Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy - GulfToday

Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

Abeer Majed Al Kusayer

Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Al Qassimi Hospital – Ministry of Health and Prevention

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Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Good nutrition is important during pregnancy to maintain the health of the mother and fetus. The quality of food is more important than its quantity, so it is recommended to choose healthy foods with high nutritional value and avoid unhealthy foods.

Importance of good nutrition during pregnancy:

- Building bones and blood cells for the fetus
- Boost immunity to prevent infectious diseases
- Prevention of iron deficiency anemia
- Strengthening the body in preparation for childbirth
- Strengthening the composition of milk for breastfeeding

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Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Healthy weight gain during pregnancy varies according to the mother’s body mass index and her health before pregnancy. If the body mass index is in the normal range, it is recommended to gain 11 to 5 kilograms during pregnancy.

BMI Calculation Method:
BMI = weight (kg) / height (m) 2

Every woman is different, but during pregnancy the increase is as follows. During the first trimester of pregnancy a woman shouldn’t change from what she needed before pregnancy. During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy you need to add 300 calories.

The effect of obesity in pregnancy
If the body mass index is higher than normal or has reached the stage of obesity the woman is more likely to suffer from problems such as pregnancy diabetes, hypertension, eclampsia, premature birth and the need for a caesarean delivery. In addition, newborns may have birth defects and become so large that there will be a possibility of injuries during childbirth. Childhood obesity is also an issue.

Amount of nutrients a
pregnant woman needs
Protein: 70g daily. Sources are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes and nuts.
Calcium: 200mg daily. Sources are dairy products, green leafy vegetables, orange juice and almonds.
Iron: 30mg daily. Sources are meat, fish, poultry, whole-grain cereals and bread, legumes, green leafy vegetables, dried prunes, apricots and raisins.
Folic Acid: 600mcg daily. Sources are leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, orange juice and asparagus.
Vitamin B6: 1.9mg daily. Sources are wheat germ, meat, whole grains, cauliflower, bananas, avocado, peanuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans and corn.
Zinc: 15mg daily. Sources are the same foods that contain iron, in addition to oysters, wheat germ and brown rice.
Vitamin A: 770mcg daily.
Vitamin C: 85mg daily.
Vitamin D: All people from 1 to 70 years old, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, need 600IU daily.

Good nutritional
Iron: To prevent the mother from having an iron deficiency or anemia and to help transfer blood to the largest amount of oxygen to the fetus.
Folic acid: To protect the fetus from cleft palsy.

Harmful food supplements
Avoid a lot of vitamin A, whether in food or supplements. Always remember that dietary supplements are not a substitute for healthy nutrition.

Common questions
-Does eating honey cause a
Eating honey does not cause a
-Does eating cinnamon cause a
Cinnamon powder is rich in coumarin, which works on uterine contractions, which greatly increases the risk of miscarriage.

Wrong information
-Pregnant women should eat for two people.
Fact: A pregnant woman should focus on the quality of food that benefits her fetus, not the quantity.
- Pregnant women should completely stop consuming caffeine.
Truth: It is required to reduce it as much as possible, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy which is the period of fetal formation.

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