Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy is one of the most important periods in women's life.
Having a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy has a direct impact on the fetus's health and its future. Nutrition is one of the essential factors of having a healthy lifestyle, and the pregnancy diet directly affects the fetus and the mother herself.
Having a good pregnancy diet almost guarantees the health of the fetus.
The role of proper diet in preventing postpartum parental diseases and fetal health during pregnancy and after birth, and even during youth and adulthood, is undeniable.
According to various studies, a woman's proper weight before pregnancy and adequate weight gain during pregnancy, which is due to a good pregnancy diet, leads to a healthy and safe delivery.
Suppose a pregnant woman is exposed to malnutrition. In that case, she should be monitored by a nutritionist as soon as possible to eliminate malnutrition and return to a proper weight gain routine with a suitable pregnancy diet.

So these questions arise:
What diet should be taken in pregnancy?
How to prepare your body for pregnancy diet?
Which is the best diet plan in pregnancy?
What if we were underweight or overweight before pregnancy?

And many other questions that arise when you are pregnant.

If you are looking for answers to the above questions, be with us in this article.

What is the best diet for pregnant women?

During pregnancy, nutritional needs are different from before pregnancy, so changes in the pregnancy diet should be made to satisfy the mother and fetus's needs.
Changes you should make to your pregnancy diet include the below:


Should you eat more calories in the pregnancy diet?

Many women know that they should eat more during pregnancy, but many do not know how much to eat.
Some pregnant women think that they should eat as much as two people. As a result, they gain weight during pregnancy. Some do not eat enough and cause a nutrient deficiency in the mother and fetus.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, we do not need to increase the pregnancy diet's calories. Consuming the same amount of food that we consumed before pregnancy is enough to satisfy the needs of pregnant women and fetuses.
In the second trimester, the need for energy increases by about 300 calories. This increase in energy intake must be supply through diet.
Finally, in the third trimester of pregnancy, your intake should increase by 500 calories compared to before pregnancy.
The best way to assess food intake's adequacy is to examine the weight gain of a pregnant woman. Proper weight gain during pregnancy indicates adequate food intake.


Warning! Do not use a weight loss diet during pregnancy at all, as it increases the number of ketone bodies in the blood and affects the fetal brain's growth and development.


What should be the amount of fat in the pregnancy diet?

Fat is one of the most important energy sources for the body and plays a vital role in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
They also play a significant role in supplying essential fatty acids for the body, such as omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the growth and development of the fetal brain.
About 30% of a person's daily calorie intake during pregnancy should be provided through fats' consumption. If your pregnancy diet's energy is 2000 calories, you should use about 65 grams of fat sources in your diet.
The best dietary sources of fat you can use in your diet include nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados.
It is best not to use saturated fatty acids such as animal fats, including meat fats, milk fats, and etc. or hydrogenated vegetable fats such as margarine.


Which kind of carbohydrates should I eat in my pregnancy diet?

Carbohydrates should provide about 45% to 55% of your daily calorie intake.
Carbohydrates are found in many foods, including bread and cereals, legumes, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Use a good source of carbohydrates to provide your daily carbohydrate needs for your pregnancy diet.
Try to include healthy carbohydrates in your diet and avoid processed or refined carbohydrates like sweets, sugar, soft drinks, etc.
Healthy carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits and vegetables.


How much protein does a pregnant woman require?

Protein is one of the most important needs of the body during pregnancy.
The body uses protein for a variety of purposes, from cell construction to enzymatic function. Therefore, providing enough protein for a pregnant woman is very important.
Lack of protein intake in pregnancy diet can cause many problems in the fetus's growth and development.
You should add 25 grams more protein per fetus to your daily pregnancy diet from the second trimester of pregnancy.
Get at least 50% of your protein needs from high-quality protein such as meat and eggs.


