Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest Post - A Healthy Mom Makes a Healthy Baby

Bringing new life into the world is an exciting experience, but there is a huge amount of responsibility that comes with being a mom. It all starts the moment you learn you are pregnant. From that point on you’ll do anything to help make sure you provide a healthy environment and body for your baby to develop in.

Making an appointment with your doctor should be the first step that you take. Planning for your pregnancy and delivery with your doctor will take place at your regular appointments. A doctor will be helpful in everything from nutrition and exercise to until signs of labor and post delivery options like umbilical cord blood banking and vaccinations.

One thing many women struggle with is what to eat while pregnant. There are various vitamins and minerals that become of the utmost importance while you're pregnant, for the baby’s development. Don't worry, your diet doesn't have to be boring and you don't have to feel like you're depriving yourself in order to consume the essential nutrients. Many foods contain them naturally, but you’ll want to make sure what you’re eating does contain these key nutrients:   

-Calcium: You need calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, as well as facilitate muscle contraction and nerve function. Sources of calcium include low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, and you should eat or drink at least 5 servings per day.

-Vitamin C: You know that old familiar saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? Well it seems to hold true when you're pregnant! You can find Vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, tomatoes, and many more. While pregnant, you should consume around 85mg of Vitamin C per day.

-Iron: Eating iron-rich foods will keep you from becoming anemic while pregnant. Foods rich in iron include lean meat, spinach, eggs, and fish with little or no mercury (For example, cooked salmon, crab, shrimp, and canned light tuna. Avoid eating uncooked fish or shellfish). The recommended amount is about 3 servings or iron-rich foods per day.

-Folic acid: Eating folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Sources of foods high in folic acid are leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and nuts. It is recommended that pregnant women consume about 0.4mg of folic acid per day.

Other nutrients, such as carbohydrates are also important. Although it is quite common for women to go on low-carb diets these days, refrain from such a restriction while you are pregnant. You'll need the energy and your baby needs those hearty grains too! Limit your caffeine intake, but make sure you drink plenty of fluids. You'll need 12 8-ounce glasses of water per day to keep you and your baby hydrated.  Also, avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, illegal drugs, and medications unless prescribed by your doctor.

When you're feeling like you're in need of a sweet treat, try a yogurt parfait to satisfy your craving. Use low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, and iron-rich granola. You'll get at least one serving of three important nutrients, plus the fruit and the whole grains of the granola will help keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. It's a healthy, delicious snack and can even serve as breakfast for a great start to your day!

Eating healthy will provide your baby with healthy build blocks to help him or her develop. You’ll also feel good as a result. Feeling good inside and out will help make pregnancy a more enjoyable experience.

This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.

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