Pregnancy and Nutrition: Tips to Help Your Baby Thrive

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Pregnancy and Nutrition: Tips to Help Your Baby Thrive

A healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is essential for your baby. As a soon-to-be mom, aim for a balanced diet and get the recommended nutrients for your baby's health. In addition, it's important that you stay active and gain enough weight. 

Take vitamin and mineral supplements for you and your baby. Speak with your doctor for the recommended dosage to make sure you get enough. 

Foods to avoid include hot dogs and undercooked meat, raw food like sushi, soft cheese, unpasteurized milk and meat spreads. When you cook your own food, ensure that you follow safety guidelines in food handling. 

Below are what we recommend for the different stages of pregnancy. 

First Trimester

During the first trimester, aim for about 2000 calories a day. This depends on your activity level; your medical practitioner may recommend more. 

Several expectant moms may not have the appetite to eat some of the healthy food they used to eat, but don't worry, as your desire usually comes back in the second trimester. 

You're expected to eat thrice a day, plus 2 snacks. If you don't want to eat a lot, focus on the quality of food instead. The bottom line is you eat healthy food that gives you comfort and provide the best nutrition for you and your baby. 

Essential nutrients for the first trimester:

You need 33 nutrients to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. For the first trimester, focus on these nutrients:

Protein - You need this nutrient for muscle development. Good sources include eggs and Greek yogurt. 

Folic acid - The essential micronutrient not just for the first trimester but for the entire pregnancy. Your baby needs this for neural tube defect prevention. Good sources of folic acid include oranges, green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, cauliflower, and fortified cereals. Consider taking supplements, but you need to consult with your doctor first for the recommended dosage. 

Iron - To prevent anemia, consider taking an iron supplement for you and your baby. You can also get iron from spinach, chicken, tofu, and eggs. Aim for at least 27 milligrams a day. 

Calcium - The key nutrient for your baby's teeth and bones. The recommended is about 1000 milligrams per day. Good sources include yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables and milk. 

Potassium - Essential for regulating blood pressure and maintaining fluid balance. Consider taking supplements but speak with your doctor first as to the recommended dosage. 

Vitamin C and DHA - Vitamin C promotes bone development and boosts iron absorption, while DHA is for your child's cognitive development. Anchovies and sardines are great sources of DHA.

Don't hesitate to speak with your OB-GYN if you think you might be falling short of your baby's essential nutrient. 

The best food for the trimester includes yogurt, kale, bananas, lean meat, beans, and ginger tea. If you're experiencing morning sickness symptoms, which is quite common, do these things to help you alleviate the problem:

  • Try eating mini-meals every few hours. Eating bigger portions or not eating for long periods may worsen the symptom. 
  • Consider soft meals when you have an upset stomach. Try oatmeal or a smoothie. 
  • Avoid spicy food as that can lead to tummy discomfort. 

Second Trimester

Always eat a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy. It's the most important thing you can do for yourself and your baby. To keep both of you healthy, always go with foods rich in essential nutrients.

Take a prenatal multivitamin during your second trimester to ensure that you meet the recommended vitamin and mineral needed for expectant mothers. 

Choose food rich in omega-3 fats which are essential for your baby's cognitive development. The five essential food groups you should aim for consist of fruits, dairy, vegetables, proteins and grains. 

Try to avoid unpasteurized products, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, certain types of fish, and alcohol, for they may harm your baby. If you're unsure about what to consume during your pregnancy, always consult your doctor. 

Apart from eating nutritious food, ensure that you stay active. Stay hydrated at all times. Should you decide to exercise, consult your doctor first, especially when, you're having other health issues. 

Third Trimester

In the third trimester, your baby will have gained more weight. Your baby's hair grows, and he can already open his eyes. You're so close to meeting your baby face to face. It's especially crucial now to eat the right food and get the proper nutrients. 

Aim for healthy fats and oils, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins. Nuts and olives are good options for healthy fats. Kale, broccoli, and any dark green leafy vegetables are always a good idea. For whole grains, go with brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, and oats. 

Expectant moms in their 3rd trimester may need more extra calories per day. Speak with your doctor about how many calories you need per day. 

Pregnancy Tips

1. Expectant moms need to stay hydrated. However, if drinking water triggers your gag reflex — especially when you're having morning sickness — try sucking on ice cubes. Sipping hot water also helps. You may be allowed to consume Gatorade with electrolytes too. 

2. Mind your sugar intake to avoid gestational diabetes. Remember that C-section may be likely for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes because elevated sugar levels can cause babies to grow larger than normal. To help you control your blood sugar, consider a high-protein and low-carb diet, and stay healthy.

3. Eat a variety of healthy food for you and your baby. Go with rainbow colors and dark leafy greens; they're good for both of you. Also, minimize consuming food that is exposed to pesticides. Go with organic as much as possible. 

Take Care of your Baby

Providing the right food and nutrients for your baby is just one of the essential steps to your journey of becoming a mom. Apart from this, you also need to provide the best for your baby. As much as possible, use only things or clothes that are organically made to ensure the safety and health of your baby. Let us know if you need help with this.

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  • Anastasia Starchevskiy