Pregnancy & Nutrition



When you are pregnant nutrition is a key factor to maintaining a healthy pregnancy and baby.  When you have your first doctors

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When you are pregnant nutrition is a key factor to maintaining a healthy pregnancy and baby.  When you have your first doctors visit they should go over many issues that deal with pregnancy and nutrition.  There are foods that your must avoid, as well as foods you must intake more of.  After all you are eating for two and that can sometimes be difficult.  You must eat the right foods to provide nutrients to your baby and while you eat remember that some foods can cause more damage than good. 

 Here are some things that you must avoid to maintain a healthy, full term pregnancy and nutrition that is best for you. 

Avoid seafood- some seafood is high in mercury and though it may be a good source of iron, protein and omega three it can also be damaging.  The bigger and older the fish the more mercury it obtains naturally.  Some fish can be great for your baby and research suggests that it can contribute to developmental growth.  You should avoid swordfish, shark, mackerel, and tilefish at all costs.  Other fish can be eaten but of course minimally and in small portions. 

Avoid raw or undercooked meat and eggs at all cost.  Undercooked meats can contain harmful bacteria that can be damaging to you and your baby.  During pregnancy your metabolism and circulation increases which also increases the risks for food poisoning.  You need to take extra precautions when you are pregnant. Most fish needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F to prove safe. In meats look for juices that run clear after you have cooked the meat so that there is no rare areas.  Avoid foods that may include un or under cooked eggs. 

Avoid unpasteurized foods because they may lead to food borne illness.  Make sure to check the labels of all dairy products you consume. 

Avoid unwashed fruits and vegetables.  As a rule of pregnancy and nutrition these items may contain harmful bacteria and disease.

Avoid excess caffeine.  A little caffeine is ok but too much caffeine can allow it to cross the placenta and affect your baby’s heart rate.  This can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and low birth weight.

Avoid alcohol!  No level of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome causes deformities, heart problems and metal retardation that will stay with your child throughout its life.

Foods to look for to increase you pregnancy and nutrition health include:

Folate and folic acid are both B vitamins that help prevent birth defects.  It helps prevent neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. If you lack folate during pregnancy it may increase the risk of preterm delivery.  You need about 900 micrograms a day and can find it in foods such as: cereal, spinach, beans, peanuts, oranges and asparagus. 

Calcium is needed to strengthen the bones of you and your baby during pregnancy.  It also helps your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems to run normally.  If you are not consuming enough calcium what your baby needs will be taken from your bones.  Throughout pregnancy you need about 1000 milligrams of calcium a day which can be found in sources like: yogurt, milk, cheese, juice, spinach and cereal. 

Protein is important for your baby’s growth, especially in the last two trimesters and to promote a great pregnancy and nutrition plan you should intake 71 grams daily.  This can be achieved by eating meats, or any animal products.

Iron is used to create a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the tissues throughout your body.  During pregnancy your blood volume increases and your need for iron nearly doubles. If you do not consume enough iron you will become tired and more liable to infection which increases the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight.  You should consume 27 milligrams of iron daily and you can get it from cereal, beans, meats, nuts and fruits.

For other tips on pregnancy and nutrition it is best to consult your doctor.

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