At any stage of our lives, the foods that we eat is very significant because it is from the diet that we eat that blood is formed, and all the necessary nutrients for our wellbeing is obtained from. For this reason, as an expectant mother and because you are eating for two – yourself and your unborn baby, you should choose your food with great care. However, this does not mean that you need to eat twice the amount you used to eat before the pregnancy. Under all circumstance you should not allow yourself to gain more weight than you should because if you add a lot of weight during pregnancy, it can lead to complications during labor.
During your pregnancy, you should ensure that you drink sufficient amount of water and other fluids such as fresh fruit juices. However, you should not add sugar to your drinks because this will only increase the calories that you take which might contribute to weight increase. As a matter of fact, during pregnancy, you should not gain more than twenty pounds.
The growth and proper development of your baby are dependent upon the foods that you eat hence the quality of the food you eat should make the difference. You should learn to select those foods that will contribute to the positive development of your child. At the same time, it will also benefit your husband to learn to choose healthy food hence the whole family will profit from your pregnancy.
I can not stress enough that the health of your unborn baby will be considerably affected by the foods that you eat hence if you choose to eat foods that are lacking in some nutrients that are essential to development, your baby will be negatively affected. A poor diet will retard the growth of your baby and lower the baby´s resistance to some childhood diseases In addition to that, a poor diet can affect even your health and make it difficult for you more especially during the labor time. It may contribute to the development of complications that could be prevented by proper diet and eventually affect your nursing the baby.
A baby in the womb develops rapidly, and he needs the best nutrients that will aid in the different stages of development hence he needs all the essential nutrients for proper growth. You need to understand that some of the nutrients that your developing child needs are not stored in your body, hence you should supplement them. Therefore, to keep well, it is paramount that you select healthy foods first yourself and then for your child to be.
Some of the most vital nutrients that you require the most during this period are iron, iodine, vitamins, starch, and minerals.
Need for Iron
You might be aware that during pregnancy, most expectant mothers become anemic. For this reason, you should include iron in your diet. The reason as to why most mothers become anemic is because during development, the baby stores a lot of iron is his liver hence he needs a constant supply of iron enough to sustain him for several months after birth. This means that you should select foods that are rich in iron because you will share it with your baby.
The following are some of the foods which are rich in iron which you might consider including in your diet: whole wheat, cow gram, black gram, cereals, mangoes, guavas, figs, soybeans, moringa, cluster beans, and dried peas. Also potatoes, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cubbage, turnip, lettuces and green salads.
Iodine is also a crucial mineral for you and our child during pregnancy and nursing. Deficiency of Iodine in your diet will affect the mental development of your child. It also might cause severe physical defects to your child. You can solve all this by including foods that are rich in Iodine in your diet to ensure that you have sufficient supply of Iodine.
The best and most affordable source of Iodine is iodized salt.
Vitamins and Minerals
As an expectant mother, you should include plenty of vitamins in your diet. Vitamins are essential to all living things whether during development or for proper functioning. You need a lot of vitamins during the pregnancy period and nursing.
The most significant vitamin maybe during pregnancy is vitamin E because it is essential for proper development of the unborn child. You can obtain this essential vitamin from lettuce.
Most of the vitamins are heat liable hence they are destroyed during cooking or when exposed to dry air. Due to this, it is advisable that you eat some of the foods in their natural condition-raw. Some vitamins and minerals are dissolved in water during cooking hence it is prudent that you cook your food over a fire and in a covered pot and with minimal amount of water.
You should also avoid overcooking your food because it might lead to the destruction of essential
Vitamins and large amounts of water wash away vital minerals and if you cook with water, use that water to prepare the gravy.
Whenever possible. Cook your food in their skins to avoid losing essential nutrients. Also eat many fruits and raw vegetables as much as you can.
As an expectant mother, you need some amount of carbohydrate in your diet. Starch is easily converted into energy which in turn gives you strength.
The most common foods that are rich in starch include rice, wheat cereals, and potatoes. It is advisable to use whole grains and seeds.
A variety of foods is the best source of essential nutrients more especially during this stage of your life as an expectant mother. You should not be eating the same foods every other day, but
Every day as much as possible the food should be different. This will ensure that every day your body is gaining a different kind of nutrient from what you got the other day.