Many new mothers are anxious to begin losing the weight they gained during pregnancy after they have given birth. The nutritional needs of a new mother during the postpartum period are just as important as they are during pregnancy. Pregnancy can rob a woman's body of iron and other vital nutrients. Eating a healthy diet after pregnancy can help restore nutrients and give a new mother extra energy during the sleep-deprived early weeks of new motherhood.
Most people know the basics of a good diet to maintain during pregnancy: stay hydrated, consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid excess sugar and trans fats. However, there are certain simple recipes that can help boost your nutrition and energy during pregnancy. Incorporate a few of these into your diet to help your changing body feel its strongest.
Gaining weight during pregnancy is nearly unavoidable, though much of it can be attributed to carrying extra fluid in your body in addition to the weight of the baby itself. That being said, a woman who is already overweight may dread the idea of gaining extra pounds, or she may be concerned about the effect of her weight on her pregnancy and delivery. For those reasons, many women are tempted to diet while pregnant. The reasoning may seem logical, but is it safe?
When a doctor diagnoses a pregnancy, one of the first things she will do is prescribe a prenatal vitamin. While most vitamins and minerals are best received through good nutrition, it is not always possible to get everything a growing baby needs from food alone. However, some women dislike taking prenatal vitamins for various reasons. Whether considering taking a prenatal vitamin or discontinuing use, it is important to fully understand the benefits of prenatal vitamins for both you and your baby.
High blood pressure (or hypertension) in pregnancy can be dangerous for your health and your baby's. Affecting about 6 to 8 percent of pregnancies in the United States, high blood pressure is more common in first-time pregnancies, in pregnant women under age 20 and over 40, if you're obese, or if having multiple babies. The most serious scare is preeclampsia, which can be life-threatening for both mom and fetus. In some cases, a woman's obstetrician will recommend bed rest. In any case, there are some things a woman can do on her own to help reduce high blood pressure, including eating a healthy diet. Discover five foods for high blood pressure in pregnancy.
As many women realize after giving birth, shedding those extra pounds you packed on while you were pregnant is not so easy. In fact, the International Journal of Obesity notes that gaining more than 8 lbs. post-pregnancy is common. Unfortunately, postpartum weight gain is associated with a number of health issues. So if you find yourself gaining excessive weight after your pregnancy, remember to eat right, exercise and talk with your doctor.
When a woman is pregnant, her hormones go wild. Not only do these hormones frequently bring a woman to tears, the Colorado State University warns that they also suppress a woman's immune system. This makes it much harder for a woman to fight off many of the typically insignificant food-borne illnesses. This also puts a baby at risk of contracting food-borne illnesses through the mother. To prevent tragedy, avoid these 10 things not to eat while pregnant.
Getting sufficient iron in your diet when you're pregnant helps prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Pregnant women use up all the nutrients from the foods that they eat very efficiently to provide nutrition to their babies, and iron is no exception. Iron helps carry oxygen throughout your body and to your baby. If you are taking a prenatal vitamin, it probably contains at least 27 mg of iron, which is the daily amount recommended by the National Institutes of Health for pregnant women.
It's also important to eat foods high in iron, since the mineral is more easily absorbed from food. Eat your iron-rich foods with a food source of vitamin C, such as citrus juices, broccoli, bell peppers and cabbage. Several studies, including "The Role of Vitamin C in Iron Absorption" by Hallberg et al. in the "Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research," have shown that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) helps you absorb iron. And when you eat foods high in iron, avoid eating coffee, tea, dairy or soy products at the same time, as these foods are high in minerals and other substances that block the absorption of iron. Also talk to your doctor about the upper and lower limits of iron intake from food and supplement sources that are best for you.
Pregnant women need healthy carbs, and plenty of them---nine servings daily, according to "Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide" by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler. Healthy carbs are complex carbohydrates such as bread and pasta made from unrefined grains, beans, legumes, potatoes with their skins, fruits and vegetables. Healthy carbohydrates retain the nutritious, high-fiber content that the refining process eliminates.
Healthy carbs fill you up and are highly nutritious to boot, with plenty of vitamins and protein, furnishing many of the extra calories you need to provide nutrition for your unborn baby. There's one catch: If you have gestational diabetes, it's especially important to check with your doctor about your carbohydrate intake, since you may need to moderate your starchy foods to control your blood sugar.
A positive pregnancy test creates a wide range of emotions and concerns. After the initial excitement wears off, many pregnant women start wondering what is safe during pregnancy. A healthy diet during pregnancy is important to the developing baby. Just as important is learning the foods to avoid during pregnancy. Many foods on the list to avoid during pregnancy can potentially cause serious risks to an unborn baby.