The dietary guidelines during healthy pregnancy provide advice about the amount and kinds of foods that you need to eat for health and wellbeing. They are based on scientific evidence and research. The dietary guidelines of most relevance during pregnancy are included below:
Dietary Guideline 1
-To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs.
Dietary Guideline 2
-Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day.
-Plenty of vegetables of different types and colors, and legumes/beans
-Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fiber varieties, such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa, and barley
-Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans • Milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat, and drink plenty of water.
Dietary Guideline 3
-Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat added salt added sugars and alcohol.
-Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps, and other savory snacks.
Replace high-fat foods which contain predominately saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut, and palm oil with foods that contain predominately polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, and spreads nut butter/pastes, and avocado.
-Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt.
-Read labels to choose lower sodium options among similar foods.
-Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table.
-Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionary, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy, and sports drinks.
-For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.
Dietary Guideline 4
-Encourage, support, and promote breastfeeding.
Dietary Guideline 5
-Care for your food; prepare and store it safely.
Foods to Avoid When You Are Pregnant
Pregnant women are at greater risk of food poisoning and should prepare and store food carefully. they should also avoid alcohol.
Pregnant women should avoid:
• Foods that may contain listeria bacteria like soft cheeses (brie, camembert, ricotta, feta, and blue cheese), sandwich meats, bean sprouts, pre-prepared salads, and pâté.
• Raw eggs as they may contain salmonella.
• Alcohol – not drinking is the safest option.
• Fish that may contain high levels of mercury – Food Standards recommend consuming no more than one serve (100g cooked) per fortnight of shark/flake, marlin or broadbill/ swordfish, and no other fish that fortnight, or one serve (100g cooked) per week of orange roughy (deep sea perch) or catfish and no other fish that week.
• Foods such as nuts during pregnancy only if they are allergic to the foods themselves – avoiding these foods has no impact on the infant’s risk of developing allergy symptoms.
Foods to Eat When You Are Pregnant
Eating well during your pregnancy helps your baby develop and has health benefits for you too! Both you and your growing baby need extra nutrients. Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of the mother and baby. However, it is also important not to gain too much weight. So choose foods from the Five Food Groups and limit discretionary foods and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugars, and added salts such as cakes, biscuits, and potato chips.
The Five Food Groups To Eat Well
• Enjoying a variety of fruits and vegetables of different types and colors.
• Increasing your grain consumption to 8–8 ½ serves a day – mostly wholegrain – in preference to discretionary choices.
• Choosing foods high in iron, such as lean red meat or tofu, which are important for pregnant women.
• Making a habit of drinking milk, eating hard cheese and yogurt, or calcium-enriched alternatives. Reduced fat varieties are best.
• Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, fruit, and whole grains and drinking plenty of water every day can assist with constipation – a common occurrence during pregnancy
SERVE SIZES PER DAY
* Vegetables and legumes/beans
A standard serving of vegetables is about 75g (100-350kJ) or: ½ cup of cooked green or orange vegetables (for example, broccoli, spinach, carrots, or pumpkin)
½ cup cooked, dried, or canned beans, peas, or lentils
1 cup green leafy or raw salad vegetables
½ cup sweet corn
½ medium potato or other starchy vegetables (sweet potato, taro, or cassava)
1 medium tomato
-Preferably with no added salt
A standard serving of fruit is about 150g (350kJ) or: 1 medium apple, banana, orange, or pear
2 small apricots, kiwi fruits, or plums
1 cup diced or canned fruit (with no added sugar) Or only occasionally: 125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (with no added sugar)
30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas)
A standard serve (500kJ) is:
1 slice (40g) of bread
½ medium (40g) roll or flatbread
½ cup (75–120g) cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur or quinoa
½ cup (120g) cooked porridge
²/³ cup (30g) wheat cereal flakes
¼ cup (30g) muesli
3 (35g) crispbreads
1 (60g) crumpet
1 small (35g) English muffin or scone
* Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
A standard serve (500-600kJ) is:
65g cooked lean meats such as beef, lamb, veal, pork, goat, or kangaroo (about 90–100g raw)*
80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey (100g raw)
100g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw weight) or one small can of fish
2 large (120g) eggs
1 cup (150g) cooked or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chickpeas, or split peas (preferably with no added salt)
30g nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter or tahini or other nut or seed paste (no added salt)
A standard serve (500-600kJ) is:
1 cup (250ml) fresh, UHT long life, reconstituted powdered milk or buttermilk
½ cup (120ml) evaporated milk 2 slices (40g) or 4 x 3 x 2cm cube (40g) of hard cheese, such as cheddar
¾ cup (200g) yogurt
1 cup (250ml) soy, rice, or other cereal drink with at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml
-To meet additional energy needs, extra serves from the Five Food Groups or unsaturated spreads and oils, or discretionary choices may be needed only by those women who are taller or more active, but not overweight. An allowance for unsaturated spreads and oils for cooking or nuts and seeds can be included in the following quantities: 14–20g per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Which Foods Should I Eat and How Much?
The dietary guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods and drinks that we need regularly, for health and well-being. By eating the recommended amounts from the Five Food Groups and limiting the foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugars, and added salt, you will get enough of the nutrients essential for good health. You may reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. You may also feel better, look better, enjoy life more, and live longer!
The amount of food you will need from the Five Food Groups depends on your age, height, weight, and physical activity levels, and also whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For example, if you’re pregnant you should aim to eat at least 8½ serves of grain (cereal) foods a day. You might notice that the number of serves you need from the Five Food Groups changes when you are pregnant or breastfeeding – this is due to changes in your nutrient requirements for your growing baby’s needs and to support breastfeeding.
HOW MUCH IS A SERVE?
It’s helpful to get to know the recommended serving sizes and serves per day so that you eat and drink the right amount of the nutritious foods you and your baby need for health, as shown in the tables above. We’ve given you the serving size in grams too, so you can weigh foods to get an idea of what a serve looks like.
The ‘serve size’ is a set amount that doesn’t change. It is used along with the ‘serves per day, to work out the total amount of food required from each of the Five Food Groups. ‘Portion size is the amount you actually eat and this will depend on what your energy needs are. Some people’s portion sizes are smaller than the ‘serve size’ and some are larger. This means some people may need to eat from the Five Food Groups more often than others.
