Good nutrition during pregnancy will help to keep a developing baby and mother healthy. The need for certain nutrients such as calcium, iron and folate is increased at this time but only a small amount of extra energy is needed.
A pregnant woman needs approximately 2500 calories per day approximately whereas normal not pregnant woman needs only 2100 calories/day approximately. More calories needed should come from nutritious foods so that they can contribute to baby’s growth and development. Try to maintain a well-balanced diet with carbohydrate, protein, calcium, iron and especially folic acid.
Diet should include:
oFresh fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and dark green vegetables, contain more folic acid
o Have food such as whole wheat bread, chapatti, pasta, grains, potatoes and cereals for providing carbohydrates to body.
oTry to take milk and other dairy product such as yoghurt, cheese of lower fat options when possible
oEggs, beans, pulses and lentils should be part of a healthy diet.
o Have lean meat or fish, especially oily fish which has high levels of essential fatty acids Avoid eating shark, swordfish and marlin and limit the amount of tuna as these fish contain high level of mercury which may harm developing nervous system of child.
oAvoid raw meat found in seafood, rare or uncooked beef or poultry. As raw meats have risks due of toxoplasmosis and salmonella bacteria. As well as avoid raw eggs or foods containing raw egg such as mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing, because raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella.
oAvoid soft cheese such as blue cheese or feta cheese as they may contain harmful bacteria.
oHave minimum amount of liver in diet, as it is also extremely high in vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can build up in the tissue but excess of vitamin A can lead to birth defects in baby