For sure you have heard about the food pyramid before and you should know that it could help you a lot in creating a diet plan for pregnant women. This pyramid divides food into 6 different categories: grains, vegetables, fruits, beans and meat, milk and dairy products and oils.
How much to eat in case of pregnant women’s diet plan
In case of grains you will need to eat 6-8 ounces per day. Fruits are also very important and you need 2 cups of them, fresh or canned. In case of vegetables you will need more, about two and a half cups every day.
Every part of the food pyramid is important, including meats and beans, and you need 5 ½ – 6 ½ ounces daily. Have 3 cups of milk and dairy products and 6-8 teaspoons of oil on a daily basis.
Special nutrients in the pregnant women’s diet plan
There are some special nutrients that the women need in this case, including folic acid. It is important to have a diet high in folate and also to have a supplement before conception and in the first period.
This is the vitamin that is used for the formation of blood cells and for building the cells of the body.
In case there isn’t enough folate in the body of the mother, the little one might have birth defects. This is why the diet plan for pregnant women must include dark green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals and breads, legumes and yeast extract.
Calcium is also important for pregnant women’s diet plan because it is used in the bone and teeth formation of the baby and it is especially important in the last trimester. Also consider getting calcium supplements in order to avoid calcium bone loss from the mother’s body. This is why it is good to consume milk, yogurt or cheese daily.
Iron is another important part of the diet plan for pregnant women and the interesting thing is that the need for iron doubles in the last six months of pregnancy. This is used for the blood production and this is why you may need to take iron supplements. Also include in your nutrition meat, fish and chicken.
The vegan lifestyle and the diet plan for pregnant women
If you happen to be a vegetarian, then the pregnant women’s diet plan changes a bit. In this case you will need proteins, vitamin B12 and foods that are rich in calcium. Professional recommend vegetarian women to seek the help of a nutritionist when thinking about a diet plan for pregnant women.
Foods to exclude from the pregnant women’s diet plan
Alcohol is one of the elements that should be excluded from a pregnant woman’s diet plan or kept to a minimum. A high intake of alcohol during the early stages of pregnancy might be dangerous for the baby’s health. Still the exact effects of alcohol are not known.
Caffeine should also be reduced in case of a diet plan for pregnant women like coffee, tea and cola drinks.
Nonetheless moderate caffeine intake most probably doesn’t harm the baby and the doctor will recommend the right amount in case the mother has low pressure during pregnancy.