HOW MANY SERVES A DAY?
Few people eat exactly the same way each day and it is common to have a little more on some days than others. However, on average, the total of your portion sizes should end up being similar to the number of serves you need each day. If you eat portions that are smaller than the ‘served size you will need to eat from the Food Groups more often. If your portion size is larger than the ‘serve size’, then you will need to eat from the Food Groups less often.
Nutrition During Pregnancy FAQs
What are the five food groups?
1. Grains—Bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, and tortillas are all grains.
2. Fruits—Fruits can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Juice that is 100% fruit juice also counts.
3. Vegetables—Vegetables can be raw or cooked, frozen, canned, dried, or 100% vegetable juice.
4. Protein foods—Protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds.
5. Dairy—Milk and products made from milk, such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, make up the dairy group.
Are oils and fats part of healthy eating?
Although they are not a food group, oils and fats do give you important nutrients. During pregnancy, the fats that you eat provide energy and help build many fetal organs and the placenta. Most of the fats and oils in your diet should come from plant sources. Limit solid fats, such as those from animal sources. Solid fats also can be found in processed foods.
Why are vitamins and minerals important in my diet?
Vitamins and minerals play important roles in all of your body functions. During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than a woman who is not pregnant.
How can I get the extra amounts of vitamins and minerals I need during pregnancy?
Taking a prenatal vitamin supplement can ensure that you are getting these extra amounts. A well-rounded diet should supply all of the other vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.
What is folic acid and how much do I need daily?
Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin that is important for pregnant women. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for at least 1 month before pregnancy and 600 micrograms of folic acid daily during pregnancy may help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine called neural tube defects. It may be hard to get the recommended amount of folic acid from food alone. For this reason, all pregnant women and all women who may become pregnant should take a daily vitamin supplement that contains the right amount of folic acid.
Why is iron important during pregnancy and how much do I need daily?
Iron is used by your body to make a substance in red blood cells that carry oxygen to your organs and tissues. During pregnancy, you need extra iron—about double the amount that a nonpregnant woman needs. This extra iron helps your body make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby. The daily recommended dose of iron during pregnancy is 27 milligrams, which is found in most prenatal vitamin supplements.
You also can eat iron-rich foods, including lean red meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereals, and prune juice. Iron also can be absorbed more easily if iron-rich foods are eaten with vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes.
Why is calcium important during pregnancy and how much do I need daily?
Calcium is used to build your baby’s bones and teeth. All women, including pregnant women, aged 19 years and older should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily; those aged 14–18 years should get 1,300 milligrams daily. Milk and other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, are the best sources of calcium. If you have trouble digesting milk products, you can get calcium from other sources, such as broccoli; dark, leafy greens; sardines; or a calcium supplement.
Why is vitamin D important during pregnancy and how much do I need daily?
Vitamin D works with calcium to help the baby’s bones and teeth develop. It also is essential for healthy skin and eyesight. All women, including those who are pregnant, need 600 international units of vitamin D a day. Good sources are milk fortified with vitamin D and fatty fish such as salmon. Exposure to sunlight also converts a chemical in the skin to vitamin D.
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
The amount of weight gain that is recommended depends on your health and your body mass index before you were pregnant. If you were a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain between 25 pounds and 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you were underweight before pregnancy, you should gain more weight than a woman who was a normal weight before pregnancy. If you were overweight or obese before pregnancy, you should gain less weight.
Can being overweight or obese affect my pregnancy?
Overweight and obese women are at an increased risk of several pregnancy problems. These problems include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and cesarean delivery. Babies of overweight and obese mothers also are at greater risk of certain problems, such as birth defects, macrosomia with a possible birth injury, and childhood obesity.
Can caffeine in my diet affect my pregnancy?
Although there have been many studies on whether caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage, the results are unclear. Most experts state that consuming fewer than 200 milligrams of caffeine (one 12-ounce cup of coffee) a day during pregnancy is safe.
What are the benefits of including fish and shellfish in my diet during pregnancy?
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat found naturally in many kinds of fish. They may be important factors in your baby’s brain development both before and after birth. To get the most benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, women should eat at least two servings of fish or shellfish (about 8–12 ounces) per week while pregnant or breastfeeding.
What should I know about eating fish during pregnancy?
Some types of fish have higher levels of a metal called mercury than others. Mercury has been linked to birth defects. To limit your exposure to mercury, follow a few simple guidelines. Choose fish and shellfish such as shrimp, salmon, catfish, and pollock. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week. You also should check advisories about fish caught in local waters.
How can food poisoning affect my pregnancy?
Food poisoning in a pregnant woman can cause serious problems for both her and her baby. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause your body to lose too much water and can disrupt your body’s chemical balance. To prevent food poisoning, follow these general guidelines:
• Wash food. Rinse all raw produce thoroughly under running tap water before eating, cutting, or cooking.
• Keep your kitchen clean. Wash your hands, knives, countertops, and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
• Avoid all raw and undercooked seafood, eggs, and meat. Do not eat sushi made with raw fish (cooked sushi is safe).
Food such as beef, pork, or poultry should be cooked to a safe internal temperature.
What is listeriosis and how can it affect my pregnancy?
Listeriosis is a type of food-borne illness caused by bacteria. Pregnant women are 13 times more likely to get listeriosis than the general population. Listeriosis can cause mild, flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea, but it also may not cause any symptoms. Listeriosis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery. Antibiotics can be given to treat the infection and protect your unborn baby. To help prevent listeriosis, avoid eating the following foods during pregnancy:
• Unpasteurized milk and foods made with unpasteurized milk
• Hot dogs, luncheon meats, and cold cuts unless they are heated until steaming hot just before serving
• Refrigerated pate and meat spreads
• Refrigerated smoked seafood
• Raw and undercooked seafood, eggs, and meat
Healthy Pregnancy Tips
25 Healthy Pregnancy Tips
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it is very important that you are healthy before, during, and after the pregnancy. There are many ways to stay fit and healthy. I know this can seem a little complicated so I have put together a list of simple things you can do to stay healthy during pregnancy.
