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Guidelines for Healthy Pregnancy

Updated on October 27, 2012

A healthy pregnancy is something every woman wants from the moment they find out they are carrying a child. However, the process of gestation is lengthy and can sometimes be complicated so it is important to educate oneself regarding the ways on how to remain healthy and in great shape.

An excellent pregnancy diet plan should be in place for the entire 9 months in order to ensure that the mother as well as the child receives proper nourishment. Below are the most important guidelines that pregnant women should follow, especially when it comes to their eating habits.


Do Not Overindulge

It is a misguided belief that pregnancy warrants "eating for two". What's more is that it is unhealthy, especially since pregnant women think they can eat pretty much anything they want. When it comes to managing cravings, it is important to maintain balance between eating right and indulging one's taste buds.

Limiting one's intake of junk food, fast food, and anything unhealthy is very important as it can cause a number of problems and/or serious complications. Salt, sugar, and fat are among the things to avoid during pregnancy as they can cause elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excessive weight gain.


Plan Your Meals a Week at a Time

Eating home cooked meals is the best way to maintain a healthy diet, so it would be wise to plan ahead using a systematic method of shopping and cooking. There are several pregnancy diet plans online that provide excellent recipes and cooking tips for expectant mothers so it should not be too hard to plan an entire week's worth of meals.

It should be noted, however, that produce must be bought fresh in order to get as much nutrients as possible. After all, the bulk of nourishment pregnant women need come from fresh fruits and vegetables.


Meal Suggestions:

Breakfast

Consuming fresh fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, bananas, strawberries, and kiwi is advisable for pregnant women, especially during the first 5 months. Having 2-3 servings of one or more types of fresh fruits would greatly help in fulfilling the daily requirement for essential vitamins.

Should the fruits be insufficient, you can also consume one whole egg (with or without the yolk), whole wheat bread, or toast. The goal is to feel full, sans all the unnecessary calories from fat and sugar.


Lunch and Dinner

Lean meat, fish, and vegetables make for a perfect lunch/dinner ensemble. Certain cuts of beef, chicken, and turkey come highly recommended, since they are excellent sources of protein. However, pregnant women are warned against consuming certain types of fish, especially those that contain mercury such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and King mackerel.

It is also ill advised to eat raw fish based dishes such as sushi and other Japanese delicacies, which may contain mercury and/or parasites.

The best types of seafood to consume include tuna, salmon, catfish, cod, sea bass, tilapia, Pollock, prawns, and crab. Just make sure everything is clean and cooked perfectly.


Tip:

An extra 300-500 calories per day is the acceptable limit for pregnant women. Anything beyond this number is considered unhealthy and may very well cause any number of complications for both mother and child.

Supplementation

A healthy pregnancy can also be achieved by taking natural supplements in order to fill the gap in one's daily nutritional requirements. While it is good to have a healthy diet plan in place, supplementation is usually recommended by OB-GYNs to cover all the bases.

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