What is the Healthy Diet During Pregnancy?

What is the Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

What is the Healthy Diet During Pregnancy? This question is a primary question for every pregnant woman after learning their pregnancy. Usually, the subsequent questions will be like ”how much weight should I take throughout pregnancy” or ”what should I eat throughout pregnancy”.  Even most of the time requirements of supplementary foods or vitamins are often being questioned by the pregnant women. I will try to answer these questions with this post. Let’s start with the question of what should be the diet style of a pregnant woman during pregnancy?

What is the Healthy Diet During Pregnancy?

First of all, it is important to always remember that the healthy growth of the baby is directly related to the mother’s healthy diet. When I say healthy growth it means physically, psychologically and mentally.

Basically, the baby selects and consumes the necessary nutritious from the mother’s nutrition stocks in her body or the nutrition that she has taken throughout pregnancy.  So the healthy baby is a result of a healthy diet of the mother.

How Much Weight Gain is Normal During Pregnancy?

For a normal pregnancy and for a normal weight mother 10 to 12 kg weight is normal. In order to gain necessary weight, a pregnant woman should get additional 20 gr protein, 15-20 mg iron, 500 mg Calcium and approximately 300 cal energy throughout pregnancy period.

Calcium Intake During Pregnancy

The Calcium is an important mineral for the baby’s bone structure and teeth. The baby’s bone structure begins to develop from the 8th weeks of pregnancy. Practically, when you compare it with the pre-pregnancy period, a pregnant woman needs double amount of calcium during pregnancy. So the mother needs to consume foods like cheese, milk, yogurt and green leafy vegetables for calcium supplement.

Protein Intake During Pregnancy

For protein needs meat (red and white), milk, egg, fish, and legumes are recommended by the doctors.  It is important to consume protein rich foods equally as vegetable based or animal based protein.

Iron Supplement During Pregnancy

Lack of iron during pregnancy can cause weakness, sleepiness, early delivery, miscarriage or under grow of the baby in the womb. Also sometimes lack of iron can continue to effect mother’s life in the post delivery puerperal period. So in order to support iron amount in the body, additional iron pill supplements could be taken regularly. Besides that, some iron rich foods like molasses, grape, red meat, egg and legumes can be consumed.

Supplementary iron pills should be taken after the 4th month of the pregnancy and they should not be consumed together with milk. Because milk decreases the digestion of the iron and makes it ineffective. The dosage of supplementary pills changes from pregnant woman to woman. Doctors decide the requirement level after some prenatal tests.

Vitamin C Intake

The primary benefit of the vitamin C is its support of the immune system. Also, Vitamin C is necessary for lots of biochemical process in pregnant woman body.

You can get Vitamin C from orange, lime, pepper, tomato, strawberry, and cabbage. The body cannot store Vitamin C, so the pregnant woman should get some amount every day. It is better to consume this food fresh because if you put them in a process like cooking their level of nutrition can decrease.

Folic Acid Intake

The Folic Acid has an enormous effect on the central nerve system of the baby. It is also cannot be stored in the body and requires the mother to double pre-pregnant level. So the mother should get an additional supplement of folic acid daily. Also, the green leafy vegetables are a good source of folic acid.

Fibrous Foods Intake

The fibrous foods are important because they can prevent constipation and regulates intestine process in the pregnant woman body. All fruits and vegetables include fiber. In addition to that whole wheat bread, shell beans, brown rice and dried nuts and fruits include a rich amount of fiber.

Water Intake

Water intake during pregnancy is really important in terms of the health of mother and baby. It is helpful to prevent early delivery, constipation or diarrhea. Also, it helps to keep the water level of the placenta on the healthy level.  Besides that mint, lemon, sage, lime, rosehip, and chamomile teas could be consumed during pregnancy.

Nutrition Facts

* Meat, Egg, Legumes: Brain, muscle, bone and teeth development and blood produce.

* Milk and Dairy Products: Bone and teeth development.

* Vegetables and Fruits: Necessary vitamins and minerals.

* Cereals: Gaining Calorie and source of B series vitamins.

* Fat and Sugar: Source of energy.

Bullet Points During Pregnancy

* Strict diet during pregnancy is not recommended.

* Start weight for the pregnancy should be aligned with body mass index.

* Pregnant woman should focus on the foods that necessary in terms of nutrition value.

* Keeping eye on weight gain is important. As a criterion, first three months 0.5-1 kg, for subsequent months average 1.5-2.0 kg is normal.

Diet Clues for Pregnant Women

* Meals should be often but the serving size should be low.

* Fresh foods are healthier than the canned foods.

* Diversity of the foods is important, every different food has a different benefit.

* Instead of fat, sweet, spicy or mass calorie foods, protein and carbohydrate-rich foods are more suitable.

* Gaining weight is not important, the important thing is baby’s support with necessary nutrition.

* Iron or folic acid pills are important.

* If a mother cares her diet, there is no need for additional supply other than iron and folic acid pills.

* Water intake should be 8-10 glass during pregnancy.

* Iodized salt should be consumed.

* Fast-food and chips are not healthy during pregnancy.

Diet Table

Food Amount
Milk and Dairy Products 2 glass of milk or yogurt

1 portion cheese (2 slices)

Meat, Egg, Legumes 1 Egg
1 portion meat, fish, chicken, turkey (60-90 gr)
1 portion legumes (120 gr)
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 2 portion cooked vegetable
3 portion fresh vegetable
2-3 fruit or fruit juice
Cereal 6-8 slice bread
1 portion rice or pasta
1 portion soup
Fat 3-4 tablespoon oil
Sugar 1-2 tablespoon honey, jam or molasses

A Menu Example for Pregnancy

Morning
1 glass milk,
1 egg,
1 slice cheese,
1 slice bread,
1 tomato, 1 cucumber, parsley, green pepper etc

Snack
1 fruit,
1 cup yogurt,
1 slice bread

Noon 
1 portion legumes with meat meal
1 portion rice or pasta
1 portion salad,
1 middle slice bread,
1 fruit

Snack 
1 slice bread,
1 slice cheese,
1 tomato ve cucumber,
1 fruit

Evening 
1 portion meat, fish, chicken
1 portion olive oil vegetable meal
1 cup yogurt
1 portion salad, 1 slice bread

Night 
1 glass milk or 1 portion desert with milk
1 portion fruit

In this post, I tried to answer to ”What is the Healthy Diet During Pregnancy?” question. As you can see, diet during pregnancy is really a very important issue for the baby’s development and mother’s health. These recommendations can differ individually, but the recommendations are the views of the doctors and they were extracted from the common experiences. If you pursue these recommendations you will sustain a healthy pregnancy. On the other hand, before diet consulting a doctor is highly recommended. Because prenatal test results can force you to pursue an individual diet.

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