When it comes to pregnancy, the health of mother and baby is paramount. Many a new mother, once finding out she is expecting, will immediately make a doctor’s appointment to confirm the pregnancy and have a full check up. Thus begins nine months of consistent medical surveillance that works towards ensuring a healthy, full-term delivery.
And many times, during such a visit, the doctor will discuss pregnancy nutrition and how maintaining a proper diet can help support the growing fetus.
Often women will remark that pregnancy has allowed them to “eat for two.” While pregnancy certainly does increase the appetite of an expecting mother, it in no way is a license to overeat and indulge in foods that you would normally avoid. Rather, pregnancy is a time for increased vigilance when it comes to your food intake.
Now, the choices you make no longer just affect you – they affect the health of your baby.
Pregnancy nutrition really follows the same principles of any healthy diet. If you are already following a proper diet then you are well on your way to healthy pregnancy nutrition. If you have not been eating properly up until this time, then now is the time to make some changes.
It will ensure the health of your baby; and, perhaps you will be left with a habit of healthy eating that follows you for a lifetime.
When keeping an eye towards pregnancy nutrition think whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to avoid foods high in salt, preservatives, and other chemicals. Keep high fat and fried foods to a minimum. Focus instead on lean meats, nuts, and soy.
As part of pregnancy nutrition, your doctor may also advise you to increase your dairy intake with yogurts, low-fat milk, and cheese. Calcium is extremely important for a growing fetus.
Additionally, you will more than likely be given a pre-natal vitamin to take once daily. This contains a combination of vitamins that you need as well as additional iron that is essential for pregnancy nutrition.
This in no way means that you can’t indulge in a food that you have been craving. Moderation – as always – is key. Give yourself a treat now and then but try not to overindulge.
Keep in mind that pregnancy nutrition also includes avoiding those foods that are disallowed during pregnancy. Your doctor will surely give you a comprehensive list of foods that are unsafe during this time. Be sure to follow instructions carefully.
With the proper pregnancy nutrition and continued medical care, you are on your way to enjoying a happy, healthy pregnancy and a wonderful birth.