Nutrition of the pregnant woman: what you should know?

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Throughout the history of humanity, women have fulfilled the physiological function of motherhood and a cultural function oriented to the care of their children. Starting in the middle of the 20th century, great socio-cultural and economic changes have taken place that have favored the incorporation of women into the labor, social, political and economic market, without abandoning their unique role of motherhood.

It is indisputable that women require adequate physical and biological development to continue fulfilling their multiple roles, without prejudice to their health, or the growth and development of their children. For this reason, it is essential to guarantee the specific nutritional contributions that it requires in the different stages of its life.

Deficit, excess and complications during pregnancy

The woman must maintain a good state of nutrition and health, which is essential, when planning to become pregnant. The nutritional status of the mother before pregnancy has a greater impact on the weight of the child at birth than the increase in weight during pregnancy. Severe nutritional deficit, before and during pregnancy, can be the cause of infertility, spontaneous abortion, premature birth, congenital malformations, lower birth weight and a higher probability of the child, of getting sick and dying at the moment of birth or in the first days after birth. While maternal obesity is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, caesarean section and forceps, due to very large newborns.

Importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy

Proper nutrition speeds up the mother’s recovery after delivery. Complications in pregnancy such as toxemia, preterm labor, and anemia can be caused by insufficient and inadequate diet. You will get more information if you go consult with Oak Orchard experts.

During pregnancy, special care must be taken in choosing food to consume the quality and quantity that is really needed, without eating twice as much as is customary. No need for special diets, restrictive diets, or eliminate the consumption of some foods due to wrong beliefs or taboos; unless there is some medical or nutritional contraindication. In daily practice, many women of childbearing age have a low consumption of dairy products, vegetables and fruits, for which reason there should be a special concern to cover the recommendations for these foods. The change in diet must therefore be more qualitative than quantitative.

Increased energy and protein needs

For a correct nutritional education in pregnant women, it is important to analyze the dietary habits prior to pregnancy. The mother’s needs for energy and nutrients increase during pregnancy, as a result of the changes in her body and the needs of the developing baby. As energy expenditure is variable, the best way to ensure that the diet is adequate is to gain sufficient weight. The energy needed during pregnancy is obtained mainly from essential nutrients such as carbohydrates and fats, while proteins form tissues and organs. During pregnancy there is an increase in the needs of almost all nutrients compared to a woman of the same age, in a variable proportion that fluctuates between 0 and 50%. Although all the nutrients are essential for the pregnant woman, there are some that must take special care.