Eating For Two!

woman visiting pregnant friend(BlackDoctor.org) — Congratulations!!! You’re about to be a Mommy! Maybe this is your first time or maybe it’s your fifth. Who cares? Being a mother is a blessing. Pregnancy is a joyous occasion, but it is also an occasion that requires a lot of precautions. During pregnancy what you eat, your baby eats, which is why it’s extremely important to learn how to eat for two.

Diet

A nutritious diet will provide you with the 40 or so essential nutrients needed by your body and for your baby’s health. The following is a list of the food groups, the suggested serving sizes and examples of servings for each group for pregnant women.

Bread, Grains and Pasta (6-11 servings)

• 1 slice bread

• 1 pancake

• 1 tortilla

• ½ bun

• 1 bagel or English muffin

• 1 small muffin

• ½ cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal

• 1 roll

Vegetable Group (3-5 servings)

• ½ cup chopped raw or cooked vegetable

• 1 cup raw leafy vegetable

• ½ cup vegetable soup

• 10 french fries

• 1 medium potato

Fruit Group (2-4 servings)

• 1 piece fruit

• ½ cup juice

• ½ cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit

• ¼ cup dried fruit

• ½ grapefruit

• ¼ cantaloupe

Protein and Meat Group (2-3 servings)

• 3 ounces cooked meat

• ½ cup cooked beans

• 1 egg

• 1/3 cup nuts

• 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Dairy Group (2-3 servings)

• 1 cup milk or yogurt

• 1 ounce cheese

• ½ cup pudding

• ½ cup ice cream

• ½ cup cottage cheese

Vitamins

Folic acid or folate, is a special vitamin. This vitamin has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, a defect in the spinal column. Folate helps develop the neural tube that becomes the baby’s spine. The neural tube starts to develop shortly after conception and is closed at 28 days. Foods rich in folate include citrus fruits and juice; dark, green, leafy vegetables like spinach; whole grain and fortified breads and cereals; wheat germ; nuts; legumes; lentils; and lima beans.

Even if you are eating a healthy diet, your doctor may recommend a prenatal vitamin. This supplement will contain additional necessary nutrients including folate, iron and calcium. Some women experience less morning sickness complications such as nausea and vomiting if they begin a prenatal supplement before conception. The nutrient zinc, also found in the supplement, may help with fertility.

Once you begin taking the prenatal supplement, you should STOP taking other supplements. Excessive amounts of certain nutrients can be toxic and hazardous to your health and the baby’s development. It is a good idea to discuss, with your doctor, any herbal supplements, teas, or products that you may be taking. Some of these products may be harmful to your baby.

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