Congratulations, you’re preggers! The next nine months are going to be a very important time in your life. On top of planning for your developing baby’s arrival, your most important duty right now is to make sure your lifestyle is healthy. And the first step is to be more vigilant about your diet.
Good nutrition comes with a host of benefits. For one, it allows you to better withstand the strain of pregnancy. It’s important that your diet includes servings from all the main food groups, prenatal vitamins and supplements such as maternal milk.
Include all the different food groups in your diet to ensure that you are getting all the essential nutrients.
What you’re putting into your body now can also determine how well your developing little one will thrive as he grows in you, and later on in the outside world. “It is believed that poor nutrition and a lack of key nutrients can cause changes to the development of cells or building blocks in the foetal body, leading to medical problems and chronic conditions later in life,” notes SmartParents expert Dr Christopher Chong, an obstetrician-gynaecologist at Gleneagles Hospital.
Dr Chong notes that a local survey done in 2012 on 480 respondents (comprising pregnant women, those trying to conceive and post-partum mums) revealed that 76 per cent of them believed they were eating healthily. However, 59 per cent of them ate less than two servings of fruit daily, 52 per cent ate less than two servings of vegetables daily and 81 per cent of pregnant women did not drink enough milk.
These shocking results indicate that while many pregnant women think they’re eating well, they actually don’t know what healthy eating entails. As a rule of thumb, Dr Chong advises pregnant mothers to include all the different food groups in your diet to ensure that you are getting all the essential nutrients.
Your daily food intake, according to Dr Chong, should look like this:
· 6-7 servings of carbs
· 2 servings of fruits
· 3 servings of veggies
· 2 ½ servings of seafood, meat and protein alternatives
· 500ml of milk
If you’re wondering how this translates into your daily diet, here’s a cheat sheet on what you can and cannot consume when you are expecting.
All dietary information is in line with Health Promotion Board's recommendations.
AVOID THESE FOODS
Raw meats, seafood and eggs; pâté; unpasturised milk; fish high in mercury such as fresh tuna, swordfish and shark; mould-ripened soft cheeses such as brie and camembert. By the way, Dr Chong points out there is no such thing as heaty or cooling foods.
KEEP YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE IN CHECK
Dr Chong recommends you limit your caffeine intake to 200mg per day. Anything more and you’re at risk of a miscarriage. This works out to:
· 2 mugs of instant coffee
· 1 mug of filtered coffee
· 2½ mugs of tea
· 5 cans of cola
· 2½ cans of energy drinks
· 4 x 50g bars of plain dark chocolate
· 8 x 50g bars of milk chocolate
Find out more about Enfamama A+ and how it will support your nutritional needs during your pregnancy journey.
Enfamama A+ is a milk supplement specially formulated to help pregnant and lactating mums get the nutrients they and their growing bundle need to stay in the pink of health. It is also lower in fat* compared to full cream milk.
*82% less fat than full cream milk for Vanilla variant. 80% less fat than full cream milk for Chocolate variant.
Besides helping you meet your calcium needs, it also has 52% higher level of DHA and 24% more choline▲. — DHA and choline are found in breastmilk.
What’s more, Enfamama A + is packed with the following essential nutrients which are important for your developing baby:
- Folic acid (Folate) helps to maintain growth and development of the fetus,
- Iron for formation of red blood cells, which carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron needs rises tremendously during pregnancy,
- Zinc is essential for growth,
- Iodine contributes to normal cognitive function,
- Has added prebiotics (inulin) to increase intestinal bifidobacteria and helps maintain a good intestinal environment.
360° Development begins from pregnancy. Sign up here to get a free Enfamama A+ sample! Enfamama A + is also available at all major supermarkets and pharmacies. It retails for $35 per 900g can (recommended retail price).
▲ Compared to previous formulation
This article is sponsored by Mead Johnson Nutrition.
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