When you’re pregnant, you may feel tremendous excitement. You’re about to welcome a new family addition. Whether this is your first kid or not, your life is about to change dramatically.
You also probably understand this is a time when you should pay attention to self-care. You should only do what exercises a doctor recommends. You should cut out smoking and alcohol consumption and get plenty of rest.
Most women already know about these tips, but there’s more that you can do. You can also ingest certain foods and natural supplements during this time that medical science recommends. Let’s look at five of those right now.
If you’re looking at natural pregnancy supplements and talking to your doctor about them, don’t be surprised if the first thing they bring up is prenatal vitamins. There are several reasons why you need them, including:
Preeclampsia is something you particularly want to avoid because it causes high blood pressure and possibly protein in your urine after delivery or during pregnancy. You can’t replace balanced meals with prenatal vitamins, but they give you the extra micronutrients that make nutrition gaps less likely.
If you take prenatal vitamins, make sure you speak to your doctor before taking any additional vitamin or mineral supplements. The prenatal vitamin might already contain all the vitamins and minerals you need.
When you’re pregnant, you need more iron. That is because your maternal blood volume increases dramatically, by about 45%. You need iron for:
Some doctors estimate that close to 20% of pregnant women in the US don’t get enough iron. Some in this group even have anemia.
You want to watch out for pregnancy anemia because it can cause infant anemia, maternal depression, and sometimes preterm delivery. If you ingest a prenatal vitamin, that should get you the 27 mg per day that doctors recommend. However, you may be deficient and need more in some instances.
You can find folic acid (synthetic folate) in many supplements. Once you ingest it, it converts to L-methyl folate.
You want to ingest at least 600 micrograms every day during pregnancy. It helps you prevent congenital abnormalities like heart defects and cleft palate. It also reduces neural tube defect chances.
The prenatal vitamin you choose might have the recommended amount, but check to make sure. You might add a folate supplement in addition to what you’re already taking. Again, you’ll do best to have a doctor consultation about this.
However, you can’t live on nutritional supplements while you’re pregnant. Even in early pregnancy, you need some nutritious foods for both snacks and meals to combat the discomfort of morning sickness and lack of appetite.
Dairy products are a great way to go. That’s because you need to load up on that extra calcium and protein. You should go to the grocery store and pile up your cart with yogurt, milk, and cheese.
You want these dairy products because they all pack a ton of zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and phosphorous. You need all of that for a healthy baby.
Greek yogurt has more calcium than virtually any other dairy product, so you can eat that every day. If you experience boredom with it, you can always add some fresh fruit or a little honey.
Another food you’ll want to eat every day is legumes. That includes peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas, beans, lentils, and peas.
Much like dairy products, legumes give you hearty calcium, folate, iron, and protein boost. They also contain tons of fiber, which helps keep you regular.
The great thing about these foods is that there are so many ways you can prepare them. You can use chickpeas in salads, and you can make lentil soups and stews. Split-pea soup is great for a cold night, or you can do something like a three-bean salad.
If you combine healthy eating with the right supplements, you ensure you have a smooth pregnancy chance. Both you and your fetus will stay healthy till you bring them to term, and then you can welcome them into the world.
Make sure you communicate often with your doctor during this time. If you ever have any questions the internet can’t answer, reach out to them without hesitation.