The importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy cannot be overstated. Studies show that there are less complications when moms-to-be eat a healthy diet before and during pregnancy. With that in mind, let’s look at what is considered a healthy diet and how it can help.
How A Healthy Diet Helps You Deliver A Healthy Baby – NIH Study
1900 women participated in a study concerning pregnancy and healthy eating through the National Institute of Health. The respondents were graded on three measures of healthy eating:
- The Alternate Healthy Eating Index, or AHEI
- The Alternate Mediterranean Diet, or AMED
- Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension, or the DASH Diet
All three of these diets emphasize consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, lean proteins, and limiting red and processed meats.
The data confirmed that consuming any of these three diets around the time of conception through the second trimester can help contribute to you delivering a healthy baby.
A healthy diet also helps reduce the risks of the following common pregnancy complications:
- Pregnancy related blood pressure disorders
- Gestational diabetes
- Preterm birth.
Foods To Avoid
It is important to avoid consuming mercury in certain fish, like those found in shark, swordfish, king mackerel, big eye tuna, marlin, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, and orange roughy.
Alcohol should not be consumed at all during pregnancy. Not only can it affect a baby’s brain development, but it can also can increase the risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, and physical deformity.
Unwashed produce can become a source of bacteria and parasites.
Caffeine should be avoided or limited, as too much caffeine can restrict the baby’s growth and increase the risk of low birth weight.
Undercooked or raw fish and meats should also be avoided.
Healthy eating during your pregnancy is critical to your growing baby’s development. You need to be sure you are getting adequate nutrition for the health of you and your baby.
Ask South Shore Women’s Health about a healthy diet during pregnancy and other kinds of food and drinks to be avoided during pregnancy.