Eating Right When Pregnant

Eating Right When Pregnant Introduction

Good nutrition during pregnancy, and enough of it, is very important for your baby to grow and develop. You should consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant.

Although nausea and vomiting during the first few months of pregnancy can make this difficult, try to eat a well-balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins. Here are some recommendations to keep you and your baby healthy.

Goals for Healthy Eating When Pregnant

  • Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Use fats and sweets sparingly.
  • Choose foods high in fiber that are enriched such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet while pregnant. You should take a prenatal vitamin supplement to make sure you are consistently getting enough vitamins and minerals every day. Your doctor can recommend an over-the-counter brand or prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you.
  • Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.
  • Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily.
  • Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.
  • Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
  • Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe. Know that excessive vitamin A intake (>10,000 IU/day) may be associated with fetal malformations.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/16/2012

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Source article on WebMD


Iron Deficiency Symptoms

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Because the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency (also termed anemia, iron deficiency anemia, sideropenia, and hypoferremia) can be very subtle, only a blood test can tell you for sure if your iron levels are too low. Anemia, which has several definitions, including a depletion of functioning red blood cells, can result from iron deficiency as well as other causes. However, some people with iron deficiency anemia have no recognizable symptoms at all. If the iron deficiency develops over a long time, causing an anemia that develops gradually, the body can adjust to the new state and you may not feel any symptoms.

Even when symptoms of chronic, or long-term, iron deficiency are present, the symptoms are nonspecific and could be caused by a number of different problems.

  • Symptoms such as pallor, fatigue, and shortness of breath are characteristic of anemia but can also occur with a range of different medical problems.
  • Some individuals can exhibit muscle weakness, a decline in motor skills and mental changes such as memory loss.

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