Pregnancy and diet

Pregnancy is a special time for every woman, filled with trepidation and warmth. But bringing joy and impressions, this period also requires increased responsibility. And even the nuances of the future mother’s nutrition require close attention and critical assessment.

The appearance of a “tenant” in a woman’s body dramatically increases the expenditure of nutrients, vitamins and microelements. In the first trimester, these substances go to the construction of organs and tissues, in the second and third trimester – to their development and “maturation”. The intensity and rate of growth of a small person causes an urgent need for a sufficient amount of high-quality “building material”.

Among other things, the latest research shows that the diet of a pregnant woman, the rate of her weight gain and dietary habits affect the child’s mental abilities, his tendency to obesity, cardiovascular and other diseases throughout his life, and not just immediately after birth. But first things first.

Folic acid (vitamin B9)

This vitamin is one of the very materials, a deficiency of which can lead to gross malformations. In this case, we are talking about a defect in the neural tube, from which the brain and spinal cord are formed.

The vitamin level should be monitored and adjusted with supplements from the first days of the “interesting situation”, and even better, it should be checked 3 months before the planned pregnancy in order to make up for the deficiency, if any.

According to the generally accepted international recommendations, the dosage of folic acid should be at least 400 mcg per day, adjusted if necessary.

Iodine

It is the main substrate for the production of thyroid hormones, and that, in turn, “determines” the rate of metabolic and thought processes.

Even a small iodine deficiency during pregnancy can cause irreparable harm to the baby due to congenital hypothyroidism and cretinism. And it is recommended to take a trace element in a dosage of 150-200 mcg daily, starting from the period of planning pregnancy and until the end of breastfeeding.

Vitamin D

A separate article can be written about the functions of cholecalciferol, and data on the relationship of its deficiency with various pathologies are becoming more and more extensive. Metabolic syndrome, impaired immunity, rickets and skin pathologies are just a few of the diseases provoked by a lack of vitamin. The participation of vitamin D in many processes necessitates its special control during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The dosage of the drug is recommended to be calculated individually, and the generally accepted one is considered to be 200-400 IU daily.

Iron

This trace element is the “basis” for the synthesis of hemoglobin. And in addition to the transfer of oxygen, it is involved in most vital intracellular processes and immune reactions.

The most “famous” manifestation of iron deficiency is anemia, which accompanies pregnancy with “enviable regularity”.

At the same time, anemia is accompanied by oxygen starvation (hypoxia) not only of the organs and tissues of a woman, but also of the fetus. This can lead to intrauterine growth retardation and malnutrition, and in addition to abnormalities in the child, provoke complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Iron is so important that monitoring its level is recommended as a regular screening for absolutely all categories of patients. And the decision to take additional drugs is decided on an individual basis, based on the results:

general blood test (attention to hemoglobin),
iron level
ferritin (iron stores) in the blood.
Balanced nutrition

Of course, in addition to the indicated vitamins and trace elements, the diet of the expectant mother should be balanced in proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and also contain essential vitamins and trace elements in sufficient quantities.

Proteins are the basic building blocks of cells, tissues and organs. Carbohydrates – provide the body with energy for the effective “work” of all cells. And fats – are part of all cell walls, serve as a base for the construction of sex and steroid hormones, provide a “reserve” of energy substances and perform many other functions. The protein composition of food requires no less attention, since the total amino acid composition of the diet must also be balanced. Well, the “quality” carbohydrates include not baked goods and sweets, but cereals, fruits and vegetables.

By the way, the inclusion of the latter in the diet also provides the body with a “set” of vitamins and minerals necessary for the normal development of a child and a woman’s health, as well as fiber, which is indispensable for the balance of intestinal microflora and digestion in general.