Pregnancy is a time to renew you and your family’s commitment to health. Whether you are a first-time parent or seasoned mother of many, following these tips will set you and your baby on a nutritious path for success:
Dark leafy greens are packed with folate and help with placental health and prevention of neural tube defects. Greens also provide an extra fiber bonus. Eating at least 28 grams of fiber a day will ease constipation and reduce hemorrhoids.
Baby needs lots of building material, especially protein. Meats, eggs, legumes and nuts are all great sources of protein. Animal proteins are also super sources of iron. Increased blood volume during pregnancy means you have a greater need for iron. Extra protein does double duty!
When calcium intake becomes too low, baby draws from mom’s supply of bone calcium, compromising her bone health. Spinach, kale, salmon, sardines, dairy and almonds are easy picks to pack in calcium.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a fat abundantly found in cold-water fish like salmon and sardines. They stabilize mother’s mood, decrease postpartum depression and feed baby’s brain. Eating two to three servings of these fish each week will safely supply this healthy fat. Non-aquatic sources include walnuts and flax seeds.
Drinking lots of fluids, especially water, prevents constipation, flushes out infections and keeps you hydrated. About eight to 10 glasses each day is recommended.
— By Sophia Tasler, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.
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