You are what you eat, and so is your baby when you’re pregnant! Recently, experts have told us that what you eat during pregnancy may affect your baby’s health for years to come. Today, Pregnancy Help Online is sharing 8 easy nutrition tips for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby:
- Up your folic acid. Intake of folic acid in your first trimester greatly reduces the chance of your baby having defects like spina bifida. You should aim to get 600 micrograms of folic acid daily. Recent research suggests that supplementing with folic acid for a year before pregnancy and in the second trimester may also reduce the risk of preterm delivery.
- Avoid “eating for two.” Lots of women end up gaining too much weight during pregnancy. This can cause you to have more of a risk for gestational diabetes, preclampsia, pre-term delivery, or a very large baby. You can learn about weight gain during pregnancy on our site, or ask your doctor for tips.
- Don’t drink alcohol. When pregnant women drink, it can cause learning disabilities, behavior problems, ADD, and aggressive behavior in their child. Since no amount of alcohol has been shown to be safe, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
- Get more iron. When you’re pregnant, the amount of iron you get needs nearly double. Aim to get around 30 milligrams a day. This helps improve your baby’s iron storage and supports your 50% increase in blood volume. Iron moves oxygen, and your baby will definitely benefit from a healthy supply of oxygen. Join iron-rich foods like meat with vitamin C. As an example, you might try eating lots of salsa on your chicken taco.
- Steer clear of bacteria. Avoid soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, and raw/undercooked meat, seafood, or eggs to protect your baby from harmful bacteria. Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli can cause preterm delivery or miscarriage in severe cases. Set your fridge’s temp below 40° F, and throw away food that’s been sitting out for more than 2 hours.
- Curb caffeine use. The less caffeine during pregnancy, the better. Most experts recommend cutting down to around 200-300 milligrams of caffeine a day, but make sure to ask your doctor. Also, keep in mind that caffeine isn’t just found in coffee; it’s in soda, tea, chocolate, and even ice cream!
- Avoid junk food. If you’re always eating chips and fries, your baby might beg for junk foods when he gets older. Plus, if you’re eating junk food, chances are you aren’t getting all the vitamins and nutrients a pregnant woman needs (like iron, folic acid, and calcium…)
- Get more calcium. Your baby’s developing bones and teeth need calcium, so try to get least 1,000 milligrams of it per day. And here’s a weird fact: if you don’t get enough calcium, your baby will drain it from your bones. This may cause you to have osteoporosis later in life.
Please comment below if you have any questions, if this helped, you, or if we left something out. As always, make sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for your pregnancy diet. We’re not medical professionals.