dieting while pregnantDieting While Pregnant

During pregnancy a woman should not be focused on weight loss but she needs to be focused on maintaining healthy nutrition. Nausea and vomiting during the first few months of pregnancy can make eating difficult, try to eat a well balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins. Here are some recommendations to keep you and your baby healthy.

When a woman plans to get pregnant or discovers she is pregnant she needs to change bad eating habits and develop a healthy diet while pregnant. The woman needs to understand the basic needs of her body and that of the unborn child and the foods that will best meet those needs. We think of dieting mostly think of trying to lose weight but dieting is not merely a weight loss technique. Dieting is having an eating plan to achieve good body nutrition for the specific needs of a person. 

Nutritious Dieting While Pregnant

Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings: 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Use fats and sweets sparingly.

Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg. of iron in your daily diet.

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 good source of folic acid every day, which include dark green leafy vegetables, veal and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas).

For good nutrition a pregnant woman will want to be sure to include certain foods in her diet and will, also, want to avoid certain foods. The woman will need to increase her protein intake significantly. Choose foods high in fiber that are enriched such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables. To do this she can eat one or two extra servings daily of lean read meat, poultry, lamb or pork, eggs, or a combination of beans and rice. She will also need to make sure and eat enough fruits and vegetables. 

One way to do this is to use these foods as snacks during the day. Raw carrots and other vegetables are great to munch on and provide key vitamins for the growth and development of the child. Of course, a woman also needs to increase her milk intake and make sure and eat enough whole grain foods. 

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.

You should avoid eating foods that are high in calorie but have little nutritional value. Dieting while pregnant must be focused on eating foods that are high in nutritional value.  This focus will enable to child to develop normally and will improve the mother’s health while she is pregnant and leading up to the birth and breastfeeding of the infant. 

Caloric Intake For Dieting While Pregnant

The old adage that a pregnant woman is eating for two is not quite correct. The nutritional requirements for the unborn child are not for a lot of calories but are for highly nutritious foods. You should consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant. There are some high risk pregnancies that will require different nutritional amounts such as extremely obese women, teen mothers, underweight women and women with medical conditions such as diabetes. These women will need to be closely monitored by their physician and may even want to see a registered dietician for nutritional counseling and advice on dieting while pregnant.

Dieting While Pregnant Vitamin Supplements

Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet. 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.

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.

Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, which include: honeydew, papaya, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.

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