When a woman gets pregnant, she should expect to gain at least 25 to 30 pounds. Eating healthy is very important for the growth and development of the baby, so following some basic guidelines can help the woman avoid any extra weight gain while ensuring the best possible health for the baby.
Some key points to remember when pregnant include eating at least three meals each day, and if heartburn is a problem, sometimes four to six smaller meals; always making sure that vegetables and fruits are washed well; and keeping high fat foods to a minimum. Another very important thing to remember is to make sure that meat is always well cooked. There are organisms in raw and undercooked meat which can cause potential health risks to the baby. And, any kind of raw fish, such as oysters or clams, should be avoided.
Folic acid is very important for a woman to get enough of when pregnant. A woman needs 0.4 mg of folic acid to protect the baby from birth defects. Some good sources of this include leafy greens and legumes. Iron intake needs to be doubled as well to make up for the increase in blood volume at this time. Since it can often be difficult to get enough of the essential vitamins from diet alone, taking a prenatal supplement is crucial.
Diets rich in fiber can help to alleviate some of the constipation and hemorrhoids that a woman may suffer from when she is pregnant. Some of these foods would include fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread, cereals, rice, pasta and legumes.
If a woman is feeling sick or nauseous, she needs to be sure she is drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding drinks with caffeine or alcohol. She should try eating smaller amounts more often, and carry healthy snacks like yogurt or fruit with her to avoid getting hungry. Ginger can sometimes help for feelings of sickness, which can be added to teas or into foods.
Following these simple tips can lead to a healthier pregnancy, and a baby that is well developed at birth.