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Pregnancy Nutrition

Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

Your body goes through numerous physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy. The way you nourish your body during this time will affect your health and your baby’s. You must eat a healthful, balanced diet to help ensure you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. The food you eat is your baby’s main source of nourishment, so it’s critical to consume foods that are rich in nutrients. Proper nutrition can help promote your baby's growth and development.

By following some fairly easy nutrition guidelines, you can be on your way to a healthy pregnancy.

Increased nutrients
Your body has increased nutritional needs during pregnancy. Although the old adage of "eating for two" isn't entirely correct, you do require more micronutrients and macronutrients to support you and your baby.

Micronutrients are dietary components, such as vitamins and minerals, that are only required in small amounts. Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories, or energy. These include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

You need to consume more of each type of nutrient during pregnancy.

A healthy diet and good nutrition during pregnancy ensure that your baby gets the best start possible. The best diet is a balanced diet that provides ample amounts of:

  • protein
  • carbohydrates
  • healthy types of fat
  • vitamins and minerals

What and how much to eat

Your body can’t function properly if it’s missing the nutrients from any of these food groups. Remember that your goal is to eat a wide variety of foods during pregnancy. Whenever possible, choose natural, low-fat foods over processed junk foods. Chips and soda, for example, contain no nutritional value. You and your baby will benefit more from fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, beans, or lentils.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to avoid all of your favorite foods during pregnancy. However, you must balance them with nutritious foods so that you don't miss any important vitamins or minerals.

Including the following nutrients in your daily diet will help ensure that you satisfy your body’s nutritional needs during pregnancy.

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