Any to-be mom needs to be extremely cautious about what to eat while pregnant.
A perfect and balanced diet plan is important for the growth of the little one inside her tummy. Not only this, a good diet plan reduces the chances of getting through the C section, getting overweight, getting anaemic, or getting any other complexities.
Surely, pregnant women usually crave a variety of foods. Some might feel no craving at all, even no appetite. But, as this is not only for herself only- but for her baby as well, she needs to know well about the foods they can or should eat, and the foods they can’t eat.
Don’t worry! We’re here to provide a guideline for to-be moms and their babies.
How many calories a pregnant woman should eat:
Measuring calories is a good way to maintain pregnancy safely.
During pregnancy, the number of calories one should intake increases as the days pass.
- In the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy), the mother needs 1800 calories per day.
- In the second trimester, the need for calories per day increases drastically. About 2200 calories are needed per day for the to-be mom.
- And in the last three months- which means in the last trimester of pregnancy, she’s going to need about 2400 calories per day.
The number increases as the fetus grow up every day and turn into a baby, it is really important to meet the daily need for calories so that the baby can stay healthy.
How to eat healthy while pregnant:
Eating healthy varies from person to person based on their health and conditions. For example, eggs are highly nutritious and healthy, but someone who is allergic to eggs can’t include this on her diet, right?
So, here goes the tips for a pregnant woman’s diet plan.
- Check on allergies. Allergy is a condition that can occur at any point and get triggered even without you noticing it. It is safe to check on allergies and plan the diet chart accordingly.
- Check on your sugar level regularly. Yes, carbs are important for a diet plan. But pregnancy itself can bring high levels of sugar, even diabetes. Pregnant moms need to check on their blood sugar and insulin level regularly to make sure their carb intakes are always in the safe zone.
- Don’t forget to check on the cholesterol level as well! This is important to determine the number of fatty foods that can be included in the diet plan.
- The diet plan shouldn’t stay still. As the weeks pass, the plan needs to change as well. In the first trimester, the mother will need more foods with folate and iron. Folate to help the baby’s nervous system get developed, iron to help the mother’s blood to move oxygen.
- In the second trimester, the priority should be on Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Because the fetus starts growing its bones, teeth, and brain on this phrase. Vitamin D helps the baby get strong bones and teeth, whereas Omega-3 fatty acids help with their brain development. Including foods with a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D is important at this stage.
- And in the third and last trimester, the mother should eat a lot of power booster foods. Giving birth is not an easy job, and no matter how cautious you are, you’ll still lose some blood and your shape will still get a bit rough. Vitamin K is a must in this stage as this vitamin helps to heal faster.
- And, one important fact, drink water properly. At least two liters per day. It is crucial to keep your inner organs fine to keep the baby safe.
And most importantly, don’t forget to take regular suggestions from your physician about your diet!
Now, it’s time to get the answers to the frequently asked questions- “Which foods can I eat while pregnant?”
Which fishes are fine to eat while pregnant:
As mentioned above, pregnant mothers need a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins, fishes are a great source for that.
However, some sea fishes have a high amount of mercury. Mercury is harmful to the baby.
Hence, fishes with high mercury should always be avoided in a pregnancy diet plan. And, the fishes which are more like predators (Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, etc) are the ones with high mercury. Skip them.
Can pregnant moms eat sushi:
Sushi is often made with raw fish. And, raw fish can possess various bacteria, the most terrifying one is- listeria. Listeria causes the baby to get damage to their brain. Also, raw fishes contain an amount of mercury.
Hence, a pregnant mom should never eat raw fish sushi.
However, if you’re craving sushi way too much- you can have sushi with cooked fish. Fishes that are well cooked are usually free from listeria, and if the fish is not a predator type- the mercury will be gone too with the heat.
So, to-be moms, cooked fish sushi is the only kind of sushi you can eat while pregnant.
Eating shrimp during pregnancy:
Shrimp itself is not particularly troublesome. But, pregnancy might trigger allergic reactions at any point- which might cause rashes, asthma, fever, and other issues.
So, the answer to the question as to whether a pregnant mom can eat shrimp or not is, yes. Eating shrimp is fine. But only if you’re not allergic to this arthropod.
Is eating queso safe during pregnancy:
While a woman is pregnant, she sure needs to eat a lot of dairy products. As dairy foods are rich and balanced with nutrition factors.
But, non pasteurized dairy is big trouble for a pregnancy diet. Non pasteurized dairy foods are always at the risk of getting exposed to bacteria, especially listeria.
Queso is a specialized type of cheese made from non pasteurized milk. That means this particular type of cheese is a definite NO for pregnant women.
However, pasteurized cheese is fine though. But please remember to keep the balance!
Which fruits to eat while pregnant:
Fruits are a great source of carbs, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.
