A lot of ladies feel that pregnancy is the time in their lives where they can eat what they want, when they want because they are now “eating for two”. I don’t disagree that every pregnant lady needs some treats every now and again but it is important to remember that eating healthy is not only good for you but it is good for your baby too. Your growing baby needs nutritious foods so that he or she can get the vitamins that they need.
I am the worlds worst when it comes to dieting, I am either completely good or completely bad there is no in between for me. My pregnancy came unexpectedly and I was due to get married at 6 months pregnant so I didn’t want to pile on the pounds, I also wanted to make it easy for myself to get back in to shape as soon as I could after pregnancy. So I stayed healthy Monday – Friday and then indulged on the weekends with my favourite take away and sweet treats. In the end I only put on a stone and 4 pounds.
So how does your diet need to change when having a baby?
Believe it or not recent studies have shown that pregnant ladies only need a further 200 calories and that’s only in the third trimester. That’s literally a banana and glass of milk for the last 3 months.
Everything you eat and drink is shared with your baby and influences on their health.
A lot of ladies take pregnancy vitamins throughout their pregnancy to ensure that they are getting the vitamins that they need. Please check with your GP before taking any vitamins.
So what does your growing baby need?
Vitamin D helps with your babies bones and teeth.
The foods that include Vitamin D are;
- Tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
- Orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
- Egg yolks.
Folic acid helps support the babies’ spine development. This is often taken as a supplement in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and many pregnant ladies continue to take this throughout the pregnancy. During pregnancy 400mcg should be taken each day.
The foods that include Folic Acid are;
- Dried beans, peas, and nuts.
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
- Citrus fruit and juice.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that you can reach 400mcg in Folic Acid by food alone which is why lots of ladies take the supplements.
Protein helps develop the tissue for bones, muscles and organs.
Foods that include protein are;
- Salmon and cod
- Cottage cheese
- Lean turkey or chicken
- Lean beef and veal
- Pork chops
Omega 3 improves babies eye and brain development.
Foods that include omega 3 are;
- fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut
Iron rich foods are very important during pregnancy as you are sharing your iron stores with your baby and the placenta
Foods that include iron are;
- Lean meat
- Nuts and seeds and fortified bread and breakfast cereals.
Calcium helps towards healthy teeth and bones
Foods that include calcium are;
If you don’t feel your diet ensures that your growing baby will have all of the essentials then you could think about taking a pregnancy supplement to help your babies development.
Remember to check with your GP before taking any pregnancy supplements.