Prenatal Nutrition

Prenatal Nutrition

 Good nutrition is important for all of us.  It becomes crucial when you start eating for two.  There are specific guidelines regarding diet during pregnancy.  There are certain recommendations in the amount of nutrient intake especially those that are essential for your baby’s growth and development.  These guidelines are adjusted accordingly when you are carrying more than one baby, when you are over or under weight, when you have difficulty in eating or when you have allergies.  Normally, your OB would tell you whether you need to consult to a nutritionist or not.

 

Weight Matters

 

Pregnancy is the worst time for you to think about losing weight.  Weight gain during pregnancy is one of the parameter used to determine fetal development and well being.  If your pre-pregnant weight is normal or desirable, the normal total weight gain through out pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds.  In case of those who are shorter than 5’2”, they may have lower normal weight gain.  It is important to have a normal weight before trying to get pregnant.  Being under or overweight will affect the baby, so weight corrections should be done before and not during pregnancy.

 

Essential Nutrients

 

Protein is the tissue building nutrient.  Since the fetus is rapidly developing its organs, protein is very vital during the prenatal period.  Folic acid contributes to normal development of the fetus’s nervous system.  Lack of this may lead to neurological deficits.  A certain dose of folic acid is given through out pregnancy.  Calcium intake should also be increased since the baby’s bones are quickly forming.  Strong bones are needed to prevent congenital deformities and fractures during normal child birth.  Iron is needed by the baby for normal formation of blood components especially red blood cells.  Iron supplements should be given on a daily basis for all pregnant women.  Other vitamins and minerals in the form of a multivitamins and minerals tablet should also be taken by the mother.  They help in proper growth and development of the fetus.  Lack of certain vitamins and minerals may lead to deformities and sickness to their unborn child.

 

Food Servings

 

There’s no better time for you to be conscious about your food intake than when you are pregnant.  Generally, there are recommended food servings for each food groups.  For the bread and cereals group, 6-11 servings are recommended; for the vegetables group, 3-5 servings; for the fruit group, 2-4 servings; while for the protein and dairy group 2-3 servings are ideal.  It is important to keep in mind the serving sizes of each type of food.  Some food like meat products has relatively small serving sizes.  You may have eaten 3 servings already and not know it.  It is also important to maintain your fluid intake to a minimum of 8 glasses.  You don’t want to dehydrate your baby as this may interfere with development.  Proper nutrition during pregnancy goes a long way for your child.  Embrace the body changes, its normal.  Pregnancy is a temporary state, ensure that you are eating properly and there’s no way why you should return to your normal sexy state.

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