Written by Achiever Foods Nutrition Business Unit
Pregnancy is a wonderful moment in a woman’s life. When a woman gets pregnant, she goes through a lot of changes. Her nutritional needs become very critical for the development of her baby.
It will interest you to know that about 800 pregnant women die everyday from pregnancy or childbirth related complications around the world. Malnutrition is one of the causes of these complications.
Malnutrition is a cellular imbalance between the supply of nutrients and energy the body demands for to ensure growth, maintenance, and specific functions, and this includes diet related non-communicable diseases (WHO). Malnutrition therefore, is a fight by all people and WHO is working hard to spearhead this.
The pain of pregnancy shouldn’t follow you after childbirth. The secret to being a joyous nursing mum starts right from the first day you conceive. What you eat affects your baby’s nutritional health in many ways.
Here are some key nutrients in healthy foods that can contribute what is needed for a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth.
Calcium is a very essential nutrient for every pregnant woman. It is responsible for the formation of the bones and teeth, the movement of muscles and transport of nerve impulses in the brain etc.
During pregnancy this nutrient need becomes very high because of the developing foetus. The baby’s source of calcium is mainly from the mother.
The average healthy individual from 18 years or lower requires a recommended 1,300mg of calcium daily to meet their calcium needs. A pregnant woman needs 1,000mg of calcium daily. This becomes even more needed during the third trimester when baby bone formation needs increases. Children who don’t have enough calcium suffer stunted growth.
Women also need more calcium even as they age to prevent diseases like osteoporosis. Certain foods that can increase your calcium intake are dairy products (yoghurt, milk), calcium fortified cereals, guava, kiwi fruits, sardines etc. Four servings of any of these foods can help you reach your daily calcium needs.
Folate also known as folic acid (B vitamin) is a very important nutrient during pregnancy. Folate deficiency is a global concern especially among pregnant women. It’s a deficiency that affects the brain and spinal chord.
Before pregnancy, it is recommended that a woman takes 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. During pregnancy this increases to 600 micrograms.
Certain anaemic conditions in pregnancy is due to lack of folate nutrient. You can get folate into your diet by taking folic acid supplements or from food sources like; beans, leafy greens, eggs, citrus fruits, papaya, fortified cereals etc. You can prevent anaemia by subscribing to Daliha Foods.
Iron is a necessary nutrient for the formation of red blood cells. About 70% of the body’s iron is in the red blood cells. It is used to form haemoglobin- a molecule responsible for the transport of oxygen to various part of the body.
Iron is necessary for oxygenating body cells for energy, helps in maintaining a normal immune system and proper brain function. The average healthy adult requires 18mg of dietary iron intake daily.
During pregnancy your body uses iron to make more blood. This helps in the formation of the foetus, transport of oxygen from your lungs to the baby’s lungs and healthy digestive gut (where 70% immune cells are formed). An amount of 27mg iron is needed daily during pregnancy.
In many cases iron needs increase at the beginning of second trimester which usually would require iron supplementations in addition to an iron rich diet.
Iron deficiency can put pregnant women are at risk or even cause death. Globally about 40% of pregnant women are anemic by WHO. This is alarming and has contributed to the long battle against maternal mortality globally. Daliha Foods is helping to contribute to this solution globally with organic foods. Don’t hesitate to visit our product session to place your orders.
Including iron rich foods into your diet daily will help in preventing iron deficiency. When this continues even in pregnancy you are sure of your blood health and that of your baby.
Our iron rich food products boost your iron levels; they are Daliha Turkey Berry Juice, Powder and Teas. Iron fortified cereals, beans, spinach, lean red meat are also good sources. Including these into your diet everyday even before pregnancy is very important.
However when it comes to extra iron from drugs, always remember to consult your Doctor before taking an iron medication so you don’t overdose.
Fibre is a very important nutrient to include in your diet. Most unrefined foods have fibre in them. Hence if you want to be sure of a fibre rich diet ,always include more organic foods in your diet. The recommended daily need for dietary fibre is 25g/day
b. Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes: Fibre also helps prevent blood sugar rises in your blood by slowing down the absorption of food into the blood stream. This helps prevent diabetes during pregnancy.
c. Prevent Weight Gain: Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. However to control your weight so you don’t become obese or give birth to a baby who is too heavy, you will need to include enough fibre into your diet.
You can include whole grains(brown rice, wheat, oatmeal),beans, nuts and seeds, dried fruit or powders (check Daliha powders) to help with your fibre needs
For some women who may have obesity issues before pregnancy should incorporate more fibre into their diet to help prevent complications at childbirth
Water is needed for all body processes. Drinking enough water has been proven to keep a lot of diseases at bay. Meanwhile it becomes even more necessary during pregnancy as it helps increase blood volume, form placenta and amniotic fluid etc.
Dehydration during pregnancy can cause low amniotic fluid, inadequate breast milk production, poor brain function etc.
A pregnant woman needs about 10 cups or 2.3litres of water per day.
Drinking fluids does not mean pregnant women should resort to alcohol. Alcohol is in no way the same as water.
To avoid dehydration sometimes pregnant women must avoid taking caffeine foods as they can cause dehydration.
Most Teas have caffeine in them. This is some of the reasons why mostly pregnant women are advised not to take certain teas because it affect iron absorption and dehydration.
Our Daliha Teas are caffeine free and they can be taken during pregnancy to improve hydration and iron needs.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Iron, folate, fibre, calcium and water are very key nutrients the body needs are critical needs for a pregnant woman. Getting enough of these in your diet can help you give birth to a baby of normal weight who is healthy and strong. Your life and baby’s is precious . Keep a healthy lifestyle always.
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