Pregnancy is a wonderful and life-changing experience that prepares you for what lies ahead. Nine months is not only a waiting period but a time to bond with your baby and keep them as healthy as you can. Here are several ways in which you can stay healthy and happy. Your baby, and your post-body will thank you.
Eating during pregnancy is a challenge because you are eating for two. When pregnant, you are expected to consume about 300 more calories than you normally would. With that said, it is important to take in the right nutrients that will benefit both you and your baby, without gaining an unhealthy amount of weight. Weight-gain is expected and a part of the natural process but there are ways to keep it appropriate. Focus on high-nutrient foods like calcium from milk and fiber from whole-grains.
Protein is your friend. It is extremely beneficial for your body to consume protein-rich foods for muscle strength and growth, including that of your baby. Chicken, lean meat, low-fat dairy, and part-skim cheeses are great examples of the kinds of protein you should be choosing. They are also very filling, which is a plus!
Docosahexaenoic acid. A long word, with long-term effects. This is important for the growth of eye and brain development of your baby. Fortified eggs, walnuts, and certain fish are naturally high in DHA and omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your diet. However, there are certain fish to avoid when pregnant. Shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish should be avoided because of the methylmercury which a heavy metal that’s toxic to a baby’s neurological system. Other seafood in moderation is fine and helpful to the growth of your baby. If you prefer an omega-3 supplement, check with your doctor.
Multivitamins are an easy and effective way to gain more important nutrients. Folic acid and vitamin B-6 help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects that causes spina bifida, a serious condition. Daily vitamins can prevent this, especially considering that about 400 micrograms of folic acid should be consumed before pregnancy. Vitamins, lentils, dark green vegetables, non-citrus fruit, bananas, avocados, potatoes, spinach, and fortified grains are all examples of foods that are rich in folic acid and B-6.
Calcium. It’s good for the bones. Long-term bone growth and development can be aided by foods like yogurt, cheese, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, fortified cereals, dark leafy greens, kale, and collard greens. This is essential for your baby’s body and will make them stronger and happier in the long run.
An excuse to load up on carbs. That’s right. Carbs are there for you, just like you have always been there for them. Carbs help prevent nausea, get rid of bad craving and keep the good moods rolling during the stages of pregnancy. Whole-grains and high-fiber carbs can also help constipation, as long as you mix fiber with fluids. What a relief.
There are so many other ways to stay healthy during your pregnancy, it just takes a little research and some self-control. Eat better now, and you may not have to hit the gym as hard after your baby has arrived. Ok ready, set, EAT.