Introduction to Prenatal Nutrition

Having proper nutrition during pregnancy is extremely important for the baby’s growth and survival, but many mothers do not know what nutrients are needed during pregnancy to create a thriving environment for the growing baby. Through this website, I hope to help provide accurate information to what prenatal nutrition should look like along with practical and affordable ways to implement prenatal nutrition in one’s lifestyle. In order to have a healthy pregnancy, women should have an intake of about 300 more calories than normal per day. The calories a pregnant woman gets should be a balance of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These types of foods that provide vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, proteins, iron, and folic acid all play a role in the baby’s fetal development, and proving the body with these nutrients helps reduce birth defects, maintain a healthy birth weight, and facilitate good brain development in the baby. Maintaining a healthy diet while pregnant not only gives the baby the necessary nutrients but also may help reduce some pregnancy symptoms for the mother such as nausea, anemia, and constipation. Along with maintaining healthy food choices, it is very important for pregnant women to maintain a fluid intake by drinking lots of water; hydration is especially important for pregnant women because dehydration can put strain on the body and the baby. Prenatal vitamins are also helpful in providing the baby with what it needs to grow and develop, but prenatal vitamins work in addition to a nutritious diet and are not a replacement for a nutritious diet. An example of a nutrient that is especially important during pregnancy is folic acid. Women should be consuming folic acid even before becoming pregnant because folic acid plays a role in reducing neural tube defects, but since neural tube defects occur in the first 28 days after conception, women should be maintaining their folic acid intakes because many mothers are not even aware that they are pregnant in the first 28 days. Folic acid is important in the beginning and throughout the pregnancy, and it is easily found in prenatal vitamins along with some leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, and fortified breakfast cereals. Folic acid is just one example of a necessary nutrient in a pregnant woman’s diet, and this along with many other components make up healthy prenatal nutrition and allow the growing baby to thrive in the womb and start its life healthy and happy.

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