Pregnancy is one of the major life events in every woman and it is essential to make it as healthy as possible. The results of pregnancy are dependent on how the mother manages and nutrition is one of the important aspects in order to prevent pregnancy and fetal complications. Most of the fetal abnormalities that have been reported such as the presence of cleft lip and palate and other structural deformities in the newborn is largely associated with improper nutrition during conception.
The first three months of pregnancy is very crucial in the development of the fetus. During these times, pregnant women should maximize and improve the nutrition in order to have the best pregnancy and healthy baby. This article discusses the most important nutrient that plays a major role during pregnancy. These include:
Iron is one of the most important mineral that should be increased in pregnant women. During pregnancy, there is increase in the plasma blood volume resulting in hemodilution and physiologic anemia experienced by mothers. In order to reverse this, pregnant women should increase intake of iron rich foods in the form of organ meats such as liver, green leafy vegetables, grains, nuts and others. Iron helps increase the hemoglobin for better oxygenation and nutrition for the mother and the fetus. Iron also prevents possible anemia due to blood loss during delivery. Iron supplements can be taken every day as soon as pregnancy is known and up to 2 months after delivery.
Folic acid is important in the development of the central nervous system of fetus. Increasing folate intake during the first trimester prevents neural tube defects. Folic acid or foliate can be found in green leafy vegetables as well as whole grains. Pregnant women can also take folate supplements as directed by an obstetrician.
Iodine should also be increased to prevent congenital hypothyroidism in newborns as a result of lack of iodine. Iodine helps in the normal metabolism and the production of thyroid hormones.
Proteins are the building blocks of every cell. Increasing protein intake from lean meats, and plant proteins helps in the normal development of the fetus’ major organs. It also strengthens the musculoskeletal system of pregnant women preventing torn ligament while bearing the weight of the body and the fetus.
Although most of the nutrients should be increased during pregnancy, some of the vitamins and food compounds should be taken in moderation such as:
The intake of vitamin A of 100,000 units or more during the first trimester leads to congenital anomalies in the newborn such as cleft lip and palate. Pregnant women can get vitamin A from food sources and there is no need to take oral supplements for such.
Fats should also be avoided and mothers should only take polyunsaturated fats or vegetable oils to prevent hypertension in pregnancy.
Truly, nutrition is a major indicator of the pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy is the greatest time to improve such because we all want to have healthy and normal babies.
Guest Author Bio
Dr. Alapati Amarendra, the author is a writer from India. He recommends mlhs which is an individual private medical insurance company. Url of the site.