Sunday, March 18, 2007

Expectant Mothers & Nutrition

Any expectant mother will want first and foremost to take care of her health and that of her growing baby. Proper diet is a staple to any successful pregnancy and it is vital that you constantly monitor your health… because your baby's health is directly influence by yours!

The quantity of additional calorie intake that expectant mothers need may be a complete surprise. Only something like 300 extra calories per day is recommended by health professionals. That's right, only about 300 extra calories…not the enormous amount calories that many expectant women take in each day, all in the name of being pregnant. Now 300 calories really doesn't sound like much at all… so now I am sure that you are wondering with only 300 extra calories- where did these 30 pounds come from?

Weight gain is to be expected during a pregnancy but it need not be excessive. For many, the problem is that there is more that just those 300 extra calories that leads to that unhealthy extreme weight gain during a woman's pregnancy. The principal problem is the unmanageable urges to eat something. Don't let yourself to give in to your hunger urges… and don't justify your extreme eating by convincing yourself that just because you're mom to be you need a gob of extra calories.

Some of those calories that you need to consume during your pregnancy to carry on a healthy pregnancy should come from protein, approximately 60 grams total per day or about 10 grams per day more than a woman who is not pregnant. Seafood, chicken and lean meats are all good sources of protein, as are dried beans, nuts and cheese. Remember you only need about 1 1/2 ounces of meat to get 10 grams of protein.

Calcium is another necessary element during the course of a woman's pregnancy. Today's, women who are not even pregnant generally don't get enough of the recommended daily amount of calcium intake… so upping your calcium is generally a good idea to begin with. Dairy products are a primary source of calcium you get in your diet. A good strategy is for you to use non fat sources of calcium in your diet, this will help keep your calorie intake under control as well. For instance green leafy vegetables are a potential source for you to get some added calcium for both you and your unborn child.

Assisting your body to fully take in your iron supplements is vitamin D. This makes vitamin D a a working partner with your efforts to keep your iron level in a healthy range. As the blood volume increases during a pregnancy, the call for iron becomes even more important. In fact, the daily recommended dosage of iron for a woman who is expecting versus one who is not actually expecting doubles from 15mg/day to 30mg/day. Be very certain that you don't miss a day without iron… it is a very important element in your overall health during a pregnancy. As a part of your care during your pregnancy, your doctor will be checking your iron levels via lab work to insure that you are maintaining healthy levels.

A good source of iron is red meat, but forget about fish and poultry as well. On the market today, there are also a variety iron enriched cereals that also help to enhance your iron intake.

Vegetarian diets can supply all the needed nutrients, but finding them in the right form can be a bit tougher to accomplish. Vegetarians will need to more closely keep an eye on nutrient levels, but this is commonly a part of a vegetarian lifestyle already, so just stay the course of your continual game-plan and work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure that you are indeed consuming all the nutrients that you need.

Needless to say, any woman who is pregnant should be in contact with her doctor concerning her dietary requirements. It's important to stick to this because each pregnancy is different, and as such, so too will be the body's dietary needs. Even before the pregnancy it is just as important that the woman consciously work with her diet so she can get her pregnancy off to a good healthy start.

The key is to work as a team with your doctor so you can stay healthy provide the best possible growing environment for your future son or daughter.

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