Adequate nutrition is the single most important physical factor in determining the outcome of pregnancy
ASK any builder:
Would you use inferior materials, having less than you need, to construct a quality home?
The answer would be . . .
of course not!
Common sense would tell you that you can’t grow a healthy baby with poor nutrition and less-than-enough food. It is important to get as many of the nutrients you need through whole foods rather than depend upon nutritional supplements. Vitamins, omegas, teas and herbs, and other forms of supplements are also excellent but do not take the place of good, whole foods to nourish mother and baby.
My basic daily nutrition checklist
- Protein (3-5 servings)
Try: poultry, beef, lamb, nuts, peanut butter, beans, low mercury fish and seafood organic or free range eggs
- Iron (3 servings)
Try: beef, duck, sardines, spinach, dried fruit, beans, soy products, pumpkin seeds, barley, oat bran
- Veggies and fruits (1-2 servings)
Try: green bean, zucchini, mushroom, corn, potato, apple, pear, banana, cherry, blueberry, avocado
- Fats (roughly 4 servings)
Try: nut butter (avoid if you have a nut allergy), avocado, sour cream, cream cheese, cream, salad dressing, oil, butter, mayonnaise iron supplementation
- Fluids (at least 8 servings of 8 ounces)
Try: water, pregnancy tea (nettle, dandelion tea, coriander leaves) excellent iron supplementation, freshly squeezed vegetable juices, lemon in your water!
Added vitamins and supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids, 1000mg
- Antenatal support (multi vitamin for pregnancy)
- Vitamin C 1000mg
Adequate calorie intake is vital to a healthy pregnancy. Since calories are utilised solely for energy needs, their intake must be adequate to meet the extra metabolic demands of pregnancy. If calories are insufficient, the body will burn available protein for energy instead. This takes away important nutrients that are essential for fetal growth.
A pregnant woman should consume about 300 extra calories over a non-pregnant woman. Our total daily calories should be somewhere in the range of 2,500 calories/day depending on our pre-pregnancy weight and activity level. This should be assessed with your doctor or midwife. A simple food journal for several days can tell you where you need to add or cut calories.
Shal Paper is the former British Body Fitness Championand has competed at the highest level in professional body fitness.