Whether good nutrition has long been a priority in your life, or you’re just now beginning to be more intentional about what you eat, you will find that proper nutrition during pregnancy is very rewarding. Taking care of yourself during pregnancy gets your baby off to the best possible start in life. It also ensures that your baby will have a happy, healthy mother.
By learning how to take care of yourself now, and by making healthy choices during your pregnancy, you’ll be less likely to gain unnecessary amounts of excess weight, and the weight you do gain will be easier to lose. Women who make sure they practice proper nutrition during pregnancy have an easier time losing those extra pounds after the baby is born.
NOURISH YOURSELF, NOURISH YOUR BABY
Pregnant women are literally “eating for two.” This is because the food you take in nourishes both you and your baby. However, pregnancy is not a license to eat twice as much as you did before! The reality of eating for two is that you must now be twice as careful about what you eat and what you choose not to eat.
During your pregnancy, you will need a slight increase in the quantity of food you eat and a major improvement in the quality of food you eat. Pregnancy is an ideal time to improve your eating habits.
After all, you’re a parent now and eating well is an important responsibility. Furthermore, the bond you’ve already begun to develop with your baby will motivate you to make wise decisions
MOTHERS WHO ARE WELL-NOURISHED DURING PREGNANCY:
- Have fewer problems with morning sickness, constipation, fatigue, heartburn and muscle cramps.
- Experience fewer cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods that have little nutritional value.
- Are less likely to develop pregnancy complications, such as anemia, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature birth or giving birth to a baby with low birth weight.
- Have an easier labor with fewer complications.
- Find it easier to take off excess weight after the birth and experience less postpartum depression.
PROPER NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY ALSO RESULTS IN HEALTHIER BABIES WHO:
- Are a healthier weight at birth.
- Are less likely to experience complications during and immediately after birth, including birth defects.
- Are less likely to experience developmental delays.
Proper nutrition can help improve your own health, can minimize complications during birth, and can help give your baby the best start possible. It’s okay to listen to your cravings, but remember to eat mindfully throughout your pregnancy!
Originally published on Ask Dr. Sears; used with permission.