Nutrition During Pregnancy – The Importance of a Balanced Diet

Pregnant woman touching her belly while cutting fruits

Did you know that every year around 140 million babies are born worldwide? A new baby is a wonderful thing to have, but taking care of your baby while it’s still in the womb can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know much about nutrition during pregnancy. 

You will find that prenatal and postnatal nutrition are quite different. This is because while you’re pregnant, you will need to take into consideration some important nutrients to make sure that your baby develops in a healthy way.

Certain natural therapies and pregnancy care and even a pregnancy massage can help ensure that your body is in good shape while pregnant, but what kind of food should you be eating to maximise the health benefits for your baby?

Keep reading and learn more about it from this Bella Mama guide.

What Not to Eat While Pregnant

If you talk to your midwife, doula, go to a motherhood class, or visit the best luxury spa in Auckland has to offer, you are sure to get some advice about what you should eat while pregnant. But what shouldn’t you eat while pregnant?

While pregnant, it can be tempting to look forward to things you can do after you give birth such as get a postnatal massage and other kinds of postnatal care, but paying attention to your body while you’re pregnant requires a lot of thought too.

You might also be tempted to keep eating whatever you used to eat before you were pregnant, but this likely isn’t a good idea if you care about the health of your developing baby. 

When it comes to nutrition options, we at Bella Mama promote nutritious, freshly cooked and natural food, not technology-transferring, tin and processed food.

We only recommend freshly cooked food. No tin and processed food. 

These unpasteurized foods could carry a harmful type of bacteria that could cause listeriosis. Symptoms of this condition include nausea, vomiting, and body aches and pains. It is usually not serious in most people, but those who are pregnant are at a higher risk, and listeriosis can also be harmful to your baby. 

What You Need to Know

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection, but it may also be a parasitic infection. Whatever the case, you should be able to avoid it as long as you stay away from ready-to-eat meals, unwashed raw vegetables, and raw seafood.

Basic sanitary measures such as using only boiled milk, eating thoroughly cooked meats, cooked vegetables, washing produce, and washing hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry offers the best protection. That way, there will be few worries of contracting dangerous infections or illnesses from your food.  

What Foods Should You Eat While Pregnant?

Going to the best pregnancy spa NZ has to offer can help you unwind during your pregnancy with beauty treatments, massages, and even a belly band. However, the pregnancy spa Auckland has won’t be able to provide you with all the nutritious foods you need while pregnant, and that’s where this guide comes in. To start, you will want to consume as many calcium-rich foods as possible. 

Why might this be, you ask? You will find that almost all pregnancy nutrition plans contain foods that are high in calcium, and that is because women tend to lose calcium while they’re pregnant. A growing baby needs a lot of calcium on its own to develop bones and other tissues in its body. 

You as the mother, however, may experience low levels of calcium as a result. For that reason, many pregnant women may find their bodies experiencing problems related to this loss of calcium such as weak teeth or weak bones. Of course, if your body is not in good shape, it won’t be able to do a good job of providing for the developing baby. 

For that reason, you will want to supercharge your body with calcium. You can do this by eating plenty of milk. As mentioned before, you should always make sure that these dairy products are pasteurized before consuming them. 

But keep in mind that dairy products are not only good for their calcium but also for the many other nutrients that they can provide. For example, yogurt and milk are full of B vitamins and magnesium. Yoghourt, in particular, is very good for your gut health, as it contains bacteria that can improve your gut microbiome. 

For vegetarians, lots of vegetables ( cooked properly), green salads, soyabeans, lentils, and nuts.

Calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, Iron , and folic acids points are good, Add Iodine, Vit A, D and C if not contained within your food.

The Details

As long as your gut microbiome is in good shape, your body will better be able to absorb nutrients and direct those nutrients to keep your body healthy along with your baby’s. You also won’t want to forget about eating plenty of eggs.

Eggs are perhaps one of the healthiest foods you can eat whether you’re pregnant or not. Eggs are small and only around 80 calories, but they are packed full of protein. Protein will help give you more energy and will keep your body strong.

More than that, because eggs don’t contain many calories, you can eat many of them without worrying about gaining too much weight during your pregnancy. This is not to mention that eggs are rich in choline. 

Choline is a substance that you can’t go without while pregnant. That’s because the presence of choline makes it far less likely that your baby will suffer from spinal or brain abnormalities during development.

If you are in need of more protein, red meat and fish are very good options. But as mentioned before, it is very important that you cook these meats all the way through before eating them. This goes for steaks as well.

Soyabeans, lentils and nuts are great vegetarian options. 

For drinks, alcohol is not recommended at all by Bella Mama. There is no known safe level for drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Limit your caffeine intake but you can replace these with Bella Mama Herbal Teas. Avoid cold, sugary and fermented drinks

Don’t Forget About Prenatal Vitamins

Eating a healthy diet will solve most of any issues related to your consumption of vitamins and minerals. However, most vitamins and minerals only occur in very small amounts in most foods. While you’re pregnant, you’ll need more nutrients than usual, and that’s where prenatal vitamins come in. 

These vitamins come in much higher doses compared to the number of vitamins you’ll find in individual types of food. This will allow your body to take much better advantage of these nutrients so that you and your baby will both be in good health. But what kind of prenatal vitamins should you look for, and what kinds would be most beneficial for the development of a healthy baby?

First, you should know that folic acid supplements, also known as folate supplements, are essential during your pregnancy. This is especially true for the early stages of your pregnancy, when your baby is at its most vulnerable. Folate is a type of B vitamin that doctors often prescribe for pregnant women to take during the first three months of their pregnancies. 

Folic Acid and Calcium 

The reason why folic acid is so important for developing babies is that it plays an essential role in the development of a child’s neural tube. The neural tube is a structure that will become the spinal cord later on in the baby’s development. If the baby does not have enough foliate to develop this neural tube in the right way, deformities may result, which can sometimes be life-threatening. 

Spina bifida is one of several neural tube disorders that can result if the mother does not consume enough folate during her pregnancy. As long as you take folate prenatal vitamins throughout your first trimester, the chances of your child having any neural tube defects would be very low. 

Calcium supplements may also be necessary for some pregnant women. As mentioned before, a woman’s health can suffer due to low calcium levels while pregnant because the developing baby will absorb much of the woman’s calcium. In severe cases, this can lead to the woman suffering from bone fractures, soft and spongy bones, and even tooth loss.

For that reason, it is important to take calcium supplements on a regular basis to keep these problems from happening. 

All About Nutrition During Pregnancy 

Nutrition during pregnancy is no joke. As a baby develops, it will need all sorts of important nutrients, and you as the mother will need to make sure that you’re consuming all the right foods to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals. As long as you eat a healthy and varied selection of food, you and your baby should be in great health. 

To learn more about pregnancy care and advice, contact us here

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