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Nutritional Advice for Pregnant Women

Mar 12, 2008
When you are pregnant it is increasingly important to watch what you eat. Since you are now eating for two every bad nutritional choice will not just effect you, but also your baby. In general terms, there are two things that you need to be monitoring. First, you need to monitor how much you are eating as getting the correct caloric intake during pregnancy is crucial. Secondly, you need to be watching what you eat because the wrong types of food can be damaging to your baby. In this article I will discuss both the above issues in greater detail and provide you with some solid nutritional advice for your nine month pregnancy.

As already stated getting your caloric intake right is very important during pregnancy. Consuming too many calories and putting on too much weight whilst pregnant can increase your risk of contracting a blood pressure related disease. Contrastingly, not getting enough calories during your pregnancy can lead to your baby being born underweight and even slow down fetal development.

So where do you go for advice for on the number of calories you should be consuming each day? Your doctor should always be your number one port of call. They are professionally trained in this area and also know about you and any specific issues affecting you and your baby. Every pregnant woman is unique and will have slightly different requirements. Therefore, your doctor is the best source of information in this area and should not be overlooked in favour of this article.

However, you can determine the general amount of calories you need using a free online BMR & Caloric Intake Calculator (just do an Internet search). This calculator will determine your recommended daily caloric intake BEFORE pregnancy. You then need to add approximately 300 daily calories to this figure during your second and third trimester to support your baby's increased rate of growth. Generally, no additional calories are needed during the first trimester but again this may not be the case for you. Only your doctor will know for sure.

Once you have your daily caloric intake sorted you also need to consider what you are eating. There are a number of foods that you need to cut down on or even avoid completely whilst you are pregnant. I have outlined three of these foods in the list below:

1) Alcohol:- Whilst there are no set recommendations on the amount of alcohol you can consume during pregnancy, a number of sources suggest that the number of alcohol related birth defects is on the rise. Alcohol can also potentially lead to miscarriage, low birthweight or stillbirth. These are quite significant risks which can be avoided by giving up alcohol during your pregnancy. I'm not saying it's going to be easy but if you want to be a responsible mother you should have the discipline to avoid alcohol for nine months.

2) Uncooked Meat & Dairy Products:- Deli meats, undercooked eggs, unpasteurised cheeses etc often contain pathogens (such as e.coli, salmonella and listeria). These pathogens can lead to serious infection for both you and your baby. In pregnant women the symptoms can include diarrhea, vomitting and dehydration. In the baby these pathogens can ultimately lead to stillbirth and miscarriage. Therefore, if you are a fan of these types of food try to limit your intake during pregnancy or avoid them completely if you can.

3) Unwashed Fruits & Vegetables:- By consuming unwashed fruit or vegetables you are putting yourself at serious risk of Toxoplasma infection. Whilst Toxoplasma is generally not a risk for pregnant women it can be seriously damaging for undeveloped babies. It only takes a few seconds to wash the fruits and vegetables you consume so make sure you always clean your fruit and veg before consumption. This small act can make a huge difference to the health of your unborn child.

This article is not intended to scare you or make you worry. My aim is to make you aware that things you didn't previously regard as important could now be very important. An undeveloped child is much more fragile than a fully developed human being and as an expectant mother you are ultimately responsible for the health of your baby. If you want the best for your baby, read this article, take the advice on board and then go consult your doctor regarding your diet as an expectant mother.
About the Author
The Free Fitness Tips Blog provides you with fantastic, free advice on all aspects of fitness. For more detailed information on nutrition during pregnancy please visit the Free Fitness Tips blog
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