Eat well and you’ll feel well, it’s pretty standard advice. But things get a little bit trickier when you’re “eating for two”! Most people know that maintaining a healthy diet and eating well during pregnancy is extremely important, both for your health and wellbeing and that of your baby. While it’s always essential to talk to your doctor about a pregnancy nutritional plan, here are some tips to get you eating well and feeling your best while you wait for your little one to arrive!
Tips for feeling and eating well during pregnancy
Get the right nutrients
One of the most important things you can do to support your diet whilst pregnant is to make sure you’re eating nutrient rich food and taking supplements where necessary.
Iron – It is vital to maintain your iron levels during pregnancy as iron helps to carry oxygen from your blood to your baby, supporting the development of the cardiovascular system and the brain. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is common amongst pregnant women so be sure to eat plenty of iron-rich foods such as red meat, seafood, dried fruits, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is also recommended to help your body absorb the iron present in these foods.
Calcium – We all know that calcium is necessary in the building and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. This is particularly important during pregnancy when extra strain is placed upon a woman’s skeletal system. It is recommended that you consume two servings of dairy per day to support your bones and the development of your baby’s. However, be sure to check all labels on cheese products to ensure the milk ingredients have been pasturised as non-pasturised milk products should be avoided during pregnancy.
Folic acid – This vitamin plays an extremely important role in the development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord during the first trimester. It is recommended that you begin taking a folic acid supplement if you are planning on becoming pregnant or as soon as you find out that you are pregnant and continue doing so until the 12th week of pregnancy. You can also find folic acid (folate) in dark green leafy vegetables, dried legumes, oranges, cereals, bread and pasta.
Take care of yourself
It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’ve got so much else on your mind, but you have to remember that taking care of yourself means taking care of your baby!
Eat well – besides making sure you’re getting the proper supplements, you also need to be wise about what else you’re putting in your body. Make sure you’re eating a variety of good quality goods from each of the main food groups every day, drink plenty of water (you’ll need more than you usually would), reduce the intake of foods that are high in artificial sugar, salt, saturated fats and caffeine, and abstain from alcohol.
Balance rest and exercise – Unfortunately, pregnancy can completely drain your energy stores and leave you fatigued and exhausted. It’s important for you to rest whenever you feel the need and take naps to supplement your nighttime sleep, especially towards the end of your pregnancy. Having said that, light exercise on a regular basis can really help boost your energy levels and support your wellbeing so be sure to consult your doctor on the right type of exercise for you.
Don’t worry; be happy – It’s surprising how many women don’t realise that their mood and stress levels can have a huge effect on their growing child. While you shouldn’t feel guilty for having a ‘down’ day every now and then, try to be proactive in maintaining a positive and stress-free outlook. Take some time to yourself when you’re getting overwhelmed or ask a loved one for help – you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make!
If you’d like more helpful pregnancy tips and advice, visit http://www.maternitysale.com.au/ and make sure to consult your doctor on a regular basis for professional advice on eating habits and other lifestyle changes you can make to support the happy and healthy development of your baby.