1 – Don’t miss any doctors appointments
2 – Start eating healthier immediately
3 – Start exercising immediately. It will help you stay in shape and reduce labor complications.
4 – Educate yourself about pregnancy
5 – Stop smoking. It can cause a ton of complications for the baby.
6 – Take your prenatal vitamins and make sure they contain .4 mg of folic acid
7 – Make sure you brush your teeth every day.
8 – If you have a cat stop changing the litter while you are pregnant.
9 – Stop drinking alcohol.
10 – Take a prenatal yoga class
11 – Eat an extra 300 to 500 calories a day while pregnant. Remember you are eating for two now.
12 – Drink plenty of water every day. At least 6 glasses.
13 – Know and understand the signs of premature labor.
14 – Stay away from the paint. If you are decorating the baby’s room you should have someone else do the painting.
15 – Sign up early for a childbirth class.
16 – Take a breastfeeding class.
17 – Take a swim during late pregnancy.
18 – Stretch before you go to bed. This will help prevent leg cramps.
19 – Relax whenever you can.
20 – Pack your pregnancy bag in advance. This way you will have everything you need when its time to head to the hospital. Make sure you have your insurance card and pre-registration forms.
21 – Get as much rest as you can.
22 – Tour a few birth facilities before making a decision.
23 – Go see your dentist.
24 – Only tell others you are pregnant when you are ready
25 – Enjoy being a mother!
Being pregnant can be a very fun and exciting time for a woman. There is nothing more precious than seeing that bundle of joy that you have been carrying for 9 months. Just follow these simple tips and you will be able to stay healthy during pregnancy.
4 Healthy Pregnancy Diet Tips To Help You and Your Unborn Baby
Here are some of the best healthy pregnancy diet tips that will help you have a perfect pregnancy:
1. Unhealthy Pregnancy Cravings are Bad For You and Your Baby
Healthy pregnant diet tip #one is about pregnancy food cravings. Pregnancy cravings are messages from your body telling you about deficiencies that your body is going through. Acting on these indulgences can lead to unwanted weight gain. Sweets and salty food top the charts on most popular pregnancy cravings. Do yourself a favor and replace your unhealthy craving for something that your body is really deficient in.
2. Consume Omega 3 and Iron
Healthy pregnant diet tip #two is about 2 important supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids is the one prenatal supplementation that will be working and helping your baby learn and grow long after his due date. Researchers have even found that infants who were born to mothers that had higher levels of Omega 3′s in their system had an advantage over children who did not. You can get Omega 3′s from eating beans, flax seed, walnuts, and wild fish (not farm-raised).
Iron is very good because it helps your blood carry oxygen. Iron is something that most women are already deficient in. So you need to make sure that you are getting at least 30-50 mg per day. Your unborn baby depends on you to get enough Iron to help him construct his red blood cells. Foods that contain iron are lentils, natural beef, beans, pumpkin seeds, and green veggies.
3. Sugar and Fake Sugars
Healthy pregnant diet tip #3 is about consuming sugars while you are pregnant. First, let’s talk about fake sugars like aspartame, saccharin, and Splenda. None of these are healthy for you or your baby. They are all engineered chemicals that are not natural or healthy for you or your baby.
If you are using raw sugar or Agave syrup then you are doing good. If not, then you are using refined sugars. Refined sugar is bad for everyone, as it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, excess, and rapid weight gain as well can reduce your body’s immunity. Keeping your blood sugars normal will also help to ward of gestational diabetes and keep your pancreas operating correctly.
4. Exercise During Pregnancy
Healthy pregnant diet tip #four is about getting enough exercise while you are pregnant. Exercise is very important to your body and can help keep away many pregnancy symptoms like fatigue and mood swings. Trust me, I know that when you are super tired, the last thing you think you can do is exercise…but trust me, once you get started, you will be glad you did.
Getting 4 to 5 days of exercise every week will greatly improve how you feel while you are awake and can also help you sleep better. Exercising while you are pregnant is imperative to help get your blood flowing to your baby and is also an excellent stress reliever.
What to Eat When Pregnant Tips
Those first few weeks of pregnancy can feel just awful. Knowing what to eat when pregnant can change all that. The morning sickness that lasts all day, the fatigue that sends mom to bed at 5 pm, and the general lack of “oomph!” can quickly erase the initial joy found in a positive pregnancy test. It does get better in time, but why wait?
Knowing what to eat when pregnant as well as how and when to eat transforms the first trimester from something to be survived, to a time of wonder and excitement. With a few tweaks to early pregnancy diet plans, the first trimester flies by happily.
Don’t skip any meals. This is especially true in terms of breakfast! Proper nutrition during pregnancy can make or break the healthy feelings of the expectant mother. The first meal of the day really is the most important. Eating a meal well balanced in proteins, high-quality whole grains, fruits and greens puts the body on the right track all day long.
Skipping breakfast or chowing down on the first available cereal or granola bar sets the body up for disaster. Nausea and low energy are the results. To feel your best, eat breakfast, and then eat frequently thereafter no matter how busy the day’s schedule is.
Carry a healthy snack at all times. Hunger can, and will, strike unexpectedly even when mothers are eating the best pregnancy diets. Unexpected ravenousness often results in the pregnant woman eating the very first thing she can find. Let’s face it; foods that can be eaten at first sight almost universally fit into a broad category known as junk food. Junk foods do nothing to boost nutrition during pregnancy.
Counteract impulsive, hunger-driven snacking by stocking the fridge and purse with healthy snacks. A Snickers bar is much less likely to find its way from the vending machine to the stomach when an apple and a healthy smear of almond butter are sitting in the cubical.
Start a diet chart for pregnancy to help track and organize meal plans. Balanced meals and snacks are not the stuff of spontaneity. It is better to ensure success by taking a few minutes to fill out a diet chart for pregnancy, specifically aimed to care for early pregnancy diet needs.
Listing meal plans helps women see their progress, fills in any dietary gaps, and pinpoints meal choices that were either ultra helpful or abysmally detrimental to mom’s efforts to combat nausea and other early pregnancy diet discomforts.
