If you are pregnant or hoping to conceive in the near future, you have probably already heard about the importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy.
While there are many reasons why adopting a healthy lifestyle is especially important during pregnancy, the number one reason is to ensure the health of your little bundle of joy!
All throughout the months of pregnancy, your baby is rapidly growing and developing and what you are consuming has a direct impact on the health and well-being of your child.
Knowing this, there should be nothing stopping you from adopting a healthy lifestyle. Starting off your day with a healthy well balanced diet is the best thing you do for yourself and your baby.
This way, you’ll only need to make a few adjustments during your pregnancy. Babies that are born to mothers that did not follow a healthy and well-balanced diet have an increased risk of being born prematurely, with low birth weight, or with birth defects.
What you are consuming during pregnancy can also affect your child’s own eating habits into their lifetime. You should be introducing them to healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while they are still in the womb.
If you find it tough to maintain a balanced diet during your first trimester, you can be rest assured that you are not alone. Due to queasiness, some women will eat all the time and gain a lot of weight in the process.
Other women have trouble getting food down and subsequently lose weight. Preventing malnutrition and dehydration are your most important factors during first trimester.
In addition to benefiting your baby, eating well during pregnancy will also provide benefits to you as well. The less that you gain during your pregnancy, the easier it will be to fit back into those pre-pregnancy jeans!
Many women take pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever they want and gain a ton of weight. However, an average pregnancy should only pack on an additional 30 lbs to your body.
Anything more than this is excessive and will make it more difficult to get back in shape after the baby is born. Eating well during your pregnancy will also benefit you by allowing you to feel better throughout the pregnancy.
Filling up on foods that are high in nutrients and vitamins will keep you feeling energetic and upbeat. Filling up on junk food will cause your body to crash and burn which will bring about severe fatigue and possibly even depression.
Light snacks throughout the day will keep your energy level at its peak. Many women experience iron deficiencies during their pregnancies which can lead to iron deficient anemia.
There are several foods that you can add into your diet that are high in iron such as green leafy vegetables, beans, or tofu. You can also take iron supplements to increase your intake as well.
It is also common to experience painful leg cramps in pregnancy. Surprisingly, these can be prevented by consuming more potassium. Bananas are a great potassium source and also make a quick and tasty snack!
There are several benefits that you will see from adopting a healthy diet during your pregnancy.
When you are pregnant, you need to consume around 300 calories more than usual every day. The best way to go about doing this is listening to your body when you are hungry.
You should try to eat as many foods as possible from the bottom of the food pyramid. If you gain weight too slow, try eating small meals and slightly increase the fat in your diet.
You should always eat when you are hungry, as you are now eating for two (2) instead of one.
By the second trimester, you’ll need around 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day for your bones and your baby’, which is more than a quart of milk. Calcium is something that’s missing from many diets.
Along with milk, other great sources for calcium include dairy products, calcium fortified juices, and even calcium tablets.
Fiber can help to prevent constipation, which is a common pregnancy problem. You can find this in whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are safe to take during pregnancy.
Unless you happen to be a strict vegetarian, your protein intake is not normally a problem for women who eat a healthy diet.
A lot of women will start their pregnancy off with a bit of iron deficiency. Good sources of iron include dark leafy green vegetables and meats. Iron supplements should be avoided, as they can cause internal symptoms such as cramping, constipation, or diarrhea.
Seeing how you get a majority of the vitamins you need in your diet, you may want to discuss prenatal vitamins with your doctor. Folate is one of the most important ones, and if you are getting enough of it, you may be able to avoid vitamins all together – just asks your doctor to be sure.
There is no need to stop your healthy lifestyle after you have given birth! Continue choosing healthy foods and you will improve your life in many ways as well!