The importance of fibre eating in the pregnancy diet

Fibre is an indigestible part of some foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereal bran, etc.
Using fibre in your pregnancy diet has many health benefits, including reducing gastrointestinal cancer risk, lowering blood cholesterol, and preventing cardiovascular disease.
Constipation is one of the most common complications of pregnancy, and you can prevent constipation by consuming enough fibre.
The recommended daily amount of fibre for pregnant women is about 30 grams.
By eating enough vegetables, fruits and whole grains, you can reach your body's daily need for fibre.


Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin

Due to the increased need for energy in pregnant women and the role of these three vitamins in carbohydrate metabolism, a pregnant woman should take more of these vitamins in her daily diet.
Food that rich in these vitamins includes red meat, eggs, chicken, milk, cereal's bran and legumes.


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the nervous system's proper functioning, blood cell synthesis and cell division. The need for this vitamin increases slightly.
Vegan pregnant women are deficient in this vitamin due to not eating sources of this vitamin, which are mainly animal foods, and should take vitamin B12 supplements.


The most important nutrient needed in pregnancy is folic acid

Due to more blood cells' production, and the fetal nervous system's formation, the need for folic acid in pregnant women increases.
Adequate intake of this vitamin before and during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
Women who smoke or use drugs and women taking oral Contraceptive drugs and anticonvulsants (such as phenytoin) and people with malabsorption syndromes are at risk of folic acid deficiency. And should use the folic acid supplement in their pregnancy diet.
If you decide to become pregnant, you should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily until the third month of pregnancy.
Eat good folic acid sources, such as broccoli, liver, chickpeas and kidney beans, peas, leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, spring greens, and kale, brussels sprouts and breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid in your diet.


AVOID eating animal liver and liver products when you are pregnant.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency does not occur in pregnant women unless they are malnourished.
The only concern about vitamin A in pregnant women is that they take too much vitamin A, which can be dangerous for the fetus. For example, the liver is one of the foods rich in vitamin A and should not be used during pregnancy.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common problems worldwide; at least 1 billion people are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency in a pregnant woman can cause pre-eclampsia.
It is recommended that you be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 10 minutes a day to provide some of your body's vitamin D requirements.
Eating rich vitamin D sources, such as fatty fish, eggs, or foods fortified with vitamin D, can also help provide vitamin D with your body needs.
You should take 10 mcg of vitamin D supplements a day to keep your body healthy.


Calcium

One of the most abundant minerals in the body is calcium.
About 99% of the body's calcium is stored in the bones and teeth, and the remaining 1% is circulating in the blood and cells of the body. It is used for the body's vital activities and regulation of its metabolic activities.
Calcium is a vital mineral for making baby bone and teeth. In pregnant women, the requirement for calcium increases due to the formation of fetal bones. Therefore, pregnant women must use enough calcium sources such as dairy products, broccoli, almonds, etc. in the pregnancy diet.
Most fetal calcium stores occur in the last trimester of pregnancy, making sure you get enough calcium to your body and the fetus.


Iron requirement during pregnancy

Iron is essential for producing red blood cells, increased hemoglobin, growth and development of the fetal liver and many other functions. Increased requirement for iron occurs after the twentieth week of pregnancy.
Anemia is usually seen in women due to menstrual periods. Therefore, You should have a blood test before pregnancy. If you have Iron deficiency, it is necessary to take iron supplements.
Be aware that taking too many iron supplements can interact with the body's ability to absorb other minerals.


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10 tips that you should follow in pregnancy diet

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Nutrition therapy and common complications of pregnancy

During pregnancy and due to physiological and hormonal changes that occur for a pregnant woman, there is a possibility of complications; some of these complications can be controlled and treated with proper diet.
So if you face the following problems during pregnancy, track the below tips in your diet to improve your condition.


