What should the pregnant mother's diet be like?
The basic principle of nutritional care for the pregnant woman is to promote good nutrition, preserving maternal health and guaranteeing optimal growth and development of the baby!
Nutritional status prior to pregnancy is of great importance. If this is good, nutrient stores will be adequate to meet deficiencies during this period.
During pregnancy, nutritional needs increase due to the increase in demands to achieve the growth of the fetus, the formation of new structures such as the placenta and the support of the growth of some organs (uterus, mammary glands, blood) as well as the constitution. of energy deposits that ensure demands during childbirth and breastfeeding.
The ideal weight gain during pregnancy is determined individually, according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) prior to pregnancy.
Pregnant women with low weight should gain more kilograms to recover their nutritional status, while those who start out overweight should limit the increase, although an increase of less than 6 kg is not recommended even in cases of obesity.
The WHO recommends an additional intake of 285 Kcal/day for women who maintain their level of physical activity and for those who reduce it by 200 Kcal/day.
Nutritional recommendations for pregnant women
- Never follow diets that are excessively low in calories. These predispose to an increase in the formation of ketone bodies, which in excess can cause neurological damage to the fetus. During pregnancy is not the time to lose weight , but it is the time to improve the quality of the food ingested and eliminate “extra” meals.
- Respect meal times! This helps avoid eating large amounts without control, especially of low-nutritious foods.
- Increases the bioavailability of iron ingested in food. Red meats have twice as much iron as white meats. You can also increase the absorption of iron from legumes and vegetables by accompanying them with some source of vitamin C (citrus or natural guava juices).
- Since a significant contribution of calcium is necessary, choose semi or skim products that provide the same nutrient and less fat.
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid eating between meals, especially foods rich in fat and sugar (common sugar, sweets, pastries, soft drinks).
- Don't consume alcohol.
- In case of nausea and vomiting, divide your diet by eating smaller portions but more times a day, consume liquids separately from solids and avoid greasy foods.
- In case of reflux, the above instructions should be followed and avoid eating in the hours before going to bed.
- If you suffer from constipation, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day and eat foods rich in fiber (vegetables, fruits, whole grains).
- A folic acid supplement is essential from the beginning of pregnancy (ideally 3 months before starting pregnancy). The prenatal doctor will give you instructions for consumption.