What does a balanced diet look like when you’re pregnant?
When your ankles are swollen and you’re more exhausted than you thought possible, it can be difficult to embrace a specific pregnancy diet. Researchers and registered dietitians alike agree to keep your diet simple. If you commit to an eating plan that’s too complex or difficult to follow, you’re less likely to follow through.
Expectant mothers around the world love their babies and want what’s best for them even before they’re born. And prenatal nutrition is important. Follow these simple tips to help keep you and your baby healthy.
- Regular checkups. Be sure to see an obstetrician (or OB/GYN) on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy. Talk with him or her about any questions or anything that seems out of the ordinary. Your OB is your best source of nutritional guidance and tips.
- Prenatal vitamins. Doctors agree that a regular, daily prenatal vitamin is a must. Pregnancy can be hard on the mother’s body — especially depleting calcium and iron stores. Prenatal vitamins contain specific vitamins and minerals, including folic acid that your baby needs for nerve development.
- Variety. Enjoy eating a range of different foods as they will supply you with a range of nutrients. Be sure to eat plenty of lean meats/protein, fruits, and vegetables for optimal health.
- Moderation. Few people embrace limitations, but it’s best for you and your baby to practice some moderation when eating. Too many calories or too much fat intake can cause you to gain excessive weight which might make labor more challenging or could take longer to lose after the baby’s born.
- More frequent, smaller meals. It might be helpful to have smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three large meals. Earlier in your pregnancy, smaller meals can be helpful if you’re dealing with morning sickness. And, later in your pregnancy, smaller meals might be easier to eat since your stomach and organs are sharing their tight space with your little one.
- Listen to your body (and your baby). Many moms report that their babies reacted to super-spicy food or food that causes gas. While those foods haven’t been shown to be harmful, they can cause discomfort.