What is nutrition during pregnancy?
During gestation, the mother-to-be should opt for a healthy diet that includes all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. These include:
- fruits and vegetables
- well-cooked meat
- well-cooked fish
- aged cheeses and yogurt
On the other hand, you should reduce the intake of:
- complex carbohydrates, such as bread and sweets
- coffee and tea
- eggs (only hard-boiled eggs are allowed)
They are completely forbidden:
- raw fish and meat (including sausages)
- soft and moldy cheeses
- unpasteurized milk
as they may contain bacteria dangerous to the fetus and alcohol, which crosses the placenta and damages the baby’s nervous system. Some types of fish, such as swordfish, shark and crustaceans, contain potentially harmful contaminants, so it is advisable not to consume more than one serving per week.
You should also eat 4 to 5 meals a day, chewing slowly to avoid swelling of the abdomen. Do not forget to drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
Special care should also be taken not to place cooked food near raw food and to wash hands thoroughly after touching it.
Pregnant women should take into account the need to provide vitamins and nutrients to the developing fetus.
What are the risks of a poor diet during pregnancy?
During pregnancy it is essential to take care of the quantity and quality of the food consumed. We must forget the saying that you have to eat for two, because poor nutrition brings long-term problems not only for the mother-to-be, but also for the baby itself.
Vegetarian and vegan women, for example, should increase their intake of protein and vitamin B12 to avoid delaying the development of the fetus. A lack of essential fatty acids, found especially in oily fish, could lead to problems in the central nervous system of the newborn, while an insufficient supply of folic acid, for which supplements are often prescribed, can cause the fetus to develop pathologies such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
Other possible problems include lumbosciatica in the case of excessive weight gain, or underweight children and premature births with fetal distress in the opposite case.
What is the ideal weight during pregnancy?
If the diet is correct, not only will the child be healthy, but the woman will also lose the weight accumulated during the nine months in a natural way. To do this, she should calculate her body mass index before becoming pregnant.
This value is calculated by dividing the weight by the squared height and comparing it with the ideal range, called normal weight. Therefore, if the mother-to-be is underweight, a slight weight gain during the following months would be normal. Conversely, starting a pregnancy overweight means that the diet must be kept under control.
In particular, weight gain during the first three months, which is due to the enlargement of the uterus and blood circulation, should not exceed 1-1.5 kg unless there is an initial weight deficit in the woman. In general, it is estimated that weight gain during the entire gestation should be between 9 and 16 kg. Obviously, in the case of twin (multiple) pregnancies, these data will vary.