Proper Nutrition For a Healthy Pregnancy – Part I


Hormonal changes occur throughout the body cycle of an adult woman, and none more so than during pregnancy. The various hormones circulating in a pregnant woman’s bloodstream result in both psychological and physiological changes to a woman’s normal demeanor, often resulting in mood swings, food cravings, different sleep patterns and constipation. The alterations in the pregnant woman’s body are in direct response to her growing baby’s needs. This encourages her body to produce extra oestrogen, progesterone and various other hormones. These are important in the effect they have on the pregnant woman’s nutritional needs and include:

· Calcitonin

· Cortisol

· Erythropoietin

· Insulin

· Oxytocine

· Prolactin

· Thyroxine

· Relaxin

· Human Chorionic Somatomammotropin [HSC].

This is also known as Human Placental Lactogen [HPL]

When you consider that each of these additional hormones takes a share of a pregnant woman’s daily supply of food, it is hardly surprising that adequate nutrition plays such an essential part during pregnancy.

Ensure your Pregnancy is Healthy

The best way to ensure both you and your baby are healthy is to keep to an easy-to-follow diet pattern and get into the routine of eating a wide range of healthy foods that are full of the nutritional requirements needed by yourself and your growing baby. If you remember that your baby will ensure it gets all the nutrients it needs, even if you don’t have sufficient reserves stored in your body, I am sure you will understand how important it is to eat properly. In fact, even if your eating patterns weren’t particularly suitable before you became pregnant, eating healthily now will ensure you enjoy a healthy and active pregnancy, with a bouncing baby and radiant mother as the happy outcome.

Some nutrients are absolutely essential to ensure your developing baby doesn’t get any of the congenital defects that can occur during the earliest weeks of pregnancy, often before you even know you are pregnant. As a result, doctors cannot stress the importance of eating a nutritious diet even before your pregnancy begins. Doctors have known for many years that plenty of folic acid made available for the fetus in its very early stages will prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida from occurring.

Breakfast cereals are well fortified with folic acid but there is no guarantee that your body has absorbed sufficient from your breakfast alone. This is the reason why doctors recommend that you take folic acid tablets if you are thinking of becoming pregnant: you should also take Vitamin C tablets at the same time as the Vitamin C helps the folic acid to be used within your body. As your baby is developing and growing it needs huge amounts of calcium. If you are not to deplete your own stores of calcium you need to ensure you have adequate amounts in your diet. Again, breakfast cereals have added calcium. You will also get calcium from various dairy products. Remember, however, that your body needs to be able to use the calcium in the food you are eating. For your body to be able to make use of calcium, you need sufficient amounts of Vitamin D and iron.

This is why your doctor usually provides you with multivitamins for you to take. Other sources of calcium are salmon, sardines, tofu, spinach and broccoli which is a particularly good source of calcium, iron, folic acid and Vitamin B12. All the ‘B’ vitamins are essential from healthy growth and the easiest and cheapest way to ensure you are getting enough is to take a couple of Brewers’ Yeast tablets, three times a day. In fact, all women who are menstruating or pregnant should be taking regular B vitamins because your body is unable to make use of iron from your food unless you have sufficient B vitamins.

The Power of Food Cravings

I expect by now you will have realized just how important nutrients are in your diet and how clever your body is in being able to remove essential nutrients from the food you are eating. In fact, your body becomes extra efficient are removing all the nutrients it needs during your pregnancy. However, there are times when you may crave specific foods during your pregnancy. These food cravings are particularly powerful and very difficult to resist. On saying that, however, not every pregnant woman gets food cravings and, although reasonably common, most food cravings are fairly understandable and are not likely to do you any harm.

There is actually quite a wide-held view that these cravings arise from your body crying out for nutrients that have been withheld from it. There may be some truth in that, considering that chocolate, believe it or not, does contain various nutrients – especially plain chocolate which is an excellent source of iron. In rarer instances you may crave non-food items such as wanting to eat coal or clay, neither of which is unheard of. This craving for non-food items is a condition referred to a ‘pica’.

