A woman’s health is essential to the good health of her baby. Women who eat well and exercise regularly along with regular prenatal care are less likely to have complications during pregnancy.
Maintain a good nutrition and a healthy diet during pregnancy is critical for the health of the mother and unborn child. Good nutrition is an important component of a healthy life style and a healthy baby. The best time to review your nutritional status to make appropriate changes is prior to conception. A very important time of foetal development is during the first several weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy is the time when weight gain is desirable and it is also encouraged. Recommended weight gain may depend upon number of factors including pre-pregnancy weight. Average weight gain is between 25-30 lbs. Average weight gain may require additional 200-300 calories per day. The increases the caloric intake daily from 2100 cal/day to 2400 or 2500 cal/day.The increase in the serving size would be sufficient to satisfy the increased calorie needs. The increased calorie intake should not be made up of fatty foods but within crease in protein, dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables.
Eating healthy does not mean eating more calories but eating right food which is divided into fats, proteins, carbohydrates plus micro nutrients.
- All of the foetal body systems use proteins as the major building blocks. Good source of proteins is lean meat, fish, milk and beans.
- Carbohydrates are the major source of energy. Source are grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables and milk.
- Fat is important for the foetal nervous system development and for some vitamins absorption. Saturated and hydrogenated fats should always be avoided.
- Monounsaturated fats and oils such as olive oils and canola oils are healthier. Omega- 3 fatty acids such as DHA have been linked to higher IQ.
Eating a nutritious diet in pregnancy is linked to good foetal brain development, a healthy birth weight and it reduces the risk of many birth defects. A balanced diet also reduces the risk of anaemia as well as other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness.