Categories: Conditions

Diet during pregnancy (what to avoid and more)

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Discover the diet during pregnancy and what to avoid.

Even if you’ve never made a big deal out of your diet, getting pregnant will likely cause some changes as everything you eat and drink will get to your baby.

Even if you’ve never made a big deal out of your diet, getting pregnant will likely cause some changes as everything you eat and drink will get to your baby.

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How your baby grows, develops, interacts, and moves within you will be, in part, due to the food you have eaten.

Therefore, it is worth thinking about your diet and investing some energy in making sensible decisions about what you eat. Don’t just do it for now, but also in the future.

General Preconception Feeding Guide

• Caffeine and alcohol can be toxic to sperm development, so encourage your partner to minimize their intake. If any of you are a smoker, it would be beneficial for you to quit.

Male smokers produce less sperm per ejaculation than non-smokers, and female smokers may have problems with ovulation and their menstrual cycles.

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• Monitor your vitamin C intake and make sure you are consuming plenty of citruses, berries, kiwis, and fresh juices.

• Watch your weight. Being overweight or obese affects fertility and contributes to hormonal imbalance. Women who are too fat or too skinny may have abnormal menstrual cycles.

• Both you and your partner should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet that meets nutritional requirements includes red and white meat, fish and shellfish, milk and dairy products, bread, and cereals.

• Increase your calcium intake through the milk and dairy products, also your folic acid levels through green leafy vegetables, and increase your omega 3 intakes with fatty fish.

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• Start taking folic acid supplements up to 3 months before conceiving to prevent your baby from developing neurological defects.

A supplement of 500 micrograms/day is recommended. Even if you are on a diet high in folic acid, it is difficult to ensure that you are getting enough to reap the benefits.

Eating disorders

We all have a relationship with food that can be functional or unhealthy. People who see food as a friend or even a great source of comfort tend to have weight problems. Pregnancy can be a time when it becomes difficult to ignore unresolved eating problems so they tend to stick out.

If these are not properly addressed, eating disorders can linger for many years along with the possibility that babies will inherit them, particularly from their mothers.

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If you have experienced problems with eating and eating in the past, seek the advice of a nutritionist early in your pregnancy.

You will need the courage to do it, but the first step towards any improvement is to acknowledge that you have a problem and then do something about it.

Knowing that your baby will depend on you to provide the nutrition they need to grow and thrive is reason enough for many parents to seek help.  

Diet during pregnancy and morning sickness

• Listen to the signals your body gives about whether or not it wants to eat. Try to avoid eating something you don’t like just because it’s good for you. It’s important to stay hydrated at all times with sips of water, cups of mild tea, smoothies, cereals with low-fat milk, or lemonade.

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• Keep a bowl of cookies and a glass of water on your nightstand. When you wake up, make sure you have something in your stomach besides your digestive enzymes, even before your feet hit the floor.

• Ask your partner to cook until you feel better. This may not be until after your first trimester. The look and smell of raw meat can be too much for many pregnant women, so avoid it if necessary.

• Have a glass of milk and something light before going to sleep.

• Avoid very spicy, fatty, or very sweet foods. Light, easy-to-digest foods like rice, pasta, some snacks, fruit, and toast are good alternatives.

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Benefits of having a healthy diet during pregnancy

Lower risk of developing anemia and gestational diabetes.

• Better maternal nutrition during pregnancy has benefits for the baby in terms of weight, growth, and brain function. These benefits not only apply during pregnancy but have long-term consequences throughout your baby’s life.

• Better postnatal recovery time and a faster return to your pre-pregnancy weight.

• A healthy diet during pregnancy minimizes mood swings and leads to better emotional health.

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• More energy, less fatigue, and a better sense of well-being.

• Less constipation and a feeling of heaviness in the intestine. The fiber in your food will act like a broom in your large intestine, “sweeping up” everything it encounters along with it.

• A good diet during pregnancy will set a positive example for older children. Helping them understand the importance of diet and how vital it is to stay in good health.

General feeding guide during pregnancy

Don’t skip meals or allow many hours to elapse between meals. The goal should be to eat between 5 and 6 meals a day, between small and moderate, and that does not make you feel too full.

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Eat breakfast even if you don’t normally. This is the most important meal of the day, it will help restore your body’s blood sugar levels to a healthy range after you’ve fasted for so many hours.

