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Nutrition: Before, During, and After Pregnancy

January 2, 2009 by  

iStock_000005697170XSmall One of the most important decision you will make in your life is the decision to start a family and having a baby.  It’s just as important to understand the importance of good nutrition before you conceive, after you are pregnant and yes even after you have given birth.  It is crucial to eat well during these times to avoid the risk of complications. 

Nutrition Before Pregnancy

So you have decided to have a baby and you know that eating well and eating the right healthy foods will ensure the well being of your baby.  Now is the time to plan for the good health of your baby by eating nutritionally sound meals so your baby will have a good health environment to grow in. 

Since you have decided to start a family you should begin evaluating what you are eating to make sure you are getting enough nutrient stored in your body to carry your baby full term.  First thing to do to make sure you have the nutrients you need is to take  a prenatal supplement with the proper amount of folic acid.  Check with your doctor for recommendation of the amount  you should take.  Some of the benefits of Folic Acid are:

  • Helps to prevent congenital disorder like spinal bifida
  • Helps facilitate proper cell growth
  • Helps proper development of the embryo
  • Helps reduce risk of neural tube defects
  • Helps reduce the risk of recurrent miscarriage
  • Helps reduce the risk of preterm delivery and even low birth weight babies.

The importance of a balanced diet is a known part of good health in anyone’s life, but it’s even more important when you are pregnant.  Just remember that the only nutrients your baby gets is through you and what you eat.

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Now you are pregnant it’s essential for you to continue eating as good as you can through the nine months of your pregnancy.  One thing to realize and be careful of within the first three months is how hard it is to eat a balanced diet when you are having morning sickness and food aversions.  Eating junk food is not going to help your baby and give your baby the nutrients they need.

When you eat well during your pregnancy it helps your baby eat well after she/he is born.  Research has shown that what your baby is exposed to when developing like fruit and vegetables will be less fussy when they are growing up.

One of the most important nutrients that you and your baby needs is iron.  Not having enough iron could lead to anemia.  If you think that you are not getting enough iron check with your doctor about taking an iron supplement.

Finally, one of the best things you can do for your baby and yourself for that matter is eating right during your pregnancy.  Just look at the foods in your diet and make sure that they provide the nutrients you and your baby needs.

Nutrition After Pregnancy

Just as important as good nutrition before and during pregnancy is the importance of proper nutrition after the birth of your baby. It should be easy to continue your good eating habits by eating a good-quality diet just as you have been doing.  If you are not going to breastfeed you should eat just the way you were prior to getting pregnant.  If you are breastfeeding you need special nutritional management.

You will have a few problems after the birth of the baby as far as you are concerned like getting your iron back up to normal again, dealing with fatigue, maybe a little constipation here and there but just take a creative approach to your eating habits by choosing the right foods will help.  The secret to post-pregnancy nutrition is to gradually regain a desirable figure, while maintaining or restocking nutrient stores.

It is also important to first consult your physician before starting any physical activity program to start your healing process.  Ask your doctor about any precautions you need to take before you start getting your body back in shape again to prevent any injuries you could experience.

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