Clearly, this is not particularly healthy for either you or your growing child so you would certainly be advised to mention this to your midwife or doctor as soon as possible. Nowadays they can certainly help you to avoid pica moments.

Where Does the Extra Weight Come From?

I am sure that many new mother, when presented with her tiny little newborn feels slightly bemused at the amount of weight she put on during her pregnancy, only to find she is cuddling less than 3.5kg of baby, which tends to be the weight of an average newborn these days. Even if you have been excellent at sticking to the addition 3,000 extra calories you should be eating a day, your body will still have gained weight as your body changes to that of a post-natal mother. The average amount of weight you should have put on during your pregnancy is between 11.34kg and 15.88kg. Suffice to say that, if you have eaten sensibly during your pregnancy and followed a nutritious diet, that additional weight will soon get used up as your uterus and your breasts start to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape and size.

So, where does that extra 11 – 15 kg go as you put on this weight during your pregnancy? Is it all fat that is going to find its way to your abdomen or hips and stay there? Basically, the distribution of this additional weight can be found distributed around your body and accounted for as:

Baby’s average weight: 3.50kg

Additional Blood Volume: 1.81kg

Additional body fluids such as lymph: 1.81kg

Amniotic fluid creating a safety cushion for baby: 0.91kg

The placenta, your baby’s lifeline: 0.68kg

Breast enlargement due to milk sacs: 0.91kg

Thickened uterine wall 0.91kg

Extra protein, fats and circulating nutrients: 3.18kg

This provides you with an overall total weight gain of 13.71kg. If you want this converted to lbs, you will find this is equal to 30.23lbs. None of this is set in stone and every pregnancy is different, especially when it comes to weight gain. Patterns of weight gain differ with each and every pregnant woman: if you were underweight to begin with, or overweight, you will find a different distribution of weight gain. Additionally, if you are expecting a multiple birth you are bound to put on much more weight, with a different patter of weight gain than an expectant mother carrying a single fetus.

The Importance of Adequate Nutrition

It can’t be stressed enough how important adequate nutrition is during pregnancy, to keep both mother and baby healthy. There is certainly no room for empty calories. In fact, in-depth studies of nutrition in pregnancy have revealed how supremely important to both mother and her growing baby nutritious food really is. It is only really in recent years that the extent to which nutrition in pregnancy has become fully understood. This is one of the reasons why doctors now advise pregnant women to stay completely clear of alcohol and, if they were in the habit of eating it, liver. Another source to avoid is the skin of fish. Too many people underestimate the importance of this advice.

However, alcohol is full of empty calories; liver contains far too much Vitamin A that can cause nerve damage if taken in excess; and the skin of fish contains far too much mercury and other impurities that are filtered through the skin of a fish as it swims amidst its natural element. You are now advised to eat salmon regularly, including the bones. This is an oily fish that contains lots of Omega-3, one of the healthier fats and one that affects the developing brain. The bones contain lots of calcium your body can make use of, so the crushed-up bones mixed into the salmon are a particularly palatable source of calcium, especially if you are not a great fan of dairy products.

What does a Healthy Diet Consist of?

We all need a source of different kinds of food every day. For adequate nutrition you need servings of protein, carbohydrates, and fats – preferably less of the unhealthy saturated fats and more of the healthy monosaturates. You also need adequate vitamins and minerals and a good supply of fresh water to drink every day: in fact, when you feel thirsty your tissues area already exhibiting the beginnings of dehydration! You can tell the kinds of nutrients your food contains by reading the labels that come with the food you buy. There is also plenty published regularly about the various kinds of nutrients and what the government food agencies in different companies recommend.