Be picky about carbohydrate choices. Even whole-grain, whole-wheat bread is not the best choice. Of all grains, wheat is the most readily converted into simple sugars.
Instead of eating whole-wheat bread, choose sprouted-grain bread options. Sprouted grains do not convert to sugar as quickly, and they contain a whole host of vital nutrients at levels whole-wheat bread can’t touch.
In the end, any healthy changes made to what to eat when pregnant in an effort to increase the baby’s joy and replace the pregnancy blahs of the first trimester will net beneficial results. Not all symptoms may be banished, but they should become manageable and disappear over time.
What To Do or Avoid Tips
First of all, congratulation if you finally get to the edge of getting pregnant – which is not always easy to achieve – after waiting for quite a while, or maybe after a long-lasting struggle. However, you are now about to enter a new horizon of your life carrying a new baby while preparing yourself to be a loving mother.
You will enter around a 42-week gestation period and should really be prepared for everything required to nourish and keep the healthy development of your coming baby as well as your own health. Your own health is very important since your health condition will affect the progress of your baby. Not only your physical health but also your psychological aspect since both will affect the condition of your baby.
Here are a few tips as a starter to get you set. But it is always best to consult everything with your doctor or obstetrician which I strongly suggest doing routinely or as requested by them. Being under the supervision and care of a professional will provide you with peace of mind, something that is needed very much in a healthy pregnancy.
Get Professional Care
This should be your first thing to do, find a doctor or other health care provider who is known to be professional. These professionals know very well how your prenatal care should be. You will have to see her or him on a regular basis as scheduled. During every visit, the doctor will make a series of exams and tests to monitor your health and the baby.
Your doctor is your reliable resource person with whom you can discuss or ask questions pertaining to your pregnancy. It is important, to be honest, and not leave anything left when discussing your medical history including past illness, drugs, or bad habits which probably might affect your pregnancy or labor in the future.
Ask many questions and make everything clear. Do not leave the doctor with a question in your mind or some hesitation. This includes questioning information that you may get from somewhere else like a chat with your friends or neighbor, the internet, magazines, books, and so forth.
It is necessary to make a little twist on your mind. You now have to eat and drink for two. There is a baby in your tummy that needs nourishment too. Every time you take something, it should be enough for two and at the same time beneficial for the growth of your baby.
Keep your appetite. A pregnant woman needs an additional 300 calories per day to maintain healthy fetal growth. A completely balanced diet plus protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit with less sugar and fatty foods should be administered.
Avoid Possible Infection
You should stay away from potentially dangerous infections. If you have a cat in your house, be aware that cat stools may be the source of Toxoplasma Gondii the cause of Toxoplasmosis. This is a very serious threat to your baby which may lead to death.
This parasite can also contaminate raw meat. So, cook every meat dish thoroughly. Well, cooked food will also avoid the possibility of other infections like meningitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, and vomiting which to some extent may cause serious complications and death.
Stay Relaxed and Manage Stress
Although it is easier said than done, you should try to move away from things that make you stressed. The things that make you stress are always there, hence it is more important to manage your stress. Change the perception about things that wind you up.
Be aware that stress will aggravate the problems which you may encounter during pregnancy, like morning sickness, headache, back pain, fatigue, and indigestion. It is important to practice some relaxation techniques or yoga to create peace of mind which will keep you away from everyday life.
Take Medication Carefully
Take any medication with caution, even those over-the-counter medicines like cough and colds, anti-diarrheal, analgesics, etc. which are stated save for normal conditions. It is best if you always consult or check with your doctor whether it will be harmless or not.
If you are under a course of medication due to a specific ailment like high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy, or lupus you should let your doctor decide on how the treatment should be continued.
The benefit of exercise is very clear. It keeps your body fit and facilitates the smooth functioning of your entire body system. It is also beneficial for pregnant women. But please check with your doctor first if you want to exercise. If it is okay, you can start exercising. The recommended exercise by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is a 20 minutes exercise at least three times a week.
Physical exercises that can be performed is walking, swimming, or riding a static bike. You can also join a prenatal aerobic class that might be able to design a customized session for you. You can also purchase some exercise videos for pregnant women and enjoy exercising at home.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
The danger of smoking and alcohol has for long been campaigned with very little progress. You can easily find people smoking or drinking around you. If you are one of them, please quit for the sake of your poor and pity baby.
Nicotine increases the risk for pre-term birth, low weight birth, and stillbirth. Babies born from smoking mothers tend to have poor lung development, respiratory infection, asthma and are prone to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Alcohol can be directly exposed to the baby. In fact, if the mother drinks alcohol, it passes through the placenta and enters the blood system of the fetus which may cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) indicated by mental retardation and facial disorders in unborn babies.
Take Enough Vitamins and Minerals
Neglecting the requirement for vitamins and minerals will cause unhealthy development of the baby and may impair the mother’s health as well. Do not miss taking prenatal supplements which are specially designed to fulfill the requirement during pregnancy.
Minerals which you should attend to are calcium, iron, and folic acid. Calcium is essential in the forming of fetal bones and teeth. Inadequate intake of calcium will cause osteoporosis in the mother where calcium is taken from the mother’s bone. Iron is vital in the forming of blood cells of both the mother and the baby. Blood cells are the vehicle to transport oxygen to the entire body. Folic acid (one of the vitamin B groups) is required to prevent possible spinal cord defects.
Again, discuss this vitamins and minerals requirement with your doctor, since he/she is the one who knows very well what you need and what you don’t need after considering your condition during a visit
So, keep doing well. Stay healthy and fit. A new happy world is waiting for you.
Basic Pregnancy Tips For Pregnant Women
Have a well-balanced diet and eat healthily. Nutrition during pregnancy is important thus make sure you have a healthy choice of foods such as fiber-rich vegetables and fruits as well as fish and dairy products for your protein needs. If you are avoiding some foods that may cause you morning sickness, you may substitute them with other equally nutritious foods.
One of the most important diet tips for a healthy pregnancy is to make sure you stay hydrated. Not only will drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses or bottles of water a day keep your skin looking great while you’re pregnant, but it can also help to prevent early labor and lessen some of those uncomfortable symptoms such as constipation.
