If you are becoming a mom for the first time, you will likely have a lot of questions and worries. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on pre-natal nutrition, explaining what sort of nutrients you need and what they provide for your body. You will find this all below, so read on.
How To Eat Before Pregnancy
Before you become pregnant or are in the early stages, you should ensure you keep to a healthy pre-pregnancy diet. This will include eating more fruit and vegetables and avoiding saturated fats where possible. This will include fried foods and cakes.
However, there will be more healthy fats that you should have, such as avocados or nuts. These are unsaturated fats and will play an important part in your nutrition. Your body needs to be prepared for the constraints that pregnancy can have on your body, which is why healthy nutrition will be important.
Nutrition And Weight
It may be possible that you need to change your diet and overall nutrition when pregnant. Of course, a healthy diet will be an important part of any lifestyle, but you need to pay more attention to what you eat and drink when pregnant. You will likely be aware that some foods and drinks will be strictly off the table.
For example, you should avoid alcohol when pregnant. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of miscarriage and could lead to premature birth. Not only can it affect the baby during pregnancy, but it can cause issues after. It could lead to FASD, also known as a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. These lead to a group of conditions forming, which could include physical problems as well as learning ones. These issues could lead to one problem or multiple.
Some expecting mothers worry about their weight during pregnancy. However, it will be important that you put on a healthy amount of weight in order to support both you and your baby. Generally speaking, most pregnant women will have to gain a specific amount of pounds depending on what their weight was beforehand.
If you manage to gain a good amount of weight, you will be able to help yourself deliver a healthy baby of healthy weight. Gaining more weight can mean your baby is born too large and being underweight for pregnancy will mean the baby is too small.
You may have heard about the benefits that pre-natal vitamins can do for you. The main purpose of these vitamins is to directly provide an immune boost to you and help promote the development of the baby. For example, these vitamins could help develop your baby’s teeth and bones, as certain vitamins will actively boost these areas.
There will be different vitamins that can be provided, ranging from essentials to boosts. Ideally, you should try to find a pre-natal vitamin that contains vitamin C, A, and E as a starting point. If there is more to be included, that can only serve as a benefit.
There was some controversy recently regarding heavy metals in pre-natal vitamins. This metal came in different varieties, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. They would manage to get into the pre-natal vitamins due to the processing method and the farming practices. You can read this article on heavy metals in pre-natal vitamins to learn more about the changes in the industry to counteract this to help reassure you.
You shouldn’t be afraid of pre-natal vitamins, as they largely exist to help both you and your baby stay healthy during pregnancy. Consider speaking to a doctor or a nurse if you have any concerns, as they may be able to explain your options and relieve your concerns. They may even prescribe you certain vitamins to ensure you are getting everything you need.
Importance Of Folic Acid
Now that you are more aware of the importance of pre-natal vitamins, it will put you in good stead to be more educated about folic acid. If you didn’t know, women generally require around 0.4mg of folic acid daily. This may sound unreasonable until you realize where folic acid is sourced from. That’s because folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach. You can also find folic acid in nuts, beans and certain fruit. There will also be specialized cereals ingrained with folic acid to boost health.
Folic acid can also be known as folate and is a B vitamin (B9). If you are planning on getting pregnant, then you should ensure you are getting the needed daily amount of folic acid. If you have recently become pregnant, you will need to ensure that you keep these levels high for at least three more months. Not only can this boost your health, but it can help reduce your baby’s risk or neural tube defects.
Neural tube defects can lead to the brain not developing as much as it should. This will also be the case for the spinal cord. These defects can be developed within the first 28 days of pregnancy, which makes it all the more important to ensure you are getting your folic acid at all times as you may not even know if you’re pregnant when these defects can be developed.
Importance Of Iron
It is estimated that you will need about twice the amount of your daily iron when pregnant. That’s because your body uses iron to make extra blood not just for you but your baby. This is something known as hemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps use iron to move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
If you’re getting enough iron, it can help prevent a condition known as anemia. Anemia is an iron deficiency that involves you having too few blood cells that can make you feel tired throughout the day. It can go further from this, and lead to your baby eventually being born early and small, which can cause issues in some cases.
If you are feeling more tired than usual, it could be worth meeting up your doctor to find out your options. They could advise you to take a low-dose iron supplement that helps boost your immune system slowly over time.
It advised you get around 27 milligrams of iron every day during pregnancy . When you are breastfeeding, this will mean you need 9mg of iron each day. You can get iron naturally through certain foods. Iron-rich food includes meat, poultry, and even some plant-based foods. Otherwise, you may need to look into acquiring supplements to get your fix.
Importance Of Calcium
Another key mineral you need when pregnant comes in the form of calcium. Your body needs this again, not just for you but also for your developing baby. Calcium is essential for bones and a baby’s overall skeleton. How much you need personally will largely depend on age, but an imbalance of too much or too little can cause problems.
To know how much calcium you need for yourself and your baby, you should first consult your doctor or nurse who can point you in the right direction. For yourself, you need calcium for your health and the health of your baby.
For your baby, not only can it help develop the skeleton, but it can also help with forming the teeth. Overall, calcium will be an important nutrient for the baby’s heart, muscles, nerves, and hormones. Ensure you are getting enough so that both of you can stay healthy.