Every woman wants a healthy pregnancy, and this is possible with the right amount of knowledge and dedication. Here are some tips to help patients have a healthy pregnancy.
1. Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is critical for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. A balanced diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and lean protein. When pregnant, try not to skip breakfast. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, transition to 5-6 smaller meals per day.
2. Take a prenatal vitamin
Prenatal vitamins are meant to be supplements that add additional nutrients to the person’s diet. These vitamins contain higher levels of folic acid and iron, which are essential vitamins for a fetus’s growth and development. Along with a healthy balanced diet, take a prenatal vitamin to get the right amount of nutrients.
3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and foods with bacteria
Certain cheeses like feta and blue cheese have bacteria that may harm the fetus. Any raw or uncooked meat or fish, like sushi, is a definite no during pregnancy. During pregnancy, stay away from these foods, along with caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol contain chemicals that also affect the development of the fetus.
Where does the pregnant weight go?
Pregnant weight goes to the fetus, but much of the weight also gets distributed throughout the body to areas that are vital to the fetus’s health and development. Some of these areas include:
- Amniotic fluid
- Breast tissue
- Blood supply
- Stored fat
Is all the weight gain due to eating?
Most women will experience differences in appetite during pregnancy. Women may become hungry more often or crave certain foods. Researchers haven’t found a scientific reason for cravings, but many attribute cravings to heightened hormone levels that alter taste buds. Some cravings may also signal a nutrient deficiency like a need for iron. Although many people believe a pregnant woman should eat much more than usual, doctors say a pregnant woman only needs 300 additional calories per day.
Risks of weight gain
Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can lead to health issues like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Women that are overweight before pregnancy are at higher risk for developing these conditions along with going into labor early. Doctors suggest that overweight women try to gain no more than 25 pounds while pregnant.
Learn more about nutrition
To learn more about a balanced diet and healthy eating habits during pregnancy, consult with an OB/GYN. These doctors will educate patients about pregnancy weight and diet.