A pregnant woman needs about 300 extra calories during pregnancy. Pregnant woman all calories should come from protein, fruit, vegetable sweets fats, whole grain.

This healthy diet can reduce some pregnancy discomforts such as constipation, morning sickness, etc.

During pregnancy, eating a healthy diet and adequate weight gain is very critical to your baby’s growth.

Below some very easy nutrition guidelines that you should consider throughout your pregnancy.

Recommendation for a healthy pregnancy.

1. Weight gain

For desirable pregnancy results, weight before conceiving and proper weight gain during pregnancy is very important.

A proper weight gain during pregnancy can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, premature birth, and good fetus health condition

  • Underweight women should gain – 13-18 kg weight during pregnancy
  • Women with normal weight should gain -11 – 15 kg weight during pregnancy
  • Overweight women should gain – 7 – 11 kg of weight during pregnancy.
  • Obese women should gain weight – 5-9 kg weight during the whole pregnancy.

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2. Complete food

Pregnant women food should be complete with all the basic component of the food such as protein, minerals, fat, etc.

3. Regular meal

Pregnancy women suffer from conditions such as nausea, heartburn. Women must take regular meals throughout the day.

Pregnant women should take different kinds of foods. This can help women with different kinds of conditions.

Important food ingredient of the food For pregnancy

1. Fiber-rich food

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Pregnant women’s diet should include fiber-rich food. Pregnant women occasionally suffer from constipation and consuming dietary fiber can help with the digestive system and bowel movement. Pregnant women need 25 -30 g fiber a day.

Fiber-rich foods

  • Oats
  • Whole grain bread
  • Grain
  • Cereals
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables such as carrots, beets, swiss chard, potatoes, spinach
  • Darker color vegetables
  • Oranges 
  • Mangoes  
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries.

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Eat then mindfully because they all are delicious and also contain calories. [1]

2. Water  

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A pregnant woman should take a sufficient amount of fluid. A most recommended fluid is water. Pregnant women should take at least 2 liters water. Although the amount of water varies from woman to woman. Pregnant women should increase water intake if urine color is darker if urine color is light mean your body hydration is normal. Proper water intake reduces the chances of fetus injury and early contraction.

3. Calcium

calcium during pregnancy,calcium amount during pregnancy,

Calcium is one of the most important ingredients of the during pregnancy. It plays a vital role in developing fetus especially in developing the bone, teeth, muscles and circulatory function. During pregnancy calcium requirement in women’s body increases. 

A pregnant woman needs at least 1000 mg but no more than 2500 mg of calcium every day and if a pregnant woman is younger in teenage then you need at least 1300 mg calcium but no more than 3000 mg every day. [2]

So make sure that women. Our body can’t make calcium if our food can’t fulfill our calcium requirements than you should take supplements. But there are plenty of options for calcium-rich foods.

Some calcium-rich food

  • Cheese
  • Seeds
  • Sardine
  • Salmon
  • Yogurt
  • Beans 
  • Lentils 
  • Soybean
  • Milk
  • Bread 
  • Grain
  • Dark leafy greens kale spinach etc
  • Orange juice
  • Tofu
  • Cereal

Source click here and click here

If you think that your food could not fulfill your calcium requirement you can take supplements they are generally two types of calcium supplement Calcium carbonate and Calcium citrate. 

Calcium carbonate works best with food and calcium citrate works with food or with an empty stomach

Warning

Don’t take too much calcium it can cause kidney stones and other issues. So limit calcium intake to 2500 mg per day for normal women and 3000 mg per day for teen mother.

4. Folic acid

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The folic acid supplement is recommended to the pregnancy to prevent Spina and other neural defects. You should take 0.4 mg/day through the first trimester and .06mg/day through the last trimester. 

Pregnant women should continue consuming folic acid for healthy fetus development and it also helps in preventing anemia.

But some time naturally occurring food does not meet the need so during pregnancy folic acid supplement is to be consumed.

Folic acid consumption is necessary three months before pregnancy and three months after pregnancy (first trimester). It will reduce the risk of NTD by 70% to 75%. [3] [4] 

Folic acid is essential for the development of DNA, brain, and spine. Any defect in these components can cause neural defects, permanent disability, premature birth, poor growth of the fetus, and sometimes fetus death.

How much folic acid needs

  • Before three months conceiving 400 mcg
  • During the first trimester 400 mcg
  • During second and third trimester 600 mcg

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Food should consume

  • Cabbage  43mcg 
  • Spinach 146mcg 
  • Broccoli 108 mcg
  • Legumes 389 mcg
  • Beef liver 253 mcg
  • Lentils 379 mcg
  • Fruits, Fruit Juices 113 mcg
  • Avocado 113 mcg
  • Mungo Beans 179 mcg
  • Raw Yellow Beans 389 mcg
  •  Cereals, Fast Foods 133 mcg

You can choose more from this database click here

5. Take iodine

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Iodine is essential in pregnant women. Iodine is essential during the development of the brain in fetus and child.

Most foods are low in iodine content. So you should make sure that you are taking an adequate amount of iodine.

The US recommended daily allowances (RDA) recommends that pregnant women should take 220 mcg to 250 mcg and breastfeeding women should take 250 mcg to 290 mcg. [5] [6

Iodine maintains the normal function of the thyroid gland, metabolism, heart rate, body function, and body temperature.

Iodine deficiency can lead to deafness, birth defects, late development, low IQ, etc. 

Foods rich in iodine

  • Tuna 
  • Eggs, 
  • Iodized salt
  • Seaweeds, dairy
  • Shrimp
  • Sardine
  • Cheese
  • Milk 
  • Tuna
  • Yogurt 
  • Scallops 

Source click here 

6. Vitamin D

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Pregnant women should get recommendation value of vitamin D. adequate amount of vitamin D during pregnancy reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, preterm birth, gestational diabetes, infection, etc.

