The importance of prenatal nutrition in an expecting mother cannot be over emphasized, as the child’s development is determined by the nutrients present in the food consumed by the child. As an expecting mother, in other to ensure a healthy development of your newborn, you really need to start eating a balanced diet throughout your pregnancy- my advice, take note of that please.
It is important for you to be highly selective of the food you eat during your pregnancy period. The ideal diets you need as a pregnant woman are fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains. Also you should eat a lot of citrus fruits, fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables. All these help to prevent birth defects. Don’t neglect eating food containing vitamin D (helps your baby grow strong bones), oily fish (gotten from tuna and salmon are very rich sources of proteins) calcium (found in dairy products, provides your child with strong bones; it’s critically needed). Also, protein consumption is very important in the second and third trimesters as a pregnant woman, ensure you consume at least 27 milligrams of these proteins.
Avoid eating some sea foods during pregnancy in order to limit your exposure to excess amount of mercury which is often present in sea animals. Note that eating most of these animals with high load of mercury may affect your babies nervous forming system. The sea foods you should avoid are swordfish, king mackerel, oyster, raw fish and tile fish. Rather eat sea foods like tilapia, catfish, or salmon, they are generally safe to eat during pregnancy.
There are a lot of food borne diseases out there, and as a pregnant woman, you should be careful of what you eat and where you eat. Ensure you cook your meals very well before consumption; cook your eggs till the white and yolk parts are solid enough. Unpasteurized dairy products and cheeses can pose a serious risk of food borne illness to your health. Also, endeavour to limit your daily caffeine intake because it could have adverse effects on your baby’s developing brain, thereby leading to fetal alcohol syndrome.
One final advice, especially to awaiting mothers from Nigeria is this: when you are eating, do not eat for two. That old adage that says you need to eat for two is not ideal, why? Your body doesn’t need any extra calories, as they could pose some risk to your health and well being. A pregnant woman needs no additional calories in her first trimester, 350 extra calories in your second trimester and finally 4450 in your third… Know that you need the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, folate, iron to deliver a healthy and intelligent child.
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