Pregnancy is one of the highlights a woman will go through in her life. Knowing that another life is growing inside your belly and that this child you are bearing is solely dependent on everything that you do-and yes, everything you eat as well, can change your perspective on how you live your life. Taking care of your body as you prepare and go through this life-changing season in your existence is the greatest gift you can give both you and your child.
Many recent studies show that a woman’s eating habits during their pregnancy creates a ripple effect on the child’s future health. For instance, women who binge on alcohol would end up with children who grow up into adults who have a tendency to become addicted to alcohol. Children, whose mothers do not eat right during pregnancy and indulge themselves in whatever they want since they “eat for two”, are likely to become obese and develop diabetes. It is then essential that you will think before you eat, because your food intake during pregnancy can make or break the health of your child.
- Eat right even before getting knocked up.
Having a healthy body before getting pregnant is beneficial for both you and your child. This can save you from many pregnancy-related complications that can compromise this rather enjoyable period. Overweight and obese women who become pregnant are at risk for developing gestational diabetes, elevated blood pressure, suffer miscarriages, and giving birth through caesarean section.
- Choose whole grain, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat.
It is not the most appetizing choice of food but these will help provide the nutrients your baby needs during its most crucial state of development. Whole grain are filled with fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc; lean meat are rich protein; and fruits are rich in vitamin C which helps in the absorption of iron from green leafy vegetables.
- Load up on your prenatal vitamins
Iron, folate, calcium, and zinc are essential nutrients that ensure optimum brain and body development along with eating the right food. Folate and zinc prevents neural tube defects; calcium aids in the bone development; and iron delivers the oxygen you and your baby needs.
- Drink coffee, alcohol, and eat raw food.
Too bad for sushi lovers because eating raw food can contain harmful bacteria or viruses. On the other hand, as studies suggest, excessive consumption of caffeine (ie. Coffee, carbonated drinks, and tea) are associated with increased risk of miscarriages. Drinking alcohol is also related to miscarriages and stillbirths. This can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome that leads to facial deformities and mental retardation.
- Indulge in food with empty calories.
You may feel that you want to devour everything in sight and there may be times when cravings get so bad that you just have to get what you want and eat it, but you better stop and think before you reach for that pack of chocolates. While it can be taken in moderation, it’s important to remember that excessive amounts of ice cream, cakes, or cookies are not enough to aid in the health of your growing child. You will only gain more weight without providing the necessary nutrients your baby needs for proper brain and body development.