PREGNANCY NUTRITION



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Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help you feel good and provide everything you and your baby need. The food you eat is your baby’s main source of nourishment, so it’s critical to get all of the nutrients you need.


To maintain a healthy pregnancy, approximately 300 extra calories are needed each day. These calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sweets and fats should be kept to a minimum. A healthy, well-balanced diet can also help to reduce some pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea and constipation.


ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS DURING PREGNANCY


According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists , you and your baby need these key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy:


Vitamin A

You need this vitamin for healthy skin, eyesight, and bone growth. Carrots, dark, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes are good sources. During pregnancy you need 770 micrograms daily.


Vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C will promote wound healing, tooth and bone development, and metabolic processes. Experts recommend at least 85 milligrams per day.


Examples of daily sources of Vitamin C:

3 servings of fruit or vegetables (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)



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  • orange

  • strawberry

  • lemon

  • mango

  • tomato

  • grapefruit

  • kiwi

  • melon

  • potato

  • peppers

Vitamin D

Foods rich in vitamin D will Promote bone strength. Vitamin D also helps build your baby's bones and teeth. Experts recommend at least 600 international units (IU) a day

Examples of daily sources of Vitamin D:



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  • Exposure to sunlight

  • Fatty fish such as salmon

  • Fortified Milk

  • Orange Juice

  • Eggs

Vitamin B6

Helps form red blood cells and helps your body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Experts recommend 1.9 mg daily during pregnancy.

Examples of daily sources of Vitamin B6:



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  • Beef

  • Liver

  • Pork

  • Whole-grain cereals

  • Bananas

Vitamin B12

Helps form red blood cells and maintains your nervous system. You can find this vitamin only in animal products. Experts recommend 2.6 micrograms daily during pregnancy.

Examples of daily sources of Vitamin B12:



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  • Liver

  • Meat

  • Fish

  • Poultry

  • Milk

Protein


Protein is critical for ensuring the proper growth of baby’s tissues and organs, including the brain. It also helps with breast and uterine tissue growth during pregnancy. It even plays a role in your increasing blood supply, allowing more blood to be sent to your baby.

Your protein needs increase during each trimester of pregnancy. Experts recommend 70 to 100 g of protein a day, depending on your weight and which trimester you’re in.

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Examples of daily sources of Protein :

  • lean beef and pork

  • chicken

  • salmon

  • nuts

  • peanut butter

  • cottage cheese

  • beans

Calcium

Calcium helps build your baby’s bones and regulates your body’s use of fluids. Pregnant women need 1,000 mg of calcium, ideally in two doses of 500 mg, per day. You’ll likely need additional calcium to supplement regular prenatal vitamins.

Examples of daily sources of Calcium :



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  • milk

  • yogurt

  • cheese

  • low-mercury fish and seafood, such as salmon, shrimp, catfish, and canned light tuna

  • calcium-set tofu

  • dark green, leafy vegetables


Iron

Iron works with sodium, potassium, and water to increase blood flow. This helps ensure that enough oxygen is supplied to both you and your baby. You should be getting 27 mg of iron per day, preferably alongside some vitamin c to increase absorption.

Examples of daily sources of Iron :



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  • Dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, cabbage, collard, turnip.

  • Citrus fruits

  • Enriched breads or cereals

  • Lean beef and poultry

  • Eggs

Folate

Folate, also known as folic acid, plays an important part in reducing the risk of neural tube defects. These are major birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Experts recommend 600 to 800 mcg of folate.

Examples of daily sources of Folate :



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  • liver

  • nuts

  • dried beans and lentils

  • eggs

  • nuts and peanut butter

  • dark green, leafy vegetables

Aside from eating well, it’s important to drink at least eight glasses of water each day and to take prenatal vitamins. Make sure to speak with your doctor about which prenatal vitamins you should take.


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