Nine months of pregnancy is not that easy for any woman. Being pregnant requires having that extra amount of energy, patience, and endurance for this most demanding of human female experiences. Extra care must be taken in caring for one’s self which includes following the diet and making the environment as conducive as possible for a healthy pregnancy.
Men might think that women are just burdened by the extra physical weight that comes with pregnancy. In truth, pregnancy is a very complex and delicate process. A human being is developing inside a woman’s womb and everything that a mother does, thinks, feels, and says affects her baby.
By preparing for pregnancy, the woman would be able to minimize the health risks and even enjoy the duration of her pregnancy. Needless to say, a very important aspect of pregnancy is taking care of the woman’s health. Part of taking care of a pregnant woman’s health is the use of “prenatal vitamins”. These are multivitamins that are specifically made for pregnant women. These supplements make up for any nutritional deficiencies in the pregnant mother’s diet during the course of their pregnancy. The vitamins contain more folic acid, iron, and calcium — all of which are important to ensure the proper health and development of both the mother and the baby. Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects, specifically of the brain and the spinal cord. Calcium, on the other hand, prevents the mother from losing her bone density as her baby uses this mineral for bone growth. Lastly, iron is needed to help both the mother and her unborn child’s blood increase oxygen levels in their respective bloodstreams.
Another thing that a mother should keep in mind is that she has to gain weight during her pregnancy. It is not safe to lose weight when one is pregnant since both the baby and the mother need the right amount of nutrients in order for them to become healthy. It is a good sign if a pregnant woman gains weight since this is a sign that the baby is getting all the nutrients and is growing at a healthy rate. A pregnant woman need not eat meals for two, but she needs extra calories for the growth of the baby. About two to four pounds are gained within the first three months of pregnancy, and a pound a week for the next few weeks ahead. The extra weight goes to the baby, the mother’s placenta, breast tissue, and blood supply. The woman’s body also stores fat and other nutrients that will be needed once she enters the breastfeeding stage.
A healthy pregnant woman’s diet should include a variety of foods in order to get all the nutrients needed. A good six to eleven servings of bread and grains, two to four servings of fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and protein sources (eggs, nuts, meat, poultry) are equally important. Having a high fiber diet is always good. Meals like pasta, rice, cereals, and bread should be provided to a pregnant woman. The pregnant woman should also consume at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day. She needs at least 1000-1300 milligrams of calcium in the woman’s diet. She should also have a regular source of Vitamin C everyday, including fruits and vegetables. A good 70 milligrams of Vitamin C each day is sufficient for both the mother and her baby.