Nutrition in Pregnancy

1 – Calories and Weight Increase

A pregnant woman needs about 300 more calories per day than a non-pregnant woman. This is an increase of about 15%, that is, 2300 calories/day. While the increase in daily calorie requirement is only 15%, the increase in the need for some substances can be up to 2 times. This situation reveals the importance of balanced nutrition, not over-nutrition.

While calorie consumption during pregnancy is minimal in the first 3 months, it increases rapidly after this period. In the second 3 months, these calories mainly cover the development of the placenta and embryo, while in the last 3 months, they are mainly spent on the growth of the baby. In a normal healthy woman, the recommended weight gain during the entire pregnancy is 11-13 kg. Of these 11 kilos, 6 kilos belong to the mother, and 5 kilos belong to the baby and its accompanying formations (placenta, amniotic fluid).

2 – Carbohydrates

The calorie requirement of the body is provided by the 3 main energy sources, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If carbohydrates are insufficiently taken, your body begins to burn proteins and fats for energy. In such a case, two outcomes can occur. Firstly, there is not enough protein to ensure the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system, and secondly, ketones appear. Ketones are acids that are the product of fat metabolism, and they can negatively affect brain development by disrupting the baby’s acid-base balance. Therefore, a low-carbohydrate diet is not recommended during pregnancy.

Rice, flour, bulgur, one of the sources of complex carbohydrates, besides being a source of energy for the mother, they contain plenty of B group vitamins and trace elements such as zinc, selenium, chromium and magnesium.

When carbohydrates are consumed in large amounts, they do not provide any extra benefit for the baby, and they only cause the expectant mother to gain excessive weight.

3 – Protein

Proteins are the basic building blocks of cells and consist of structures called amino acids. There are a total of 20 types of amino acids in nature. While some of the amino acids can be produced from other substances in the body, 8 of them, called essential amino acids, cannot be produced in the body and must be taken from the outside through food. Animal proteins are very important as they contain all of these 8 amino acids.

Pregnant women are recommended to take 60-80 grams of protein per day.

The main source of protein is animal foods. Meat, poultry and fish contain protein. In addition, milk and dairy products are also important in meeting animal protein needs.

4 – Milk and dairy products

A pregnant woman should drink at least 1-2 glasses of milk to provide the baby with calcium and other elements necessary for strong bones and teeth. It is important that the milk is pasteurized. Low-fat milk can be preferred in terms of weight gain. In cases where milk cannot be drunk due to gas and indigestion (lactose intolerance), 1-2 bowls of yogurt can be eaten instead. In case of insufficient calcium intake, support can be provided with external drugs.

5 – Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes

4 – Milk and dairy products

A pregnant woman should drink at least 1-2 glasses of milk to provide the baby with calcium and other elements necessary for strong bones and teeth. It is important that the milk is pasteurized. Low-fat milk can be preferred in terms of weight gain. In cases where milk cannot be drunk due to gas and indigestion (lactose intolerance), 1-2 bowls of yogurt can be eaten instead. In case of insufficient calcium intake, support can be provided with external drugs.

5 – Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes

These foods provide protein as well as vitamins and minerals. Protein is essential for tissue development and new tissue formation in a pregnant woman and her baby. A diet rich in such foods is beneficial. Meat should be consumed well cooked and raw meat consumption should be avoided in order to stay away from various parasitic infections.

6– Vitamin and mineral support, iron and folic acid

External vitamin support is not obligatory for a pregnant woman with a balanced and proper diet. It is best to take vitamins and minerals with natural foods. Care should be taken to wash fruits and vegetables well to prevent infections. With proper nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplementation is not required. However, iron and folic acid are excluded from this situation.

Since folic acid is of key importance for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system, it should be taken before becoming pregnant. The increased iron requirement during pregnancy cannot be met naturally. For this reason, especially after the second half of pregnancy, support is given with externally given iron drugs. Since iron deficiency anemia is very common in our society, if anemia is detected in the blood count performed at the beginning of pregnancy, support can be started from the very beginning of the pregnancy. Another importance of iron use during pregnancy is that it is necessary to adequately replenish the iron stores of both the expectant mother and the baby, even if there is no anemia.

7 – Salt

A special salt restriction during pregnancy is not obligatory unless there are special conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease. A pregnant woman should take 2 grams of salt per day. Insufficient or excessive salt intake adversely affects the fluid and electrolyte balance of the expectant mother. However, avoiding excessive salt consumption seems to be an appropriate attitude during pregnancy when edema is intense, like every healthy person.

8– Vegetarian Diet

Although it is objectionable, vegetarian diet can be continued during pregnancy provided that certain rules are followed. However, in this case, providing professional support for nutritional regulation with the help of a doctor and, if necessary, a dietitian; It would be an appropriate approach to replace the nutritional deficit that may occur due to meat and meat products with some other foods and vitamins.

9-Water-liquid

Fluid intake is very important during pregnancy. Even if there is no feeling of thirst, 8 glasses of water should be taken a day. With sufficient water intake, the toxins in the blood are diluted, and the problem of constipation in pregnancy is reduced. It also helps water intake, maintain skin elasticity and reduce the formation of stretch marks.

10-Coffee-Tea

Caffeine intake should be limited during pregnancy. 1 cup of coffee or instant coffee can be consumed per day. Too much is not recommended as it may increase uterine contractions. Tea should be consumed in clear and exaggerated amounts, if possible.

Especially in early pregnancy nausea, little and frequent feeding reduces nausea and bloating. Salty and solid foods (crackers, etc.) may be beneficial for pregnancy nausea.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *