Nutrition in Pregnancy
Nutrition is crucial during pregnancy because nutrients are what make up the new child being formed. Cells are made up of nutrients, as well as organs (protein), bones (calcium), and even the blood (iron). Hence, it is important that the mother has access to nutritious food especially during the first five weeks of pregnancy. But what about people that do not know they are pregnant until the 6th or even 8th week? Well, it is good to adopt a healthy way of eating as a lifestyle so that even during the time you did not know you are pregnant, you will have been eating nutritious food, rich enough for you and the baby.
When you eventually get to know you are pregnant, do you need to start eating for two? In terms of quantity, the answer is NO! But in terms of quality, it can be yes! Because your baby is highly dependent on the supply of your nutrients to grow her own, or his own organs, skin, nails, and even hair. To increase the quality of your food, you do not necessarily have to increase the quantity. Many women do not find it easy to eat large quantities of food during pregnancy therefore, small, nutrient-dense, frequent meals are usually encouraged.
Again, maternal nutrition plays a big role in developing gestational conditions like gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, etc. Unfortunately, having these conditions have been associated with negative health outcomes over time, in the children born and their own children too. It is best to maintain optimal health in pregnancy and like I always say, nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and wellbeing.
For a menu tailored to fit your nutritional needs please speak to one of our registered dietitians to guide you on the rights foods to eat as well as to help you monitor your weight gain during this period, excessive gestational weight gain can predispose you to non-communicable diseases in pregnancy.