Pre/Post Natal Dietary Needs
What YOU Need to Know
Pregnancy and Weight Gain
Women gain about 25 to 35 lbs if they are at a normal pre-pregnancy weight. Women who are underweight will gain a little more than 35 lbs, while overweight/obese women may gain less weight. Also, there's no need to "eat for two". In fact, during your first trimester, you don't need and extra calories. Only in your second and third, do you need extra calories (between 340 and 450).
Foods from all food groups should be eaten during pregnancy. Plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables ensure the wellness of your child. Low-fat dairy products, along with fortified grains, are recommended also. Beans and lean meats are encouraged because of their high iron, potassium, and fiber content.
Foods to Avoid
Women who are pregnant should avoid smoking and drinking. Numerous birth defects arise from these sources. Foods that are high in mercury, like sushi, shark, and other types of fish should not be consumed. Only small amounts of "empty calories" that are found in candy, soda, etc. should be eaten.
Critical Vitamins and Minerals
The most important mineral to pregnant women is folate, or folic acid. Other important nutrients, such as iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D should be eaten either by supplement or through your normal diet. Omega-3s need to be taken by supplement only because they are found in fish.
While breastfeeding, your need for fluids will increase. It is important to compensate for this by drinking lots of water, along with milk and 100% fruit juices. Sodas are not a smart choices because of the high amounts of "empty calories" in them. Alcohol and caffeine pass through your bloodstream and into your breast milk, so they should not be consumed either.
Breast milk is the most nutrient-dense item to feed your baby. Infant formula can be taken if you cannot produce breast milk. Babies generally start eating sold food around 4-6 months after birth. What you feed your baby should be monitored in case any food allergies are present. Foods like eggs, honey, and nuts should not be fed to your baby until later.
Foods and Nutrition