When pregnant you do not have to “eat for two” or three in case you are carrying a pair of twins or four in the case of a set of triplets! There is no magic diet to follow but the usual rules: plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and good fat. However, certain nutrients need special attention when you are eating to make sure both you and your baby are healthy. Certain vitamins and minerals are needed in higher amounts and some must be taken only in limited quantities. So what are the must-haves?
Nutrient needs during pregnancy
Prevents neural tube defects in the brain and spinal cord. Get 800 mcg daily. 1 cup spinach has 250mcg, 1/2 cup lentils 180mcg, and 1 orange 54mcg folic acid. Increase your folic acid intake by eating more green leafy vegetables.
Because you can’t obtain enough folic acid from your diet, you must take 400mcg of folic acid daily while trying to conceive and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. If you didn’t take folic acid before being pregnant, you should start as soon as you find out. Women on anti-epileptic drugs should also visit their doctor, as they may require a greater dose of folic acid.
Anemia is a prevalent occurrence in Bangladeshi women. Blood carries oxygen to your baby via hemoglobin. Pregnancy increases the body’s need for iron, hence most women need iron supplements. Lean red meat, chicken, fish, peanuts, dates, etc. are iron-rich foods. Vitamin C helps iron absorption, so eat extra citrus and tomatoes.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium and make your baby’s bones and teeth. Insufficient calcium intake causes muscle cramping and bone pain. Calcium comes from milk and dairy products like yogurt and cheese. If you have difficulties digesting milk, try spinach, cabbage, or broccoli.
SUNSHINE IS THE BEST SOURCE OF V Spend ten minutes in the morning sun to absorb all the calcium you consume and offer your kid strong bones. If you still have muscle cramps and bodily aches, you may require calcium supplements with vitamin D.
Beware of Vitamin A
Among all vital vitamins, only one must be taken in moderation. Vitamin A is required for your baby’s embryonic development, but excess can cause birth abnormalities and liver damage. So you won’t need to take vitamins. Avoid eating liver (beef or chicken) as it contains the most preformed vitamin A. In fact, avoiding liver consumption during pregnancy is advised. A 3-ounce portion of cow liver contains over 12 times the daily required vitamin A.
Foods to avoid
We are frequently asked if eating pineapple while pregnant is healthy or if it causes miscarriage. There isn’t enough data to rule out either, but a cup of freshly sliced pineapple daily is safe. Since the risk of miscarriage is higher in the first trimester, why not avoid or eat in moderation?
Unripe papayas may contain latex, causing uterine contractions and miscarriage. However, ripe papayas are nutrient-dense and relieve indigestion, a typical symptom in early pregnancy.
Morning tea or coffee
You can have a cup of tea to start your day! Tea contains 75mg of caffeine, which is acceptable in pregnancy up to 200mg/day. Caffeine is also found in coffee, milk, and chocolate. So be mindful of how much caffeine you consume.
It’s about eating well and exercising. So, if you can, go for a stroll or stay as active as you can. Maintain a normal hemoglobin level and lookout for signs of nutritional insufficiency.
Completely stop drinking alcohol
No safe level of alcohol consumption is currently recognized for women who are expecting. Drinking nothing at all is the safest option.
Through the umbilical cord, a mother’s blood alcohol levels can be transferred to her fetus, causing substantial harm to the fetus’s development.
A fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) may also occur in the newborn. Other concerns include low body weight, visual or hearing problems, and issues with attention.
Preparing food safely
- The soil in produce can contain toxoplasma (a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis) which might harm your unborn child.
- Food poisoning can be prevented by washing all raw food preparation surfaces and equipment as well as your hands.
- Raw foods should be stored apart from cooked foods to avoid contamination.
- Raw meats require a different knife and board.
- Heat ready meals until hot all the way through, especially if they contain fowl.
- Eggs, poultry, burgers, sausages, and full pieces of meat including lamb, cattle, and pork must also be well cooked until steaming throughout.
Your growing baby is just waiting to suck up all of the nutrient-dense meals from a well-rounded eating plan that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats, among other things.
There is a plethora of delectable options available to provide you and your kid with everything they will require. Maintain communication with your healthcare team about your eating habits, and let them assist you through a supplementation plan if necessary.
This list should serve as an excellent starting point for a healthy and well-nourished pregnancy.