First off, no I am not expecting nor planning. Not that Brian and I have not talked about it, but we gave it to the Lord and he will bless us when it is his will. No hurry though! However, I wrote this because a lot of my friends are expecting and nutrition plays a large role in a healthy pregnancy.
Any women of child-bearing age should begin to provide their bodies with the nutrition it will need to have a healthy pregnancy. This includes vitamin and mineral supplementation along with a healthy diet. If you and your husband are planning on starting a family, or extending, it is best to go ahead and begin taking a prenatal vitamin. Let's talk about some of the important micro-nutrients you will need to be aware of.
Too many babies are being born with neonatal birth defects that may have been avoided had folate been supplemented along with proper diet. Right after conception, the neural tube will begin to develop (before you may know you are pregnant). Folate or Folic Acid supports new cell growth and makes the neural tube, which will develop into your babies spinal cord. See the importance??
Folic acid can be found in many foods. Start by eating citrus fruits and 100% juices, dark green leafy vegetables and enriched grain products. You may see enriched grains on many of your bread products and this is the reason why!
Some other important nutrients to begin taking note of...
Iron, calcium, zinc, choline, B vitamins, & vitamin C
When you fail to provide your body with enough calcium it begins to take it from your bones to help build your babies skeleton. Leaving you at risk for osteoporosis later in life. Three servings of low fat dairy products a day is the current recommendation. Good sources of zinc are found in lean beef, nuts, and wheat breads. Take note that majority of prenatal vitamins do not contain Choline. Eat pasteurized eggs, meats, and oatmeal.
Just make sure your diet includes a variety of healthy foods: whole grains, lean meats,fruits, vegetables and dairy. Eating a colorful meal, 3 times a day will allow your body to get the proper amount of nutrients. Your caloric intake will need to increase in order to get nutrients for you and the baby. Depending on your weight before pregnancy will decide how much. Generally, for those at normal weight 2500 calories a day is recommended for pregnant women.Small frequent meals helps to add a good variety to your diet.
Even if you are not planning for little one the same rules apply (minus the increase in calories)
- Start a prenatal as soon as you start trying
- Stay active- The only exercise restricted when pregnant are one's the may allow you to fall, so no climbing on monkey bars!
- Eat smart! Variety of foods with a variety of color. Aim for good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals.
- Eat "mini meals" throughout the day to allow for all of your nutrients. Plan ahead!
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can sneak up on you, so make a habit of carrying around a water bottle.
I hope you enjoyed your read. A week of baby talk with the hubby brings a lot more to think about! Once again, no babies for the Huggins anytime soon! Please, continue to read and learn as the Huggins fight to get and stay healthy!! Now, go practice making a baby ; )