Pregnancy reflux and how to prevent it with diet

In the last months of pregnancy, due to the uterus' pressure on the stomach, stomach acid returns to the esophagus and causes reflux or heartburn. Reflux or heartburn is exacerbated by overeating food or foods that cause bloating.
Follow the below recommendations in your diet to prevent GERD:


♦ Eat smaller meals and more often.
♦ Use steamed or boiled foods instead of fried foods.
♦ Avoid eating big meals before bed.
♦ Drinking water between meals or immediately after a meal can cause reflux, so avoid doing this.
♦ Eat high-protein foods to prevent heartburn. Proteins increase gastric sphincter pressure by stimulating gastrin secretion and prevent returning acid from the stomach to the esophagus.
♦ Unlike protein, simple carbohydrates make the body to secrete insulin and reduce the lower esophageal sphincter's pressure, thereby exacerbating reflux. Therefore, to prevent reflux from getting worse, avoid simple carbohydrates.


Nutritional tips to prevent nausea and vomiting

About 50% of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting. The peak time of this condition is usually in the morning and after waking up. Pregnancy nausea is the only condition that can be relieved by eating. Usually, after the fourth month of pregnancy, the nausea of pregnancy also disappears.
It is important to note that if nausea causes you to lose weight during pregnancy, you should see a doctor immediately to check your condition.
To reduce nausea in pregnancy, follow these 6 important points in your daily diet:


♦ Do not keep your stomach empty and do not go hungry for a long time; at the same time, avoid overeating and eating large meals.
♦ Increase the number of meals but reduce the size.
♦ After waking up, eat a small amount of biscuits or bread and stay in bed for a while.
♦ Avoid drinking water with meals.
♦ Avoid foods that have irritating odour and cause nausea. The kitchen should be well ventilated so that the smell of food does not make you nauseous.
♦ Taking a vitamin B6 supplement can help treat nausea in pregnancy.


Constipation

Hormonal changes during pregnancy and uterine pressure on the intestines and abdominal cavity, especially in the last months of pregnancy, reduce bowel movements and cause constipation.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fibre-rich foods can help prevent and treat constipation.
Also, consuming enough fluids and using laxatives such as figs, plums, pears, etc. helps relieve constipation.
Regular physical activity also helps to increase bowel movements and finally relieves constipation.


Gestational hypertension

A pregnant woman's blood pressure changes lightly during pregnancy. But if the blood pressure is too high and there is no edema and proteinuria, it is called gestational hypertension.
Overweight and obesity are some of the most important causes of high blood pressure during pregnancy.

So what do we do if we have gestational hypertension?

The fact is that the diet alone can not help treat gestational hypertension. In addition to dietary recommendations to lower blood pressure, you should also use exercise and medication to treat gestational hypertension.
Dietary recommendations for lowering blood pressure include reducing sodium intakes such as salt or other food consuming sodium, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and especially vegetables and fruits with high potassium, such as tomatoes, potatoes, apricots, bananas, etc.
The DASH diet is specifically designed to lower blood pressure for people with high blood pressure.


What should we eat in the pregnancy diet to avoid anemia?

One of the problems that pregnant women face is iron deficiency anemia.
Inadequate intake of food sources of iron, heavy bleeding during menstruation periods before pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, and re-pregnancies with less than three years gap after a previous pregnancy increases the risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia.
A proper pregnancy diet plays an important role in preventing and treating anemia during pregnancy. If the severity of the anemia is high, your doctor may prescribe iron supplements. But if the anemia is not severe, you can treat it with eating iron-rich foods.
In addition to iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia or folic acid deficiency anemia may also occur during pregnancy, in which case a doctor should conduct a more detailed examination to find the cause.


Recommendations for the prevention of iron deficiency anemia

♦ Eat iron-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, legumes and green leafy vegetables in pregnancy diet.
♦ The use of nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc. and dried fruits such as berries, dates, and raisins as a snack helps to provide the iron needed the body.
♦ Using vitamin C sources such as tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, etc. with meals increases the absorption of iron in food.
♦ Avoid Coffee and Tea until an hour after meals.
♦ If you take the Iron supplement, it's best to use it before sleep or after meals.