While it is recommended to begin an exercise routine prior to becoming pregnant, exercising is considered not only safe but healthy for the mother during pregnancy. Walking, running, biking, and swimming along with light weights can enhance the health of the mother’s body. And, there are some studies showing that exercising during pregnancy can improve the delivery experience.
People would often tell you that you need to eat for two. However, that does not mean that you get an excuse to gorge yourself on all sorts of goodies like ice creams, cakes, and pastries. What it really means is that you need to eat a healthy and nutritious diet. In fact, fast foods and simple sugars can actually cause problems like gestational diabetes. Avoiding such foods will ensure that a healthy pregnancy will follow.
After this, you must begin to change your lifestyle. Remember, you are no longer eating and exercising for yourself but for two! Firstly, if you are a smoker or a drinker, you must quit. Cigarette smoke can lead to low birth weight in babies as well as miscarriages and tubal pregnancies so try to avoid secondhand smoke as it is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy.
The first tip is once you find out that you are pregnant you must do is to go see your obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN) as soon as possible. They will give you an ultrasound to make sure everything is normal and then find out how long you are in your pregnancy. If there are any complications you want to know as soon as possible.
It is important for you to go for a check-up as soon as you think you are pregnant because complications can occur during pregnancy. Regular examinations are important to ensure that you stay healthy and that the baby is growing and developing properly. Your doctor can also advise you on the right prenatal supplement to take if needed.
Pregnancy is a special stage in a woman’s life. It is one of the things which makes you feel extra contented about being a woman. It is never easy to be in a pregnant state because you need to make sacrifices for the wellness of both you and your baby. Keeping yourself healthy during pregnancy is very crucial to avert complications.
Knowing what a healthy pregnancy diet is can be confusing. The American food guide has undergone so many geometric changes morphing from squares to pyramids from stacked steps to slivered triangular sections that most people are happy if they can know what shape the FDA is currently using to promote healthy eating, never mind a balanced diet during pregnancy plan.
Paying attention to your food is another thing that is important. During pregnancy, it is very important to consume healthy food that will bring nutrition. Healthy food can bring a lot of benefits to you and your baby in growth and development. It is advisable to ask your doctor what kind of food you should avoid during pregnancy.
A healthy diet for pregnant women will contain 300 more calories than a woman would normally eat, which means a pregnant woman doesn’t need to eat that much more. If you include a few snacks that are high in vitamins in your diet, you can get the extra nutrition and maybe avoid the morning sickness that most women often feel. You don’t have to eat like you are “eating for two” so be sure you don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to overeat.
Healthy Pregnancy Myths & Tips
Do You Know What Is Best For You And Your Baby?
Congratulations if you are having a baby, an exciting time and perhaps in some ways a daunting one, as many of you may be unsure of a multitude of things that can affect you and your baby over the coming months. Below you will find 3 common myths and the truth about pregnancy. To make it a really enjoyable time and a most pleasurable experience for you will also find 3 healthy pregnancy tips.
“Eating for 2″ is a myth, according to UK draft Health Service guidelines, it states that during the first 6 months of pregnancy women do not need to change their diet at all. In the final 3 months before giving birth, pregnant women need just 200 extra calories a day – about the same as a small sandwich. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has released its guidance for consultation.
Pregnancy Tip – #1
To avoid putting on excess weight during pregnancy, do NOT eliminate any food groups from your diet. Try to eat a healthy well-balanced diet, including good quality carbohydrates to make sure both you and your little one are well taken care of nutritionally.
“Good quality carbohydrates” what are they?
Examples of good quality carbohydrates include brown rice and whole grain oats. The general rule is to stay away from things made with white flour and loaded with fat and sugar.
Exercise during pregnancy can increase your risk of miscarriage.
NO… There isn’t any evidence of this in any research, just the opposite, a well-structured safe exercise program can make for a healthier and easier pregnancy. As with any exercise program, it is important that you discuss it with your doctor or your family’s health care provider before commencement.
Pregnancy Tip – #2
It doesn’t matter if you are 3 weeks or 36 weeks into your pregnancy it’s never too late to begin a safe exercise program. If you do nothing else, the one exercise you really should do is the Kegel, the important thing is that you start today. (It is essential that you get your Doctor’s or your family’s health care provider’s okay before beginning any type of exercise routine during pregnancy.) Kegels, named after Doctor Arnold Kegel, help keep your pelvic floor muscles TONED and TIGHT.
Morning sickness – I vomit so much it will hurt the baby.
Many women mistakenly believe this but even though morning sickness makes you feel terrible your baby is safe inside you.
Pregnancy Tip – #3
There are many different solutions that help ease morning sickness, unfortunately, there is no one solution that suits everyone, so sorry but you may need to try a number of different things. But the one thing you can do to help overcome the effects of morning sickness is….
REST, REST, and REST! Rest is one of the most common ways of coping with morning sickness.
Healthy Pregnancy Ideas & Tips
If you knew the secrets of how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, how good would you feel? As you know your body will undergo many changes during your pregnancy many of which will disappear soon after your baby is born. Stretch marks are one change that won’t go away or at least not very easily.
Loving your body before pregnancy can help you get through the physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. Changing your body image while you are pregnant is a pretty tough thing to do, especially if it was already low, to begin with. Here are some ideas to try and help you love and accept your pregnant body.
Why is chiropractic care so important for women while they are pregnant? Chiropractors work to make sure a pregnant mother’s body is operating at full capacity by avoiding the trials placed on their bodies while carrying a child. Chiropractic care assures the proper operation of all body systems and especially those that are important during pregnancy such as the uterus, ovaries, and related structures.
Many mothers find that pregnancy is a tough event in their life. The changes come in both physical and emotional. There are a few recent studies that give you some idea of what to do when you are pregnant. This will help toward having a smoother pregnancy. You will be a healthier mother and your baby will be healthier too.
Abstain from all types of alcohol (including an occasional glass of wine), because alcohol passes through your bloodstream into the placenta, and your baby has a drink of equal strength to your own. But because the baby is so much smaller and still developing, the alcohol can cause your baby to be born with mental and physical defects.
