Most have heard the expression that when you're pregnant, you're eating for two. That should clue you in to the importance of practicing good nutrition during your pregnancy. There is an endless stream of information out there and a lot of it is good information, but some of it is not. To be safe, the best way to develop a good nutrition program for your pregnancy is to seek out the nutritional counseling services of a fertility clinic or doctor's office. These individuals are specially trained in nutrition during pregnancy and will help ensure that you are getting enough nutrients for both you and your baby.
While pregnant, folate and folic acid are good to prevent birth defects. Folate may be found in leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and dried beans, while folic acid can be found in certain cereals. Calcium is also important to strengthen bones (yours and your baby's). Dairy products are the best source of calcium, while certain cereals may be good sources as well.
Lean meat, poultry and fish (that does not contain mercury) are good sources of protein, which helps to promote growth for your baby. Iron to prevent anemia is also good during pregnancy. Lead red meat, poultry and fish (without mercury) are good sources.
Perhaps equally as important as learning what you should eat during your pregnancy is learning what foods you should avoid. Seafood that is high in mercury should be avoided, as well as raw, uncooked or contaminated seafood. Undercooked meat and poultry, including eggs, should also be avoided. Unpasteurized foods, unwashed fruits and vegetables and excessive caffeine are also to be avoided while pregnant. Alcohol and herbal tea should not be consumed, and pregnant women should not consume too much liver.
When you become pregnant or are thinking of becoming pregnant, having a sit down with a nutritional counselor may be helpful. Many professionals often recommend certain nutrition regiments before you even become pregnant. The goal of any pregnancy is for a healthy child and making sure that you eat right for you and your child are both very important.
Certain supplements may also be recommended in addition to a healthy diet. Some recommend taking a prenatal vitamin about three months before conception. Vegetarians are encouraged to speak with their doctor about vitamins that will help to supplement their diet with necessary nutrients they may miss by not eating meat. All pregnant women are strongly encouraged to discuss their diet and nutrition with their doctor upon learning of their pregnancy.