When I ordered egg curry at my 4 weeks pregnancy, one of my friends insisted not to have it. When I asked her why not, all she could say is “I am not sure, but I know you can't." But, well, I did go on to read it up on the Internet and found out that eating raw eggs is a bad idea because of the salmonella that it may contain, but well cooked eggs are certainly welcome.
Yes, certain foods and eating patterns need to be taken into consideration during pregnancy as what you eat has a direct impact on the baby’s development. So, listed below are a few dos and don’ts of prenatal nutrition –
4 Dos of Prenatal Nutrition
Be Regular with 5 big Nutrients: Foliate, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Fiber
Prenatal vitamins and calcium are a must to reduce the risk of neural-tube defects, such as spina bifida and to nourish the fetus well. Besides considering the baby’s well-being, nutrients are important for the would-be-mother’s health as well. Because the fetus gets calcium from the mother's body eventually making her body week; therefore, to protect your own bones, getting enough of calcium and minerals is important.
Eat a Varied Diet
Healthy eating is always good for pregnancy. Eating a spectrum of food that comprises of a mix of nutrients will keep you and your unborn healthy. So, make sure you are having legumes, sweet potatoes, salmon, eggs, broccoli and dark, leafy greens, lean meat, fish liver oil, and more.
Increase Your Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important to boost baby's brain and neurological development. This may also improve the vision, memory and the cognitive abilities in child at an early stage.
Increasing the fluid intake is good as it helps absorb the nutrients in the body. Also, it helps avoid the problem of constipation and dehydration, which are common complaints of would-be-mothers.
4 Don’ts of Prenatal Nutrition
Eating for Two – A Big No!
Half the pregnant women consider eating food for two is good. Sadly, it is a wrong conception! According to research, moms-to-be gaining excess weight puts the baby at the risk of obesity later in life. Therefore, pregnant women should keep a track of their calories intake.
Stress is a common problem and a major reason behind health issues. Expecting mothers who are in stress put their unborn baby’s health at risk and increase the chances of miscarriage. This is because stress stimulates certain chemicals in the body that decrease oxygen supply to the uterus, eventually adversely effecting the baby’s growth.
Smoking – Injurious for Baby’s Health
Cigarette yields out chemicals that increase the risk of premature rupture of the amniotic sac, placenta previa, leading to miscarriage, and neonatal death. Therefore, gynecologists always suggest expectant women to quit smoking.
Avoid Over-the- counter Medications
OTC medications like pain-killers can even cause genetic defects in the unborn if taken during pregnancy. Would-be-mothers suffering from any previous health issues must talk to their gynecologists regarding alternatives and health of their unborn.
Now that you are acquainted with the dos and don’ts, we’re sure you’ll be able to care better care of yourself when it comes to nutrition.
Healthy eating leads to a healthy life and a healthy pregnancy!