contribute to this.
By adhering to the general principles of a healthy diet, you will provide yourself with the best diet for pregnant women. Consumption of quality foods from all five major food groups is the key to health and activity. Let’s list these groups.
- Protein products: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, legumes, nuts. Provide the body with iron, protein, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium. 2 servings per day (one serving – 75 g or 125 ml).
- Vegetables and fruits (fresh, ice cream, canned, dried, greens, and leafy salads). They bring to the body antioxidants, vitamins A, C, folic acid, dietary fiber, potassium. 7 to 8 servings per day (one serving – 250 ml (glass) of chopped vegetables or 125 ml (1/2 cup) of chopped fruit).
- Cereals (oatmeal, millet, corn, buckwheat, rice, bread – preferably cereal or bran, pasta, etc.), potatoes. They are sources of carbohydrates (starch), dietary fiber, thiamin, and niacin. 6 to 7 servings per day (one serving – 1 piece of bread (35 g) or 125 ml (1/2 cup) of rice or pasta).
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, cheese, etc.). Sources of calcium, protein, vitamins A, D, B2, and riboflavin. Three servings per day (one serving – 250 ml milk, or 175 g of yogurt, or 75 grams of cheese).
- Fats (vegetable and butter, fish oil, nuts). The body is saturated with essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D, and E. 30 – 45 ml (2 – 3 tablespoons) per day.
And Here Is A List Of The Most Useful Foods For Nine Crucial Months – Pregnancy Nutrition
1. Green And Yellow Vegetables & Fruits
Green and yellow vegetables and fruits, and the queen among them – broccoli. In the cute inflorescences of this cabbage contains an impressive number of substances that are necessary during pregnancy.
Folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, beta-carotene, selenium, vitamins PP, K, E. This low-calorie vegetable, is rich in fiber that helps normalize digestion.
In addition to broccoli, pregnant women should include more greens and spinach, other green and yellow vegetables – it is better to stew them, steam them or bake, but not to fry. From fruit, it is worth paying attention to green apples, as a rule, do not cause allergies.
2. Dairy Products
Dairy products such as yogurt and kefir promote harmonious digestion and create a favorable microflora in the stomach and intestines. Expectant mothers should include various low-fat types of cheese and cottage cheese in the diet, which consists of a lot of calcium and phosphorus.
During pregnancy or breastfeeding, you need to pay special attention to the right choice of dairy products because right now, its optimal composition and “reliability” are so important.
An excellent solution is products in this category, specially created for baby food. “Children’s” dairy products, as a rule, contain prebiotics and probiotics that support the healthy gut microflora and promote comfortable digestion, which is essential for the expectant mother.
Butter, both creamy and vegetables, is also useful for expectant mothers. Butter contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin A has regenerative properties, It is essential for vision and fetal growth.
Vitamin D regulates cell division processes, promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the body (which is especially necessary during pregnancy), participates in the synthesis of some hormones. Vitamin K affects metabolism and blood clotting.
However, due to the high cholesterol content in butter, the norm of its consumption is no more than 15 to 30 grams per day. Vegetable oils have a lot of fatty acids, vitamins E, A, P. Vitamin E is necessary during pregnancy and prescribed at the risk of miscarriage. Pay special attention to unrefined cold-pressed oils: olive, grape seed, pumpkin, corn, sunflower.
4. Lentils And Other Legumes
Lentils and other legumes are also an essential part of the future mother’s diet. They contain a large amount of vegetable protein and beneficial micronutrients: iron, calcium, zinc. And fiber – even more than in “habitual” vegetables! Low-fat spicy lentil soup on chicken broth can be a great main course for the whole family.
It is good to add a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream. However, the use of legumes should be treated with some caution, as they can cause increased gas formation and flatulence, which is already a problem for expectant mothers. Therefore, to include dishes of lentils, beans, peas are in the diet after a “test drive” of a small portion.
Fish is a slightly less “heavy” product than meat, which is also better absorbed. Future mothers are recommended low-fat varieties of sea fish: cod, navigate, hake, ice fish, Dorada, sea bass.
It contains minerals, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for the healthy development of the baby and the correct course of pregnancy. Such acids are plentiful, only marine varieties of fish; the river should be treated with great care because it can contain parasites.
During pregnancy, raw fish is prohibited, and types such as royal mackerel, swordfish, shark, and tuna should be consumed in limited quantities.
Fish of these varieties may contain methyl mercury, which poses a danger to the fetal nervous system if it accumulates in the mother’s body. Therefore, nutritionists recommend eating such fish no more than once a week, and the approximate weight of steak in the finished form should be about 150 g.