Discourage from using scented feminine hygiene products. Pregnant women should avoid scented sprays, sanitary napkins, and bubble baths. These products might irritate your spouse’s vaginal area, and increase her risk of urinary tract infection or yeast infection.
The first thing you must do when you find you are pregnant is to visit an obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN). They will give you an ultrasound to see how far along you are and whether your pregnancy appears to be normal. This stage is crucial and it is important not to leave this too late.
To recap: avoid damaging substances such as nicotine and alcohol, don’t diet during pregnancy, drink plenty of water, practice as much exercise as safely possible, and get plenty of sleep!
Following these pregnancy tips will make certain that you have a healthy pregnancy and a happy and fit child.
Top 4 Healthy Pregnancy Tips
Newly expectant mothers often fly into a frenzy to learn as much as they can about healthy pregnancy. Tips from every source are examined, tested, and praised as lifesavers or dismissed as wives’ tales.
Keep in mind every pregnancy is different. What works one time may not have the same effect with subsequent pregnancies. Collected below are some of the top healthy pregnancy tips of proper diet during pregnancy that is tried and true and grounded in medical research.
Learn the New Rules for a Healthy Pregnancy
Often the first place to start is to examine diets during pregnancy. Eating right is essential; early pregnancy diet needs are different from pre-pregnancy. The body’s rules of how to eat right take a major shift. This means diets during pregnancy need to likewise adjust.
During the first trimester, women feel the change in dietary needs exhibited in the uncomfortable symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and exhaustion. Eating should become more like grazing, which will keep the blood sugar in check. The results should be noticeably improved energy levels and decreased queasiness. Try a combination or all of the following early pregnancy diet tips:
Healthy Pregnancy Tips to Thrive in Early Pregnancy
Eat small meals frequently all day long
A proper diet during pregnancy is not composed solely of what is eaten but when as well. Pregnant women often find they need to eat every two hours.
Frequent small meals keep blood sugar levels from rising and falling. As blood sugars spike and crash, the body’s response results in morning sickness, and this certainly isn’t limited to the AM hours of the day.
Overeating should be cautioned against
An overly full stomach only adds to the discomfort. To be effective, meals and snacks should be small. Don’t worry about not eating enough. The body does not require extra caloric intake during the first trimester.
Protein should be eaten with every meal or snack
It helps stabilize blood sugar. Protein takes longer to process in the digestive system. As a result, it provides a slow and steady release of fuel into the bloodstream, which keeps blood sugar and insulin levels in check.
Meats are not the only protein source out there
Raw nuts, cheeses, and legumes are great options. Not only are they tasty, protein-packed foods, but they are also usually highly portable, convenient, and welcome at any meal or snack.
Avoid sugar in candies, pastries, and other sweets
Simple sugars raid the bloodstream almost instantly upon entry into the body. This sends blood chemistry bouncing wildly up and down, making mom feel sick.
Sugar-free alternatives are worse if anything
They often contain ingredients that still cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Add to that the chemicals in artificial sweeteners that pose a potential threat to a baby’s healthy development.
Have a consistent bedtime and wake-up time
In a well-intentioned effort to get enough rest, expectant mothers often make the mistake of adjusting their normal sleep patterns to either go to bed early or sleep later than usual. This can actually make the problem of fatigue worse.
A consistent sleep routine of going to bed and rising at the same time each day is much better. If the establishment of bedtimes and wake-up calls do not work, try napping instead. Power naps combat fatigue effectively and do not throw the body’s natural sleep rhythms out of balance.
A “power nap” is not a three-hour siesta on the couch
Hop into bed, or lie down on the sofa for 20-30 minutes at most. Shorter naps are proven to be more refreshing than longer ones.
5 Tips To Get The Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy
Safe exercise during pregnancy is one of the best healthy pregnancy tips. Obviously, exercise helps to control your weight and the right exercise can boost your circulation, reduce morning sickness, lessen constipation and heartburn, reduce your risk of gestational diabetes and improve your love life.
So how does exercise during pregnancy achieve this? The right exercises will tone up and strengthen your muscles with less likelihood of you getting overheated. Exercise is good for your overall well-being and can help keep your stress levels down but you must ensure you are doing safe exercise during pregnancy. If you would like to know which exercises are safe for you and your baby just click on the link below. To get you started in the right direction here are a few healthy pregnancy tips:-
Healthy Pregnancy Tip #1
This is really important; BEFORE you begin any exercise during pregnancy discuss it with your Doctor or your family’s health care provider. Exercise is generally regarded as good for you but you should always get professional advice when it comes to the health and protection of your baby.
Healthy Pregnancy Tip #2
Start any exercise program at a low level, and take notice of warning signals from your body, if you get out of breath, feel overtired or any exercise causes you pain you should stop and take it a little slower next time. Over time as your muscles strengthen and your fitness level grows you can gradually increase your exercise activity. Even if you are not normally used to exercising you can start exercising during pregnancy now as long as you do it the right way and with the right advice.
Healthy Pregnancy Tip #3
Safe exercises during pregnancy are activities generally classed as low-impact. Choose an exercise you enjoy, walking is great if the weather is OK especially if you love the outdoors. You can also exercise during pregnancy at home on an exercise bike but again be careful not to overdo it. Water aerobics and swimming are great too as they take the weight off your body so you can exercise with less effort.
Healthy Pregnancy Tip #4
Improve your sex life and make your labor easier by doing the Kegel. No, it’s not a new dance, it’s an exercise named after Doctor Arnold Kegel. Kegels as they are more commonly known are the number one exercise for building up pelvic-floor muscles. After your baby is born your pelvic floor muscles will most likely be loose, Kegels are great for tightening everything back up.
Healthy Pregnancy Tip #5
Keep your cool! If it’s summer time avoid exercising in the heat of the day, do it when your shadow is the longest, first thing in the morning or in the evening. If you are exercising inside do it in an airy room, you can always use a fan to create a breeze. It’s important while doing any exercise during pregnancy that you keep your fluid levels up.
