Nutrition during pregnancy & lactation
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During pregnancy, the body undergoes immense physical and hormonal changes. To nourish your developing body and your growing baby, it’s important to make good food choices from an array of sources.
What one eats and drinks during their pregnancy becomes the main source of nourishment for them and their baby, so it is critical to get the right nutrients. Experts recommend a well-balanced diet of proteins, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is essential to add a variety of healthy foods and beverages to your diet to provide all the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development.
The Following Are Some Of The Nutrients Required During Pregnancy And Their Sources:
Protein is essential during your pregnancy. It is critical for ensuring the proper growth of your baby’s tissues and organs, including the brain. It also helps with breast and uterine tissue growth during your pregnancy. You must consume between 55 and 68 g of Protein depending on which trimester you are in.1 Great sources of protein include lean beef and pork, chicken, salmon, nuts, cottage cheese and beans!
Calcium is also of great importance during your pregnancy! It helps build your baby’s bones and regulates your body’s use of fluids. Pregnant women need up to 1000 mg1 of calcium each day! Sources of calcium include milk, yoghurt, cheese, fish, tofu and green leafy vegetables.
Folate, also known as folic acid, helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects. These are major birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord. It is recommended to consume 570 mcg of folate, daily, during pregnancy1 – this is more than double the recommended quantity before pregnancy. It can be found in liver, nuts, dried beans, lentils and eggs!
During pregnancy, your body iron to help supply the baby with oxygen and reduce the risk of infection. Pregnant women should be getting 27 mg of iron per day1, preferably alongside Vitamin C to increase absorption. Some of the best sources of iron include beans, lentils, a variety of greens like kale, broccoli, and also fully cooked meat.
Foods To Avoid
While some foods are absolutely necessary for consumption due to their dietary value, there are also certain foods that could harm you during your pregnancy. Some foods you should avoid when pregnant include:
- excessive caffeine
- raw meats and seafood
- high-mercury fish
- uncooked processed meats
- unpasteurized dairy
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