Pregnancy is a time where gaining weight is expected for the simple fact that a human being is growing inside of another human being. But that’s not to say that it is a free-for-all when it comes to the diet of a pregnant woman. There are restrictions to be aware of and foods that promote different things.
Granted, following a strict diet is less likely when pregnant. Pregnancy might make it difficult to eat specific foods without bouts of nausea and there will come times when your cravings will win out and you will eat something weird like ice cream with pickles.
Still, there are a few pieces of advice that should be followed when expecting.
Calcium Is Important
Calcium is important in the growth of the baby and the strengthening of their bones and teeth. But if the woman does not consume enough of the calcium over the course of the pregnancy, the baby still gets that calcium from somewhere.
Calcium is taken from the mother’s stores in her bones and can make the bones and teeth of the woman weaker over time. Eating milk, cheese, yogurt, and some leafy greens can go a long way towards ensuring that your diet is full of the calcium needed for both mom and baby.
You Can Have Caffeine in Moderation
There has been a misconception that pregnant women should abstain from caffeine during the course of their pregnancy. The truth of the matter is that caffeine is fine if limited to restricted doses. Keep your caffeine intake to fewer than 200 mg per day – or the equivalent of a 12-ounce cup of coffee. This is considered safe for the pregnancy and allows mom to get that caffeine fix each day and not have to sacrifice too greatly.
Limit Your Fish Intake
While fish is a good source of lean protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids – which is good for the heart – it is important to note that many fish have high levels of mercury. Limiting the amount of fish you consume – primarily albacore or “white” tuna – to six ounces per week will allow you to get the nutrients provided without absorbing all that mercury, which can be harmful to a baby’s brain development.
As you can see, the key to pregnancy is about getting the essential nutrients and then limiting most everything else. There is a balance to be found in pregnancy diets and it is up to you to find that balance between all of the necessities.