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Diet During Pregnancy

        There is a need for proper nutrition during pregnancy, as the mother's nutritional status will affect the development of the baby. It is during the time of pregnancy, when various changes take place in the expectant mother's body, which are not just anatomical, but also physiological in nature. It is a very crucial time and it becomes all the more necessary for the mother to take care of herself and there arises a need for consuming healthy pregnancy nutrition. Read further to explore information about nutrition during pregnancy…

Some of the changes that take place in the expectant mother and demand the need to make nutritional adjustments are:

  • Fat And Energy: it is during the time of pregnancy, when fat deposits take place in the mother's body and it is this fats storage that is later utilized by the body, during lactation, for the formation of milk. Owing to this fact, the calorie requirement generally increases by 300 calories. But it also depends from person to person. An underweight mother needs to consume more calories than an overweight mother. Well, it is preferable to consult your doctor, as far as your calorie intake is concerned.
  • Protein: protein is the most vital nutrient required by the body. It happens during the early and mid pregnancy stages, that protein starts getting stored in the body. And it is during the later stages of pregnancy, when the foetus is rapidly developing, that the body utilizes its protein reserves.
  • Minerals: as far as the minerals are concerned, it is the calcium and phosphorus that occupy a supreme position. Calcium is vital for healthy bone and teeth formation and it is during pregnancy that the calcium needs are especially high for the healthy bone formation of the foetus.
  • Iron: during pregnancy, the need for iron intake increases, as this mineral is essential for the body's development.
  • Vitamin A: vitamin A is essential for carrying out several bodily functions. It helps in improving vision and maintaining the nervous equilibrium. Well, as far as the intake of vitamin A is concerned, there is a need to ensure that you've had your recommended daily vitamin intake.

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

        Eating a well balanced diet is necessary to maintain good health. It becomes even more important for a pregnant woman. This is because of the fact that the choice of food during pregnancy affects the health of the expectant mother as well as development of the fetus. Doctors agree that some foods contain bacteria and harmful chemicals, which could interfere with the fetal development or, in the worst case, cause serious infection. Owing to this fact, it becomes vital to take care of the food that should be strictly avoided, apart from those specially recommended for the pregnant woman. Read on to explore the foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Foods Not To Eat During Pregnancy

  • Alcohol: Consumption of alcoholic beverages causes host of health problems in the baby, including low body weight, learning disabilities, visual problems, deformed organs and other abnormalities.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine consumption can put the pregnant woman to the risk of miscarriage and premature birth. Hence, even beverages containing caffeine, like coffee, should be strictly avoided during the period.
  • Raw Eggs: Raw eggs should not be eaten during pregnancy, because they contain Salmonella, a bacteria that causes food borne illness. Stay away from the dishes that contain raw eggs as well, including ceasar salad dressing, cookie batter and eggnog.
  • Fish with Mercury: Consumption of mercury is related to the delay in the development of the brain of the baby. Therefore, fish with high levels of mercury, such as Tilefish, Shark, Swordfish and King Mackerel should be strictly avoided during pregnancy.
  • Smoked Seafood: Smoked seafood available in the general stores may be contaminated with Listeria, a harmful bacteria. Therefore, smoked seafood, especially the refrigerated one, is a strict no-no for pregnant women.
  • Fish Exposed to Industrial Pollutants: Do not eat fish from lakes and rivers, such as bluefish, striped bass, salmon, pike, trout and walleye, because they may be exposed to high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, a class of organic compounds that are harmful for health.
  • Raw Shellfish: Uncooked shellfish is the source of a number of seafood-borne diseases. Hence, pregnant women should avoid raw shellfish.
  • Soft Cheese: Soft cheese such as Feta, Gorgonzola, Queso Blanco, Queso Fresco, Brie and Camembert, contain Listeria, which may infect the baby. It may also lead to blood poisoning.
  • Unwashed Vegetables: Vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption, because they may have been exposed to a parasitic disease 'toxoplasmosis', which might have affected the soil where the vegetables were grown.
  • Unpasteurized Milk: Ensure that the milk you consume during pregnancy is pasteurized, because unpasteurized milk may contain a bacteria called Listeria, which may lead to miscarriage.

Nutrition During Lactation

        The nutrition needs of a nursing mother are much more, because the kind of nutrition she consumes, will determine the quantity and quality of milk that will directly affect the health of her baby. The food that the mother consumes not just fulfills her nutritional requirements, but is also used in the production of milk. A nursing mother produces 23 to 27 ounces of milk per day and thus, there arises a need to consume 500 extra calories per day. Read further to explore information about nutrition during lactation…

The nutrition for nursing mothers plays a vital role in defining the quality of breast milk. There is a possibility that the nursing mother might have a healthy baby, despite the fact that she had not fed herself properly, but then that is likely to happen often at the detriment of the mother's health itself. It is during the time of lactation that the body makes milk production as its first priority, leaving the nursing mother deprived of nutrition.

Here are some nutrition guidelines for the nursing mother:

  • It is during lactation that the nursing mothers tend to feel thirstier, owing to the fact that part of their water consumption is utilized by the body for the formation of milk. It is here where it becomes necessary to increase your water intake by one quart per day, so that you are drinking a total of 2.5 to 3 quarts.
  • You should increase your calorie consumption to about 2500 calories per day and opt for healthy foods that are rich in nutrients required by the body.
  • Eat more of protein rich foods. The basic rule says that you should eat I gram of protein each day for every pound you weigh.
  • Eat multiple small meals. Follow a five-meal routine: breakfast, lunch, after- noon snack, an extra snack during the evening and dinner.
  • There is a need to keep away from tobacco, as there is likelihood that the nicotine might get transferred into the child's body through breast milk.
  • Say no to alcohol, as alcohol can retard the growth of your baby.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication.
  • It is advisable for the nursing mother to continue taking her prenatal vitamins
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