What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby's main source of nourishment. So, experts recommend that a mother-to-be choose a variety of healthy food and beverages to provide the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development.
For the next nine months, you'll need to consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant. After all, your body is going through big changes, and you will need a full dose of nutrients to help with your baby’s growth and development.
However, when it comes to this topic, most, if not all, still have this question: do I need carbs to keep me and my baby healthy?
As one of the most delicate time in your life, you can’t just eat everything you want. But studies[i][ii] shows that carbohydrates should remain in your diet. Despite gaining a bad reputation, thanks to the popularity of low-carb diets in recent years, this nutrient remains a big source of energy.
Starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread are good sources of vitamins and fiber, which can help provide you the energy to support your baby during pregnancy. Many of such foods also provide other important nutrients for his or her development, including calcium, iron, and B vitamins.
But of course, eating carbs is not enough. According Ms. Mary Jude “Jong” Icasiano, a Wyeth nutritionist, you should also follow some good eating habits so that your baby gets the best start in life.
Ms. Icasiano noted three of these habits below:
Get yourself some good fats. When you are pregnant, having too many fatty foods is a big no. But, your body still needs a certain amount of fat (just make sure that it is the good kind). Fats play important role in providing energy and nutrient absorption. This is since many vitamins are “fat-soluble”, which means that your body needs fat to use them. Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K are all fat soluble and are vital to fetal development.
Try cutting down on saturated fats like butter, cheese, cakes, and sweets, and instead, start including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, avocados, plant-based oils, and types of fish like salmon and tuna.
Polyunsaturated fats are rich in omega-3s to help develop and sustain the health of your baby's heart, immune system, brain, eyes and more, while monounsaturated fats are a good source of folic acid, which helps protect your baby against birth defects.
Eat fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense foods and key sources of a number of essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, dietary fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C, which all play a huge role for you and your baby’s health.
Eating fresh produce during pregnancy is also an excellent way to manage your weight and reduce the risks of health complications and diseases.
Avoid coffee. If you are a coffee drinker, then you may have to start avoiding it for the meantime. According to a study[iii] conducted by Jongeun Rhee, et al., high caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with a significant increase in the risk of low birth weight, and this risk appears to increase linearly as caffeine intake increases.
While small servings shouldn’t have an impact on an unborn baby, it is still best to limit your coffee intake during pregnancy. Instead, you can opt for a decaf coffee or non-caffeinated drinks such as milk, fruit juices, and chocolate drink, among other things.
A diet that lacks key nutrients may negatively affect the baby’s development. That is why it is important to pick the right foods during pregnancy to supplement your baby’s needs. In addition to a healthy diet, you also need a milk that will supplement you and your baby with essential nutrients.
Consider drinking ProMama®, a delicious tasting nutritional milk drink, specially formulated with key nutrients designed to support you during preconception, pregnancy, and lactation. It is rich in DHA, Folic Acid, Choline, Iron and Iodine, to help support your baby’s brain growth and development.
Good nutrition plays a pivotal role in the health of you and your baby. As a pregnant woman, your body needs higher nutrients than you did before conception. That is why it is essential to start making better food choices for your baby’s bright tomorrow.