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Prenatal Nutrition

Besides the 300 or so extra calories, it's important to get the right vitamins and minerals. Here’s what you need and how to get it.

Zinc:

Zinc is linked to a lowered risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and prolonged labor. It prevents intrauterine growth retardation as well.

Folic acid/folate:

Even before you get pregnant, you should start increasing this one. Doing so cuts your risk of birth defects.

Folic acid: 400 µg (0.4 mg)

Beta carotene:

This improves skin and vision. Plus, it recharges the immune system. It’s also crucial for proper cell and gene development.

Calcium:

Getting enough calcium can reduce the severity and lower the overall risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm delivery.

Dosage 1.5–2.0 g elemental calcium/day

Protein:

Your body needs a lot more protein now to help the fetus grow and ensure that baby’s hormones and muscles develop properly.

DHA:

 Higher levels of DHA in newborns correspond to higher birth weight. It’s also associated with a higher IQ, more advanced motor skills, and fewer emotional and  neurological problems later.

Iron:

Not enough can impair baby’s growth and increase the risk of hypertension, eclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight.

Iron: 30–60 mg of elemental iron

Vitamin D:

It helps increase blood circulation in the placenta and aids in calcium absorption.

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A supplementation is not recommended during pregnancy as part of routine antenatal care for the prevention of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality (strong recommendation1 ). • In areas where there is a severe public health problem related to vitamin A deficiency2 , vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy is recommended for the prevention of night blindness.

Up to 10 000 IU vitamin A (daily dose) OR Up to 25 000 IU vitamin A (weekly dose)

 

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44625/1/9789241501781_eng.pdf?ua=1&ua=1

 

Iodine:

In pregnancy, iodine also helps your baby's brain and nervous system develop. Iodine deficiencies are the most important cause of preventable intellectual disability and brain damage worldwide. A lack of iodine during pregnancy has also been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and stillbirth.

Pregnant women: about 220 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per day

Breastfeeding women: about 290 mcg

http://www.babycenter.com/0_iodine-in-your-pregnancy-diet_667.bc

http://www.thebump.com/a/nutrition-during-pregnancy

 

http://www.who.int/publications/guidelines/nutrition/en/

 

 

 

Nutrient

Non-pregnant daily RNI

Increase in pregnancy

Energy (kcal)

Around 2000kcal (depending on weight and activity levels)

Extra 200kcal in the 3rd trimester only

Folic acid/folate (mcg)

200

Extra 400 (1st trimester)
Extra 100 (2nd and 3rd trimesters)

Protein (g)

51

Extra 6g

Vitamin C (mg)

40

Extra 10mg (3rd trimester only)

Vitamin D (mcg)

0 (assumed gained from sunlight action on skin, although the RNI is 10 if you are in an 'at risk' group)

10mcg

Vitamin A (mcg)

600

Extra 100 mcg

http://www.dietinpregnancy.co.uk/pregnancy/nutritional-requirements-in-pregnancy.html

 

 

Pre-pregnancy BMI Category

Recommendated Total Weight Gain

Weekly Weight Gain

(after 12 weeks)

Underweight

BMI <18.5

12.5~18 kg (28~40 lb)

0.5 kg (1.0 lb)

Healthy weight

BMI 18.5~ 24.9

11.5~16 kg (25~35 lb)

0.4 kg (1.0 lb)

Overweight

BMI 25.0~ 29.9

7.0~ 11.5 kg (15~25 lb)

0.3 kg (0.6 lb)

Obese

BMI > 30

5.0~9.0 kg (11~20 lb)

0.2 kg (0.5 lb)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_nutrition

 

First trimester nutrition

The first trimester covers your pregnancy right from the time of conception when the first cells are formed, up until the end of week 12. It's an important trimester in terms of your baby's development – organs take shape, your baby starts moving and muscles form. Your 12 week old baby emerges from this trimester as a fully-formed foetus, about the size of a peach, ready to enter the second trimester.

There are increased requirements for folic acid and vitamin D and supplements for these vitamins are required. Vitamin A requirements are slightly raised, but be sure to avoid supplements containing vitamin A and liver/liver products as they contain a potentially toxic form of vitamin A. Safe forms of vitamin A are found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products

Supplement needs

We need to take folic acid (400 micrograms per day) and vitamin D (10 micrograms per day) during the first trimester. Taking folic acid supplements during pre-conception and for the first 12 weeks has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects, e.g. spina bifida.

Vitamin D is important for bone health, and helps us absorb calcium from our diet. Most women get the majority of their vitamin D needs from the action of sunlight on skin, but requirements are higher during pregnancy, so supplements are required.

http://www.dietinpregnancy.co.uk/pregnancy/first-trimester-nutrition.html

Second trimester nutrition

Second trimester – home of the elusive pregnancy 'bloom'. You will hopefully start to leave behind the troubles of morning sickness, and gain some extra energy. The second trimester (spanning weeks 13 – 26) is all about the growth or your baby and your bump. Your baby grows from the size of a peach to the size of a 35 cm long baby by the end of the second trimester!