Gestational diabetes and the best diet for GD

Endocrine function during pregnancy can affect pregnancy. Pregnancy, on the other hand, can affect the function of the endocrine glands.
One of the most common endocrine disorders during pregnancy is gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is induced by impaired glucose tolerance in pregnant women.
The most severe risks of gestational diabetes are include increased macrosomia, neonatal hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, cardiac hypertrophy, hypocalcemia, and stillbirth. Gestational diabetes can cause problems if left untreated, including preterm birth, polyhydramnios, preeclampsia and eclampsia, and type 2 diabetes.
Exercise and good nutrition are the most important means to prevent gestational diabetes.

There are different causes of gestational diabetes, but they are all managed and treated the same.
The first step in controlling gestational diabetes is to adjust your diet plan. The number of carbohydrates in the diet should also be carefully adjusted to prevent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Carbohydrate counting is one of the most effective ways to control diabetes. Adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables is another essential part of the diabetic diet.
In the gestational diabetes diet, the intake of foods listed below should be limited:


♦ Foods are high in sodium such as sausages, canned foods, chips, table salt, etc.
♦ Fatty and high cholesterol foods such as fried foods, high fat dairy, high fat red meat, mayonnaise, etc.
♦ All kinds of sweets, biscuits, chocolate, candy, Sugary drinks, honey, jams, alcoholic beverages, sugar, etc. should be consumed in consultation with a nutritionist and exactly the supposed amount.


Preeclampsia and Eclampsia (Pregnancy poisoning) and its prevention with diet

Preeclampsia is a syndrome associated with edema, proteinuria, and hypertension, which usually occurs in the second half of pregnancy (usually after the 20th week of pregnancy).
Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia. If preeclampsia happens with seizures, it is called eclampsia.
In preeclampsia and eclampsia treatment, diet therapy should be accompanied by medication, and diet alone is insufficient.
To prevent this complication, you should use enough sources of calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin D in your diet. Consumption of high-protein, high-potassium foods, and adequate use of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 in the pregnancy diet can help prevent eclampsia and eclampsia too.


Is urinary tract infection related to pregnancy diet?

Urinary tract infections that occur during pregnancy are often bacterial. Physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, including uterine pressure on the bladder and progesterone's effect on the body, cause the bladder not to empty entirely of urine and increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
A healthy diet with a low pH can prevent the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. Still, diet does not directly affect the treatment of urinary tract infections. To treat it, You should take antibiotics in consultation with your doctor.

Sometimes Urinary incontinence is not due to a urinary tract infection. It's because of the type of food you eat. In these cases, you should avoid stimulant foods which are listed below:


♦ Spicy spices such as red pepper, green pepper, mustard, etc.
♦ Meat products such as sausages, hamburgers, etc.
♦ Sulfur-containing foods such as radishes, asparagus, garlic, onions, etc.


Adequate water intake is linked with decreasing in urine concentration and reduces urinary tract infections.

What should you do before deciding to get pregnant? | nutritional care before getting pregnant

The pre-pregnancy period plays an important role in the health of the pregnancy and safe delivery. Among the work to do before pregnancy, having a good diet is the most important part.
The following is a list of nutritional tips you should take before becoming pregnant:


Nutritional tips before getting pregnant

♦ Eat a healthy diet and follow the principles of variety and balance in your pre-pregnancy diet.
♦ If you are overweight or underweight, bring your weight to the normal range before you get pregnant.
♦ Being underweight or overweight in the pregnancy has many risks for pregnant women and fetuses. Note that you are not allowed to lose weight during pregnancy.
♦ Avoid pregnancy before reaching the age of 18; at this age, the pregnant woman's body stores do not reach the fetus's needs and the possibility of having a low birth weight baby increases.
♦ Avoid alcohol and smoking before pregnancy.
♦ Start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from about 3 months before pregnancy, taking folic acid, preventing neural tube defects in the fetus.
♦ If you have anemia, be sure to treat it before you get pregnant.
♦ Talk to your doctor about pregnancy if you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal diseases, etc.
♦ If you are taking certain medications, talk to your pharmacist about whether it is safe to take them or not.
♦ Vitamin and mineral stores should be adequate for pregnancy, so there should be at least 3 years between two consecutive pregnancies.

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