There are many big decisions to be made when you are pregnant. Selecting a name, nursery colors and the perfect baby gear are a few. But choosing the right food to eat is also a key part of bringing a new life into the world.
A nutritious, well-balanced diet is key for a healthy baby. A good diet also helps soon-to-be moms:
- Feel better throughout their pregnancy
- Reduce common pregnancy-related conditions like nausea and constipation
- Feel more energized
- Manage chronic conditions
- Get fuel they need for a faster recovery
- Pass on nutrients to the baby if they are breastfeeding
4 nutrition tips to follow
- Know your calorie needs
Eating for two doesn't mean pregnant women should eat enough food for two people. It means eating the right amount of healthy foods. This helps support both a mom's changing nutritional needs and the growing baby's. Many people overestimate how many calories expectant moms need. In fact, in the second trimester most women only need about 340 extra calories a day. In their third trimester, they need 450 extra calories. But keep in mind that how many calories one needs can vary per person. So talk to a doctor about specific nutritional needs.
- Focus on folic acid
It is essential to get the right amount of folic acid. Folic acid is an important B vitamin. It helps reduce the risk of serious birth defects in the baby's spine and brain. It is most critical to take this in early pregnancy. Experts recommend that all women of reproductive age should get 400 micrograms a day.
Many women take a prenatal supplement containing folic acid. It's also found in:
- Fortified pasta
- Fortified breads
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Eat the rainbow
It is key to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day. This helps you get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed during pregnancy. These foods also have powerful antioxidants. These are important for a healthy body.
4. Get your calcium
One of the most essential nutrients during pregnancy is calcium. This hardworking mineral helps control fluids. It also supports the normal function of the systems within the body. Calcium is critical for the healthy growth of bones and tooth buds in the fetus too. Most soon-to-be moms need about 1,000 mg of calcium a day.
Calcium-rich foods include:
- Calcium-fortified cereals and juices
Supporting healthier pregnancies in the U.S.
America is the only country among all developed nations where maternal mortality rates are increasing. There are three main causes behind this trend:
- The high levels of chronic health conditions
- Racial inequities in health care delivery
- Differences in access to nutrition and support services where an expectant mother lives
Mom's Meals® can help
Convenient and nutritious ready-to-heat-and-eat meals
To help women meet their nutritional needs before, during and after pregnancy, Mom's Meals offers a wide range of convenient, home-delivered meals. Menus include condition specific and general wellness options.
Learn more about the role of nutrition and what factors shape a mother’s health and her baby’s well-being from birth well into the future.