Although you may hear of pregnant women who crave ice cream and only want to subsist on that while pregnant, this is not always the best decision for a woman and her baby. It is as important-if not more so-to maintain a healthy lifestyle while pregnant, by way of a nutritious diet. This article will outline the basics of a lifestyle beneficial to both you and your baby.

First, let us look at the amount of food you should eat while pregnant. Sure, you are basically “eating for two,” but this does not always mean that you need to eat double of your regular portions. It is estimated that you only need to consume 300 more calories per day than usual. Also, it is not good to starve yourself while pregnant. Don’t think that being on a low-calorie diet is a good thing-this may cause your body to break down your stored fats, which produces ketones throughout the mother’s blood. Ketones can be carried from the mother to the child and result in mental retardation in the fetus.

To get your 300 extra calories each day, don’t reach for those Twinkies. The consumption of beneficial vitamins and minerals is hugely important for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. Three nutrients that pregnant women should be sure to ingest are folic acid, calcium, and iron. Luckily, these three ingredients are prime members of prenatal vitamins.

Folic acid is important because it helps protect the baby from neural tube disorders, most commonly spina bifida. Spina bifida is when the inside of the spinal column is exposed, resulting in anything from paralysis to incontinence. Taking calcium supplements is a great idea for a pregnant woman because the formation of your baby’s bones leaches calcium from your own body. Consuming extra calcium can help repair your bone density as well as provide the mineral for your child. Also, an abundance of iron aids your body in carrying oxygen-saturated blood. As your baby basically breathes through the oxygen contained in your bloodstream, it is important to provide your child with highly oxygenated blood.

To take in your extra calories yet maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should take in at least seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily. These produce items tend to have high amounts of the vitamins and minerals you and your baby need. You should also take in whole wheat or enriched grain products. Things like bread and cereal, if enriched, hold a good amount of folic acid. Also, dairy items such as milk and cheese can provide you with calcium for bone density. Lastly, pregnant women should eat 10 more grams of protein than they usually do when not pregnant.

Living a healthy lifestyle by way of maintaining a nutrient-rich diet is beneficial for both you and your unborn baby. However, not all health issues in newborns can be prevented with healthy eating. Sometimes, a tragic accident caused by medical malpractice can bring harm to your precious newborn. For more information on birth injuries, check out this birth injury specialist law firm.

Joseph Devine