While good nutrition is an essential part of daily life in order to maintain the health in proper condition, it becomes even more essential during pregnancy because you and your baby’s health greatly depend on the intake of right prenatal nutrition.
Therefore, prenatal nutrition is the key for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Remember that the diet you maintain during pregnancy is directly related to the health of the developing fetus because all the nutrients that need for the baby’s growth comes from the food or the supplements you take.
As said earlier, pregnant women need more nutrients than other women. Therefore, it is essential for you to follow a prenatal nutrition that can help provide the essential nutrients for you and your developing fetus.
The nutritional needs of your body change during pregnancy due to the change in the body and the requirements of the fetus development.
So, during pregnancy, the need for calories become more and an extra three hundred calories are required every day for enough fetal nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy. The intake of calories increases if you are underweight or carrying multiple babies.
Protein, calcium, folic acid, iron, vitamins and minerals are key nutrients for good prenatal nutrition.
Protein is an essential nutrient for strengthening your muscles, breasts, uterus, and fetus’ tissues. It also improves blood supply. An average of 60 grams of protein per day is required for you during pregnancy. Low intake of protein can lead to health problems in the baby.
Calcium is one of the essential nutrients of prenatal nutrition. It is needed for the developing fetus to maintain strong bones and is taken from your bones if your diet doesn’t supply sufficient calcium. The intake of calcium in this period should be 1000-1200 milligrams per day.
Folic acid is also known as folate. It is a vitamin essential to build protein tissues. Your prenatal nutrition must include a minimum of 400 milligrams per day because less than this amount can lead to birth defects. Folic acid is rich in green leafy vegetables, citrous fruits, bread, beans and nuts.
Iron is an essential nutrient for the blood supply between you and your baby. As the developing fetus stores iron for later use, the need for iron increases in your body.
The iron content in your prenatal nutrition must be 27 milligrams per day. As this amount of iron may not get from the food you intake, the doctors generally suggests iron supplements.
Zinc is another essential nutrient to avoid labor complications and birth defects. It is recommended to have approximately 11-12 milligrams of zinc every day. Low zinc levels during pregnancy can lead to long labor and delivery of a baby with health problems.
As a pregnant woman, you should ensure to have the following in your prenatal nutrition.
Sufficient calories for suitable weight gain, meals and snacks at regular intervals, variety of foods that contain all nutrients, a minimum of eight glasses water per day, very less salt intake, and prenatal vitamin daily once (if prescribed) are necessary.