In order to ensure all pregnant women know what is needed to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, in terms of nutrition, there have been some excellent pregnancy nutrition guidelines established. When you are pregnant, you only need an additional 300 calories per day. You should make sure that these are not empty calories, and that they are in fact nutritious calories. Let’s have a look at some of those guidelines.
During the time you are pregnant, for your baby to grow healthy; you need to have approx. 60 grams of protein on a daily basis. Protein keeps your uterus, breasts, and placenta healthy, it produces adequate amniotic fluid and it increases the volume of blood.
Doctors recommend a calcium intake during pregnancy to range between 1200 to 1500 mg a day. Calcium is vital for your baby’s bones, teeth, heart, and muscles to develop. If you aren’t taking in enough calcium, your baby will draw from your own calcium reserves, which means you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Milk and milk-based products are good sources of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, there are lactose free milk products.
Iron is very important in hemoglobin production for both you and your fetus. In the last trimester, your baby will take your body’s iron reserves to ensure it is not anemic during the first six months of life. You also lose some blood during the delivery process. These are all reasons why it is so important to increase your iron intake.
While your body only needs 27 mgs of iron per day, you actually have to take 60 mg to get that 27 mg because not all iron is absorbed. If you are anemic, you should take an iron supplement. Vitamin C enriched foods will help you with your iron absorption. Foods like oranges, grapefruits, and tomato juice work well. Avoid taking your iron and calcium supplements and/or foods at the same time since calcium interferes with iron absorption.
The recommended increase in vitamins is 25 to 50 percent. Your folic acid need doubles to 400 micrograms per day. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc will help to ensure you get adequate vitamins.
Your physician will instruct you about any other nutritional needs he/she feels you may need in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.