Eating Healthy for a Healthy Baby. The kinds of food you eat are as important as how much you eat. To make sure you are getting enough of the right foods for proper weight gain and growth of the baby, choose from the food guide pyramid. It will be helpful to plan meals and snacks in advance whenever you can. Eating nutritious snacks can help you meet your daily nutritional needs.
GOOD SNACK CHOICES
Weight gain during pregnancy is extremely important. Appropriate weight gain can help prevent having a baby who is too small and may have medical problems. In the first trimester you probably gained 3-5 pounds. During this trimester you can expect a gain of 1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds per week. Women that are of average weight need to gain a total of about 25-35 pounds. If you are underweight, you may need to gain more. If you are overweight, you still need to gain weight for your baby's health, about 15-25 pounds. If you are pregnant with twins, you should gain about 35-45 pounds during your pregnancy. Remember pregnancy is not a time to diet!
To help prevent this problem, eat foods high in iron such as WIC cereals, lean meats, dried beans. Vitamin C can also help and is found in foods such as oranges, WIC juices and grapefruits. Low iron can make you feel tired and decrease your appetite. Take vitamins daily as prescribed by your doctor.
Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs The safest baby is the one whose mother does not smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs that are not prescribed. Almost every substance used by a pregnant woman reaches the baby growing inside. If you smoke when you are pregnant, it can keep the baby from developing normally, be born too small or too early. Alcohol (beer, wine, wine coolers or liquor) and drugs can damage the baby causing it to be born deformed or mentally retarded. Since no one knows how much alcohol may be harmful, it is best not to drink at all. Alcohol, cigarettes and all drugs (except those prescribed by a doctor who knows you are pregnant) should be avoided while you are pregnant.
Pregnant women need to limit caffeine intake to avoid possible harm to their baby. It is recommended that you limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages, such as coffee, tea and soft drinks, to no more than two cups per day.
Aspartame, nutrasweet or saccharin are artificial sweeteners found in products such as sugarfree soft drinks or sugarfree puddings and gelatins, and sugarfree ice cream and yogurt. The effects of this sweetener on the unborn baby are unknown. Pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of products containing nutrasweet and avoid those containing saccharin.
Most pregnant women have some discomforts during pregnancy. Here are some tips that may help to make you more comfortable.
Problems with nausea should lessen during the second trimester. If you are still having problems, eat small meals without a lot of seasoning or fat. Drinking liquids between meals may be helpful. Try to avoid going long periods without eating to prevent nausea.
Eat small frequent meals. Avoid spicy, greasy or fried foods. Drink fluids before or after meals. Reduce the amount of liquids with meals. Chew your food well and avoid eating too fast. Avoid lying down after meals.
Increase foods that are high in fiber, such as raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, dried beans and peas. Increase liquids, especially water and juices. Regular exercise, such as walking, may help.
Drink plenty of water to prevent burning or itching or other bladder problems. Swelling Elevate your feet when possible. Rest on your left side. Drink 8-10 cups of liquids each day (water, milk, juice). Limit foods high in salt. Avoid crossing legs.
Being pregnant does not mean that you must stop your normal activities. Moderate exercise, with your doctor's approval, will help to keep your body in its best physical condition during pregnancy. Exercise improves overall muscle tone and posture. Walking, light activities, and even certain sports are healthy as long as you don't overtire or strain yourself. Remember, ask your doctor to recommend prenatal exercises.
Breastfeeding is the best feeding for your baby. Breast-milk has everything your baby needs to grow up strong and healthy. Breastfeeding gives baby and mom an extra special closeness and feeling of being warm, peaceful and happy. Breastfeeding offers protection from many illnesses such as earaches, diarrhea and constipation. Allergies may be prevented or delayed. Breastfeeding is convenient.
ASK THE NUTRITIONIST, NURSE OR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE OTHER HEALTH QUESTIONS.