Following the right nutritional program is very important for pregnant women. This can help to make the pregnancy more comfortable and avoid potential problems. This includes eating the right kind of diet as well as taking the appropriate supplements when necessary. Let’s look at four nutritional tips that pregnant women should keep in mind.
1. Eat Plenty of Whole Grains
Whole grains are healthy at all times, but have particular benefits during pregnancy. Whole grains are a good source of magnesium, which helps to regulate your body temperature. This is especially important during the second and third trimesters, when many hormonal changes in the body take place. Magnesium also helps to promote calmness and reduces anxiety.
2. Take an Omega-3 Oil Supplement
The essential fatty acids found in omega-3 oil supplements are helpful in a number of ways. They can help with key aspects of your baby’s development, such as with the brain and retina. Due to concerns about mercury and other toxicity found in some seafood, it’s best to seek out an omega-3 oil supplement that is from a safe source.
3. Be Sure to Get Enough Iron
Iron is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy. Natural sources of iron include red meat, vegetables and whole grains. Taking an iron supplement or a prenatal vitamin with iron can ensure that you get enough of this essential mineral. Pregnant women need extra iron because pregnancy increases the amount of blood in your body by almost 50%. Both you and your baby need additional iron to create extra hemoglobin. If you aren’t sure you are getting a sufficient amount of iron, schedule an appointment with a high-risk obstetrician like Dr. Gilbert Webb to get a blood test and nutrition recommendation.
4. Take a Supplement with Folic Acid
Folate is an important B vitamin that has been shown to prevent birth defects. You can get this important nutrient either from foods, in the form of folic acid or in supplement form. Foods that are high in folic acid include leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits and nutritionally fortified cereals. Many health experts recommend taking a prenatal vitamin that contains 400 mcg of folic acid.
Eating a balanced diet and taking the appropriate supplements can help to ensure a smooth pregnancy. Your doctor can advise you on any specific requirements based on your medical history. The above recommendations, however, can be used as guidelines to help you choose the right foods and supplements during pregnancy.