Posts Tagged ‘natural weight gain’

Diet Plans for Pregnant Women

November 21st, 2010

Copyright 2010

Consideration of diet plans during pregnancy should be undertaken with great caution for your health and that of your baby.While they’re not always first on the list of priorities for pregnant women, diet plans created specifically for moms-to-be are nevertheless a popular and well-researched topic.

For many women, pregnancy is a time of insecurity and uncertainty. Your hormones are out of balance and you may experience that in the form of erratic mood swings, while the prospect of gaining additional weight can be an additional mental weight that adds to the stress that an expecting mother feels. Even more alarming is the possibility that the added weight might not come off once the pregnancy is over.

It’s easy to see why a woman would be apprehensive about the weight she’ll gain during pregnancy, and would seek diet plans that would help her to slim down despite the natural weight gain. But in considering your diet during pregnancy, it’s important for expecting mothers to concentrate more on the quality of their food rather than the weight that comes with pregnancy.

In general, diet plans for pregnant women do not stray far from the eating patterns that are normally considered healthy. Expectant mothers do well to heed common sense advice such as avoiding junk food and fast food, eating sweets sparingly, and increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables.

Whole grains should replace processed starches whenever possible; using whole wheat pasta and bread is a great start, as is reducing extra (unneeded) calories from liquids such as soda and juice. Pregnant women should take care to balance their caloric intake between carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. An expecting mother who follows these common sense tips will not gain any more weight than is necessary, and the development of these healthy eating habits will make it easier to return to her pre-pregnancy weight after the baby’s birth.

In addition to following healthy eating patterns, pregnant women should include certain foods in their diet plans that contain vitamins and minerals that are helpful to a baby’s development. The American Dietetic Association recommends that pregnant women increase the number of servings of fruits and vegetables to seven per day; these nutrient-packed foods will serve an expecting mother well.

Grains are especially helpful as they are an iron-rich food, and iron is important for the blood of both mother and baby. Calcium is another highly-recommended mineral for mothers, aiding in the development of teeth and bones for the baby, and can be obtained by including two or three servings of dairy in your daily diet; two eight-ounce glasses of milk will provide more than enough calcium for the day. Finally, folic acid aids in the development of an unborn baby’s nervous system and can be obtained by eating whole grains and green vegetables, or by taking a dietary supplement.

Fish are normally a healthy part of your diet plan, but must be eaten with caution during pregnancy.There are a few foods that mothers should remove from their diet plans; namely, certain types of fish.

The Environmental Protection Agency warns that although fish and shellfish are high in healthy nutrients such as lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, some species do contain mercury. If consumed in large amounts, mercury can damage a developing baby’s nervous system, so it’s important that mothers stay away from fish high in mercury. Common types of seafood low in mercury include light tuna, shrimp, and salmon, and expecting mothers should be safe in eating up to 12 ounces of these foods per week. Albacore tuna, or “white” tuna, however, contains higher amounts of mercury and pregnant women should consume no more than 6 ounces per week of this type.

It’s natural for a woman to be worried about the weight that she will gain during pregnancy, but it’s important to note that a developing baby needs adequate, and appropriate, nutrition to be healthy. Therefore, pregnant women should focus on diet plans that include a variety of healthy foods to limit the extra weight gained during pregnancy, and to ensure that they and their babies receive adequate nutrition rather than attempting to diet down to fight natural weight gain.

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