Friday, 5 October 2012 | 0 comments
Pregnancy is an important event in the life of a woman. This is because this signifies the beginning of new life. However, as a mother, you have rules to follow. One of these rules is keeping yourself healthy not only for you but for your baby. One way of keeping yourself healthy is through good nutrition.
A pregnant woman has nutrition needs which are different from that of an adult. This is because good nutrition during pregnancy is aimed towards providing yourself and your baby with enough calories to maintain normal weight. During the first three months of pregnancy, a pregnant woman should base her diet on the number of calories she needs.
A pregnant woman of normal weight needs 300 extra calories per day during the last six months of pregnancy. The total number of calories for a pregnant woman of normal weight is about 1,900 to 2,500 calories a day. Women who are underweight, overweight or obese should talk to a doctor or a nutritionist about the number of calories they need to consume everyday.
The extra 300 calories could be either from one of the following:
1 cup of fat-free fruit yogurt and a medium apple
1 piece of whole-wheat toast spread with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 cup of beef and bean chili sprinkled with 1/2 ounce of cheddar cheese (You can also substitute various vegetables for the beef.)
1 cup of raisin bran cereal with 1/2 cup of fat-free milk and a small banana
3 ounces of roasted lean ham or chicken breast and 1/2 cup of sweet potatoes
1 flour tortilla (7-inch), 1/2 cup of refried beans, 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and 1/2 cup of cooked red pepper
Some nutrients are very important during pregnancy. A pregnant woman should be eating from each of the five food groups everyday so that she gets the right amount of nutrients everyday. Foods rich in folate should be included such as strawberries, oranges, broccoli, beans, spinach, breakfast cereals and fortified foods. Folate is essential to prevent birth defects. You can also get it from a vitamin and mineral supplement. Ideal prenatal supplements should contain at least 600 micrograms (0.6 milligrams) of folic acid.
If you are fond of skipping breakfast before, don’t now. You are required to eat breakfast everyday. If you do not feel like eating, try whole-wheat toast or whole-grain crackers. You can eat fruit, oatmeal, cereal, milk, yogurt, or other foods as breakfast.
You should also consume a lot of high-fiber foods. Examples are whole-grain cereals, vegetables, fruits, beans, whole-wheat breads, and brown rice. They help prevent constipation. Also drink a lot of fluids. Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables also make a healthy treat so keep them on hand.
To prevent heartburn, eat small and frequent meals. Avoid spicy foods such as fried chicken and hot peppers. Also drink plenty of fluids to prevent heartburn. Avoid lying down soon after eating.
Along with good nutrition, you may need to get regular physical activity such as walking. If you want to learn more on how to get fit, visit your doctor.