Consuming nutritious foods while pregnant and during breastfeeding can encourage healthy pregnancies and support the health of the mother and baby. Nutritious foods are especially needed during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, roughly 350-500 calories extra can aid in giving the baby positive effects for healthy development in the mother’s womb and reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy and birth.
Foods that can promote healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding for both mother and baby:
Omega 3 fatty acid aids in building the eyes and brain of your fetus. It is also good for bone health and supports proper immune functions.
Eggs provide choline, which is essential for healthy brain development. Low intake of choline during pregnancy can increase the chance of acquiring neural tube defects and potentially lead to decreased brain function in the fetus.
Pregnant women require plenty of leafy greens that are rich in antioxidants, especially dark green varieties like spinach and broccoli. This is due to dark leafy greens consisting of nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, calcium, folate and potassium.
These help reduce the risk of constipation in pregnant women and reduce the risk of low birth weight in new born babies.
Lean Meat (or Vegetarian Meat – High in Iron/Folate)
Pregnant women have higher blood volume during their third trimester and therefore it is important for them to increase their iron intake. Meats such as beef, pork and steak are excellent sources of iron. Iron is needed to deliver oxygen throughout the cells within the body. Low levels of iron can result in iron deficiency for the mother and baby. This can lead to further risks of having a premature delivery and low birth weight of baby.
Pregnant women are also encouraged to each foods rich in Vitamin C to assist in iron absorption from food intake.
They help to promote a healthy growing fetus in the mother. Dairy contains two types of protein: casein and whey. Dairy is high in calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, as well as high amounts of phosphorus, all necessary for healthy growing bones.