6. Dietary Meats
Dietary meats – rabbit, turkey, veal – are useful during pregnancy, as they are rich in protein and low-fat. Rabbit meat is called the latest trend of modern cooking, and it is considered optimal for dietary nutrition.
It contains many vitamins B6, B12, PP, iron, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, etc. An excellent traditional recipe is a rabbit stewed in sour cream with seasonal vegetables. Expectant mothers who like to eat, will also probably like steamed veal cooked in a multi-cooker with prunes, or turkey in Moroccan, stewed with a mixture of spices and orange juice.
Eggs contain folic acid, as well as selenium, choline, biotin, easily digestible proteins, amino acids, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, which are crucial for the proper development of the fetus. Eggs are rich in vitamins A, E, D, B12, B3.
But attention! Before eating eggs should be subjected to heat treatment, they should never be eaten raw! Suitable for dietary nutrition quail eggs. The body temperature of quails is so high that it does not develop such a dangerous disease as salmonella.
The content of vitamins A, B1, and B2 in them is almost twice as high as in chicken, and in five quail eggs, which in weight roughly correspond to one chicken, nearly five times more iron, phosphorus, and potassium. You can eat no more than 2 chicken and no more than 6 to 10 quail eggs per day.
8. Whole Grains
Whole grains and cereals, such as wild rice, coarse flour bread, oatmeal, sprouted wheat, bran, buckwheat, are essential for digestion, as they contain a lot of plant fiber, complex carbohydrates, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
So, almost each of them can be cooked in the manner of a vegetarian pilaf: first putting out vegetables in olive oil, and then filling them with washed cereal and putting out until ready.
9. Water And Other Liquids
Pay special attention to the fluids that you consume during pregnancy: their quantity and quality are as crucial to your baby’s health as nutrition.
First of all, we are talking, of course, about drinking water. Water is necessary to maintain proper metabolism, assimilation of trace elements, and remove toxins from the body. Also, a sufficient amount of drinking fluid helps to avoid the problem faced by almost every pregnant woman – constipation.
More fluid is needed in the first trimester, especially if the expectant mother has toxicosis, which can also be caused by dehydration. Symptoms of the latter include severe dryness of the skin of the face, arms, legs, and even lips, constipation, irritability, early occurrence of toxicosis.
And in the case of morning nausea, and on normal days, it is necessary to maintain a water balance. The doctor will determine the required amount of fluid intake, taking into account the specifics of the course of your pregnancy.
When the baby has grown up in the tummy, his body begins to sweat metabolic products, and the mother’s organs work with more stress. The vessels of the pregnant woman circulate more blood, increases its flow to the tissues, increases their saturation with water, which contributes to more fast metabolism and excretion of metabolic products.
The puffiness is inherent in all pregnant women at a later date in the process of the body forming water reserves. Because a large amount of blood is spent during childbirth, the body is prudently preparing to replenish the fluid supply after the birth of the baby.
To avoid excessive puffiness, the second half of pregnancy should eat more vegetables and fruits, drink yogurt and kefir and try to reduce the use of salt, which provokes thirst.
Fresh-squeezed vegetable and fruit juices and smoothies (cooked at home), cocktails based on fermented milk products (lassi) are very useful for expectant mothers. Before you start eating any herbal tea, you should consult with your supervisor.
Sweet drinks, juices, sparkling water – negate the consumption of these liquids: contained high doses of sugar in the first two cases and minerals in the third, most likely, will be extra against the background of a balanced diet and supplementation of vitamin complexes.
The Most Essential For A Healthy Pregnancy
There is no optimal magic formula for a healthy diet during pregnancy. In general, the general principles of proper nutrition remain the same as in normal circumstances – to eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meat and fish, healthy fats.
Nevertheless, some nutrients (nutrients) in the diet for pregnant women deserve special attention from the expectant mother. Let’s list them.
Folic Acid Prevents Congenital Disabilities (Pregnancy Nutrition)
Folic acid is vitamin B9, its intake in the first months of pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects, the organ from which the embryo’s brain and spinal cord are formed. This element can be obtained from food, thanks to synthesis occurring in the intestines, as well as in synthetic form as a water-soluble vitamin or biologically active supplement.
- How much is needed: 0.4 mg per day 3 months before pregnancy and throughout the first trimester.
- The best natural sources are lentils, beef liver, cod liver, legumes, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
Calcium Strengthens Bone Tissue
You and your child need calcium for strong and healthy bones and teeth. This element is also necessary for the normal functioning of the muscular and nervous systems, the regulation of intracellular processes.
