The Importance of a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Pregnancy Nutrition

A healthy diet is important for everyone but when it comes to pregnant women, especially critical. While pregnant, it is vital that you eat the right foods for your sake and the sake of your unborn child. After all, the very foods you consume are also going into the fetus’ system. This means that when you eat, you must consume vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that will make your pregnancy easier and produce a healthy baby.

For one thing, during the different pregnancy stages make sure you never skip a meal. Each meal is very important to you and your baby, especially breakfast. You have gone all night without nutrition and now at the start of a new day, you and your baby need food. Remember, when you go hungry so does the growing baby inside your tummy. Interestingly, morning sickness, a common symptom of pregnancy, is a sign that you are not getting proper nutrition.

Not only do you need to eat, but foods high in nutrients. For instance, calcium is very importance during pregnancy, keeping your bones strong and helping develop strong bones for the baby. Add milk, yogurt, cheese, and different types of leafy green vegetables, which are loaded in calcium and other nutrients. Experts suggest you eat between four and six servings to maintain health.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are also imperative for pregnancy. In this case, sweet potatoes are delicious and loaded with vitamins, as well as antioxidants, which are known to help with inflammation. As you go through each day of the pregnancy, you will have more of an appetite so when you reach for a snack, choose your foods wisely, those that will encourage healthy growth of the baby and boost your own energy.

Just as you need certain foods while pregnant to keep you and your baby healthy, there are also foods you should never eat since they can be harmful to your child.

Examples of foods to avoid while pregnant would include:

• Any foods unpasteurized, which are commonly found in soft cheeses such as brie and even milk purchased directly from a dairy farm.
• Fish to include shark, tuna, and swordfish contain high levels of mercury
• Uncooked eggs
• Meat, pork, and poultry that has not been thoroughly cooked
• Caffeine such as soda pop, coffee, and of course, chocolate

Every woman’s pregnancy is slightly different so before you start adding or eliminating food from your diet, talk to your doctor. This way, you will have a firm understanding of foods considered healthy for you and your growing baby, as well as foods that could cause serious problems. If there are foods you cannot eat or you have trouble digesting, your doctor might recommend you take a supplement to ensure you are getting all the needed vitamins and minerals for a healthy pregnancy. Any time you have questions or concerns, your doctor should be your first source of information.

One of the most annoying symptoms of pregnancy has to do with an increased sense of smell. This means that while pregnant, some of the foods you normally love will now have a smell that is appalling.

Although easy, pregnancy is not the time to consume a lot of fast foods, which are processed and greasy. Not only do these foods provide little nutrition, they also lead to nausea, especially in early pregnancy stages. Sure, you can have treats and fast food on rare occasion but the goal is to make the primary focus of your diet on healthy, fresh foods. If you get a craving for something sweet, instead of going for a chocolate bar, make a delicious smoothie using strawberries, banana, yogurt, low fat milk, and even a little fresh spinach or carrot.

Along with a well-balanced diet, you will also require more fluid intake during pregnancy. The best solution would be water but fluids in general need to be increased. Again, avoid caffeine and of course alcohol.