Pregnancy Nutrition – The Need for Vitamin Supplements
There are few times in our lives when nutrition is more important than when we’re pregnant. The choices you make now can make a difference in your child’s life, not just in infancy but, in some cases, for the entire rest of their lives. Taking a vitamin supplement is one action you can take to be sure you’re providing your baby with everything she needs for optimum health and well-being.
Vitamin supplements are especially important for women who are limited in their food intake, either by choice, such as being a vegetarian or vegan, or by necessity, in the case of being lactose intolerant or having food allergies. It’s also a good idea to begin supplementing your diet with prenatal vitamins for a period of at least one month before you begin trying to conceive so that your body will have stores of these important nutrients on hand.
One of the most important things you’ll get from a vitamin supplement is folic acid. There are very few natural sources of folic acid in food, and the folic acid in food isn’t easily absorbed by our bodies. Folic acid is an essential vitamin, however, because adequate levels can prevent a specific type of birth defect known as a neural tube defect. Research has shown getting enough folic acid means a 70 percent lower chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect.
Your prenatal vitamin should contain a minimum of 600 mcg of folic acid, and you should begin supplementing with this important vitamin before you conceive. If you’ve previously had a child with a neural tube defect, your health care provider may want you to take a higher dose of this important vitamin.
While you’re pregnant, you’ll also have an increased need for iron. Your blood volume will increase while you’re pregnant, so your body has a hard time getting enough iron to go around. The amount of iron you need while pregnant is twice as much as when you aren’t pregnant, about 27 mg each day.
However, the higher amounts of iron in prescription prenatal vitamins can cause some women to become constipated or have other digestive problems, if you experience this, talk with your doctor. Also, be sure to keep your prenatal supplements out of the reach of children, as products containing iron can be fatal to them. Getting enough vitamin C will also help your body absorb the iron it needs.
Your need for calcium also increases while you’re pregnant. You need about 1,000 mg each day to make sure your baby gets what she needs and to decrease your chances of developing osteoporosis later in life. The best way to get the additional calcium you need, however, isn’t in a supplement, but by adding additional servings to your diet. If you have trouble getting the calcium you need in your diet, add a separate calcium supplement. Many expectant moms find one of the new chewable chocolate calcium supplements to be a fun choice.
Essential fatty acids are another important nutrient for both you and your baby, but they aren’t typically included in prenatal vitamins. You need 300 mg of DHA, a specific essential fatty acid, every day throughout pregnancy and unless you include salmon or trout in your diet on a weekly basis, you’ll probably need to take a separate supplement to get the DHA you need.
Whatever prenatal vitamin supplement you choose, remember that it’s no substitute for eating an overall healthy diet. Focus on making healthy choices and eliminating junk food and you’ll do a great service to yourself and to your unborn baby.
Pregnancy Prenatal Vitamins – Preparing the Body for Changes
When you’re preparing to conceive a child, it’s a good idea to begin taking prenatal vitamins, even if you haven’t yet conceived. These supplements will help you prepare your body for pregnancy. In fact, if you’re a sexually active woman, it’s a good idea to take prenatal vitamins as a matter of course – that way, if you become pregnant accidentally, your baby will have a good start. For example, you need enough folic acid in your diet at the time of conception to prevent your baby from developing a neural tube defect.
When you’re pregnant or planning to conceive, you should eat as healthy a diet as possible. With a few small exceptions, we absorb nutrients better when they’re in the food we eat, rather than when they come in supplement form. Still, a prenatal vitamin offers a good insurance policy for those days when your diet is less than ideal.
Prenatal vitamins are available as an over-the-counter purchase or your health care provider can write a prescription for you. Some health care providers also have samples they can share with you while you’re looking for a brand of vitamins that works for you.
The chief difference between the prescription versions and the over-the-counter versions is that the prescription ones typically contain higher levels of some nutrients, iron in particular, which are sometimes flavored and sometimes include a stool softener. For most women, an over-the-counter brand is perfectly fine, but there are some women who have nutritional needs better met by a prescription supplement.
Some pregnant women have trouble taking prenatal vitamins while they’re pregnant. If you’re having a problem with nausea after taking your vitamin, try taking it with your evening meal or at bedtime. You can also talk with your health care provider about taking a different vitamin, perhaps a chewable or a liquid. Prenatal vitamins are too important to ignore, talk to your health care provider and you’ll be able to find an acceptable alternative.
The following are some of the vitamins you need to consume during pregnancy:
Vitamin A is used in the development of skin and mucous membrane cells. You’ll need between 4,000 and 5,000 IU each day.
Vitamins B6, thiamine, riboflavin, and folic acid are important in the development of muscles, bones, the nervous system, and the brain. Folic acid is especially crucial in the prevention of neural tube defects, a specific type of birth defect. Spina bifida is the most common birth defect involving the neural tube. Your supplement should contain between 800 and 1,000 mcg of folic acid, 1.5 mg of thiamine, 1.6 mg of riboflavin, 17 mg of niacinamide, and 2.2 mcg of vitamin B12.
Vitamin C helps to maintain your health and makes you less susceptible to illnesses. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb the calcium and phosphorus it needs – your supplement should contain at least 70 mg of Vitamin C.
Calcium is used by your baby’s bones and helps protect your bones from becoming weakened during pregnancy. Your supplement should contain between 200 and 300 mg of calcium.
Iron is also needed to help your blood carry oxygen to your baby. You’ll need increased amounts of iron because of your increased blood volume during pregnancy, you need at least 30 mg of iron daily.
In addition to the vitamins and minerals listed above, you also need vitamins D and E, essential fatty acids, and zinc. Other vitamins and minerals may also be desirable additions to your diet – talk to your health care provider if you have any specific nutritional concerns.
Vitamin Supplementation in Pregnancy
Most women know that they should take a prenatal vitamin when they are pregnant, but they may not know what the components of the vitamin are or why they are important.
Neural tube defects are the second most common congenital malformation and are associated with high morbidity and mortality.
Folic acid is crucial for cell division because it plays an important role in the synthesis of nucleic and amino acids. Folate deficiency, therefore, inhibits cell turnover during a crucial point in the closure of the neural tube, resulting in incomplete formation. The clinical manifestations of neural tube defects range from fetal death to mild spina bifida; however, randomized controlled trials consistently show that folic acid supplementation decreases their occurrence rate by 50-70%.
