What to Eat When You’re Expecting
December 16, 2013
In our “What to Expect During Your First Trimester” blog, we mentioned that many expecting women experience food/smell aversion or odd food cravings. While there are some types of food that make each pregnant woman turn the other way, it’s important to get enough energy and nutrients for the baby to grow and develop.
During pregnancy, a woman’s caloric intake needs increase. Though we often call it “eating for two,” expecting mothers don’t actually need to double what they eat. Each woman should her ask doctor how many calories she needs and how much weight is recommended for her to gain during pregnancy as it varies depending on age, current health, and fetal development.
It is recommended that all pregnant women follow a balanced diet to get enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats as well as vitamins and nutrients required for a healthy baby and mother.
A healthy diet can include the following:
Good sources of protein include eggs, lean meats like chicken, and some types of fish. For vegetarians or vegans, quinoa, tofu, and nuts can be great sources of protein. Legumes, lentils, and beans are good foods to eat to get both protein and iron.
Fruits and Veggies
As with any healthy diet, it’s important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables when you’re expecting. These provide nutrients to both the mother and baby from vitamin C to iron and even folic acid.
Though it’s a small part of a balanced diet, getting the right type and amount of healthy fats can benefit both mother and baby. The Journal of Physiology reports that if a pregnant mother’s diet is high in fat may be one cause of diabetes in babies. Good fats include olive oil, avocadoes, nuts, and seeds.
Other elements of a healthy pregnancy diet include fiber, calcium, iron, and zinc!
If you diet is lacking in any crucial elements, your doctor may prescribe supplements like those for zinc, iron, vitamin D, or folic acid. For example, Prenate® is a family of prenatal folate vitamins to help women get the recommended amount of folic acid each day and help developing babies.
Remember to always consult your doctor regarding your individual nutrition needs during pregnancy, what foods you should eat more of, and what foods you should avoid.