Monday, April 11, 2011

Food for pregnant and nursing mothers

Today we’re not going to give you specific recipes. Instead, we want to talk a bit about the diet of a pregnant or nursing mother. Maternity is an amazing time in a woman’s life, and taking care of a baby starts during the pregnancy months. This article will list the nutrients that you require, and foods you can obtain these nutrients from. Since you are the source of nutrients for your baby, you have to consume them for him or her. Your usual diet should not change much, and you only need to consume an extra 200 to 300 calories (contrary to popular belief). So let’s look at the basics for your pregnancy and nursing diet.

Pregnant food
Photo: futurestreet

Vitamin D. A baby takes all its vitamin from the mother. If you don’t have enough, then the baby won’t have enough, and you are at risk of osteoporosis. However, taking too much vitamin D might elevate the risk of birth defects. So simply have a regular diet, and make sure you get these vitamins from your food: eggs, milk, cheese, and fatty fish like salmon. If you’re vegan, take a supplement or make sure that your soy or almond milk has a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential for the growth of tissue. What’s neat about this vitamin is that the amount your baby needs is the equivalent of one egg a day. So it’s really not hard to have enough vitamin E for yourself and your baby: make yourself your favourite omelette for breakfast!

Vitamin C. During pregnancy, most of your vitamin C will be absorbed by your placenta. Your baby needs a lot of it, and yet all you need is to add one portion of vitamin C-rich food every day. These foods include zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes and, of course, oranges. Don’t settle for orange juice: go for the fresh stuff.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin. This nutrient protects your baby from heart defects and other potential problems. Again, it is simple: have one portion of whole grains every day through whole grain bread or cereal, and you’re set!

Folate. Folate protects the baby from spinal cord defects such as spina bifida. If your pregnancy is planned, supplement your folate intake by 400 milligrams two months before your pregnancy, and maintain that level throughout. You can get folate through whole grains, green vegetables and nuts.

Vitamin B12. This is an essential nutrient for normal foetus and newborn growth. You can find it in meat, eggs, fish, and dairy. If you’re vegan, make sure you take a B12 supplement since it only comes from animal sources.

As you can see, a healthy pregnancy and nursing diet isn’t too complicated; in fact, all you need is an all-around healthy diet and you should have everything you need. Taking a multivitamin can’t hurt, either, especially if you’re not sure you’re consuming everything you should. All you’ll need to worry about is where to get a nice, trendy diaper bag!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this great idea. Just bring along the maternity and baby wear you no longer want - after all, it could be just the thing someone else is looking for! You will then be able to exchange it for something more suitable to your own needs.
    Nursing Clothing Australia