A balanced diet is necessary for everyone to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, during pregnancy, it's even more crucial to make adjustments in the diet as per the body's specific requirements. Understanding the foods that are good to eat during pregnancy helps address pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, heartburn, cramps, headaches, etc., and nourish the unborn baby well. Each pregnant woman needs a unique diet plan specific to their body type; hence, there is no one-diet-fits-all plan for expecting mums.
Every woman is different, and so is their pregnancy and postpartum recovery. Some might not have any with the type of food they eat, while others might start experiencing problems with the same food. Some food might amplify the symptoms, while others can help alleviate them.
The food restrictions during pregnancy depend on many factors like physical changes, hormonal changes, or even lifestyle changes. This article is for you to provide information about the right foods during pregnancy. You will get to know what foods you should eat during pregnancy and what foods to avoid. You will also get ideas for pregnancy gifts for first time mums throughout this article.
Add More Vegetables to Your Diet
When you regularly eat vegetables, you provide a healthy diet for your body. Eating vegetables has so many benefits. They are low in fat, cholesterol, and calories. Pregnant women require a good amount of fiber, and vegetables are rich sources of fiber. Vegetables are known for their richness in minerals and nutrients, including folate. Folate is beneficial to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects during fetal development.
Be creative with adding vegetables to your diet. For example, you can make a veg sandwich or eat them as a salad or blend vegetables in your smoothie. You can eat cooked, raw, frozen, or dried veggies, but make sure they are fresh. You can eat cucumbers, corn, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Be careful to thoroughly wash pre-packaged salad if you're pregnant.
Protein is a Must for pregnancy!
Your diet must include proteins, as protein is essential for the baby's growth and provides you with the energy to survive the whole day. It will also help in promoting the baby's brain and heart development. To include a protein-rich diet in your lifestyle, you can eat chicken, fish, turkey, or other non-veg meals.
However, if you are a vegetarian, you should focus on eating beans and pulses, as they have a surplus of proteins and vitamins. Also, the importance of protein is not limited to the pre-pregnancy phase. Even during the post-pregnancy phase or postpartum recovery phase, proteins are necessary. Thus, many hampers for new mums include protein-rich snack bars.
Don’t forget to eat Fibre when you are pregnant
Fibre is crucial for healthy skin. During pregnancy, many hormonal imbalances cause changes in the skin. Post-pregnancy body stretch marks are a thing! And almost every woman hates it. Thus, fibre is necessary for healthy skin during pregnancy and the postpartum recovery phase. You can include soluble fibre sachets and drink them daily with water for a rich fibre intake. New Mama Kit includes metamucil sachets which is a tasty drink with lots of fibre.
Include Healthy fats and Oils
Among many food restrictions, one is avoiding junk food during pregnancy as it contains unhealthy fats and oils. But it's not recommended to completely avoid fats and oils. There are fats and oils that are healthy for a baby's brain and eye development.
The general rule is to limit your fats and oils intake to not more than 5 spoons per day. Also, it's preferred to consume plant-based oils like coconut oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc. Avoid solid and processed fats like lard or butter, as it's not healthy during pregnancy. The same is valid during postpartum recovery.
Drink healthy too!
As well as avoiding alcohol - it's best to avoid sugar-filled drinks in pregnancy, due to the increased risk of diabetes in some pregnant women. Subsequently, you can drink herbal tea, limited amounts of caffeinated tea and coffee. Many women report feeling thirsty in pregnancy, so keep hydrated, and keep a water bottle on hand.
Avoid These Foods During Pregnancy
Knowing what to eat during pregnancy for a healthy delivery is necessary. Similarly, it's more important to know what to avoid eating. Firstly, avoid junk food or packed food. These foods are harmful as they contain preservatives and artificial colours.
Another thing to avoid is eating fish that's high in mercury, as mercury is a toxic element and is non-digestible by humans. It's especially harmful to the developing baby in mum's womb. Similarly, alcohol should be avoided, too, as it's a processed chemical. You can drink a limited amount of alcohol, that too occasionally.
During pregnancy, it's normal to have a higher temperature in the body than usual. Hence, foods that are overly spicy or are heavy to digest should be avoided. Eat light foods that are easy to digest, as the body is already occupied with nourishing the baby. Hence, try to save energy wherever it's possible.
Common Things Related to Eating During Pregnancy
There are some common doubts in pregnant women's minds, like is it normal to feel hungry all the time? Should I eat outside or eat home-cooked food? Basically, the mum's body is busy nourishing the baby's body; hence more energy is utilised. Therefore, it's normal to feel more hungry during pregnancy. Also, try to eat home-cooked food as it's healthier and easier to digest. The same follows for postpartum recovery. Healthy eating means a healthy mum, which then together equals a healthy baby.
Pregnancy Gifts for First Time Mums at New Mama Kit
If you are a mum-to-be soon or know someone who is about to be a mum and looking for ways to support the journey to motherhood, then New Mama Kit is the place for you. We proudly offer a care pack for new mum customised by Mums for new Mums. We are here to both support and spoil you with our hampers for new mums, which contain unique and practical items for mums to help in a healthy delivery. Shop today and get free delivery in Australia! Eat healthy, stay healthy!