What a pregnant woman eats and drinks is the baby’s only source of nutrition. Therefore, Dr. Ahmadinia recommends her patients add an assortment of healthy foods and beverages to their diet, to keep them and their baby in good health during the pregnancy. A growing baby needs a lot of important nutrients for proper development and growth.
Eating for Two
While you’re not really eating for two, some expectant women take this statement literately and eat every thing in sight. That is a bad idea; the baby does not receive the nutrients it needs from a diet that consists of fast food and junk food.
During pregnancy, a woman should have four key nutrients included in her diet to maintain her health and the health of her baby.
Folic acid (also known as folate) – Is a key nutrient in helping to prevent neural birth defects (birth defects of spine and brain.) Doctors recommends a daily supplement of 600 micrograms a day, which is roughly the amount from a prenatal vitamin. Foods that contain folic acid including the following: Pasta, bread and cereal that are fortified with folate/folic acid, green leafy vegetables, oranges, avocados and tomatoes
Calcium – Calcium is a necessary key diet nutrient for healthy teeth and bones for both mom and baby. The amount of calcium depends on the mom-to-be’s age. 1000 milligrams a day is recommended for women 19 and older. Teens younger than 19 require 1300 milligrams a day. Calcium is a necessary key diet nutrient for healthy teeth and bones for both mom and baby. Foods that contain calcium include the following: pasteurized milk, yogurt, salmon and sardine (with the bone), cheese, and calcium enriched juices and other foods.
Iron – Is a key diet nutrient to help make sure enough blood is being made to carry the proper amount of oxygen to the baby. Doctors recommends 27 milligrams a day, which is double the amount needed by women who are not going through a pregnancy. Foods that contain iron include the following: peas, dried beans, certain cereals, poultry, fish and lean meat.
Protein – Protein is also a key diet nutrient, most women have plenty of protein in their diet during pregnancy. Protein is one of the key factors in the development of a baby’s organs such as the brain and heart. Foods the contain protein are numerous a few examples include nuts, eggs, lean meat, poultry, and fish.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Un-pasteurized foods and beverages, raw eggs (poached, in cake batter, etc.), raw meat (undercooked meat, sushi) should be avoided. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol, caffeine, and fish that contain a lot of mercury (white tuna in the can, uncooked shellfish, and swordfish, etc.
Pregnancy Cravings & Weight Gains
Almost every woman will have a pregnancy craving. If you know it is not one of the foods to avoid, then it’s okay to indulge a little. Just keep in mind the weight gains as you chop down on that taco or finish off the half gallon of ice cream. The weight you gain you will eventually want to lose. An underweight woman will want to gain 28 to 40 pounds. A woman at her normal weight will want to gain 25 to 35 pounds. An overweight woman should gain 15 to 25 pounds. An obese woman should strive to gain no more than 11 to 20 pounds.