Years ago, pregnancy was considered a time when women were expected to let themselves go, indulge in foods they craved and limit or refrain from exercise altogether. Weight gain was thought to be a sad and inevitable part of the pregnant condition. Healthy eating and fitness habits were pushed to the side – after all the mum to be was eating for two, right?
Things have changed drastically since then. Today, women are encouraged to do all that they can to remain healthy and promote the healthy growth of their unborn child. Today we know that the eating for two concept is a misnomer. Food and pregnancy work together to deliver the healthiest baby possible.
Common Sense Nutrition
While it’s clear that you do need to ensure that you’re getting the right nutrients to support the growth of your child, eating double the amount of calories is not the way to do it. Focus instead on taking in nutritionally rich foods, with just a slightly higher total daily caloric count.
After the first trimester, you need about 300 calories per day above your maintenance level. If you are breastfeeding after pregnancy, your extra daily caloric needs will jump to 500 calories above your maintenance level. Choose nutrient-rich foods that contain plenty of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals to provide that extra calorie count.
Embracing a healthy lifestyle that includes eating for well-being is not a difficult thing for most mothers-to-be to do. Food and pregnancy can be a great combination, allowing the prospective mother to make choices that will have a direct impact on her child’s health and quality of life.
4 Key Considerations
Here are 4 things you need to know about food and pregnancy:
- The food you choose to consume while pregnant can either provide or deprive your body of important nutrients that are essential for health.
- Many of the common discomforts that are experienced during pregnancy can be alleviated through diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits.
- You can keep your immune system strong enough to fight off illnesses throughout pregnancy by making simple health choices about your diet, physical activity and day-to-day habits.
- Some of the most severe cases of morning sickness can be alleviated with nutrition choices. By knowing how, when, and what you will be eating to minimize digestive discomforts, you can minimize or avoid the queasiness and uneasiness of morning sickness.
12 Top Foods During Pregnancy
- Lean Beef & Pork
- Cottage Cheese
- Bran Cereals
- Rolled Oats
9 Tops Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
- Hot dogs
- Luncheon meats
- Soft cheeses
- Pates and meat spreads
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
- Raw sprouts
- Undercooked meats
The act of bringing a new life into the world is one of the most amazing and exhilarating experiences in a woman’s life. In a time of physical and emotional stress, it can be very easy to slip into unhealthy eating habits. While the occasional craving binge won’t hurt, by sticking with the sound nutritional guidelines provided here, you’ll be keeping both yourself and your baby safe and healthy.