Do I Need To Change My Diet During Pregnancy?

Do I Need To Change My Diet During Pregnancy?

When carrying a child, it is entirely natural for a mother to be worried about the potentially detrimental effects of her lifestyle – especially with all of the stresses and temptations of modern life. The mother is, in essence, responsible not only for her own diet but that for her child, meaning that a mother’s actions during pregnancy have a sizeable impact on the health of her child upon birth.

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Foods Which are a Danger to Babies

When a woman’s pregnant, certain foods should be largely avoided because of the potential risks they pose to an unborn child. Several kinds of cheese, for example, can potentially be harmful to an unborn baby. Cheeses that are mold-ripened or blue-veined can contain a certain type of bacteria known as listeria, which can potentially cause an infection in the placenta or amniotic fluid. The possible consequences of listeriosis on an unborn baby can be as serious as a miscarriage or stillbirth. Therefore, it’s better to avoid any unpasteurized products when in utero.

Additionally, extra care should be taken around foods that pose a higher risk of food poisoning. This means that it is strongly advisable to steer clear of undercooked eggs, meat, and raw seafood. A good rule to follow when pregnant is to always air on the side of caution where food poisoning is a possibility, mitigating the chances of you contracting it.

Alcohol and Drugs

While this should be very obvious, the use of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Not only illegal substances, but nicotine and caffeine can have a detrimental effect on your child’s health and should be avoided.

Alcohol can slow the development of your child, while caffeine can result in low birth weight. It is worth taking precautions when it comes to caffeine as it can be present in a variety of consumable products other than tea and coffee.

One further factor that people often fail to consider is the potential effect of supplements on a fetus. While it may seem that your child will need all the minerals and vitamins it can get during its development, too much Vitamin A, for example, can actually be harmful to an unborn baby.

For this reason, pregnant women should avoid eating liver or liver products, fish liver oil, or supplements of any kind that contain Vitamin A. Doctors will normally provide or recommend the correct prenatal vitamins to expecting mothers, so follow their advice and avoid unnecessary additions.

Ensuring a balance

While a pregnant mother’s diet will have an effect on the health of her child, it does not necessarily mean that her diet needs to drastically change. What is more important is that her diet is varied and balanced. If a mother has a healthy diet, she can typically consider the same to be true of her child.

Cravings during pregnancy can lead to some indulging in junk food. While this is certainly acceptable in moderation, the empty calories can lead to drastic weight gain. Being pregnant puts a significant amount of strain on the heart, so efforts should be taken to reduce any extra stress for the sake of both the mother and baby.

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