You have probably heard the old saying that when you are pregnant you are eating for two, while that doesn’t mean that you should eat double portions of cake and ice cream, it does mean that you should be more cautious about what you eat. Everything that you eat crosses your placenta to your baby, which is why it is so important to eat as many healthy foods as possible. Folic acid is very important, particularly during early pregnancy, as well as all the vitamins and nutrients, as your baby will need them to grow strong and thrive. The only way your baby has to get these essentials is from you, namely through your diet, so you have to take it seriously, and be more conscientious of what you eat.
Your OB will be able to tell you exactly how many extra calories you need each day, but for most people it is around 400. You shouldn’t try to diet during pregnancy, and you won’t even have to worry about it if you exercise and make healthy food choices. If you are already significantly overweight, your OB may talk to you about the foods that you should be eating, and may advise you to eat fewer calories, but you should never decide this on your own.
One of the keys to your diet in pregnancy is variety; you should eat a combination of different foods, including proteins, lean meat, plenty of vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Even if you are taking prenatal vitamins, as you should be, you still need to eat a healthy diet with food from all of the food groups each day.
There are some foods that you definitely should avoid during pregnancy, which your OB will tell you about. Basically, anything that is undercooked, or has the potential to build up bacteria or be contaminated is definitely not a good idea.
During your pregnancy, and while breastfeeding, you should consume or get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each and every day. This usually isn’t a problem for people who have no problems digesting dairy products, but if it is difficult for you, talk to your doctor.
You probably don’t like the idea, but it is important that you drink plenty of water during the day as well. Drinking water is essential for both you and your baby, and can also help prevent or lessen many common pregnancy problems, such as, constipation, swelling of the hands, legs, and feet, bladder infections, dehydration, and hemorrhoids. It isn’t really all that difficult to drink more water, especially if you keep it on hand in the fridge at home and work. Just make a conscious effort to reach for that bottle of water instead of that soda or coffee, and soon you will do it without even thinking about it, which will also be good for you after your pregnancy as well.
If you have health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or are on a special kind of diet, your doctor may recommend alternatives to help ensure that both you and your baby get the nutrition that you need. It is important that you always follow the advice of your OB, regardless of what you read online, or hear from friends of relatives.