Becoming pregnant is an exciting milestone in any woman’s life. Because of my many physical changes that happen during pregnancy to the mother and baby, a pregnant woman’s body needs essential nutrients. The metabolism of a woman increases by 30% during pregnancy & nursing which this increases the need for essential nutrients.
Here is a great guide for good nutrition during pregnancy with an explanation of each nutrient that plays a vital role in baby development and a healthy pregnancy! These nutrients can also have a long-term effect on your baby’s health.
Increased Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy
- Protein needs almost double
- Iron requirements rise from 18mg to 30-60 mg daily
- Calcium/magnesium requirements increase from 800mg to 1200-1500 mg daily
Nutritional Supplements for Pregnancy- Supplements help your body to obtain and absorb sufficient amounts of the necessary nutrients before, during and after your pregnancy term.
- Provides a great amount of nutrients.
- Folic acid is crucial to prevent neural tube defects..
- Ensures a healthy pregnancy.
- Relieves fatigue, insomnia, nervousness.
- Adequate niacin may act as an anti-nausea agent.
- Essential mineral for growing fetus.
- Helps relieve leg, back & joint pain.
- Can help provide a tranquilizing effect during labor.
- The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin E for pregnant women of any age is 15mg (or 22.5 IU), and for breastfeeding women of any age is 19mg (or 28.5 IU).
- Necessary to strengthen blood vessels and to prevent excessive bleeding.
- Large amounts taken before labor may reduce labor pain – reportedly up to 50%.
- Can reduce risk of infection after delivery.
- Helps your baby grow and builds strong bones and teeth.
- Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells.
- Helps prevent anemia and excessive blood loss during childbirth.
- Guards against miscarriage & fetal malformation.
- Experts recommend that protein intake be a minimum of 60 grams per day.
- A woman’s blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy, and protein is needed to produce new blood cells and circulating proteins.
- Important in the development of bones, soft tissue, blood
- Lack of amino acids has been linked to birth deformities
- During pregnancy & lactation, the need for zinc increase about 50%.
- It is vital for tissue development, especially brain & sex organs.
- Folic acid is one of the most important vitamins during pregnancy.
- It prevents birth defects such as spinal bifida and neural tube defects.
Pregnancy Health Tips Avoid toxic chemicals….. Household cleaners: report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that chemicals commonly found in households are linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. Switch to toxic free cleaners.
Personal care products: in a recent study of personal care products by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Heath; 30% were found to contain toxic ingredients. It is essential to use toxic free shampoo, toothpaste etc.
Most health care professionals recommend supplementation during pregnancy & lactation. This is because the fetus must compete with the mother for the vital nutrients.
A shortage in good nutrition can result in….
- Miscarriage, early termination of pregnancy
- Premature infant
- Low birth weight
- Brain damage – impaired intelligence, psychological disturbances
- Baby with a weak immune system
During pregnancy it is vital to have a good diet and appropriate nutrition! The nutrition demands of pregnancy are extraordinary because the growth of a new human being requires every nutrient and extra amounts of them. Poor nutrition during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight babies, and many other problems. High levels of essential vitamins and minerals give your baby – and your body – that extra support from day one.