Just as the USDA updated portion recommendations for the general public, they also updated dietary recommendations for pregnant women.
It is especially important for pregnant women to be mindful of what they eat because everything is passed along to the baby. In addition to healthy eating, women should also take a daily prenatal vitamin to increase levels of folic acid, iron and calcium that can be lacking in a mother’s diet.
“It is especially important for pregnant women to be mindful of what they eat because everything is passed along to the baby.”
There are many factors in day-to-day life that can be unhealthy to a growing baby. Pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeine, which means cutting back on coffee, caffeinated tea and energy drinks. Smoking during pregnancy poses a risk to the fetus. There is absolutely no safe level of smoking while pregnant or around small children. Cigarette smoke is full of poisons and cancer-causing substances that can lead to low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), allergies or asthma, still birth and miscarriage.
Just as smoking is harmful to your baby, drinking alcohol while pregnant can also lead to complications. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been shown to cause physical defects, learning disabilities, emotional problems and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in children. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome causes a variety of problems such as poor coordination, abnormal facial features, growth problems and issues with the central nervous system.
There are a number of common sense actions to take during pregnancy. Avoid people who are sick because any weakness in the immune system in the mother may affect the baby. You are also limited in the type of medication you can take while pregnant, so you might not be able to treat cold or flu symptoms. Stress can negatively affect both mother and baby, as well, sometimes being so severe that a miscarriage is triggered.