The Pregnancy Diet Checklist Pregnancy can bring many anxieties, but with some guidance and common sense, you will pass these challenges with flying colors. Following a balanced pregnancy diet checklist is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby. Every decision you make about what to eat or not to eat, directly affect the welfare of the little one in your womb. The biggest rule throughout your pregnancy is to ensure that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. You should keep in mind at all times that your baby is getting all of his/her nutrients from you! With so much to do while pregnant, and so many changes and adjustments to make, it probably feels like a full time job to make sure you always eat right, to you and your baby. So, first it is important that you understand most of the nutrients you need during the whole trimesters of pregnancy. Your Dietician/Nutritionist can guide you through for the healthy eating plan, but you may find it more profitable to just get acquainted with the food and nutrition and work out a diet that works for you. For the first trimester of pregnancy, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, especially morning sickness, are common. The thought of food, any kind of food maybe nauseating, but it’s still possible to get the proper nutrition. · Take some wholegrain breads, cereals, crackers or biscuits before getting up in the morning · Small meal or snacks about at least every two hours, can help with nausea and vomiting · Drink liquids between rather than with meals to avoid bloating as this can trigger vomiting · Avoid large, greasy, high spiced foods · Eat whatever you can than nothing at all · Suck something sour like lemon as these sometimes relieve nausea. In the second trimester of pregnancy, there is a lot of tissue formation, increase in the blood volume as well as physical changes in your body such as enlargement of breasts and uterus. With so many vital activities taking place during this phase, below are tips to mark your second trimester pleasurable while on pregnancy diet checklist: · For maximum nutrition, plenty of vegetables in their various colors and fresh fruits beyond the usual bananas, oranges, apples are essential for pregnant women · Constipation is common in this pregnancy stage, so fiber rich foods are to be considered helpful · Excessive fat diet will proliferate body weight which is risky for pregnancy. Avoid junk and fatty foods during this trimester · Yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, and other dairy products are rich in calcium needed for health growth of the baby during this trimester. At least consume one glass of skimmed milk daily. · Minimize the intake of sugar as they add to weight, which is unhealthy. · Experts recommend folic acid as a supplement until early 2nd trimester of pregnancy. It provides Vitamin B to pregnant women, of which deficiency may cause neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida, or problem in the development of spinal cord. The third trimester is the time to set aside the fear of gaining weight and make sure your body is getting everything it needs. Most of the weight you gain is going directly to your baby’s increasing size. However, don’t think this means you need to eat large meals. Eating five to six small meals throughout the day will reduce the discomfort while giving your growing body adequate nutrition. During the baby’s final growth gust, you may be more at risk for nutritional deficit than he/she is. In general, maternal body will supply your baby’s extra nutritional needs before your own, and deficiencies will come at your expense. Your baby’s immune system is being prepared for life on its own during this trimester. Your pregnancy diet now will play the foundation for your baby’s good health for the long run by adding some daily servings of the following below: · B-complex vitamins like B6 and B12 helps your body metabolize protein, fat and carbohydrates, helps form new blood cells and antibodies for baby’s developing brain and nervous system and also great stress relievers. Beans, brown rice, lean meat, hard- boiled egg, yogurt, wholegrain bread, bananas, prune and carrot juices, chickpeas, nuts, fortified cereals, are rich with Vitamin B. · Calcium builds your baby’s bones, and keep your bones healthy. Some good sources are dairy products such as yogurt and skimmed milk, soy beans, beans, tofu, almonds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, figs, green leafy vegetables, fresh oranges, broccoli. · Iron is another important supplement combined with Vitamin C to consider in your pregnancy diet checklist. Your doctor will determine the iron level during your pregnancy to recommend the essential extra iron needed. · Don’t forget fruits and vegetables as good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber · You have to include foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, to reduce inflammation throughout the body, keep from blood clotting and maintain fluidity of cell membranes. This healthy fatty acids can be found in walnuts, tuna, salmon, sardines, etc. · Choline is essential for brain development of the baby. Rich sources are cauliflower, broccoli, tofu, eggs, beef liver, beef (ground), salmon There are some things to be avoided entirely during pregnancy and a few to be cautioned of, such as: · Alcohol is a no-no as well as smoking, as this is unhealthy for you and baby. · Raw or undercooked meat and fish, raw sprouts which cannot be washed completely and are associated with food-borne illnesses · Unpasteurized milk or juice, soft cheeses such as brie, feta, blue and queso fresco which are made from unpasteurized milk. · Abstain from processed and fast foods. These foods will just give more calories but not the much-needed nutrients. · If you are a coffee addict, you should limit intake to at least two or three small cups or less a day · Eat eggs only if completely cooked to avoid the danger of salmonella · Limit fish servings to one or two per week in your pregnancy diet, due to mercury, high level of intake can damage the nervous system and brain of developing babies. Some fish like salmon, shrimp, tilapia have low mercury levels and safe to take. · Heat cold cut meats before eating to kill bacteria and avoid food poisoning. Eating safe and healthy is important in all phases of pregnancy term. Basically, a pregnancy diet will make you feel healthy throughout your pregnancy, increase your chances of having a normal pregnancy and delivery, postpartum weight loss and improve your baby’s growth and development and determine the nutritional health grounds the day they get born.