Eating a healthy, nutritious diet during pregnancy can be difficult. There is no magic formula to the perfect pregnancy diet, but a nutritious diet during pregnancy can help you handle the extra demands on your body as you progress throughout your pregnancy. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the right nutrients.
Taking a prenatal vitamin every day should supply all the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. You only need to take one serving of your prenatal vitamin every day and you should not take more than the recommended amount in a 24-hour period. Ideally, you should start taking your prenatal vitamin a month prior to becoming pregnant to make sure your body has the building blocks necessary to support a healthy pregnancy.
Instead of “eating for two,” think of it as eating twice as healthy. If you are pregnant with one baby, you need about 340 more calories per day starting in the second trimester (and a bit more in the third trimester). Women carrying twins should consume about 600 extra calories a day.
Folate is one of the most important vitamins in pregnancy. It can help reduce the risk of abnormalities with a baby’s developing spinal column. Folate is found in leafy green veggies, beans, lentils and in some enriched grains (breads). Your Prenatal vitamin will have around 400 micrograms of folate, but you may need to supplement based on family or personal history.
Calcium is super important in the development of a baby’s skeletal system and teeth. You should be consuming about 1,300mg of calcium daily. Foods high in calcium include leafy greens, dairy and cheese products, fruit juices, almonds. You can also take a calcium supplement if your diet is deficient.
Creating healthy, balanced meals is key to a successful pregnancy. There are many online tools that can help you create meals that contain all the 5 major food groups in the appropriate proportions. The USDA website www.myplate.gov can help you learn more about the food groups and how to make more healthy, balanced choices. The website can help you learn how many calories you should intake based on your height, weight and level of physical activity.
If you have questions about nutrition in your pregnancy, make an appointment at Premier OB-Gyn today!