Nutrition for Pregnancy-Guidelines & Advice. You are growing another human being inside of you, and your Nutrition for Pregnancy requirements will dramatically increase. Now that you’re pregnant, the way your body functions has wholly changed.
You will need to consume 300 to 500 more calories daily and expect to gain one-half to one pound per week after the first trimester.
Your body’s digestion will slow down, allowing your body to absorb more nutrients from your food. So let’s discuss how you can modify your diet during this period.
Caloric Intake and Nutrition for Pregnancy
In general, your caloric intake and nutrition for pregnancy should increase. However, giving in to the urges and cravings of pregnancy is not necessarily a good thing. Understanding how your nutritional needs change as your pregnancy advances can help you maintain a healthy weight throughout this time.
Your caloric needs will only slightly increase in the first trimester. You may be hungrier or have cravings and aversions during this period, but it is essential not to fall off track early.
Instead of giving in, maintain adequate nutrition and avoid fatty or sugary foods. Usually, the cravings represent needs that can be met by eating more complex carbohydrates.
(whole grain bread, fruit, oatmeal, and vegetables) and supplement your diet with prenatal vitamins that contain iron and essential minerals like calcium.
We found that her craving for fast food was usually satisfied by an apple and a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread. Most studies show that the recommended number of calories for an average-sized pregnant woman is 2,500 per day after the first trimester.
This amount is usually enough to supply adequate nutrition to the baby. However, there is some variation from person to person.
Nutrition during pregnancy.
The second and third trimesters are the periods of the fetus’s growth, and the caloric needs increase, but only by 300 to 500 calories per day, depending on your activity level.
That is the equivalent of a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit. Cravings are your body’s way of ensuring it gets enough nutrients for the baby, but it is up to you to make healthy food choices.
We’ll answer some of the more common questions about weight issues during pregnancy, which can help you make the best choices.
The FDA recommends a daily diet comprising three to four servings of meat or other protein, six to eleven servings of bread, and other whole grains.
Three to five servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruits, and four to six servings of milk or other dairy products daily. No one diet or food selection program will suit the needs of all pregnant women. Make your own choices within these guidelines.
Why Am I Gaining So Much Weight During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body changes its functions and develops tissue for various reasons. So it would make sense if you add 300 calories per day or 2,100 calories per week.
Your weight gain should be about two-thirds of a pound per week. However, weight gain can be more than these estimates, even if you consume the appropriate number of calories.
This is because, in addition to the baby’s growth and development, you are experiencing the following changes:
· Enlarged breasts begin to form a ductal system that will transfer milk to the baby.
· Development of a placenta that links the fetus to the mother’s uterus and is a barrier to the mother’s harmful waste products.
· Dramatic increase in your body’s circulating fluid to supply water, blood, and nutrients to the baby.
· Your body’s attempt to store fat as it prepares to feed an infant for a year or more.
How much weight gain is acceptable and needed during pregnancy?
Do not worry about mild fluctuations in weight, as they most likely represent fluid shifts. It is essential, however, to maintain a steady overall weight gain, which usually means the baby is growing normally.
By the end of pregnancy, you will need to gain between twenty-five and thirty pounds if your weight is average, thirty to thirty-five if you are underweight before pregnancy, and fifteen to twenty pounds if you are overweight or obese.
The slow and steady progression of weight gain is most important, showing adequate daily nutrition and moderation of caloric intake.
1. On the horizontal axis, find the number of weeks of gestation, the number of weeks since the beginning of your last menstrual period, or the number of weeks your doctor told you, based on the ultrasound testing.
2. On the vertical axis, plot your gained weight in pounds.
The food You need
Water: is everywhere, and not a drop to drink. It may feel like that to you during pregnancy. The fluid in your body increases by up to 66 percent during pregnancy and is required to transfer nutrients to the baby.
Therefore, you must increase your fluid intake, especially in a regular exercise program.
Ten to twelve cups (eighty to ninety-six ounces) of water a day should be the minimum, and you should drink even more if you feel thirsty.
Also, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout sessions.
Dehydration can cause mild headaches, constipation, and dizziness and increase your heart rate or your fetus. It has also been linked to premature Labor. So always keep water handy.
Protein And Carbohydrates
Protein And Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body. Due to the dramatic increase in your metabolism during pregnancy, your body will require more power and, therefore, a higher intake of complex carbohydrates.
However, avoid foods high in sugar. Keeping your blood sugar at an acceptable level is vital because the baby uses this as its primary energy source. It is shown that during pregnancy, exercise can decrease your blood sugar levels.
Therefore, eating a meal high in carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, or whole grain crackers) is essential thirty minutes to one hour before and immediately after exercise. A slight increase in protein will also be required during pregnancy.
· The average protein required before pregnancy is 0.36 grams per pound. For example, if you weighed 130 pounds before pregnancy, you normally need about forty-seven grams of protein daily. Just use the formula:
Body weight x 0.36 = grams of protein needed. E.g., 130 x 0.36 = 47 g
· The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein during pregnancy is sixty grams.