Second trimester nutritional requirements?

There's still no increase in energy (calorie) requirements this trimester, so you don't need to eat extra calories! Eating a good variety of protein-rich foods twice a day will help you meet your increased protein needs. Folic acid requirements are slightly raised, so include green leafy veggies and starchy foods in your diet, and check the labels of your breakfast cereals to make sure they're fortified with added vitamins and minerals.

Throughout pregnancy, vitamin D supplements are required to ensure you meet your increased requirements. Vitamin A requirements are slightly raised; including a variety of fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products will ensure you meet these (avoid liver and liver-containing products as they contain high levels of vitamin A, which can be toxic for your baby)

need to take vitamin D supplements (10 micrograms per day) throughout your pregnancy. Even if you're pregnant during the summer months, you may not get enough vitamin D simply through the action of sunlight on skin and by eating foods containing vitamin D (e.g. oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals and eggs).

Vitamin D is found in pregnancy multi-vitamin supplements and Healthy Start Vitamins, or you may decide to take a single supplement containing vitamin D. Be sure to avoid all regular vitamins or cod liver oil supplements because they contain high levels of vitamin A which could be dangerous for your growing baby.

http://www.dietinpregnancy.co.uk/pregnancy/second-trimester-nutrition.html

3rd Trimester Nutrition

Iron: Pumping It

One of the biggest nutritional challenges in late pregnancy? Consuming enough iron to keep up with your blossoming body—and your baby’s demands. “In the third trimester, your blood volume increases, so iron is the name of the game,” says Paola Mora, registered dietician with the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. When expectant moms are low on iron, they run the risk of anemia, a condition that causes fatigue and dizziness. “We also worry about hemorrhage during delivery, because anemic blood won’t clot as well,” says Mora.

Your own well-being isn’t all that’s at stake: your iron consumption affects your baby’s health, too. “A mom provides her baby with full stores of iron for the first six months of life,” says Mora. And research shows that pregnant women with low iron are more likely to deliver prematurely and have low birth weight infants.

How much?
A typical prenatal vitamin contains 27 milligrams of iron—150 percent of the iron you need—so keep on taking it. In addition, aim to consume at least 3 sources of iron per day.

Protein: The Baby Builder

Protein is essential throughout pregnancy, but it’s especially important in the final stages of pregnancy, when your baby is growing rapidly and adding layers of cute baby fat. The amino acids in protein form the basic building blocks for cell growth, fueling your body and organs as they grow to accommodate the needs of your baby. Consuming enough protein also helps to stabilize blood sugar, which is especially important to women at risk for gestational diabetes.

How much?
Pregnant women should aim for 70 grams of protein per day, about 35 grams more than the recommended daily limit for non-pregnant gals.

Calcium: Got Milk?

Late pregnancy is not the time to skimp on your calcium: all of the calcium in your baby’s skeleton is laid down during the third trimester, says Michael Hobaugh, M.D., Ph.D., chief of medical staff at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. Consuming enough calcium also helps to get breastfeeding off to the best possible start; in order to produce the perfect food for your little one, your body will pull calcium from your own bones if your own stores are insufficient.

How much?
Dieticians recommend 800 milligrams of calcium daily for pregnant women.

Magnesium: Mighty Mineral

While you’re boning up on calcium, don’t forget its super sidekick: magnesium. This mineral aids calcium absorption and performs a host of other important functions. Magnesium helps build and repair body tissues, relaxes muscles, eases leg cramps and may help prevent preterm labor.

How much?
Pregnant women should consume 350-400 milligrams per day; breastfeeding moms should aim for 300-350 milligrams per day.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): Mental Muscle

During the third trimester, your baby’s brain is burgeoning, adding mass and forming millions of neural connections. So consuming enough DHA—linked to better cognition in infants in numerous studies—is as important as ever, says registered and licensed dietician Gina Hill, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional sciences at Texas Christian University.

How much?
The Journal of Perinatal Medicine recommends 200 milligrams of DHA per day during pregnancy.

First trimester nutrition

The first trimester covers your pregnancy right from the time of conception when the first cells are formed, up until the end of week 12. It's an important trimester in terms of your baby's development – organs take shape, your baby starts moving and muscles form. Your 12 week old baby emerges from this trimester as a fully-formed foetus, about the size of a peach, ready to enter the second trimester.

There are increased requirements for folic acid and vitamin D and supplements for these vitamins are required. Vitamin A requirements are slightly raised, but be sure to avoid supplements containing vitamin A and liver/liver products as they contain a potentially toxic form of vitamin A. Safe forms of vitamin A are found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products

Supplement needs

We need to take folic acid (400 micrograms per day) and vitamin D (10 micrograms per day) during the first trimester. Taking folic acid supplements during pre-conception and for the first 12 weeks has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects, e.g. spina bifida.

