Foods To Eat When You are Pregnant: What to Eat What Not. During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes serious changes: from the external manifestations – the figure, the condition of the skin and hair, mood and behavior and ending with internal processes. These include not only changes in the hormonal background, but also an increase in energy expenditure. That is why the body begins to require more food. Many women gain weight during their pregnancy, referring to the fact that “eat for two.” However, experts believe that this can be avoided by eating the right diet.
In this article let’s understand what is the right diet for a pregnant woman and what she should avoid.
- When planning a pregnancy, a future mother should give up alcohol in advance.
- The expectant mother should follow a diet, eat fully and efficiently.
- It is preferable to prepare products for pregnant women with a steam method to maintain beneficial properties.
Recommendations regarding the nutrition of pregnant women and regarding safe nutrition:
The first 1,000 days of life is a three-year period in the life of the fetus and the baby, including nine months of pregnancy and the first two years of the baby’s life.
The healthy nutrition of the child during the first 1,000 days of life is extremely important, due to its influence on the growth and development of the child, the proper development of his brain, the immune system and the functional abilities of his body. It is also known that nutrition at an early age affects food intake, nutritional priorities and habits, and on human health in later periods of life – during adulthood.
A healthy diet is the foundation of a healthy and balanced existence, the prevention of diseases and the improvement of the quality of life throughout its duration.
During pregnancy, nutrition is especially important. The body is preparing for the development of the fetus and for the feeding process. Uterus and placenta tissue develops, and blood supply increases. Normal weight gain promotes the health of women and children and reduces the risk of complications.
- The latest studies show that a woman’s nutrition during pregnancy, the rate of weight gain and eating habits can affect the cognitive development of the embryo, the tendency to obesity during life, cardiovascular disease, etc.
- A pregnant woman should notify medical personnel about her health condition and eating habits, such as vegetarianism or veganism, food allergies, digestive problems, or a special diet.
- It must be emphasized that the recommendations on nutrition during pregnancy are intended for healthy pregnant women. Women with special nutritional needs, such as those with diabetes, should consult their healthcare provider and nutritionist. As a rule, it is useful for every pregnant woman to get advice from a nutritionist specialist.
Recommended rates of weight gain during pregnancy (with one fetus *), according to BMI during pregnancy
|BMI values in early pregnancy||BMI Status||Weight gain in every pregnancy|
|BMI <18.5||Underweight||12.5-18 Kg|
|18.5 ≤ BMI <24.9||Normal weight||11.5 -16 Kg|
|25≤ BMI <29.9||Overweight||7 – 11.5 Kg|
|30 ≤ BMI||Obesity||5-9 Kg|
In the first three months, weight gain of 0.5 – 2 kg is taken into account.
* The recommended weight gain during pregnancy with multiple fetuses is different and requires expert judgment.
What To Eat During Pregnancy- General Recommendations
The first trimester of pregnancy: In the first trimester of pregnancy,you can leave the diet virtually unchanged: it must be complete and balanced, include a sufficient amount of vitamins, proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates and a minimum of harmful products.
The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: From the second trimester, a woman has an increased need for energy by 300-500 kcal. However, during this period if you reduced the level of physical activity, then you should not increase the calorie amount of the diet.
The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Nutrition in the third trimester of pregnancy is, first of all, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for the development of the internal systems of the fetus, especially calcium for bone growth and the development of the nervous system.
Mandatory to Eat
- The presence of meat in the diet is very important especially during the active growth of the fetus from the second trimester.
- From the fifth month, a pregnant woman needs 96 g of protein once a day.
- Folic acid and iron are the two other substances important for the body. Folic acid is absolutely essential for the development of the embryo’s nervous system. If at the beginning of pregnancy the future mother had a severe deficiency of this vitamin, this can lead to malformations in the baby. Iron is a direct component of hemoglobin, which is part of the blood cells.
- In addition, iodine, which is responsible for the metabolism and growth of the child, and calcium, necessary for the skeletal system, are equally important. Lack of calcium leads to increased pressure in the mother, as well as to depletion of bone tissue, especially for mothers under 25 years old.
What Not to Eat:
Here is the list of foods which should avoid or minimize during pregnancy
- Try to avoid smoked meats, spicy, salty, high mercury fish like -shark, tuna, swordfish.
- Eliminate salty foods and processed foods from your diet.
- Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat, this may contain harmful bacteria.
- If you are pregnant, try to limit your caffeine intake.
- Try to avoid unpasteurized milk, cheese or fruit juice as this can increase the risk of bacterial infection.
- Do not drink/avoid alcohol as this habit can increase the risk of miscarriage.
Try not to eat from boredom and from a bad mood. Sometimes you can arrange fasting days, after discussing this issue with your gynecologist.
Sample Pregnancy Diet
Here is the menu/pregnancy diet of one day for a pregnant woman, check this out:
- Breakfast: Fresh fruits, oatmeal porridge in milk, whole grain bread with butter, low-fat milk or buttermilk, omelet, vegetable sandwich.
- Second breakfast: cottage cheese, banana
- Lunch: veal baked with vegetables and rice, fresh vegetable salad with olive oil, pumpkin soup puree, Indian bread with curry, rice with curry
- Snack: dry fruits, nuts, paneer sandwich or vegetable sandwich, green tea, uttapam, oats with veggies, fresh fruit juice
- Dinner: Indian bread with curry, salad, and curd, steamed salmon with vegetables (fresh or stewed), cereal bread
- 2 hours before bedtime: Natural yogurt or kefir
Note: Exercise during pregnancy is mandatory if there are no complications. Be sure to consult your doctor about this.