A balanced diet is important to support good health throughout your life. However, when you become pregnant, a healthy diet is even more crucial. The foods that you consume are the baby’s primary source for nutrients. This is a Midwife’s Guide to Nutrition During Pregnancy.
It may take a little bit of effort to eat healthy foods during your pregnancy, but the benefits to both you and the baby are well worth the trouble. If you are pregnant and you have not been maintaining a healthy diet, it is time to change your bad habits and do what is best for you and the developing baby.
Before you ever become pregnant is the best time to start eating all the right foods. When you practice a healthy diet before your pregnancy, you are laying the proper foundation to ensure that you and the baby will both have all of the important nutrients that you need to stay healthy. If you have plans to become pregnant, you should discuss nutrition with your health care provider.
Even if you are not currently pregnant, your diet needs to include an adequate amount of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fat. When you become pregnant, the amount of these nutrients that you need will increase.
A few of the most important nutrients include:
• Calcium to help baby build strong teeth and bones
• Iron to help red blood cells carry oxygen to baby
• Vitamin A to help baby form healthy eyesight and skin, in addition to aiding in bone growth
• Vitamin C to ensure baby’s teeth, gums, and bones are healthy; as well as helping your body with the absorption of iron
• Vitamin D to help baby build strong teeth and bones
• Vitamin B6 for the formation of red blood cells, which help the body use carbohydrates, fat, and protein
• Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and helps maintain the nervous system
• Folate is important in the production of protein and blood, in addition to helping with some enzyme function
Try eating a variety of different foods in the recommended amounts from basic food groups. This is the best way to make sure that you and baby are getting all of the important nutrients that you need in order to remain healthy throughout your surrogacy journey.
Once you become pregnant, it is important to increase the amount of folate and iron that you consume in your regular diet. In order to get the additional nutrients that you need during this crucial time, prenatal vitamins are recommended for most pregnant women.
Prenatal vitamins are supplements that contain the recommended daily amount of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy. This includes copper, zinc, minerals, folate, as well as vitamins A, C, and D. Your health care provider should be able to provide you with information specific to your needs, as taking some minerals and vitamins in excess may be harmful during pregnancy. In our Midwife’s Guide to Nutrition During a Surrogacy Pregnancy, we recommend a whole food based prenatal vitamin. Another key factor in maintaining good health during your pregnancy is water intake. We recommend drinking at least one gallon of water per day; and more during those hot summer months. Staying hydrated decreases swelling, constipation, urinary tract infections, and preterm labor. As well, it increases energy, aids in digestion, and softens the skin. If you are not currently drinking enough water, we suggest increasing your intake each week until you reach your goal amount.
Another key factor in maintaining good health during your pregnancy is water intake. We recommend drinking at least one gallon of water per day; and more during those hot summer months. Staying hydrated decreases swelling, constipation, urinary tract infections, and preterm labor. As well, it increases energy, aids in digestion, and softens the skin. If you are not currently drinking enough water, we suggest increasing your intake each week until you reach your goal amount. We find carrying an insulated water bottle with you is the best way to ensure you reach those water intake goals.