Pregnancy Health: How To Care For Your Body During Pregnancy
It is more important than ever that we follow a healthy lifestyle when pregnant as this is required to maintain not just your good health, but that of your growing baby’s as well. Trying to stay healthy involves understanding the steps you need to ensure this optimal health for you and your baby.
One good way of maintaining this health is ensuring you follow a good prenatal care as this is one of the vital factors that ensure a smooth pregnancy. Prenatal care here involves a series of steps that all work together to ensure the best pregnancy journey for you. Some of these vital steps are as follows:
Take the Right Nutrition
Most people will believe you are eating for two when pregnant, but while your nutritional needs will increase, you wont exactly need to eat a double portion of your previous need to fill full. When pregnant, you’d only need to consume an additional 300 calories, added to the 2,000 daily calories required by women to meet their daily nutritional and caloric needs.
It is important you eat a proper nutrition containing all the nutrients you need in the right amount. You should also avoid on cut greatly cut down on food and drinks that will harm your baby.
Another thing you should avoid doing is dieting or cutting down on your calories to maintain your current weight. If you are overweight and don’t want to put on more pounds, you should check with your doctor who will place you on the right nutritional plan for you.
An easy way for you to maintain a healthy diet is to incorporate a few classes of food into your meals if you aren’t already doing so. This meal type is called a pregnancy diet and ensures you and your baby get the right type and amount of nutrients needed. Some good pregnancy foods you should take include the following:
- Five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Fats , although this should be no more than 30% of your entire pregnancy diet
- Starchy carbohydrate-rich foods include like potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread which are high in energy
- Animal-sourced proteins like lean meat, fish, chicken, eggs, quinoa, tofu, beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
These food will provide the much-needed nutrients. You should also include foods high in calcium, iron, and folic acid as these are vital in the diet of a pregnant woman. You might still need to take prescribe vitamin supplements, however, your diet still needs to contain these nutritious food so your body gets most of its nourishment.
Take Enough Calcium
On average women need 1,000 mg of calcium daily. However, because women lose calcium in their bones, it is important you increase your intake from 1,000 mg. You can get calcium from a wide variety of food products, including low-fat dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt; orange juice, soy milk, and cereals that are fortified with calcium; dark leafy green veggies such as spinach, kale, and broccoli; as well as tofu, dried beans, and almonds.
Take Enough Iron
Iron is especially important for expecting mothers as your body makes use of it to make extra blood for you and your growing baby. Iron is also needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body.
Not getting enough iron can lead to a condition called anemia, which will make you feel tired often. Other symptoms of iron deficiency include weakness, dizziness, headaches, pale skin and fingernails and glositis ( inflamed tongue).
A severe case of iron deficiency can increase your risk of you having a preterm baby. It also increases the likelihood of your baby being severely underweight, which could affect your baby in the long run.
You can get iron from both animal sources and plant sources, although your body absorbs 2-3 times the iron in animal sources. Some animal sources of iron include beef, lamb, liver, oysters, chicken, egg, duck, canned salmon, turkey and sardines.
Plant sources of iron include beans and lentils, nuts, tofu, dried apricots, baked potatoes, cashew, dark leafy greens, tempeh, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas.
As a pregnant woman, you need 27 to 30 mg of iron per day as this is used by the body to make hemoglobin, which is what helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.
A lack of iron leads to insufficient red blood cells, meaning the body’s tissues and organs don’t receive enough oxygen which is why pregnant women are advised to pay extra attention to their iron intake.
Folate is Important Too
Yet another important nutrient your body needs as a pregnant woman is folate. Folate is necessary for pregnant women as it ensures you don’t have a baby with birth defects like spinal bifida among others.
If you already are pregnant or planning to, it is recommended you take 0.4 milligrams of folic acids. Research has found that taking folate one month before you get pregnant and three months into your pregnancy reduces your risk of spida bifida by as much as 70%. Spida bifida is a neural tube defect that gets formed during the first 28 days of pregnancy, which is usually before you realize you’re pregnant, and it eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Lack of sufficient nutrition, particularly a lack of folic acid, may result in a neural tube defect such as spina bifida.
You can get folate in foods such asleafy greens, papaya, rice, cornmeal, spaghetti, citrus fruits, broccoli, banana, avocado, eggs, bread, legumes, nuts and seeds, beets, and semolina.
You can also choose to supplement your diet with folic acid supplements if you feel if you aren’t getting enough from your food.
One of the best folate supplements you can take is Nature Made Prenatal Vitamin contains folate and zinc and is specially formulated to support the development of baby’s brain, nervous system, bones and eyes
NM Prenatal + DHA 200 mg Softgels (1 Pack 150 Count)
$22.00 in stock
|Is Adult Product|
Take Plenty of Fluid
Water is not exactly a nutrient, but its effect is no less felt. To remain healthy while pregnant, it’s also important you drink plenty of fluids. During pregnancy your blood volume increases, so drinking plenty of water is the best way to avoid dehydration and constipation.
Taking adequate water helps flush out your system, eliminating sodium to prevent urinary tract infection. Water also facilitates the flow of vital nutrients to your growing baby. It is important you take at least eight glasses of fluids daily to keep your body functioning optimally and your baby healthy.
You Might to Look into Exercising
If you are healthy and have a healthy pregnancy, then you shouldn’t have to stop your regular exercise regime. Exercise will help you feel active and healthy during the course of your pregnancy, which is another great way to maintain your pregnancy health. Healthcare providers recommend you exercise for 30 minutes or more each day to work out at a moderate pace.
Doing this will prevent excessive weight gain, reduces problems such as back pain, swelling, and constipation, improves sleep, increases energy, promotes a positive attitude, prepares your body for labor and lessens recovery time after labor.
Get Adequate Rest
Your sleep will get disrupted during the first trimester as you will have frequent needs to go to the restroom. However, this should subside by the second trimester and you should be able to get more sleep time.
Your pregnancy health depends on following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising, and drinking plenty of fluids are all important to your overall well-being during pregnancy. If you strive to eat nutritious food and maintain a positive attitude during the course of your pregnancy, the good moments will definitely outshine the difficult ones.
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