Eat Smart: 5 Nutrition Tips for Pregnant and Lactating Women

Eat Smart: 5 Nutrition Tips for Pregnant and Lactating Women

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Eat Smart: 5 Nutrition Tips for Pregnant and Lactating Women

 

Most of your life depends on the food you take. But as many of us are busy taking care of our professional and personal life, we often neglect healthy eating. That one pizza or coke contains all the calories necessary to nullify one trip to the gym. Healthy nutrition is very essential for women, particularly menstruating, pregnant and lactating women.

 

Women of specific ages should focus on specific diets as their hormones keep changing. Menstruating, pregnant, and lactating women require higher amounts of nutrients as compared to others. For example, they should increase the amount of iron in their diet. Meanwhile, post-menopausal women will need good proportions of calcium as compared to other women.

 

These specific nutritional needs should not get overlooked by work or lifestyle. By eating right at every age you can easily control your cravings, mood swings, and body weight. You’ll see the benefits right away; a boost in your energy levels, while also feeling and looking better. Let us see a few nutritional tips for pregnant and lactating women...

 

1. Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They are vital for the neurological and brain development of your baby. They are also helpful in making breast milk post-delivery. 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are available in salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring. If you are a vegan, you can try seaweed, which is a good vegetarian source of Omega-3 fatty acids. 2 servings a week provide you with decent amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids.

2. Add Good Amounts of Protein 

 

High-quality protein is necessary for the growth and development of the brain and nervous system. You can meet the required proportions of protein by consuming fish, poultry, and dairy along with red meat.

 

Vegetarians can incorporate good amounts of plant-based protein sources like peanut butter, tofu, chia seeds, oats, and others.

 

3. Eat Smaller Portions Frequently 

Instead of swallowing all at once, it is better to divide your meals into small portions and consume them at regular intervals. Eating lots of food at a time may make you feel uneasy, and  the nutrients from the food may not be absorbed as efficiently as when taken in divided portions.

 

4. Cut Down on Caffeine and Alcohol

As incredible as coffee is, high amounts of coffee may not do good for you in your pregnant and lactating days. In fact, it may interfere with iron absorption and in some cases lead to miscarriage. If you’re in need of a boost, try an energy bar or low-calorie energy drink, but be sure to run any new food by your doctor first. 

 

Alcohol should not be taken during pregnancy and lactation at any cost. This is because alcohol can pass through your placenta and reach your baby which leads to fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition which causes behavioral and low birth weight problems.

 

5. Avoid Harmful Foods

Avoiding unhealthy food is as important as consuming healthy food. Be selective during your pregnancy and lactation period with food; you must keep in mind that your baby eats whatever you eat. Foods such as cheeses, sushi, deli meats, and raw sprouts should be avoided. Fish such as albacore tuna, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel should not be consumed as they contain high levels of mercury, which in turn results in neurological issues in the fetus.

 

These are a few of the best nutritional tips for pregnant and lactating women. Healthy lifestyle habits give you a healthy baby. Consult a professional for preparing diet charts according to your body condition and follow the plan as strictly as possible.

 

HerbsDaily offers a wide range of vitamins and supplements to keep you healthy and fit during pregnancy and lactation.

 

Reference: 

https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-and-women

https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/healthy-eating-for-women

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/diet-and-nutrition-tips-for-women.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html#:~:text=Drinking%20alcohol%20in%20the%20first,drinking%20alcohol%20anytime%20during%20pregnancy.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007454.htm

https://www.house-foods.com/eat-happy/10-best-sources-of-plant-based-protein-by-whitney-e.-rd

https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/methylmercury-and-human-embryonic-development

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