The U.S. Preventive Task Force recommends 0.4 mg-0.8 mg per day and because neural tube development and closure occur in the first four or five weeks of pregnancy, supplementation should begin at least a month prior to conception. Ideally, all women of childbearing age and potential should take a folic acid supplement because many pregnancies are not planned.
Due to genetic components, women who have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect are at higher risk for future pregnancies; therefore they are advised to take a higher dose of 4 mg per day starting at least a month before conception. Women with seizure disorders and who are taking certain medications are also advised to take a higher dose of 4 mg per day.
Iron is necessary for both fetal/placental development and to increase maternal concentration. During pregnancy, the mother’s blood volume increases resulting in a lower concentration of red cells. Therefore, iron is necessary to increase the maternal red cell mass as well as for the development of the fetus and placenta.
Experts recommend an increase in iron consumption by 15 mg/day for all pregnant women, which is achieved with a simple prenatal vitamin. Women who have iron deficiency anemia, which is defined as hemoglobin less than 11, warrant an additional iron supplement of 30 to 120 mg per day until the anemia is corrected.
Adequate vitamin C increases the absorption of iron. The recommended amount for pregnant women is 80 mg per day for ages 18 and under or 85 mg per day for ages 19 and older.
Can be teratogenic (cancer-causing) in doses higher than 10,000 IU per day. If your prenatal vitamin contains Vitamin A, the quantity is safe, but most women do not need additional supplementation.
Prenatal vitamins do not typically contain a lot of calcium and that is because the calcium requirement is actually the same for non-pregnant, pregnant, and lactating women. Fetal skeletal development requires about 30 g of calcium, which is mostly utilized in the third trimester when the bones are hardening. This is actually a relatively small proportion of the maternal calcium stores. The current recommendation is 1000 mg per day for women 19-50 or 1300 mg per day for women 14-18.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D. The current recommendation is not to test for deficiency but to simply supplement with 600 IU per day.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
DHA is a necessary structural component of the brain and eye. The DHA recommendation is 200 mg per day and is primarily found in fish and fish oil supplements. However, fish and fish oil supplements can also contain mercury, which is known to be harmful to the fetal brain. Therefore, the best way to obtain DHA is to eat two servings of low-mercury fish like salmon, shrimp, tuna, or catfish two times per week.
This includes all of the vitamins and minerals in your prenatal supplement. They are especially important for women with multiple gestations, smokers, adolescents, vegetarians, drug users, and women with medical conditions like lactose intolerance and Crohn’s disease where absorption of nutrients from food is impaired.
Do not use the fact that you are taking supplements as an excuse to eat mostly junk. Vitamins and minerals are often more easily absorbed from food, and nutritious calories provide more energy, a more constant blood sugar, and an overall feeling of well-being compared to empty calories.
The Best Foods For Infants
Giving your baby the best start
The Dietary Guidelines and Infant Feeding Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that infants need for health and wellbeing.
Breastfeed and choose nutritious foods for your baby
The best approach:
• For around the first 6 months of life, breast milk can supply an infant’s nutrition and fluid requirements.
• Start with solid foods around 6 months – first try an iron-fortified cereal and/or an iron-rich food such as pureed meat, tofu, or legumes. At the start, your baby may only eat small amounts and breast milk or formula will be the main food.
• Then add different types of pureed vegetables, fruit, and other foods from the Five Food Groups.
• Keep breastfeeding or using infant formula while you introduce other foods. Breastfeeding should continue until the baby is 12 months old, or for as long as both the mother and infant want to keep going.
• Offer a variety of foods from the Five Food Groups and gradually vary the texture, from pureed to soft, to mashed, to minced, as your baby gets older.
• Respond to your baby’s cues to know how much food to give them.
• Take care to avoid hard foods to prevent choking.
• Your child should be eating a wide variety of nutritious foods enjoyed by the rest of the family by around 12 months.
• Get your baby’s growth checked regularly.
• If you are having trouble breastfeeding, see your child health nurse, GP, lactation consultant, or contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
• Don’t worry if your baby refuses food, that’s normal. Just try another time. If you still have feeding problems contact your health professional.
What Are The Dietary Guidelines and Infant Feeding Guidelines?
The Dietary Guidelines and Infant Feeding Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. They are based on scientific evidence and research.
What’s The Best Food For My Baby?
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It is unique, provides all the nutrients your baby needs for around the first 6 months, and is an important source of nutrients beyond 6 months. Research shows breastfeeding protects babies against infection, obesity, and some other chronic diseases such as diabetes, later in life.
Is Breastfeeding Best For Everyone?
Breastfeeding is best however sometimes this is not possible. All mothers need support from family and friends in choosing what is best for them. If you require support with breastfeeding or any aspect of infant feeding, talk to your child health nurse or a lactation consultant to work out the best approach to feeding your baby.
Babies who are not breastfed need infant formula. Infant formula needs to be strictly prepared according to the instructions and always use the scoop that came in the can. Soy and goat’s milk-based formulas are not recommended for infants, unless on medical advice.
When is the Best Time for Starting Other Foods?
At around 6 months babies are ready for other foods. They can begin to use spoons and sip from a cup. Don’t wait too long after 6 months because your baby needs nutrients from other foods to continue to grow and develop, particularly iron-rich and iron-fortified foods.
Continue breastfeeding while introducing solid foods. Start with small amounts of iron-fortified cereal or pureed foods on a spoon. It is likely that most of it could end up on the floor or on your baby! But that is just part of learning. Babies may need to be offered foods many times before they learn to like them.
Anything Else I Need To Know?
Dummies or pacifiers are best avoided for the first month while you are beginning to breastfeed. Babies are at higher risk of food poisoning, so take care in preparing their food. Use clean hands, equipment, and surfaces. Use freshly cooked food or cool foods quickly in the fridge and use within one day or freeze. Keep an eye on your baby’s eating to watch for choking. Also, if you think your baby has had a reaction to any foods, or you still have questions or concerns, see your GP or a health professional.