Good nutrition during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is not only important for mothers, it is also crucial to the health of their babies. It’s important that you get the appropriate nutrients and energy needed to keep you and your baby healthy.
When you’re pregnant, you have a higher need for some vitamins and minerals. ChooseMyPlate.gov has helpful information about which food groups can provide an extra boost of vitamins and minerals.
Avoid calories from added sugars and saturated fats. These can be found in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Choose vegetable oils instead of butter, and oil based sauces and dips instead of ones with butter, cream, or cheese. Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Women of childbearing age should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Most doctors recommend pregnant women take a prenatal vitamin every day in addition to eating a healthy diet. However, keep in mind that supplements cannot replace a healthy diet but they can help ensure that you and your baby get enough important nutrients like folic acid and iron. It’s important to take vitamins only in the doses recommended by your doctor.
Expecting moms and women who are planning to become pregnant should avoid alcohol and other harmful substances, such as tobacco, marijuana and illicit drugs. Even moderate drinking during pregnancy can cause behavioral or developmental problems for your baby. Heavy drinking during pregnancy can result in serious problems for your baby, including malformation and developmental delays.
For more nutritional tips including a daily food checklist click here.
Moms who are breastfeeding have a higher need for some vitamins and minerals. When making food choices, avoid a lot of calories from added sugars and saturated fats. Rather, look for food choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no added sugars.
Breastfeeding moms may notice they’re a lot thirstier than before. This is why doctors recommend breastfeeding women increase their fluid intake on a regular basis. A common suggestion is to drink a glass of water or other, non-sugary, beverage every time you breastfeed.
For additional nutrition tips for breastfeeding moms, including a daily food checklist click here.