• Avoid falling into the trap of going on diets that claim to remove toxins from your body. Unless you have liver problems or kidney limitations, you are unlikely to need them. When in doubt, consult your healthcare professional.

• Try to have a healthy relationship with food, see it as fuel for your body and as a means to exploit your capabilities. Take the time to think about what foods are good for you and your baby, rather than letting your taste buds make the decisions about what to eat.

Don’t limit the range or variety of foods in your diet during pregnancy. Your baby will taste the food you eat when he ingests the amniotic fluid. This will activate their taste buds so that when they are old enough to eat solid food (around 6 months old), they will be more receptive to the range of flavors.

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Include calcium in your breakfast. Milk, yogurt, tea, or coffee in milk and cheese on toast will help correct the calcium deficit in your bones, used during the night. Bones need regular stores of calcium and vitamin D to stay strong.

Keep sandwiches and snacks on hand. In the first trimester, when nausea and vomiting are common, eating something can make a difference in how you feel.

Give in to cravings if you have them. There is usually a biological reason for the cravings pregnant women have, as long as they are edible foods.

Give up alcohol. There is no safe or proven level at which pregnant women can drink alcohol, the only way to make sure not to exceed it is to abstain.

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Rediscover fresh fruit juices, carbonated water with a hint of lime or lemon juice, or just plain tap water. The fluoride present will reach your baby’s jaw, where his teeth and enamel layer are forming.

Buy iodized salt. Pregnant women need this for the well-being and function of their thyroid. Importantly, your baby needs it to increase his IQ. Seafood, iodine-fortified bread, green leafy vegetables, and eggs are good sources of supply.

Read food labels. The general rule of thumb is that the highest concentration of a food component is placed first on the ingredient list. If you don’t recognize one, it’s probably not very good for you or your baby.

What foods to avoid?

• Foods that may contain the Listeria bacteria: aged cheeses, raw deli meats, sushi, milk, and unpasteurized dairy products.

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Eating from the buffet-style salad bars can be risky. Try to eat foods that you trust, that have been stored and refrigerated carefully, or very hot foods that have not been sitting for a long time.

• Raw fish and predatory fish higher up the food chain can be high in mercury: shark, swordfish, and barracuda. Babies whose mothers take in too much mercury during pregnancy can have neurological problems.

• Try to cut down on caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, cola, and chocolate

Why does vaginal infection occur in pregnancy?

During the gestation months, changes in vaginal pH occur. For this reason, specialists consider that it is the most vulnerable stage for the proliferation of bacteria.

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During the gestation months, there are changes in the pH of the woman, for this reason, specialists consider that it is the most vulnerable stage for the proliferation of bacteria, that is, of vaginal infection in pregnancy.

Pregnancy represents a period of change for every woman. It is a stage in which everything changes. From the most noticeable variations such as anxiety and weight gain to little-known alterations of the body, such as vaginal infections.

The role of hormones and vaginal infection in pregnancy

During the 9 months of gestation, the level of female hormones changes and directly affects the pH of the genital area. Daily, the pH of the vulvar area is acidic and lower than that of other parts of the body, and is in a range of 3.8 to 4.2, to prevent the growth of bacteria.

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During pregnancy, the future mother undergoes various hormonal changes that directly compromise the acid protective layer.

In this way, variation at a pH greater than 4.2 can alter the balance to the detriment of the usual flora, which leaves room for the proliferation of pathogenic germs.

For this reason, 9 months of gestation represent one of the most vulnerable stages for women to acquire gynecological tract infections.

How to protect yourself from a vaginal infection in pregnancy

Every mother needs to take special care to keep her intimate area clean and protected during this important stage of life.

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Among the main recommendations are:

• Wear cotton underwear.

• Do not wear tight clothing or synthetic materials.

• Wash underwear with bar soap and rinse, leaving no residue.

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• Wash the intimate area with a special soap with an acidic pH that cleanses, hydrates, and helps prevent infections of the vulvoperineal area.

• It is not recommended to use intimate deodorants, powders, air fresheners, or bath salts or bubbles.

• Avoid trauma to the genital region such as shaving, waxing, or friction.

• If changes in vaginal discharge, itching, burning, or bad smell are observed, do not self-medicate and consult a gynecologist or obstetrician.

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