During pregnancy, what a woman eats and drinks is her baby’s main source of nourishment. The basic principles of healthy eating while being pregnant remain the same — get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. However, there are a few nutrients in a pregnancy diet that deserve special attention.
Before we dive into that, there are a few key components of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy as recommended by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which includes:
- Appropriate weight gain
- A balanced diet
- Regular exercise
- Appropriate and timely vitamin and mineral supplementation
So what are the key vitamins and minerals that are needed for a balanced diet to promote appropriate weight gain?
Here are what’s top of the list.
1. Folic acid
Folic acid (or also known as folate when found in foods) is a B vitamin (vitamin B9) and is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects.
How much you need: 400 micrograms (mcg) a day of folate or folic acid before conception and 600 to 1,000 micrograms of folate or folic acid a day throughout pregnancy.
Good sources: Fortified cereals are great sources of folic acid. Dark green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and dried beans, peas and lentils are good sources of naturally occurring folate.
Ever heard your mum or experienced mums saying “make sure you drink lots of milk, or your tooth might fall out”?
Well, if you don’t consume enough calcium, the mineral will be drawn from your bones and given to the baby to meet the extra demands of pregnancy. Calcium also supports healthy functioning of the circulatory, muscular and nervous systems.
How much you need: 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day.
Good sources: Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Non-dairy sources include broccoli and kale.
During pregnancy, you need double the amount of iron that nonpregnant women need. Why? Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body’s tissues. Your body needs this iron to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. Not having enough iron during pregnancy may lead to anemia, a condition resulting in fatigue and an increased risk of infections.
How much you need: 27 milligrams a day.
Good sources: Lean red meat, poultry and fish. Other options include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans and vegetables.
It is also important to note that during pregnancy, it is harder for a woman’s immune system to fight infections. This makes a pregnant woman more likely to get the flu and other diseases.
Try adding probiotics such as the HAPPY MI & BITM Blueberry Drink Mix with 30 Billion CFU Probiotics into your daily routine to help promote a healthy immune and digestive functions, as well as support a healthy mood.
HAPPY MI & BITM
HAPPY MI & BITM is a premium, all-natural probiotic food that is specially designed with caring mommies & babies in mind.
Benefits of HAPPY MI & BITM include:
- Less Allergies – Reduced risks and/or severity of sensitive skin/nose or red eyes.
- Support Mothers’ Health – Support healthy mood & blood sugar level.
- Healthy Immune Defense – Enhance body’s defence & protection against illness.
- Comfort for Tummy – Relieve symptoms of digestive discomfort including feeling gassy, nauseous and constipated.
- Best Start for Babies – Help develop a balanced immune system with lasting benefit up to 11 years.