Health Care For Babies

You should give primary importance to the health of your baby from the time of pregnancy till the baby grows up. Health care is very important when it comes to babies since they are very delicate and sensitive to chemicals and other micro organisms. Good healthy nutrient diet and safe products are very essential for a good health of your baby. A healthy baby can sleep well and good sleeping ensures growth. So make sure you provide the best you can to your baby. Things to be kept in mind while considering the health of your baby are use of organic products, use of products that contain less chemicals and mild ingredients, feeding the best nutritive food and ensuring a good skin care.

A new born baby should be taken care of very carefully and cautiously. The first one month is very important and utmost care should be taken when the umbilical cord is yet to fall. It should be kept dry and clean. Apply oils or creams prescribed by your doctor to keep it out of infection. If you notice any problem in the umbilical cord or any bad odor, you should immediately consult your doctor. The most important thing in baby care is breast feeding. It is very good for the health of the baby. It makes the baby healthy and it can provide all the required nutrients. When your baby stops drinking your milk, consult your doctor and follow what they say in a very strict manner.

Some changes that indicate that your baby is not healthy are continuous cry, improper sleeping, eating insufficiently, dull face, not playful, not active, behaving abnormally and several small things like this. If you notice any of these signs, check what the problem and do the necessary measures. If a baby cries continuously, it can be due to several reasons. A baby cries when it is hungry, when the diaper is wet, when the diaper is itchy, uncomfortable clothing, pain, uneasiness or stomach pain. Try to figure out the reason and do the right thing to stop your baby from crying. Continuous crying can make your baby weak. If the baby is crying due to uneasiness, change the clothes and change the diaper frequently. Use of cloth diaper can ensure comfort.

Some serious problems that require immediate attention are severe diarrhea, blood in urine, discoloration of excretion, high temperature, unusual cry, trouble in breathing and shivering. These can be very serious problems and immediate medical attention is very necessary. Diarrhea is very serious problem since the fluid present can come out very quickly therefore give oral electrolytes and then consult the doctor. Use medicines prescribed by your doctor and do not give medicines on your own. Ensure healthy diet and safe environment.

Pregnancy Diet – Nutritional Information on Keeping You and Your Baby Healthy and Happy

Why is it important for someone to go on a pregnancy diet? A pregnancy diet is built around a few basic principles (which are actually pretty similar to the basic principles of healthy eating at any time in life): avoid empty calories and junk food, provide your baby with a regular supply of good nutrients, and eat the right quantities of the right foods each day. As far as standard diet plans go, the pregnancy diet is is very similar, but there a few things to consider such as an increase in calorie intake.

The pregnancy diet is clearly not for men. (Although in this day and age that could change sometime)… Who knows what the men in their white coats are up to ??

What should also be taken in to account that a diet that is aimed at your babies health is not a weight loss plan, but rather a way of eating properly for the benefit of yourself and your unborn baby while pregnant. A healthy diet is about balance, and if you follow some general guidelines and learn about nutrition, you can also fit in those sumptuous treats and maintain a healthy pregnant body. There is no reason to abstain from chocolates and ice cream whilst watching “the notebook” on the couch in front of an open fire… Mmm chocolate..

You can get professional guidance for a proper eating plan and I would say this is the most effective way of reaching optimal health and sustaining the perfect combination of foods. There are many resources available to you on the internet if you search correctly, i have found one such product that is very popular that i have listed below.

What if I’m a vegetarian? There is no reason to change your dietary beliefs if you are a vegetarian. This works perfectly well for you in normal day to day life so it is not necessary to change any thing. Just be aware of essential vitamin and mineral intakes such as iron and calcium. These are so important in regards to the proper development of the baby during the trimesters.

The regular intake of three servings of proteins a day, which is about 75 grams, should be included in your plan .

Water is very important for everybody whether you are expecting or you are not, plenty of water is an inevitable part of your daily regime. The best program is one that contains prenatal vitamin supplements.

*Is blood type worth considering?

*What about best post pregnancy food and exercise?

*So very many questions… If you would like a full informative wealth of information on this subject, please have a look at the product i have found to be extremely valuable for all expectant moms.