Compared to normal conditions, the need for calcium in a woman expecting a child increases by almost 50%. Nature is so structured that if your body starts to experience calcium deficiency during pregnancy, it will take it from your bones, which can contribute to osteoporosis development in older age.
Calcium absorption doubles in the second half of pregnancy, which allows you not to increase its consumption. Please note that calcium absorption requires vitamin D and vitamin K2, which is found, for example, in Agusha curds.
- How much is needed: 1200 mg per day.
- The best natural sources: dairy products, cereals, legumes, citrus fruits, dark-leaf vegetables and greens, nuts.
Vitamin D Helps Strengthen Bones
Vitamin D is primarily essential for the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Together with calcium, it serves as an excellent prevention of rickets in newborns.
Vitamin D is synthesized subcutaneously under the influence of ultraviolet radiation. You may need an additional intake of chemically synthesized vitamin D if you live in a low-insolation region and don’t consume enough eggs, dairy, and fish products.
- How much is needed: 10 to 15 micrograms (or 400 – 600 IU) per day.
- The best natural sources: seaweed and oily varieties of fish that feed on these algae (salmon), fish oil, cod liver, butter, egg yolk.
Iron Prevents Anemia
The human body uses iron to produce hemoglobin, a protein in blood cells that deliver oxygen to organ tissue. Iron makes you more resistant to stress and disease, preventing fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression.
During pregnancy, the woman’s total blood volume increases. Thus, the body “adjusts” to the new physiological situation, as well as the child’s circulatory system is launched. As a result, the need for the future mother in this mineral doubles.
If iron deficiency, a pregnant woman may experience fatigue and be more prone to infections. Also, the lack of this element is dangerous for the fetus: the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight increases.
- How much is needed: 20 mg per day.
- The best natural sources: liver, lean red meat (especially beef), poultry, fish, whole grains, eggs, legumes, buckwheat, pomegranate, apples, beets, peaches, apricots.
Iodine Prevents Malformations
Iodine is necessary for the normal development of the fetus. Adequate consumption during pregnancy is important to prevent hypothyroidism in the mother and newborn. Iodine deficiency can hurt the fetus from the 8th to the 10th week of pregnancy.
- How much is needed: 150 – 200 mg per day.
- The best natural sources: iodized salt, products of sea origin.
Vitamin C Enhances The Body’s Protective Functions
Vitamin C improves iron absorption from plant sources, such as buckwheat. One of those elements that can not be synthesized and stored in the human body. This means that you need to consume daily foods rich in this vitamin.
- How much is needed: 50 to 70 mg per day.
- The best natural sources: kiwi, orange, some vegetables (tomatoes, sweet bell pepper, cabbage), berries (especially rosehip), greens (primarily parsley, spinach).
One orange or one green Bulgarian pepper is enough per day. It is important to remember that when heating vitamin C in foods is destroyed, take into account this circumstance when cooking.
Some Nutritional Features In Different Trimesters
When thinking through a pregnant woman’s diet, it is important to remember that the food she consumes should ensure, on the one hand, the growth and development of the fetus. On the other hand, the needs of the woman herself, taking into account all the changes that the body of the future mother is going through.
The amount and ratio of biologically and energy nutrients needed to meet the needs of the expectant mother depends on the duration. In the first half of pregnancy (especially in the first trimester), the body’s needs practically do not change.
Such changes begin to occur in the second half of pregnancy. This is due to the fetus and placenta’s market growth, as well as changes in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidneys, which circulate and excrete metabolic products of both mother and fetus.
By these features, in the second half of pregnancy, it is important to increase the protein, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, vitamins, and trace elements in the diet and limit salt intake.
Weight During Pregnancy – Pregnancy Nutrition
During the first months of pregnancy, you should not notice weight gain. Some women may even find a decrease in body weight due to ailments, quite often (according to some data, in 70% of cases) occurring in the first trimester and affecting established eating and drinking habits.
So-called morning nausea can last the entire pregnancy, although it usually passes or at least begins to subside by the end of the first trimester.
Talk to the doctor leading your pregnancy if you experience severe nausea as your body may start to dehydrate. Do not forget that along with the liquid. Also, there is a loss of vitamins and trace elements, which are so necessary for you and your baby.
As the child grows in the second and third trimesters, the nutritional needs of the expectant mother also increase. And yet pregnancy is not a reason to overeat, “there is for two,” as it was customary to say earlier.
Pregnant women need only 200 to 300 extra calories a day, and only in the last trimester. You can get them by eating 2 fruits, 2 handfuls of berries, a cheese sandwich, or a serving of curd casserole.
