Eating Right During Pregnancy

Good nutrition while pregnant is essential for the growth and development of your baby. You should check your eating habits to ensure that your baby gets the required prenatal nutrients.  Let’s learn more on how to eat right when carrying your baby.

Pros and Cons of Common Nutrients

  • Fruits and veggies

While you’re pregnant, you may need to consume more varieties of fruits such as oranges, bananas, and avocados. Also, include vegetables like managu or sukuma wiki.  5-6 servings of vegetables or fruits are essential in giving you vital vitamins and minerals. 

Benefits

  • Enhances the functioning of your body
  • Folate found in veggies reduces neural tube defects
  • Vitamins found in these foods increases your immunity and your baby’s against some diseases

Risks

  • High intake of fruits increases your sugar level, which is unhealthy.
  • Too much intake of these foods lead to unnecessary weight gain
  • Starchy Food

During pregnancy, you need to eat between 4-6 servings of starch such as cereals eg. beans and other starches like ugali, chapati etc in a day. 

Benefits

  • These foods provide enough calories 
  • They provide fiber, which makes you feel full for a long time.  
  • Fermentation of starch in your gut promotes healthy gut bacteria. 

Risks

  • Their conversion into sugar affects the level of your insulin and blood glucose.
  • Increase the chances of getting heart disease and weight gain
  • Proteins

You should get one serving of protein-containing foods such as milk, eggs or sweet potatoes in a day.  

Benefits

  • They promote the development of your baby’s bones and other organs 
  • Enhance production of antibodies for your immune system
  • Healthy birth weight for your baby

Risks

  • Too much protein increases your weight making it hard to support your pregnancy. 
  • It may also impair fetal growth.

Remember to discuss with your doctor to get the right amount of these nutrients.

What Should Be Limited and Why

  • Alcohol. Research links alcohol with premature births, birth problems, children with issues such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and underweight babies.
  • Caffeine: High coffee levels increase the risk of delivering an underweight baby. It may also cause a miscarriage.
  • Junk-food snacks: Foods such ice cream, cakes , and cookies have a negative effect on your cardiovascular health. Such an impact is risky during pregnancy.

Healthy Pregnancy Snack Ideas

  • Apple and cheese: This snack gives you fibre and calcium. It also keeps you hydrated.
  • Egg bread toast: It gives you plenty of energy and vitamin D.
  • Mashed avocado and bread:  Potassium from avocado is good for leg muscles during pregnancy. Bread meets your calorie needs.
  • Watermelon with lemon: Diced watermelon with a lemon squeeze provides potassium and also hydrates your body during pregnancy.
  •  Banana and peanut butter: Gives you protein and potassium good for important body functions.

Food Safety During Pregnancy

You need to avoid processed foods as they may contain a lot of sodium and food preservatives, which may bring complications during pregnancy. You should also avoid unpasteurized milk and raw foods such as seafood.

Disclaimers:

Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed January 2019 

Sources: americanpregnancy, eatright, thebump, webmd

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