Motherhood is one of the most rewarding feelings in the life of a woman. The arrival of a baby fills a home with joy and positivity. But you must look after yourself to ensure the proper development of the fetus in your womb. Abiding by a healthy pregnancy diet plan will give you and your baby the required nutrition. So, what should you eat when you are pregnant? Here’s every expecting mom’s guide to prenatal nutrition.
What does a healthy pregnancy diet plan look like?
Becoming pregnant for the first time can be an overwhelming feeling. You are protective of the little life growing slowly inside you. What you need at this important phase of your life is the guidance of an accomplished dietician. Luckily, we are here to hold your hand.
As a certified dietician, I have helped hundreds of mothers stick to their healthy pregnancy diet plan. So, find out everything about your body’s nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Why is it compulsory to follow your diet plan during pregnancy?
What you eat before and during pregnancy will directly affect your baby’s development and health. For instance, eating excess saturated fats increases your baby’s chances of having high BP after growing up. Indulging in processed and fast food now and then can also lead to pregnancy-related complications.
So, a lot of mothers ask me what they can consume during pregnancy. I include the best pregnancy superfoods in their diet chart. And your job is to follow the diet plan dedicatedly.
An overview of balanced meals for mothers-to-be
A balanced diet for a pregnant woman consists of foods loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. You should also be mindful of these points:
- Your body does not require more than 2,000 calories in the first two trimesters. So, do not overeat.
- Try to start your day with a wholesome breakfast.
- Hydration during pregnancy is of utmost significance. So, drink plenty of water and fruit juices to remain hydrated throughout the day.
- Sleeping soundly at night will help your baby grow fast.
The best foods to eat during pregnancy
Every pregnant woman must focus on consuming whole foods and good fats. Here are some foods you’ll find in a healthy pregnancy diet plan:
1. Dairy products
The female body needs extra calcium and protein to meet the baby’s needs. Yogurt, cheese, and milk are good choices. Probiotic bacteria present in Greek yogurt also aids in digestion.
2. Foods loaded with folic acid
Many women aren’t aware of the importance of folic acid. Folic acid assists in the formation of the neural tube. It keeps birth defects of the spine and brain at bay. Asparagus, spinach, avocado, and broccoli are some incredible sources of folic acid.
Your body must get enough Omega-3s for fetal development. Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks of the baby’s retina and brain. And what better way of taking Omega-3 than by relishing salmon? So, feel free to savor grilled and smoked salmon recipes.
4. Vegetables and fruits
Vitamins A, D, C, and B are the most essential vitamins for pregnancy. So, I suggest all my clients have a variety of vegetables and fruits. Carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, cooked greens, spinach, and sweet potatoes are some ideal veggies. You should also have mangoes, oranges, grapes, bananas, oranges, prunes, and honeydew.
5. Lean meat
Lean meat has high-quality protein. Pork and beef are also rich in choline and iron. Your body will need more iron during the third trimester. Moreover, iron deficiency may make you anemic. Ask your gynecologist to prescribe some iron supplements if you do not like having meat.
Berries provide the body with healthy carbs, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and water. Blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries are extremely beneficial during pregnancy.
They won’t spike your blood sugar levels despite being sweet.
Foods to avoid while pregnant
Certain foods can cause infections when you are pregnant. And you cannot afford to take any chances with the safety of your baby. So, what are the foods to avoid while pregnant?
- Mercury is toxic and can cause development problems in babies. Therefore, do not eat marine fish as it may contain mercury.
- It is better to stay away from raw or undercooked fish when breastfeeding or pregnant. It may be infected with parasites and bacteria like Vibrio, Listeria, Salmonella, and norovirus.
- Undercooked meat containing bacteria can threaten your little one’s life. But it is safe to savor properly cooked meat.
- Processed meat often becomes infected with bacteria during storage or processing. So, stop yourself from ordering hot dogs and packaged meat snacks.
- Salmonella present in raw eggs can be dangerous. So, have fried eggs and hard-boiled eggs instead of scrambled eggs.
- People popularly use raw sprouts in salads. But you should not have them as sprouts thrive in humid environments. Humidity is favorable for the Salmonella’s growth.
- You should also stay away from unwashed vegetables, fruits, and unpasteurized dairy edibles.
- Resist your temptation to drink alcohol. It’s not among the pregnancy-safe beverages.
- Have caffeine in moderation as it increases the chances of miscarriage.
- Lastly, quitting smoking is mandatory the moment you start planning the baby. Smoking can be responsible for stillbirth, preterm birth, and birth defects.
Eating well after conceiving is essential to nourish yourself and the unborn baby. So, consult a talented dietician for a detailed diet chart. Downloading a healthy pregnancy diet plan online won’t suffice. Nutritionists provide a customized diet plan as per your weight and body’s requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions on Healthy Pregnancy Diet Plan
Q: What are the top foods every pregnant woman should include in her diet?
A pregnant lady must eat dairy products, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, legumes, berries, whole grains, and fresh meat. Avocados, dried food, and fish liver oil are three other pregnancy superfoods.
Q: Are there any specific foods or beverages to avoid during pregnancy?
A: You should avoid foods that may have listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli during pregnancy. Undercooked fish, meat, eggs, soft cheese, untreated water, sprouts, and unpasteurized milk can be harmful.