pregnant woman

How Does Maintaining a Balanced and Nutritious Diet Contribute to a Healthy Pregnancy?

As you are well aware, pregnancy affects everything. Your body is undergoing many changes, from exhaustion to the need to urinate more frequently. It is imperative to maintain a balanced diet because you are now eating for two. To remain healthy and for your baby to be born healthy, you need to eat a balanced diet. Here is some wisdom from the experts. 

What Is a Nutritious Pregnancy Diet?

If you already have a habit of eating healthy foods, you are well on your way to a healthy pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic suggests adding some extra nutrients to your diet.

Begin by adding prenatal vitamins. 

  • You need more folate and folic acid. Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent serious problems with the baby’s developing brain and spinal cord.
    Sources of folic acid include ready-to-eat cereal, spinach, beans, asparagus, oranges, and peanuts.
  • Calcium builds strong bones and teeth for both you and your baby. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are the best sources of calcium, although juice, salmon, and spinach also provide needed calcium.
  • Vitamin D works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Salmon, milk, juice, and eggs are all good sources of Vitamin D.
  • Protein is excellent for your baby’s growth. Protein sources include lean meat, poultry, peas, peanut butter, and milk.
  • During pregnancy, iron is vital for producing more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. Add lean red meat, quick oats fortified with iron, spinach, and kidney beans. 

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

One of the biggest concerns for pregnant women is the possibility of gaining too much weight. Eating for two does not mean eating twice as much. Gaining too much weight risks everyone’s health and usually means you’re delivering a larger baby. In addition to eating a healthy diet, you should include moderate exercise in your daily routine. 

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) lists the following potential complications when you gain too much weight:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Backaches
  • Leg pain
  • Increased fatigue
  • Varicose veins
  • Increased risk of cesarean delivery
  • High blood pressure

Avoid These Foods and Habits During Pregnancy

The APA provides an excellent list of foods you should avoid during pregnancy. 

  • Raw fish or rare meat
  • Deli meats
  • Fish containing mercury (Tuna and Swordfish)
  • Raw eggs
  • Soft cheeses
  • Unwashed vegetables
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Fresh-squeezed juices
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

It’s also essential to avoid smoking during pregnancy. According to the CDC, babies born to women who smoke risk lung and brain tissue damage. Mothers who smoke are more likely to deliver their babies early. Preterm delivery is a leading cause of death, disability, and disease among newborns.

How Can Hope Pregnancy Center Assist Me?

The team at Hope Pregnancy Center is happy to support you throughout your pregnancy and beyond. We offer various services to assist you as a new mother. We encourage you to make a free and confidential appointment to talk with us and receive the services, information, and personal support you need. Fill out our online form today. We look forward to meeting with you.