Congratulations, you’re pregnant!
Pregnancy is one of the times when women are at their loveliest, surges of fertility hormones leave u feeling like a Greek goddess, radiant and glowing.
Every mother wants what’s best for her child, even when it’s just a teeny weenie zygote in the womb. Therefore, eating a healthy balanced diet is essential to providing the best nutrients for your baby’s development, growth, and health. Numerous studies have shown that what you eat during pregnancy, from the moment of conception up to the time of delivery, has an effect on the health of your child in his or her adult years.
So eat up well! Remember it is quality of the food you put into your mouth and the vital nutrients it provides, not the quantity. So the concept of “eating for two” does not mean gorging on everything in sight, yummy or not!
During the first trimester of pregnancy your baby is rapidly developing, processes such as cell division and organ development are taking place inside your placenta. Therefore in this period, it is very important that you have enough folic acid, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein. During the following second and third trimesters, there is a fast increase in cell growth, where development continues and your fetus is doubling in size, and kicking! In these subsequent trimesters, calorie intake becomes important, and nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamin family, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids are needed. These are particularly important for the mental health of your developing baby. Your nutritionist should be able to guide you and highlight the quantities that are considered necessary for you.
Points to Remember:
- Eat plenty of fresh colorful fruit and vegetables. Aim for at least 5 portions a day. Try to include pulses such as lentils and green flava beans too, as these are good sources of iron, a mineral you will need an abundance of during your pregnancy!
- Include plenty of lean protein in your diet such as lean beef, chicken and fish. Try to have at least 2 portions of oily fish a week as these contain beneficial omega 3 fatty acids which help in the development of your baby’s brain. Examples of such fish are: Salmon, Zubaidi and Sprats (mayd). Pregnancy super food.
- Eat a good amount of fiber in the form of whole grains such as oats, wholegrain bread, and bran cereals. This will help prevent and relieve constipation that is usually experienced in the first trimester of pregnancy. Wholegrain sources of fiber are also rich in B vitamins which will help in the development of your baby’s nervous system.
- Do not forget your milk, yogurt, and dairy! Remember calcium will help keep both you and your baby’s bones strong and sturdy. It also facilitates the development of your baby’s teeth and skeletal system.
- Fluids! Drink plenty of water. Water will help prevent dry skin, constipation, and also cleanse your system from excess waste. By keeping your fluid intakes up you will also help facilitate the delivery of nutrients to your fetus, therefore enhancing your baby’s cellular development.
- Final but most important point – do not forget your folic acid! I cannot stress how important it is in decreasing the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bfida (when a baby’s spinal cord formation is incomplete).