Vitamin D is important for bone health, and helps us absorb calcium from our diet. Most women get the majority of their vitamin D needs from the action of sunlight on skin, but requirements are higher during pregnancy, so supplements are required.

http://www.dietinpregnancy.co.uk/pregnancy/first-trimester-nutrition.html

Second trimester nutrition

Second trimester – home of the elusive pregnancy 'bloom'. You will hopefully start to leave behind the troubles of morning sickness, and gain some extra energy. The second trimester (spanning weeks 13 – 26) is all about the growth or your baby and your bump. Your baby grows from the size of a peach to the size of a 35 cm long baby by the end of the second trimester!

Second trimester nutritional requirements?

There's still no increase in energy (calorie) requirements this trimester, so you don't need to eat extra calories! Eating a good variety of protein-rich foods twice a day will help you meet your increased protein needs. Folic acid requirements are slightly raised, so include green leafy veggies and starchy foods in your diet, and check the labels of your breakfast cereals to make sure they're fortified with added vitamins and minerals.

Throughout pregnancy, vitamin D supplements are required to ensure you meet your increased requirements. Vitamin A requirements are slightly raised; including a variety of fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products will ensure you meet these (avoid liver and liver-containing products as they contain high levels of vitamin A, which can be toxic for your baby)

need to take vitamin D supplements (10 micrograms per day) throughout your pregnancy. Even if you're pregnant during the summer months, you may not get enough vitamin D simply through the action of sunlight on skin and by eating foods containing vitamin D (e.g. oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals and eggs).

Vitamin D is found in pregnancy multi-vitamin supplements and Healthy Start Vitamins, or you may decide to take a single supplement containing vitamin D. Be sure to avoid all regular vitamins or cod liver oil supplements because they contain high levels of vitamin A which could be dangerous for your growing baby.

http://www.dietinpregnancy.co.uk/pregnancy/second-trimester-nutrition.html

3rd Trimester Nutrition

Iron: Pumping It

One of the biggest nutritional challenges in late pregnancy? Consuming enough iron to keep up with your blossoming body—and your baby’s demands. “In the third trimester, your blood volume increases, so iron is the name of the game,” says Paola Mora, registered dietician with the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. When expectant moms are low on iron, they run the risk of anemia, a condition that causes fatigue and dizziness. “We also worry about hemorrhage during delivery, because anemic blood won’t clot as well,” says Mora.

Your own well-being isn’t all that’s at stake: your iron consumption affects your baby’s health, too. “A mom provides her baby with full stores of iron for the first six months of life,” says Mora. And research shows that pregnant women with low iron are more likely to deliver prematurely and have low birth weight infants.

How much?
A typical prenatal vitamin contains 27 milligrams of iron—150 percent of the iron you need—so keep on taking it. In addition, aim to consume at least 3 sources of iron per day.

Protein: The Baby Builder

Protein is essential throughout pregnancy, but it’s especially important in the final stages of pregnancy, when your baby is growing rapidly and adding layers of cute baby fat. The amino acids in protein form the basic building blocks for cell growth, fueling your body and organs as they grow to accommodate the needs of your baby. Consuming enough protein also helps to stabilize blood sugar, which is especially important to women at risk for gestational diabetes.

How much?
Pregnant women should aim for 70 grams of protein per day, about 35 grams more than the recommended daily limit for non-pregnant gals.

Calcium: Got Milk?

Late pregnancy is not the time to skimp on your calcium: all of the calcium in your baby’s skeleton is laid down during the third trimester, says Michael Hobaugh, M.D., Ph.D., chief of medical staff at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. Consuming enough calcium also helps to get breastfeeding off to the best possible start; in order to produce the perfect food for your little one, your body will pull calcium from your own bones if your own stores are insufficient.

How much?
Dieticians recommend 800 milligrams of calcium daily for pregnant women.

Magnesium: Mighty Mineral

While you’re boning up on calcium, don’t forget its super sidekick: magnesium. This mineral aids calcium absorption and performs a host of other important functions. Magnesium helps build and repair body tissues, relaxes muscles, eases leg cramps and may help prevent preterm labor.

How much?
Pregnant women should consume 350-400 milligrams per day; breastfeeding moms should aim for 300-350 milligrams per day.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): Mental Muscle

During the third trimester, your baby’s brain is burgeoning, adding mass and forming millions of neural connections. So consuming enough DHA—linked to better cognition in infants in numerous studies—is as important as ever, says registered and licensed dietician Gina Hill, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional sciences at Texas Christian University.

How much?
The Journal of Perinatal Medicine recommends 200 milligrams of DHA per day during pregnancy.