Prenatal nutrition is more important than your regular nutrition, as another life is dependent on you. It is thus important to understand your food before you eat it. Here are a few tips that young mothers should consider including in their diet.
A mother knows well what is the best for the child. She does everything in her capacity to give the baby, right nutrition. She ensures that there are extra vegetables and fruits in her favorite dishes. Prenatal nutrition aims at weight gain and a wholesome dietary intake during pregnancy. Although a mother takes care of her nutrition, she may be unaware of what is harming her and consequently the baby. To make the healthiest choices for your baby, first understand the food that you are eating.
Many expecting mothers are victims of anemia. Anemia during pregnancy arises due to reduced number of blood cells circulating through the mother’s blood. There are two types of anemia – one called dilutional anemia and the other called iron deficiency anemia. If you are experiencing dilutional anemia, then increase the intake of iron supplements. In case of anemia caused by iron deficiency, concentrate on making your diet iron-rich, as it will replenish your body iron. Some iron-rich foods are red meat, baked potatoes, tomatoes, fish, chicken, pork, and spinach.
Seafood is a great source of iron and omega-3 fatty acids. However, fish with high mercury content can be harmful for the baby’s brain development. Mercury can also hamper the nervous system development of the fetus. Avoid having swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish. Smaller fish like shrimp, salmon, pollock, and catfish contain very little mercury and are healthy to eat.
Eating anything raw could be dicey. Raw food stuffs generally contain bacteria. Meat or sea food which is stale, raw or undercooked can lead to food poisoning, which is a serious risk to the fetus. E-coli, salmonella, and campylobacteriosis are some of the bacterial infections that can dangerously affect you and your baby. Listeriosis is many times associated with a brutal form of food poisoning, which can cause premature delivery and can also result in stillbirth and miscarriage. Always make sure that you have checked the date of expiry when you pick up packaged foods from the supermarket.
Caffeine is a stimulant, much craved by working and expecting mothers. Try and cut down on the intake of tea, coffee or even hot chocolate as it reduces the absorption of iron. Insufficiency of iron leads to anemia. To satisfy your craving, try having herbal tea, which helps in detoxing the body too.
No expecting mother wishes to suffer from diarrhea. Diarrhea is caused by the intolerance of lactose and hormonal imbalance. Evaluate your diet if you are suffering from this condition. Food poisoning viruses are also the causes of diarrhea. Try having mild food to deal with this condition.
Pregnant women are susceptible to stomach flu, which is caused by stomach flu viruses affecting the small intestines. The symptoms of stomach flu are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dehydration.
It is imperative that you maintain an extremely healthy diet all throughout your pregnancy. Apart from diet, incorporate regular exercises in your lifestyle, to avoid complications during the childbirth. Keep your surroundings neat and clean to bring up your baby in a healthy environment.