When it comes to giving your baby the very best, many mums don't realize that giving the best begins before becoming pregnant. Your diet needs to be well rounded prior to pregnancy so that the building blocks for proper pregnancy nutrition are already in place once fertilization of the egg has happened. As your pregnant body grows and changes so will your nutritional needs. However, there are some vitamins and minerals that will be an essential part of your pregnancy diet, from start to finish.
The Importance of Eating Well
During your pregnancy, your baby will gain everything he or she needs in terms of nutrients and vitamins from the foods you eat. Filling your body with empty calories, such as sugars, sweets, and junk foods, won't give your baby enough of the nutrients that are needed to grow cells, build bones, brain and neurological development. Without certain nutrients, you could be short changing your baby in terms of giving them a healthy beginning. Your doctor will likely prescribe a vitamin designed to help you and your baby receive the nutrients you are lacking but it will still be up to you to make sure your baby receives the bulk of their nutrition from you.
Without a well rounded diet, you run the risk of harming your body as well. While you're pregnant the baby will take whatever nutrients it can get from you; which can leave you feeling worn out, tired, unable to focus, and not properly nourished. If you've heard that pregnant mums are eating for two, in theory you are. You have to maintain proper nutrition to maintain your health plus extra for the baby. Should you skimp on eating properly, your baby will use up the nutrient stores you have but there will be little left for you.
Essential Vitamins while you're Pregnant
Every pregnant woman should aim for a balanced diet consisting of:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
Each one of these nutrients works individually and together as a team to make sure your baby is born healthy and strong. For instance, folic acid has been proven to be help prevent neural tube defects, build brain development and spine. Calcium aids in bone development and also strengthens a mum's bones as well. Food rich in B6 vitamins such as pork and bananas, also help your baby's red blood cells while B12 foods aid in proper brain development and the nervous system.
Making Good Food Choices
Of course just because you can eat as much as you want doesn't mean you should. Certain foods should be avoided and making healthy choices are all a part of maintaining a proper pregnancy diet. When you're shopping pay close attention to the food labels. Labels on food packaging can tell you if you are getting enough of the vitamins and minerals. It will also show how much fat and sodium is in a food product. While fat isn't bad for your pregnancy diet, you should limit your fat intake and be watchful of Trans fats.
Your diet and needs will change during the course of your pregnancy. Be wary of keeping your eyes on the scale and counting calories. Rather choose a variety of foods so that you are get the best of all the food groups. Doing so will ensure that your baby will get the proper nutrition it needs to meet the world, healthy and strong.