Pregnancy Health: Pregnancy Nutrition Do's And Don'ts

Get a quick guide to which foods to eat and which to avoid during pregnancy.

Expectant mothers naturally want to do everything right. There's very little in the world as overwhelming as housing a developing little human being inside your body. You want him or her to have the best possible start in life, and part of that entails the right nutrition during your pregnancy.

Research is ongoing as to the impact of nutrition during a baby's prenatal development, but the possibilities that have come forth are profound. So much of a baby's future - everything from predisposition toward conditions such as diabetes to having high IQ points - may be able to be influenced by the mother's diet during pregnancy. Here are a few simple dos and don'ts for pregnancy nutrition.

DO:

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants and vitamins are good for you and your developing baby.

Get adequate protein - if possible, eat a little bit more protein than you did before getting pregnant. There is some research to suggest a diet with adequate protein may reduce your risks of developing pre-eclampsia in your second or third trimester.

Eat cheese and drink plenty of milk. You need extra calcium while you are growing a baby, and dairy products will help you take in more of this vital nutrient.



Take your prenatal vitamins. This will make sure that you get the right amounts of key nutrients that will support your baby's development, such as folic acid and iron. You need extra iron when you are pregnant because you will have a higher blood volume.

Eat fish, but carefully. Fish is full of great nutrients and proteins, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, but it can also be dangerous due to pollution. Be careful to avoid fish such as canned tuna that is known to have high mercury content, and if possible, try to buy your fish from a source that can certify it comes from unpolluted waters.

DON'T:

Eat unprocessed cheeses or deli meats. Deli meats or unprocessed cheeses may harbor listeria, a bacteria which can put your unborn child at risk.

Eat alfalfa sprouts. This one is lesser known among many women, but alfalfa sprouts can also harbor the listeria bacteria.

Eat any undercooked meat. Like the items above, rare meats that aren't fully cooked may harbor dangerous bacteria.

Drink too much caffeine. Caffeine in moderation is safe, but some studies have linked heavy caffeine intake to a higher risk of miscarriage.

Drink alcohol. No study has yet established any safe amount of alcohol to take in while you are pregnant, and it just isn't worth the risk to your baby.

Go on a diet. Restricting your caloric intake can be risky when you are pregnant. Enjoy this one time in your life that you're actually supposed to gain weight and try not to worry too much. Do, however, remember that you don't actually need to eat for two. You only need an estimated 300 extra calories per day during your pregnancy.

CONCLUSION:

Hard though it may be, try not to stress out too much over dietary issues. With few exceptions, like the ones noted above, most foods are fairly safe. You will have an easier time losing your pregnancy weight after your baby is born if you try to take in your calories from healthful sources and stay away from junk food.

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