Getting pregnant for the first time can be a roller coaster journey for the new mom-to-be. In addition to undergoing several physical and emotional changes in her body, a pregnant woman would find it very difficult to control her cravings for certain foods, even if she had been following a proper diet before conceiving.
Nearly every woman who becomes pregnantdevelops sudden food cravings that would be extremely hard to control. And while some ladies tend to crave only certain foods like chocolates, ice creams, fruits etc., others tend to eat almost anything and everything they can get their hands on from chocolates, chips and sour foods etc. to uncooked rice, chalk and even charcoal etc.
Studies have revealed that although these cravings do not occur due to nutrient deficiencies, they may subconsciously cause the brain to think that certain foods may be healthy for the fetus. These studies also indicate that pregnancy can potentially cause the senses in the body to weaken, which is probably the reason why pregnant women develop a liking to extremely sweet, sour or salty foods.
Some women tend to eat weird items like paper, coal, chalk, charcoal etc. This strange craving arises due to the crunchy texture of these items which pregnant women seem to like very much.
Although it is very hard to control a sudden craving for foods during pregnancy, doctors advice that too much of anything would be bad for the mother as well as the child. Moderation is the key to staying healthy despite munching on bad foods regularly.
Balanced Diet For Pregnant Women
It is a known fact that pregnant women need additional calories to take care of both themselves and the baby inside them. And although a pregnant woman needs almost 300 calories in excess of her original calorie count (ever day), there are plenty of ways for her to achieve the mark without compromising on the health factor.
Here are some dietary recommendations that can be incorporated by a pregnant woman in order to provide her body the extra amount of calories it needs to take care of her and the baby.
Add Variety To your Diet
It is recommended that a pregnant woman add more foods to her existing diet in order to get all the nutrients she might have missed out in her regular diet. Adding more variety to the existing diet (for example, adding more fruits, vegetables, fiber rich cereals etc.) would enable her to satisfy her food cravings and make her healthier in the process.
Calcium and Dairy Products
Calcium is considered extremely healthy for both the mother and the baby and aids to strengthen the bones in both bodies in addition to preventing them from risks like osteoporosis. And so, it is recommended that a pregnant woman intake as much a four servings of dairy and calcium rich products to remain healthy and strong during and after pregnancy.
A pregnant woman would most probably be prescribed folic acid tablets by her doctor as soon as she conceives. Folic acid is considered very essential for the mother- to –be and is known to protect the fetus from external intrusions and birth defects.
Including foods like dark green leafy vegetables, black eyed peas, black beans and chick peas etc. to the existing diet can provide the body with the necessary amount of folic acid it needs to maintain the health of the baby inside.
Pregnant women usually feel tired throughout the day. Although this may be attributed to the symptoms that accompany pregnancies (like dizziness, nausea etc.), it cannot be ignored that sometimes the tiredness can arise due to an iron deficiency as well.
Iron deficiency usually leads to tiredness and depression in pregnant women. To combat these issues, it is recommended that women take at least 3 servings of iron rich foods every day. This includes opting for foods like green leafy vegetables, raisins, liver, fish, egg yolk, brinjals etc.
The iron consumed by the body would be absorbed effectively by the same only with the help of Vitamin C. And so, it is recommended that pregnant women opt for foods rich in Vitamin C in order to help their body absorb iron faster. These include opting for foods like oranges, sprouts, strawberries, tomatoes, and cauliflower etc.