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Nourishing You and Your Baby: Nutrition for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. With a new little one on the way, you have a lot to consider and many decisions to make. Feeling excited and looking forward to the baby’s arrival can also bring worry. However, ensuring a healthy pregnancy for you and the baby shouldn’t be stressful.

Focusing on nutrition and eating the right amounts of vitamin-rich foods benefits both mom and baby. It also helps mom feel better during the physical demands of pregnancy. Often, women mistakenly “eat for two,” but the focus should be on the quality, not quantity. This blog highlights information to help expectant mothers make healthy prenatal nutrition and supplement choices. 

Key Nutrients to Focus On During Pregnancy

  • Folate: Also known as folic acid, folate is extremely important in preventing brain and spinal cord birth defects. Great sources of folate include spinach, beans, lentils, fortified cereals, asparagus, and peanuts.
  • Iron: This mineral is crucial for carrying oxygen from mother to baby and preventing anemia for the expecting mom. Red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and fortified cereals are helpful in meeting mom and baby’s iron needs.
  • Calcium: Most people know that calcium is important for bone health. Sufficient intake during pregnancy prevents the body from depleting the mother’s calcium stores to meet the baby’s needs. Great sources of calcium include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and calcium-fortified foods.
  • Vitamin D: Along with calcium, vitamin D is crucially essential for bone health for mom and baby. The vitamin helps to improve immune health and potentially prevents mom from becoming sick during pregnancy. Great sources of vitamin D include safe levels of sun exposure, fatty fish, and daily supplements.
  • Choline: This nutrient doesn’t get the recognition it deserves for its lesser-known role in a baby’s brain development. Great sources of choline include eggs, beef, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Iodine: This mineral is important for thyroid development in the first trimester. Great sources of iodine include seafood, iodized salt, dairy products, and grains. Prenatal vitamins are also an excellent option to get enough iodine and support thyroid development during pregnancy.

Improving Pregnancy Wellness 

A holistic and proactive approach to wellness can have a significant positive impact on your pregnancy experience. Sleep, hydration, and exercise all affect how you feel physically and mentally. It’s important to recognize that everyone is unique, and working with healthcare providers allows you to tailor a personalized care plan.

Beyond the basics, reducing stress and embracing emotional wellness will also contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Staying active by taking walks, doing prenatal yoga, or joining a new mom support group can all make a difference. Here are a few other considerations that you should consider. 

Daily Prenatal Vitamins

Nutritional needs are never one size fits all, and this is no different for pregnant women and their babies. Prenatal vitamins bridge potential nutrition gaps to ensure the best nourishment possible. Talk to our pharmacists about a prenatal vitamin that works with your diet and won’t interact with your medication. 

Staying Hydrated During Pregnancy

Hydration needs to increase during pregnancy. It is crucial to support amniotic fluid levels, fetal circulation, and proper blood flow. 8-10 cups of water daily is a simple and effective rule of thumb to ensure you and your baby are well-hydrated. 

Managing Nausea and Other Concerns

Nausea, morning sickness, and vomiting are unfortunate realities for many pregnant women, especially those in their first trimester. There are prescriptions available, and nausea can often be alleviated with natural remedies. 

Some recommendations include: 

  • Eat smaller, frequent meals
  • Stay away from foods that trigger digestive problems. 
  • Ginger and vitamin B6 to reduce nausea

Constipation, another common and unpleasant side effect, can often be relieved by eating a fiber-rich diet, drinking more fluids, and gentle exercise. 

Guy’s Pharmacy is Here to Help 

Being careful about your diet, having honest conversations with your healthcare providers, and listening to your body can help improve unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. At Guy’s Pharmacy, our team is ready to provide guidance, recommend safe supplements, and assist with managing pregnancy-related symptoms. Visit us at any of our six locations for personalized care tailored to your pregnancy needs.

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