7 Tips for Pregnancy
1. Make every bite count
It takes about 55,000 extra calories to make a healthy baby. That might seem like a lot, but it’s only 300 extra calories a day (the equivalent of a glass of low-fat milk, a slice of bread and an apple), and that’s only in the last two trimesters. Calorie needs don’t budge an inch in the first trimester when your baby grows no longer than a green bean. Your vitamin and mineral needs, however, have skyrocketed. For example, folic acid, the B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects, is more important than ever. That means: 1) Focus on “real” foods — colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nonfat milk; 2) Little room for extra chocolate cake; and 3) Take a moderate-dose multivitamin and mineral that contains at least 400mcg of folic acid to cover your bases on the days when you don’t eat perfectly.
2. Consume ample calcium-rich foods
As most people know, calcium helps build bones in the baby and prevent bone loss in the mom. Calcium also helps prevent pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and is important for normal functioning of nerves and muscles.
3. Focus on iron-rich foods
Protein-rich foods, like extra-lean meat, chicken without the skin, fish, or cooked dried beans and peas, are important sources of iron. This mineral is one of the most difficult nutrients to get enough of during pregnancy, yet is critical for maintaining normal oxygen supply to the baby, for normal development and growth, and for preventing premature delivery. Make sure you include several iron-rich foods in the daily diet, cook in cast iron pots, and take a multivitamin that includes iron.
4. Consume fish
The fats in fish, called omega-3 fats, are essential for brain and vision development in the baby. Babies whose mothers consumed ample omega-3s, in particular DHA (97% of the omega-3s in the brain are DHA), score higher on IQ tests later in life, while low intake is associated with developmental delays. Omega-3s also might help prevent preterm births, as well as allergies and asthma later in life.
5. Food items to be avoided during pregnancy
(a) unpasteurized products.
(b) Certain fishes like exotic, shark, swordfish or fishes high in mercury.
(c) Caffeine, soda, chocolate. Less caffeine is better for the baby.
(d) Raw eggs.
(e) Undercooked meats.
6. Watch out for weight gain
Excess body weight entering pregnancy or accumulated during pregnancy can affect whether a woman conceives and also might increase the risks for pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth, very-preterm birth and cesarean delivery. Many women are entering pregnancy overweight, gaining too much during pregnancy, and then not losing the weight after the baby is born — a pattern that contributes to this country’s #1 health problem — obesity.
7. Get enough fluid
Getting enough nourishing fluids, like AOX antioxidant alkaline water, is important during pregnancy to prevent constipation and provide for the expanding blood volume that carries oxygen and nutrients to both the mother and baby.
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