Of course you want a healthy baby, so naturally, your best bet is to start with a healthy mother. Good nutrition is vital before and during pregnancy to ensure the best possible odds for your baby. Here are some tips to help you make good nutritional choices for you and your baby.

Caloric Intake

People often talk of “eating for two” while you are pregnant. And it is true that you are not only nourishing yourself, but someone else as well. That does not mean, however, that you need twice as many calories. During the last six months of pregnancy, a woman should be taking in around 300 to 500 additional calories a day to accommodate the demands of her growing infant.

Nutrients in Whole Foods

Getting the right nutrients can prove beneficial as your baby develops. For example, there is evidence that folate can help protect the baby against developing conditions like spina bifida. Calcium, protein and vitamin C are all important in bone and tissue growth. Here is a basic break down of some of the daily nutritional needs of expectant mothers.

80 – 100 grams of protein
1200 milligrams of calcium
600 – 800 micrograms of folate
27 milligrams of iron
70 milligrams of vitamin C

While you can take nutritional supplements if you aren’t sure you are getting enough of the right nutrients, the best place to get your nutritional needs met is through consuming whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grain products. Meat and dairy products are also good.

Junk Food

While giving yourself little treats is fine– what is life with out chocolate?– you should be careful. Processed foods lack many of the essential nutrients needed for health and fetal development. In fact they can sometimes rob you of the good stuff. For example, there is research to indicate that certain sodas may actually leach calcium from you. It is best to avoid foods high in fat, sugar and sodium.

For the most part, good nutrition during pregnancy is just a matter of good common sense. We already know that we should be eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy, pregnant or not. But when you are pregnant, attention to your diet takes on even greater meaning– after all, you are eating for two now.
If you would like more information on how to meet your dietary needs while pregnant or if you are just looking for assistance with your pregnancy and birth, contact Care for Mom today.

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