In general, a pregnant woman should follow the same healthy and balanced diet as one who is not. Except for iron, we’re going to need the same amount of nutrients as at any time in life. At best, a pregnant woman should increase her intake by just 300 calories a day to make up for her pregnancy.
However, your doctor may recommend the use of a dietary supplement, or strengthen your diet in some way. Follow their advice, do not take vitamin supplements on your own. Your baby’s health and yours depends on how you feed, so keep it in mind now, as before the embrace and during breastfeeding.
Preparing for pregnancy with food supplements
There are women who prepare to become pregnant by changing some not too healthy habits. Things like quitting smoking, or drinking alcohol, will help us on the one hand to become pregnant and also to clean our body of toxins. Better avoid it.
It is also recommended to start taking folic acid, or folates. This supplement can come as capsules, which the doctor will prescribe, or in some foods that come specifically enriched with this nutrient. You’ll find cereals enriched with folic acid, milk and bread. But if the pregnancy has come unforeseen do not worry, in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it is desirable that you take folic acid supplements.
A woman who is within a normal weight does not need extra calories during the first six months of pregnancy. The body becomes expert in absorbing and using nutrients from food. Overweight during pregnancy will increase the risk of diabetes and it will also be difficult to lose kilos after birth.
General indications for a balanced diet
If we are pregnant we must continue with a balanced and varied diet, therefore the first thing is to analyze our daily meals and try to complement them. This supplement can come through capsules or ready-made smoothies , but it is best to make it naturally with the products we have at our disposal.
Cereals and potatoes should represent 70% of our diet, prevailing the type of wholes, because they contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are very important. If you can’t access fresh fruits you can include canned, no syrup, or frozen fruits. Green salads, beans and lentils, nuts and fruit juice should be taken at least five servings a day.
Meats, fish are a source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but remember that alternative foods, such as eggs, nuts and legumes, are too. As for dairy and fresh products that provide calcium and protein, it should be taken two or three servings daily.
When should I include food supplements
As we have mentioned, food supplements are not necessary in principle if the woman is healthy and no pathology is detected during pregnancy. In fact some specialists do not agree to recommend certain vitamin supplements, which contain a high concentration of vitamins because the effect this ingestion can have on the fetus is unknown. In fact, an excess of vitamin A can harm the baby.
In some circumstances, add-ons may be beneficial. As an example, in vegetarian and vegan women, where the ingestion of an iron supplement is considered, since it is not so easily absorbed from other foods other than red meat. The body is only able to absorb between 10 and 15% iron efficiently.
A curiosity, contrary to what folk wisdom speaks that the fetus needs to get fat in recent months. We’ll tell you that in the last 3 months of pregnancy, your baby only needs an increase of 300 kilocalories per day. Calculating this is like four apples or two pieces of bread.