Yes, we know that craving for chocolate and ice cream is irresistible, and while it’s okay to allow yourself small indulgences, you want to be careful not to overdo it. Aside from needing to provide your baby with the proper nutrients required for growth, think of all those extra calories post baby…
A pregnant woman is expected to have approximately 300 extra calories a day. Included in a daily diet should be proteins (poultry, lean meat, beans, peanuts), fats (dairy products, nuts, margarine, vegetable oil), calcium (dairy products), iron (leafy greens, lean meat), carbohydrates (cereal, fruit, rice, bread) and folic acid (citrus fruit, leafy greens, peanuts). These are excellent nutritional sources to keep both mom and baby healthy.
Below is a breakdown of what benefits the food groups contain:
1. Protein – help the body maintain muscle, body tissue and cell growth while also enabling the production of anti-bodies and blood.
2. Fats – fatty acids are an important source of energy. They are instrumental in the general development of the baby and the brain.
3. Calcium – an important nutrient for proper teeth and bone development.
4. Iron – helps the brain develop properly and enables the flow of oxygen through the blood stream, as well as helping the body’s metabolism.
5. Carbohydrates – help to decrease the risk of birth defects. They are also an important source of energy.
6. Folic Acid – helps decrease the risk of birth defects, and helps the body in its production of blood and protein. Folic acid is extremely important before pregnancy, too.
Additionally, speak to your medical practitioner about prenatal vitamins, which are important before, during and after pregnancy. Stay healthy!