Nutrition During Pregnancy

There is an important relationship between the nutrition of the pregnant woman and the health of the baby in the womb. The physical and mental growth and development of the baby in the mother’s womb is possible with the mother’s adequate and balanced nutrition during her pregnancy.

There are many factors that affect the birth of a healthy baby. You can’t control certain traits and hereditary factors related to your age. However, during your pregnancy, you can avoid some risk factors that are known to affect the pregnancy negatively and by eating adequate and balanced nutrition. (alcohol, smoking, drug use, etc.) You can give birth to healthy babies by avoiding Therefore, one of the cornerstones of both your baby’s and your health is adequate and balanced nutrition.

Problems that may occur in the baby due to inadequate and unbalanced nutrition of the mother during pregnancy:

  • premature birth, premature birth (premature)
  • low birth weight baby (birth weight below 2500g)
  • Baby births with insufficient physical and mental development
  • Stillbirths These problems that may occur as a result of inadequate and unbalanced nutrition; under 18 years old (in adolescent pregnant women)and women over 35 years of age, frequently (less than 2 years)conceived and multiple pregnancy (twin, triplets)more common in women with


Inadequate and unbalanced nutrition during pregnancy; It negatively affects maternal and infant health and causes some health problems related to nutrition.


  • Anemia (Anemia): Inability to meet the increased need for iron during pregnancy, increased blood volume, frequent births (less than 2 years intervals) and decreased iron stores due to abortions, low utilization of dietary iron (mostly plant-based iron) in the body, and non-nutritive resources such as soil, paper, and lime. Ingestion (pica) is the main cause of anemia. anemia (anemia) in pregnant women; It can cause tachycardia, fatigue, dizziness, low birth weight infant birth and even infant death.

Why do you need more iron during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the amount of hemoglobin decreases with the increase in the mother’s blood volume. Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a component of blood. Hemoglobin is involved in the transport of oxygen to the developing baby through the placenta. A hemoglobin level of 11-12 g/dl is sufficient for a healthy birth.

It may be difficult to get enough iron from food to meet the iron need during pregnancy (inadequate absorption from iron sources, low consumption of iron-rich foods). Therefore, a diet rich in iron (iron-rich foods such as red meat, poultry, legumes, whole grains and fortified grain products)additional iron supplements (supplement) should be taken with the recommendation of your doctor. Taking these drugs on an empty stomach or with fresh fruit juices increases the use of iron in the body. In addition, consuming foods such as vegetables and fruits, which are sources of vitamin C, at every meal helps the body to absorb the iron in foods. Do not forget that the intake of tea and coffee with meals reduces iron absorption and causes anemia.

  • Edema:

Although edema seen especially in the last three months of pregnancy is a natural phenomenon, the amount and prevalence of edema in the body are important. Untreated preeclampsia endanger the life of both mother and baby, and this condition can be even more dangerous towards the end of pregnancy.

  • Osteomalasia (bone tissue destruction)

Insufficient consumption of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for the construction and health of bone tissue, and insufficient use of sunlight, which is a source of vitamin D, causes calcium and phosphorus withdrawal from the mother’s bones, thus softening the bones and deterioration of the bone tissue. (osteomalasia)causes.

Adequate intake of calcium, which forms the bone structure, during pregnancy helps the development of the baby’s skeletal structure and the preservation of the mother’s bone mass.

Adequate consumption of calcium during pregnancy protects you from the risk of osteoporosis in the later period.

  • Pregnancy poisoning (toxemia):

Due to many reasons, including malnutrition, severe edema in the hands and feet occurs as a result of increased blood pressure (hypertension) and loss of protein in the urine in the last period of pregnancy. Since the placental circulation is not good, the baby cannot be fed well, infant deaths may occur. It can occur frequently in pregnant women with chronic diseases (kidney, heart disease, diabetic), advanced age (over 35 years), women who have had multiple and frequent births.

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders During Pregnancy:

Gastrointestinal disorders due to hormonal changes in pregnancy; morning sickness, constipation, heartburn, and bloating. These discomforts can be alleviated with small changes in your diet.

Nausea, which is mostly seen in the first trimester of pregnancy, is caused by hormonal changes, especially the increase in estrogen levels. While morning sickness is temporary for some pregnant women, it may be permanent for others. Pregnant women may experience severe nausea/excessive vomiting, which can cause weight loss and water/electrolyte loss (dehydration). You can alleviate your nausea by making small changes in your diet:

  • Since pregnant women’s sense of smell is very sensitive, odors that are not normally bad can be disturbing during this period. You should not be in environments where food smells are intense. You should avoid very spicy foods and other smells that cause nausea.
  • Before getting out of bed in the morning; Consume crackers, plain toast or dry cereals (breakfast cereals, cereal, etc.). In this way, the digestive process can be started and the stomach acid level can be reduced.
  • To prevent your stomach from being empty; You should consume food little by little and at frequent intervals throughout the day. Drink beverages between meals, not with meals. Eat your meals slowly.
  • Choose easily digestible carbohydrates such as plain pasta, crackers, potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables. Limit your consumption of fried and other high-fat foods.


Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause your bowel muscles to relax and your bowel movements to slow down. This can result in constipation. Iron supplements (supports) used can aggravate constipation even more. You can prevent or alleviate constipation with changes in your diet.

These changes are:

  • Consume foods with high fiber content such as vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, dried legumes. Increase your fiber amount by consuming at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits, whole wheat bread, whole grain products and legumes twice a week.
  • Increase your daily fluid consumption. You should drink at least 8-10 glasses of fluid a day.
  • Prunes, prune juice, and figs can prevent constipation due to their natural laxative effects.
  • Regular physical activity ensures that bowel functions are normal. Walking, swimming and light exercises are the best exercises to do during pregnancy.


Heartburn, which is mostly seen in the last three months of pregnancy, is caused by the pressure of the baby on the digestive organs.

To alleviate discomfort:

  • Eat your meals sparingly and often.
  • Avoid very oily and spicy foods.
  • Do not consume caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, cocoa, as they may cause nausea and heartburn.
  • After meals, you can take a walk to suppress gastric secretion.
  • While sleeping, you should keep your head high and choose comfortable clothes.
  • Do not use drugs such as antacids without consulting your doctor.


Craving that occurs with hormonal changes during pregnancy; a strong craving or an extreme aversion to certain foods (disgusted) defined as the condition. Taste changes are usually the result of hormonal changes and are most common after the first month of pregnancy. (or rarely postpartum ) is improving. Too much reluctance in food intake and consequently insufficient consumption of some food groups

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