Weight Gain Rate During Pregnancy
If you have entered into a pregnancy with a healthy weight, then the normal increase is 10 to 13.6 kg, and this additional weight is distributed in the body as follows:
- Fat Tissue – 4 Kg.
- Fetus, Placenta, Fertile Water – 5 Kg.
- The E-cell Fluid – 1 To 1.5 Kg.
- Womb, Breasts – 1 – 1.5 Kg.
- The Mother’s Circulating Blood Capacity – 1 To 1.5 Kg.
- Women with a body deficit or excess of pre-pregnancy will have slightly different rates and a gain of 12 to 15.2 kg and 7 to 9.1 kg, respectively.
- If weights have previously been significantly different from the norm, you should consult with a specialist leading your pregnancy about your diet and a desirable weight gain.
- Recommendations should be given considering age, body size (height, weight, mass index), physical activity level, individual metabolic characteristics, and some others.
- A BMI (body mass index) is usually used as an indicator of underweight or overweight. It is calculated as follows:
BMI – weight (kg) / height (m)2.
The recommended BMI-based weight gain is the most personalized, taking into account the individual characteristics of a particular woman.
On average, you can gain 1 – 2 kg in the first trimester. In 2 to 3 trimesters, the following weight gain is considered the norm:
- Underweight – 0.5 Kg Per Week.
- Overweight – 0.3 Kg Per Week.
- At A Normal Weight Of 0.4 Kg Per Week.
Weight gain of less than 1 kg or more than 3 kg per month should be grounds for careful study of the circumstances of pregnancy by an obstetrician.
What You Can’t Drink And Eat When You’re Pregnant
- Unpasteurized milk. Any dairy and dairy products you will consume during pregnancy should have a “Pasteurized” label on the packaging.
- Soft cheeses. You can enjoy parmesan on pizza, but it is better to refuse from soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk (brie, camembert, feta, cheeses with mold). The bacteria they contain can harm your current condition.
- Raw and uncooked meat. May contain pathogenic bacteria. This also includes all raw-smoked products. Leaving aside the question of whether they are useful in principle, the focus is on the fact that the listeria bacterium, which can live in raw meat, continues to exist even when these products are in your refrigerator.
Relatively safe, they become only when eaten immediately by cooking at high temperatures.
- Raw, dried fish, seafood, and dishes from them (sushi, etc.). If you are a fan of sushi, oysters, mussels, or lightly salted salmon, you will have to forget about these delicacies for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Only thoroughly processed and cooked at high temperatures, fish and seafood are allowed to be consumed by pregnant women.
- Raw eggs and dishes from them (before thermal processing), such as fresh dough. If you knead the dough with eggs, give up the habit of trying it to taste. The risk is even a small amount of raw dough: the same bacterium salmonella is very dangerous for any healthy body, not to mention your special situation.
In the same category – homemade mayonnaise and other salad dressings (“Caesar,” etc.). And do not forget about the sweet dishes: mousse, Gogol-mogul, merengue, tiramisu, etc.
- Shoots and sprouted grains. Avoid any: pathogens can penetrate them at an early stage of growth, and it will be impossible to wash them off with water before eating.
- Fish with mercury. Tuna, swordfish, mackerel, a shark can contain high doses of mercury. It is considered safe to take no more than 300 grams per week of seafood or fish containing minimum mercury levels: soma, salmon, cod, canned tuna.
- Freshly squeezed juices. Juices squeezed in restaurants and other public places may also contain pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. In the same category, fall raw unpasteurized juices in bottles, which can be seen in supermarket refrigerators.
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables. They can live dangerous for you with the baby bacterium toxoplasma.
- Caffeine. Many mothers are interested in the question of whether it is possible to drink coffee during pregnancy. Recent studies show that a small amount of caffeine is safe for pregnant women. However, the question of whether high doses of the substance can lead to the risk of miscarriage is still being studied, as was recently thought.
As research on this issue continues, one cup of coffee is now allowed to consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. Remember that this element is also found in cola, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks.
- Alcohol. The topic of alcohol consumption during pregnancy continues to be relevant. You are well aware that the abuse of strong drinks leads to serious malformations of the fetus. However, not everyone knows that even small doses can be dangerous.
A safe amount of alcohol, permissible during pregnancy, has not yet been established. Therefore, it is best to give up any “hot products” for all baby and breastfeeding waiting times.
The waiting period for a child is when it is necessary to show special attention to the body’s health and needs. And while you may have to give up some of your eating habits, treat it with joy – you not only make the necessary contribution to your baby’s health, set the right direction for its development in the next 40 weeks, but also most likely lay the foundation for keeping the body in shape after childbirth.