Pregnancy diet plan:
There is perhaps no other time in your life when nutrition is as important as when you are carrying a child. Pregnancy is a truly amazing experience that leaves many women wondering at the sheer ‘genius’ of their bodies. It is also a time of great changes and a certain degree of uncertainty.
One way to
do the best by your baby and for yourself is to take control of your diet - it
may be one of the few things you can control.
We all know the importance of ensuring we have adequate levels of certain vitamins and minerals when planning a baby, unfortunately these things sometimes occur unplanned. Thankfully our bodies are very generous and put baby first.
Your doctor will let you know if you require any specific supplements such as iron or B12 after the initial blood test and a good pregnancy and breastfeeding multivitamin is usually recommended anyway.
Pregnancy places extra nutritional demands on your body and while you are eating for two (or three) this only means food needs to be more nutrient dense, not necessarily twice the amount. Specifically you need more protein and nutrients, particularly iron, folate, iodine, and zinc.
Research has shown that the food a mother eats during
pregnancy can affect the development of her baby, and may also affect the
baby’s health later in life. Eating a healthy balanced diet of primarily fresh
whole foods is to best way to ensure you are meeting nutritional requirements
The ideal pregnancy diet plan contains a wide variety of fresh foods including fruits, vegetables, whole dairy foods, whole grains, poultry, fresh fish, and lean red meat. Your body will support your growing babies’ needs very efficiently. Your ability to absorb calcium increases and 3-4 serves of dairy foods such as milk, cheese or yoghurt will sufficiently meet your needs.
To avoid iron deficiency it is important to eat plenty of iron rich foods. Red meat is one of the richest sources of iron. Chicken, pork and fish contain moderate levels. Smaller amounts of iron can also be found in legumes, green leafy vegetables and iron fortified cereals
When pregnant care should be taken to avoid excess
‘empty’ calories, which means processed foods and sugary drinks should be
moderated and healthier alternatives substituted. It is also essential to
maintain adequate fibre in your diet and drink plenty of water.
What to Avoid
One other important pregnancy diet plan consideration is foods that must be avoided, primarily this involves foods with the potential to carry harmful bacteria such as listeria or salmonella. This includes processed meats (including cold chicken or turkey from salad bars), raw meats (such as sushi), soft cheeses, soft serve ice-cream, premade/ pre-packaged salads, raw egg mayonnaise, fresh bean sprouts and chilled cooked prawns or seafood.
Look after you and your baby with nutrient rich foods.
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