Pregnant Women’s Food– Pregnant women often assume or buy into the myth that they are required to eat for 2. In fact a lot of women are excused for eating a lot of food.
Recent research has ascertained that this might be erroneous. The survey revealed that two-thirds of expectant mothers are clueless as to how much they should be eating.
Basically the woman needs about 2,000 calories a day. This could come from both food and drink.
Medical experts suggest that the pregnant woman does not need as much food as they presume. Women in the first six months of pregnancy do not need any extra calories. But in the last trimester they require 200 extra calories a day. Medline Plus actually permits a daily range of 200-300 extra calories when in the last trimester of the pregnancy.
According to Alex Davis, head of prevention for the NCP, he calls the eating for 2 style a myth which has been “very unhelpful”.
“Eating healthily and consuming healthy portion sizes are important before, during and after pregnancy to increase the chances of conceiving naturally, reduce the risk of pregnancy and birth-related complications and stave off health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease in the long-term.”
See Also: Must Women Snap Back After Pregnancy?
If the eating for 2 is a myth as supposed, how then do we explain the traditional cravings for certain foods that pregnant women experience?
So far no concrete explanation has been given for it. In any case it is largely speculated that this could be as a result of hormonal changes.
Pregnant women often experience weird cravings for foods and other unexpected things like dirt, clay, laundry detergent, sour tasting foods or ice chips. This is referred to as pica believed to be caused by anemic conditions as a result of limited iron in the blood.
The cravings often phase off after the first trimester. Medical expert say there is nothing wrong for pregnant woman to go for their craved foods.
What the pregnant woman needs is not necessarily too much food but a balanced diet which suits her condition. It is imperative that she consults her doctor or dietitian while ensuring that her meals contains the right portions of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and mineral rich foods.
On a general note they must observe a healthy breakfasts and stay away from sugary and fatty snacks. Pregnant women need fibre rich foods from wholegrains and nuts; fruit and vegetables; low-fat options of milk/yoghurt/cheese; and a good blend of protein and carbohydrates/energy giving foods
Other important nutrients that the baby needs include
- Calcium-Helps in the healthy growth of baby’s bones and teeth.
- Iron- Helps in the baby’s blood supply and prevents anemia in the mother.
- Choline -Helps to prevent problems in the spinal cord and brain
- Folic acid- helps to reduce the risk for spina bifida (incomplete closing of the spinal column), anencephaly (defect of the brain), and other birth defects.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids for vision and brain development
Eating healthily at this time will improve the woman’s health and the baby’s growth.
Pregnant women are advised to check their fat intake.
Eating too much and unhealthily during pregnancy can cause excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, low birth-weight baby, premature births, anemia and infections in the mother, poor healing and increased chances of using a C-section.