What a pregnant woman eats can deeply affect the baby’s health. Eating healthy can prevent your child from becoming obese and avoid related social and mental-health issues…
When I was expecting my little girl, people would often tell me eat everything otherwise the baby will be devoid of some tastes of food. Indeed it is a must to eat healthy food as you are what you eat and when pregnant your baby is what you eat. Research states that babies can taste the food which their mothers have through the amniotic fluid. And the preference of food made by pregnant as well as lactating mothers can be experienced by babies.
Whenever, I used to eat cold juicy fruit, I would always feel lots of movement (typically starts between 16th to 25th weeks of pregnancy). My husband and I would imagine little spaceships of mango, melon and other food floating around in my tummy. Then our baby would catch hold of one and eat it. And while eating if she liked the taste she would express it by moving around (basically becoming energetic after consuming the food). But this was just our imagination; in reality they don’t really eat the food.
By the 16th week the pores for taste develop and the baby starts swallowing the amniotic fluid which is usually salty. By the 21st week baby guzzles many ounces of the fluid thus increasing its exposure to a variety of foods. They develop a good access to fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Also you could feel the baby’s hiccup in case you have had lot of spicy food. After birth, they get access to all the taste through mother’s milk and her food choices.
Now that you know how your food can affect your little one’s health, so eating healthy is the best thing to do for the nine months and the months to follow on. The following list of dos and don’ts can help you make healthy choices:
- Being pregnant does not mean that you start eating for two. Refrain from doing so as this leads to a risk of developing gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Also, might lead to preterm or a large baby.
- Abstinence from alcohol, as its consumption leads to behavioural problems in children. Can also lead to attention deficit disorders.
- Caffeine should be limited as increased levels can cause risk for miscarriage.
- Keep a control over your junk food as you are introducing your baby to a salt and sugary diet along with high-fat and low nutrient value.
- Pump in iron as the iron requirement doubles up. Fresh oxygen is transported by iron and is helpful for the little one. Vitamin C should be had with iron so as to achieve maximum benefits.
- Feast on about 1,000 mg of calcium every day. This is helpful for the development for bones and teeth in the second and third trimester. If calcium levels are not adequate, baby might take up your calcium leaving you with osteoporosis.
- Folic acid is very important and should be taken from the time you start planning for the baby (before conceiving). This basically reduces the risk of neural tube defects.
- Eat a fiber rich diet which contain minerals and vitamins for the baby and keep you away from hemorrhoids and constipation in pregnancy.
- Eat low mercury fish to boost up the levels of DHA (omega-3 fatty acid). This helps in the development of baby’s brain even before birth and leads to enhanced memory, vision, language comprehension and motor skills.
So when you get that craving ditch the ice-cream or a junk treat for a nutritive snack … and don’t forget to Eat a Rainbow…
When in doubt please contact your doctor