Different people welcome the news of pregnancy differently. If you have been waiting for it for a while, the news will send you into a state of euphoria and excitement. However, for those who were not ready, the news comes with mixed feelings.
The next thing on the agenda is ensuring you and the baby are healthy throughout the pregnancy period and even after. One important thing to do as an expectant mother is to attend a prenatal clinic where you will be advised on what to do, eat, drink, as well as the medication you should take, etc.
The prenatal clinic should start immediately you learn that you are pregnant because some fetal organs like the fetal heart, develop in the first trimester. If you don’t want to have a baby with heart problems, keep reading to learn the foods you should be eating during pregnancy.
The Fetal Heart
For a baby to develop well in your womb, it needs a properly functioning heart to pump blood to all parts. One of the main roles of blood is to carry nutrients that are necessary for growth and development, to different parts of the body. A baby’s heart begins pumping blood by the seventh week of pregnancy and hence it’s important that a pregnant mother immediately starts to feed on a nutritious diet.
The neural tube along the baby’s back closes at around week four and divides into the spinal cord and the brain. Any nutritional deficiencies in the mother will lead to a deformed baby.
The brain, heart, and spinal cord are the major organs of the developing baby, while the others come with time. Here are some foods a pregnant mother should feed on to give the forming baby a shot at a healthy heart and other healthy organs.
When pregnant, it is advisable to exchange your white flours and bread with their grain and wheat alternatives. Moreover, whole grain bread is becoming popular due to its nutritious value. When you go grocery shopping, opt for flax, whole wheat, or quinoa noodles.
As a pregnant mother, get at least one or two days a week to eat heart-healthy oatmeal. If you don’t get satisfied, complement it with fruits and spices.
Generally, it is a good habit to add greens to your breakfast smoothie so that you don’t get tired of taking greens. It’s also a great way of getting your little ones to take greens without tasting them.
Most greens come loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber, and yet are low in calories. The best greens for a pregnant mother are kale, artichokes, spinach, cabbage, watercress, Romaine lettuce, and microgreens, among many others.
If you are a meat-lover, when pregnant you might want to cut off high-cholesterol and fat-laden meats. Examples of these kinds of meat include pork, beef, chicken skin, and lamb. Rather, eat lean protein meats like turkey breast, skinless chicken, and oily fish for animal protein.
Low-fat dairy such as Greek yogurt and whole milk are great calcium sources. Make sure your dairy products have been safely pasteurized for the safety of mother and developing baby.
Beans and Nuts
If you are a vegetarian, nuts and beans will be your best meal during pregnancy. Nuts like almonds, cashews, and legumes like chickpeas and lentils will provide you with healthy proteins and copper that is essential for fetal development. Legumes could have a weird taste when you are not used to them, therefore start with small portions and keep increasing as you get used to them.
Before I Forget…
As much as every pregnant woman is told what foods to eat and what exercises to do, we should also remind you about the things you should refrain from. They include alcohol, drugs, smoking, caffeine, and some drugs.
Once you find out you are pregnant and have been taking some medication for another condition prior to that, ask your doctor whether you should keep on with them or stop immediately. Most of these drugs, alcohol, and smoking negatively affect the growth of the baby leading to deformities or miscarriages.
As a pregnant mother, ensuring the health of your developing baby is paramount. The first trimester is the most crucial since major body organs develop at this time. You want to attend prenatal clinics so that you are given mineral supplements that you can combine with a proper diet. Involve greens, lean protein, beans and nuts in your daily diet to have a healthy baby.