A healthy diet is always advised regardless of age, sex and present state of one’s health. It even becomes more of a concern when one is pregnant. Pregnancy is a very special medical condition: with a baby growing inside a woman’s womb, the pregnant individual’s body undergoes many changes. These include hormonal changes and even structural stresses placed on the urinary bladder, vertebral column and the digestive system.
Increase folic acid intake. Even before a woman becomes pregnant, she must have a good steady intake of folic acid. Healthy meals that are rich in folic acid include seafood and green, leafy vegetables. Several brands of bread are also enriched with folic acid and folate. This substance is responsible for making sure that the baby’s nervous system develops well. Since this part of the baby’s anatomy starts forming during the first trimester of pregnancy, it is important to keep adequate levels of folate in the expecting mother’s body. Most women aren’t even aware that they’re pregnant during the first two months, so it’s a good idea to eat green, leafy vegetables and enriched bread even though not expecting a baby. Most obstetricians would usually prescribe vitamins for the purpose of supplementing folic acid intake. This can be in the form of pills, capsules or milk supplements.
Decrease sodium intake. Hypertension is a health risk and this is even a greater concern for women who are pregnant. Having high blood pressure during delivery makes it harder for the mother to successfully push the baby out. This also makes various maneuvers and operations slightly more risky than usual, moreso if the baby is delivered via Caesarian section. A dreaded complication of pregnancy called pre-eclampsia is also another bad effect of being hypertensive while pregnant. To make sure that the blood pressure remains at reasonable levels, try to limit the intake of salt and processed foods. Increased sodium in the blood raises the blood pressure, and makes it harder for the body to cope with the changing conditions related to the growing baby.
Refrain from sweets and fatty foods. A pregnant woman might be eating for two but it’s certainly not an excuse to eat things that are off the healthy diet menu. While a pregnant woman might need to eat more meals than the regular person, she should still eat sensibly and refrain from eating too much sweets and fatty foods. These types of food can certainly make a pregnant woman gain an unnecessary amount of weight, which could increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes. This condition obviously complicates the rest of the pregnancy and also puts the baby at risk of developing certain abnormalities, if not treated adequately.
Frequency and amount. Pregnant women are usually advised by obstetricians and health practitioners to eat less, but at more regular intervals. This would include breakfast, lunch and dinner, but with snacks in between. This helps an expecting person metabolize her food better, especially given the fact that a growing baby presses against one’s stomach, and one might not be able to hold in as much food as when not pregnant. Pregnant women are also susceptible to constipation and hemorrhoids, so doctors usually suggest eating enough fiber and advise against eating foods that can cause constipation.
The advice to eat healthy extends to all those who wish to stay in good shape. This particularly includes those who are eating for two.