When health professionals suggest eating a balanced diet during pregnancy, they do not refer to calorie restriction or constant weight loss at this important stage for women.
It is worth noting that, the body before, during and after pregnancy, and through a correct diet and with good supplementation, can prepare to achieve the proper growth and development of the baby.
There are many myths related to eating habits for future mothers. Today, it is known that they do not need to exceed food intake, much less eat for two, three or five people.
What do we need?
During the first quarter, you only need to increase approximately 150 more calories; during the second and third trimesters, 300 more calories; and in the lactation stage, about 500 calories. All this in relation to the consumption of a woman's total daily calories.
Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can condition the person to have a riskier delivery and, even, does not benefit the baby's nutrition. Getting carried away by food cravings and abuse is also not recommended.
By international provisions of the Institutes of Health, during pregnancy, women must eat a balanced diet and, in addition, consume certain sources of vitamins and minerals through supplementation, with the daily intake of food, not enough to cover in its entirety. For example, the needs of folic acid, calcium and iron.
In the case of folic acid, we know that it is an essential mineral to prevent baby's neural tube defects. Supplementation of 0.4 mg of folic acid per day is recommended and it is the doctor who prescribes it. Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach or chard) and legumes (beans or soybeans) are a rich source of this mineral.
Calcium is also important. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a supplementation with 1,200 mg of calcium daily during pregnancy. Always look for a certified and good quality supplement. Calcium is vital for strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting and proper muscle and nerve function, both for mom and baby. Good sources of calcium include dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), green vegetables, almonds, beans, sardines.
Do not forget:
While the main source of vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy should come from fruits and vegetables (consume 5 servings a day), a daily prenatal multivitamin can help you get enough key nutrients.
Today, women can plan a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal multivitamins can be taken up to three months before conception and consumed throughout pregnancy.
And, finally, regarding a proper diet for future moms, we must not forget that this should be complemented with a proper lifestyle: eat well, exercise, rest and be well hydrated. These steps are key to this wonderful stage.