Pregnancy: Eating for You and Your Baby
Pregnancy is a fantastic time. So much about your body changes and grows to accommodate your growing fetus. You must change when it comes to what you eat every day. Instead of just eating for yourself, you are now fueling your baby and body.
Find the Diet That is Right For You
The three trimesters during your pregnancy will all be different. There is no silver-bullet diet that you can follow every single day of your pregnancy. Here are some hallmarks of the different trimesters:
- First trimester. During the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy, you should be eating healthy and taking specific vitamins, but there is no need to add any calories to your diet.
- Second trimester. This period runs from week thirteen to week twenty-six. You should start to eat around three hundred and forty extra calories.
- Last trimester. From the twenty-sixth week until you give birth is called the last trimester. During this time, you need to eat around four hundred and fifty extra calories.
Throughout your pregnancy, you should consult with your doctors to help with your diet. You may have certain underlying conditions that require you to avoid or incorporate certain foods. You may also become extremely sensitive to food and need to adapt what you regularly might eat.
Additionally, you should be taking folic acid and vitamin D supplements to reduce your child’s risk of developmental problems. Your health practitioners should give you all the information you need to know about this before or at the beginning of your pregnancy.
The following pages display general diet themes to follow.
Eat many cooked, fresh, and washed vegetables as a surefire way to nourish your body with few drawbacks. They are low in fat, calories, and cholesterol. They also have naturally occurring fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Eat a wide variety of vegetables in different ways. Try blending them, pureeing them, or sticking them between bread for a sandwich to shake things up.
Some specific vegetables to seek out:
- Sweet potato
Protein supercharges your body with the fuel needed for pregnancy. Incorporating it into your diet nourishes you during this time. Examples of healthy proteins are:
- Nut butter
- Vegetarian proteins like tofu or seitan
Whole grains, as opposed to processed grains, will do a lot for you during your pregnancy. They can provide fiber, iron, b vitamins, and folic acid. Grain also helps to treat and prevent constipation and hemorrhoids, which are common during pregnancy. You can find whole grains in brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and bread, cereal, and oatmeal.
Often, women experience intense cravings for sugar and sweet things. Eating fruits is the better way to satisfy this craving. If you eat fresh fruits you get the feeling of treating yourself. You also give you and your baby more nutrients.
However, be cautious. If you start to experience an abnormal weight gain or notice that your blood sugar spikes after eating fruit, be sure to cut down on the amount of fruit you eat. It is recommended to eat these fruits:
Dairy can give you and your baby protein and calcium, which will help your baby’s bone growth. But, like fruit, dairy is best eaten in moderation. It can lead to abnormal weight gain. Always make sure to eat pasteurized dairy. Your body is more susceptible to infections that pasteurization helps eliminate.
Some ways to include dairy in your diet:
Fat and Oil
Oil and fat are essential for your health. While pregnant, make sure only to eat about six tablespoons per day of them to avoid gaining too much weight. Consume plant-based oils or fats like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
Sample Diet in a Day for a Pregnant Woman
The following is a rough outline that you do not have to follow. It is simply a rough outline to better illustrate what might work:
- Cereal or oatmeal with nut butter and fruit
- Whole grain sandwich with cooked vegetables, a healthy protein, and pasteurized cheese with cooked veggies on the side.
- A large fillet of fish with cooked vegetables, a whole grain, and some dairy.
- Yogurt with fruit, honey, and oats or cereal mixed in.