The current recommendation for vitamin D intake for pregnant women is 200 -400 IU per day. [7] [8]

However, a study shows that 400 IU can not meet normal vitamin D level in pregnant women or infants. [9]

A study shows that women who are taking, women who are taking 4,000 IU of vitamin a day have the lowest risk of preterm birth and infections [10] [11]

Vitamin D rich foods for pregnancy

  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Oysters
  • Egg yolk
  • Mushrooms
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Orange juice
  • Soymilk
  • Cod Liver oil
  • Chocolate whole milk
  • Hot chocolate

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7. Vitamin B12

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Pregnant women need slightly more vitamin B12 than general women. Vitamin B12 is beneficial in the development of the fetus. It very essential micronutrient.

The RDA and RDI value for vitamin B12 is 2.6 mcg during pregnancy. Women can take supplements if diet can not meet daily B12 requirement. But should not be taken in excessive amount.

Daily intake recommendation of Vitamin B12 

  1. For normal women is 2.4 mcg
  2. For Pregnant women is 2.6 mcg
  3. During breastfeeding is 2.8 mcg

Source click here

Vitamin B12 rich food (during pregnancy)

  • Eggs
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Liver beef
  • Trout
  • Cereal
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Salmon
  • Soymilk
  • Fast foods

For source click here and here  or here

8. Iron

iron rich foods during pregnancy, pregnancy,

Pregnant women need twice the amount of iron than normal women. Iron is necessary for the healthy growth of the placenta and fetus. Women should be very conscious about taking iron in the second and third trimester.

It is recommended that pregnant women should take 30 mg of iron per day [12]. During breastfeeding, you need at least 10mg of iron. During pregnancy, the body makes extra blood.

Some Iron-rich foods

  • Raw yellow bean
  • Beans
  • tofu 
  • Tempeh
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Silverbeet
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach.
  • Soybean
  • Beef liver
  • Oysters 

You can choose more from here click here and click here

Pregnant women should not take more than 45 mg of iron a day

9. Omega -3 fatty acid

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Researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids have many health benefits. 

During pregnancy, women should take at; least 650 mg of omega-3 fatty acid of which 300 mg should be DHA. [13]

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the nervous system, eye, brain, etc. these are a long chain of the polyunsaturated fatty acid and we cannot produce them on our own. We must consume them through diet or supplementation.

Omega -3fatty acids are essential for every person but it becomes necessary during pregnancy due to the building block of the brain, nervous system and retina.

Brain development is very fast and complex during the last trimester of pregnancy. It is not essential only for baby but also essential for mom because EPA and DHA are essential for healthy delivery outcome.

Pregnant women need at least 300 DHA and 200 EPA daily.

American pregnancy association recommends that pregnant women should provide 480 mg of DHA and 205 EPA daily. [14]

Foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acid (during pregnancy)

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sea bass
  • Oysters
  • Herring
  • Sardine
  • Caviar
  • Anchovy
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia Seed
  • Walnut
  • Mayonnaise
  • soybean

Source click here

Food should avoid during pregnancy

food to avoid during pregnancy

1. Junk foods

During pregnancy women and baby both need as a supply of essential nutrients. But junk foods are generally low in nutrients but high in calories, saturated fats, and sugar.

Junk foods can increase the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. 

Junk foods are also linked to excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

2. Alcohol

Pregnant women should avoid completely drinking because it increases the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage. Alcohol can cause alcohol syndrome which can lead to intellectual disability and heart defects.

Even a small amount of alcohol can affect the development of the baby.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is commonly used in tea, coffee, cocoa, and soft drinks. Pregnant women should not take more than 3 cups a day.

Caffeine is very easily absorbed compound which can easily reach the fetus through the placenta.

High caffeine during pregnancy can cause underweight bay and restrict baby growth.

4. High mercury fish

Mercury is a very toxic element and common in polluted water. It is especially toxic to the immune system, nervous system, and kidney. 

High mercury fish should be restricted.

High mercury fish includes.

  1. Swordfish
  2. King mackerel
  3.  Tuna
  4. shark

Although other fish during pregnancy is very healthy during pregnancy.

5. Food rich in saturated fat

During pregnancy low cholesterol and saturated foods should be preferred such as 5% fat, lean red meat, turkey, chicken.

Tran-fat containing products should also be restricted.such as vegetable oil, ready-made food, and industrial foods, etc. [15]

6.salt or sodium

You should not consume more than 5 g salt a day. According to the dietary guidelines of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the recommendation is less than 2300 mg

You take more than the recommended value of salt, then your body needs to eat an extra amount of water to flush out the eater. And this can cause swelling on face, legs, hands, ankles, and feet.

 

Nutrition after pregnancy

Proper nutrition helps the mother to recover and give her energy and nutrient to breastfeed her child.

Women taking ferritin (the intracellular protein that stores iron) less than 70 ug/g need an iron supplement to prevent anemia, iron deficiency, during pregnancy and after pregnancy

A new mom needs 1800-2200 calories each day. After a pregnant woman’s body tries to restore the nutrients. 

New mom late should be filled with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should try to limit packed foods that are high in saturated fats, salt, and sugars.

Some best foods for new moms

  • Low-fat dairy foods
  • Legumes
  • Lean beef
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Brown rice
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain
  • Leafy greens

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Conclusion

You should eat proper nutrition and hygienic food during pregnancy. Proper nutrition is very essential for a healthy pregnancy and expected result. Not only during pregnancy but after pregnancy is also essential. It will affect the growth and development of your baby. So make sure that you are choosing nutrient-dense calories.

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