Healthy eating during pregnancy is very important because, during this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals (1). Poor eating habits and excess weight gain can increase your risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications as well.
During pregnancy, a mom may need 300–500 extra calories in a day during the second and third trimesters. You have to choose healthy, nutritious foods to ensure the health of you and your baby. If the diet is lacking in key nutrients, it may negatively affect the baby’s development in the womb.
Key pregnancy nutrition:
A pregnant woman needs more calcium, folic acid, iron and protein than a normal woman. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), these four nutrients are important.
It is also known as folate. This prevents birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects.
It is hard to get the recommended amount of folic acid from the daily diet alone. The March of Dimes, recommends that women who are trying to have a baby take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. You have to continue for at least one month before becoming pregnant. During the pregnancy period, they advise women to increase the amount to 600 micrograms a day.
Folic acid rich food sources: leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, bread and pasta, beans, citrus fruits.