Nutrition and a Healthy Pregnancy

Healthy Pregancy

What an extraordinary feeling it is to have a tiny being growing inside of you! An experience that impacts any women. It is also a great responsibility as your habits directly affect the health of your little one. Pregnancy is a time of growth for both you and your baby so if you don’t grow then neither does your little one and this can lead to problems during their development. Ladies don’t be scared a few pounds is exactly what the doctor’s ordered.

How much weight you should look to gain depends on your starting point but below gives you a rough idea:

  • Women who are underweight should look to gain 25-35lbs
  • Women who are overweight should look to gain 15-25lbs
  • 5ft2 and shorter should gain between 10 and 25lbs

To achieve this weight gain women should look to consume 300-500 calories extra per day and even up to 500 calories if you are exercising regularly. This extra consumption of calories, minerals and nutrients will help to warn off any issues during the development of your baby and potentially in later life.

As mentioned earlier it is of vital importance that you gain enough weight to make sure that your baby grows to their full potential. Although the odd treat is lovely this time is not an excuse to eat junk food. You want to give your baby as much goodness and by that I mean minerals and nutrients that are essential to their development.

Fetal Development Fitness Fan

Below are a list of things you should try to avoid during your pregnancy:

  • Psychoactive drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine as they all contain potentially harmful properties
  • Empty calories such as sugar, junk food, processed foods as they provide very little nutrition
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Cured meats, raw eggs and raw seafood as they contain harmful bacteria
  • Not too much fish around 170g per week and certainly no swordfish, tuna and mackerel as they are potentially heavy in metal contamination

Nutrients you should look to include for a healthy pregnancy are:

  • Folate especially in the early stages of pregnancy (first few weeks). It can help to prevent any birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables. Also many doctors advise taking a folate supplement
  • Iron especially when taken with vitamin C as it is absorbed better. Found in nuts, seeds and wholegrains
  • Vitamin B12 found in animal foods such as meats but if you are vegan or vegetarian taking a B12 supplement is advised
  • Calcium as it can help to avoid a condition called pre-eclampsia. This is a condition in which the urine becomes rich in protein and the blood pressure rises. Calcium can be found in dark leafy greens, figs, seeds, fortified cereals and nuts

Methods to help with nausea and vomiting

Around 80% of women experience nausea and or vomiting during the first 3-4 months of pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes in the body that can influence gastric movement. However some research has found that women who experience morning sickness tend to experience better pregnancy outcomes.

If you are suffering with morning sickness here are some methods that have been found to help some women:

  • Ginger used in food or beverage form rather than a supplement
  • Eating small meals frequently
  • Avoiding high fatty foods and spicy foods
  • Include salty foods in the AM
  • Including bland foods when possible careful to avoid textured foods or strong smelling foods
  • Drink tart tasting drinks like lemon water

To find out more about pregnancy and exercise click here

By Louisa @louisa3six5

                                                                       Work hard, Work Out!