A woman’s health is one of the most important factors in having a healthy pregnancy. Eating right, getting rest, and continuing to exercise are all important. The importance of prenatal nutrition begins at conception and continues throughout your pregnancy.
Eating healthy, well balanced meals is the single most important thing you can do to get adequate nutrition. Eating a diet that contains fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is the beginning. Take care to avoid processed foods and foods that are high in sodium or fat.
Some nutrients are key during pregnancy to aid in your baby’s development. Folic acid is crucial in order to prevent a number of birth defects and is found in leafy vegetables. Calcium is important for both the mother and baby’s bone health. If the mother does not eat enough calcium to support her child’s development, it will be leached from her bones which can cause a number of medical issues. Vitamin D is also important to bone health and development and can be found in milk and fortified orange juice. Additionally, in the second and third trimesters, protein is especially important. Beans, fish, and lean protein are ideal sources.
Fish is a healthy option for both omega-3 fatty acids and as a source of protein. Unfortunately, fish can also contain high levels of mercury which can be harmful to your baby. Avoid fish that are known to have high mercury levels like swordfish and tilefish. Healthier options include salmon, cod, catfish, and tilapia. Even with those options it is recommended to have 12 ounces or less of fish per week during pregnancy.
Foods to Avoid
There are a number of foods that should be avoided during pregnancy. First is alcohol, which can result in a number of birth defects. Second, deli meats should be avoided due to a risk of listeria which can be deadly to your growing child. Make sure your food is cooked thoroughly to reduce the chance of food borne illness.
For additional information on the importance of prenatal nutrition and steps you can take to improve your health during pregnancy, contact New Hope Fertility Center. Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 212-517-7676. Thank you.