A pregnant mom needs to have 4-5 servings of fruits every day to keep in good health both for herself and her baby. Let’s take a look at the fruits that can help a pregnancy pass smoothly.
- Apricots are rich in vitamin A, E, and beta carotene. They help the fetus grow healthy.
- Orange is highly nutritious with vitamin C and Folic acid. They help the mother to stay more immune and their baby’s growth gets smooth.
- Mango is mouth-watering, isn’t it? Well, apart from the appetizing taste, this oriental fruit is rich with fibers that help both the mother and baby stay healthy.
- A medium-sized pear contains 101 calories and a huge amount of polyphenol antioxidants. Adding just one pear is sure to boost the diet plan for a pregnant mother.
- Avocados are familiar for their high food value. A slice of avocado– or maybe a glass of avocado juice is surely going to keep body toxins away from the to-be mom.
- Guava is not only cheap in price, but also rich in food value. What a combination! Apart from this, the high amount of vitamin B that guava contains is helpful for both the physical and psychological health of the new mom.
- The apples are good. Everyone knows that. 100 grams of apple contain 52 calories. This highly nutritious food can be helpful for the development of the nervous system of the baby.
- You can surely have dried fruits as snacks. They’re pretty rich with food value and tasty as well. But, you’re diabetic, you need to skip all sorts of dried fruits. Otherwise, they’re good to go.
Yogurt for to-be moms:
A pregnant mom needs a lot of protein and calcium. Yogurt is a great choice for that.
Yogurt is rich in high protein that will help the baby’s growth. And the calcium will help the baby get stronger bones and teeth.
All sorts of yogurts are fine to eat while pregnant. Curds help to reduce harmful fats, while greek and other yogurts help the baby’s bone development.
Surely, a pregnancy diet should include yogurts as yogurts are a great option to eat while pregnant.
Can pregnant women eat seafood:
It’s quite normal to crave seafood while expecting.
But yes, a to-be mom must be more cautious as the food she’s eating is reaching her baby as well.
Seafood is a diverse zone. Certain types of food are okay, but some foods may expose harm to the baby.
Most fishes and shellfishes (shellfishes are not fishes- lobster, octopus, squid, and other mollusks are considered as shellfishes) are good to go; they even contain a good amount of fatty acids. They’re beneficial.
But, the predator-type fishes that contain high levels of mercury are a straight NO.
So, you can eat mercury-free seafood only without worrying much.
Is eating steak okay during pregnancy:
Who doesn’t love steak! We understand that craving this Texas-style red meat is normal when you are pregnant, but be considerate. The baby might get hurt if you are not extremely cautious.
Steak is usually beef cooked in low heat. Remember, meats that are not well cooked often contain listeria. You can eat steak- but only if it is cooked at a safe internal temperature. Which is, 145° Fahrenheit or 63° Celsius.
Also, refrain from eating steak if you’re allergic to beef or if you have a high level of cholesterol.
Is peanut butter safe for pregnancy:
Peanut butter is a source of folate, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and proteins.
You could say, peanut butter is a complete package of nutrition. All these nutritious elements are likely to boost the mom’s energy, help the baby’s nervous system, growth, brain development, and mom’s health as well.
So, soon-to-be mom, don’t worry! Peanut butter is safe to eat while pregnant. But, only if you’re not allergic to peanuts. Keep your allergy records on your mind before eating anything.
Which snacks to eat while pregnant:
Most pregnant women love spicy and junk foods as snacks during their pregnancy. But pregnant moms, be careful!
You are not alone! There’s another little human inside you.
Eating a lot of junk foods might increase your body fats, cholesterol level, and what is most horrible- they can even harm the birth process.
So, even if it seems hard, please skip junk.
Fruits, salad, all kinds of nuts, beans, and healthy soups are good snacks to eat while pregnant.
In short, snacks that contain less cholesterol and more nutrition are the snacks that are perfect for pregnant moms.
Things you can’t eat while pregnant:
A pregnant mom needs to take care of her diet to keep herself and her baby harm-free.
For that purpose, they need to refrain from eating some particular foods which may cause harm to the pregnancy itself.
- All types of undercooked foods should be avoided. Undercooked foods are likely to get exposed to bacteria, hence everything that is not cooked at a safe internal temperature should be out of the pregnancy diet plan.
- Even though fruits are great, papaya is always a big NO to pregnancy diet meals. Papaya contains high amounts of latex, which is harmful to the fetus.
- Everything that contains high mercury is harmful to the baby’s brain development. Hence, predator types of sea fishes are never to be included in a pregnant woman’s meal.
- Non pasteurized milk substitutes are harmful to the fetus. Queso and similar kinds of dairy products must be excluded from a pregnancy diet.
- The pregnant mom needs to identify her allergies and refrain from the foods that can trigger her allergic reaction.
Be cautious. And most importantly, stay in touch with the physician regularly. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, all you need to do is, staying super cautious with the foods you eat while pregnant.