How Should Your Diet Change When Pregnant?

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In an ideal world, you are eating a healthy diet before you get pregnant. But, if you find yourself pregnant and want to make sure you eat as healthy as you can for the baby as it develops, there are some changes to your diet you can make today.

Prenatal Vitamins

A doctor will tell you to start taking prenatal vitamins when you are thinking about trying to conceive. Prenatal vitamins are full of good things for the baby's development. Folic acid is an important nutrient in prenatal vitamins and has been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects. The foods that have folic acid in them include spinach, asparagus, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, edamame, and citrus fruits, so we recommend eating these foods as well.

Iron

A pregnant woman's iron levels can be affected because of the increased amount of blood that is required for the baby. There are many foods that are iron rich that can be added to your diet, among them are steak, chicken, eggs, spinach, lentils, Swiss chard, and beans. Eating vitamin C with the iron-rich foods will help your body absorb the iron more readily. There are iron-fortified breakfast cereals as well.

Alcohol and Calories

Alcohol is known to cause birth defects and some mental retardation in developing fetuses, so it should be avoided. Eating for two doesn't mean to eat twice as much as you normally would either. The recommendation is that a pregnant woman adds 300 calories more to her regular caloric intake.

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