Maintaining a high-protein diet appears to have no ill effects on the baby.
So if you were already on a high-protein diet, you would not need to increase
your dietary protein. But an increase in carbohydrates will be required to meet the nutritional needs of your new metabolism.
Fatigue is possibly the most common symptom during pregnancy; the most common cause is iron deficiency anemia. This happens because your body is now making more red blood cells.
These cells are responsible for transferring oxygen to the fetus through the placenta. It is vital to get enough iron to make good cells that function well.
Some foods high in iron include raisins, dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, fortified cereal, tofu, nuts, dried apricots, prunes, and poultry.
Most prenatal vitamins contain iron, so if you cannot get enough of this nutrient in your diet, take a supplement. Keep your fiber and water intake up to avoid constipation.
Have you ever heard of women having problems with their teeth during pregnancy or cramping and restlessness in their legs that keep them awake at night?
These problems can be related to inadequate calcium intake. Your baby needs calcium to build bones, teeth, and other tissues.
If you do not supply enough in your diet, your baby will take it from your muscles, bones, and teeth, predisposing you to osteoporosis later in life.
Although we believe that the beginnings of osteoporosis may occur as a child, the problem worsens during adolescence and pregnancy.
During those times, the requirements for calcium have increased, but the intake may have stayed the same.
- Most nutritionists recommend at least a couple of hours between iron and calcium doses. So drink your milk or eat it on your cereal in the morning, wait a couple of hours, and take your prenatal vitamin-containing iron with your mid-morning snack.
- To adjust your nutrition for pregnancy, calcium can only be absorbed 400 to 500 mg at a time. That is why you usually cannot find a calcium tablet with the whole day’s supply in one pill.
- Take one 400 mg tablet three times daily and eat some food containing calcium for 1,500 mg daily.
- Calcium supplements are best absorbed on an empty stomach. Supplements should be taken before meals.
- A high-protein diet depletes some calcium, which further increases your calcium requirement.
Not into supplements? Then consume plenty of the following daily: skim milk, low-fat yogurt and cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, sardines (including the bones), and green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and bok choy.
You should get 600 micrograms of folate (folic acid) a day. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects (a problem with the development of the brain or spinal cord) and helps make the extra blood that must be produced in your body.
It would help if you took it three months before conception to ensure an adequate supply during the first trimester when the neural structures are forming.
Some food choices high in folate include bread, cereals, pasta, asparagus, orange juice, lentils, avocados, broccoli, kale, bok choy, beans, wheat germ, and oranges.
If you cannot get enough folate, supplement your diet with a prenatal vitamin high in folic acid.
This essential vitamin is responsible for helping make red blood cells, along with iron, to avoid anemia and support the immune system. Pregnant women are more susceptible to infections and often get colds or flu-like illnesses during their pregnancies.
Along with plenty of rest, vitamin B 12 can help boost your immunity to common infections. Foods high in vitamin B 12 include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
Zinc is essential for your baby’s brain and cell development. It is in high levels in meat and dark meat poultry, whole grains, peanut butter, nuts, beans,
wheat germ, and tofu. You should consume fifteen milligrams a day during pregnancy.
Due to hormonal changes, the intestinal tract slows to gain nutrients for the growing fetus. This, along with increased intake of iron, may cause constipation.
An increase in fiber and regular exercise will help to keep things moving. Increase your intake to twenty-five to thirty grams per day during pregnancy from sources like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grain bread, or supplements.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is essential for producing building blocks (proteins) for your blood cells, antibodies, and hormones to deliver glucose to cells. Vitamin B6 is in whole-grain bread, cereals, bananas, chicken, fish, and pork.
Pregnancy Food to Avoid
Keep caffeine consumption to a minimum while trying to conceive or while pregnant. Its stimulant can affect your baby’s nervous system and causes calcium to be excreted through urination, which reduces the amount available to you and your baby.
With every puff of a cigarette, the womb is filled with toxins that inhibit nutrients and oxygen dangerous to your baby.
Smoking causes abnormally low birth weight and can cause problems such as learning and behavioral disabilities. But if you’re already pregnant, stop now. As a smoker, your need for specific B vitamins also increases.
Excessive alcohol can cause congenital disabilities, including a significant disorder called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS results in disabilities such as mental retardation, central nervous system disorders, and other such problems.
Because we are unsure how much alcohol it takes to cause congenital disabilities, it is best to limit intake.
Clear all prescription and over-the-counter medications with your obstetrician, even baby aspirin. All illicit drugs must be avoided.
Even small amounts can cause severe congenital disabilities and behavioral disorders. Some medications may be continued if essential to your health as prescribed by your physician.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Drink ten to twelve glasses of water daily.
- Exercise for health and circulation.
- Avoid smoking.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol and caffeine.
- Sleepeight hours each night.
- Do Kegel Exercices.
Take time for yourself each day, even just thirty to sixty minutes for your Workout.